The mission of Abode’s Bereavement program is to provide the best bereavement program for our clients, their communities, and our staff. When Mark S., Abode Hospice Bereavement Coordinator and Chaplain, discovered that a recently deceased patient, Clyde, was an unattended veteran, he set into action. As a first step, Mark reached out to the community Clyde resided in.
When Clyde passed, the community he lived in was grieving. He had no family nearby, simply a sister who was unable to travel due to age. Mark reached out to the community to meet with them and provide support. It was discovered Clyde was an unattended veteran and would be buried at Pike’s Peak National Cemetery, with only Mark and the funeral staff guaranteed to be there.
Something had to be done to make sure this veteran was not laid to rest alone. While working with the funeral home and local VFW, word got out about Clyde’s funeral and that he had no family able to attend.
As a result, the media blew up. Facebook, newspapers, TV stations – it was unbelievable.
The day of the funeral arrived accompanied by a snowstorm. Schools, businesses, and roads were closed due to the treacherous conditions, but the community of Colorado Springs still showed up. Hundreds of people from the community and local Military groups in uniform all came so Clyde would not be laid to rest alone.
Cars lined the road as the cemetery began to overflow. Snow fell as the bagpipes played while he was walked to the front of the crowd in the beautiful casket Evergreen Funeral Home donated.
“The way the community came together to honor Clyde was like nothing I had ever seen before,” Mark, Bereavement Coordinator & Chaplain, stated in awe.
Mark accepted the flag on Clyde’s behalf and has contacted the VFW where his sister lives so they can personally present it to her. She is forever grateful for this gesture.
It’s true that you don’t truly understand the unabashed power of community until you are a part of one. The community of Colorado Springs showed up for this unattended veteran and demonstrated that he was not alone.
“To the hundreds of individuals that showed up to pay respect to a man you didn’t know, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for standing together as a community of proud Americans to honor a Veteran who sacrificed for our country. Thank you to the amazing team at Abode Hospice for taking care of people and always going above and beyond.” – Christal Ransom York, Director of Public Relations & Community Liaison