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Hospice memorial honors lives lost in past year

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Bob Massey | Herald

Karl Bunjes, spiritual adviser at New Century Hospice, lights a candle in honor of a former patient at a memorial service Nov. 14.

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A memorial service Nov. 14 at New Beginnings Church in Harker Heights celebrated the lives of hospice patients who have died in the past year.

The annual memorial was hosted by New Century Hospice, whose main office is located in Heights.

Karl Bunjes, hospice spiritual counselor and bereavement coordinator, described the evening as one of remembrance, strength in the memory of friends and loved ones, courage over difficulty, faith over sorrow, and thankfulness.

“We will call the names of those we have served and as we do so feel free to come forward, light a candle and say words of remembrance about your loved one,” Bunjes told friends and family members.

About 50 names were read aloud by staff members.

Hospice is available for patients who are terminally ill and are theoretically in the last six months of their lives, Bunjes said. Hospice care is a team effort, which includes social workers, spiritual counselors and nurses.

“We get together every two weeks and discuss each individual patient and decide how to best meet their needs,” Bunjes said.

New Century currently serves 36 patients in private homes, nursing homes and hospitals throughout Central Texas.

“Our job is to make their last days as comfortable as possible,” he said. “It’s when there aren’t any treatments that can make people well that we let nature take its course.”

The next memorial service will be in November 2014.

2 images

Bob Massey | Herald

Karl Bunjes, spiritual adviser at New Century Hospice, lights a candle in honor of a former patient at a memorial service Nov. 14.

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