Meet Dan McGrath
Several years ago Dan’s wife Carol was a Highlands Hospice patient and Dan experienced firsthand the services and support we offer to patients and their families. A year after his wife’s death, Dan decided he’d like to help others who had experienced the loss of a loved one, and he began volunteering with Highlands Hospice.
Dan has helped the past two years with our annual Light up a Life memorial celebration, which honors hospice families we’ve served, and celebrates their loved ones during the holiday season. Dan has also made candles as gifts for our bereavement clients. He creates and sells the candles online and offered to make them available for our clients at cost. Each candle is inscribed with the deceased person’s name or a meaningful message, and has a charm affixed which can be kept and worn or carried even when the candle is gone. It’s a very meaningful gift and much appreciated by loved ones of our former hospice patients.
When we created a monthly publication for the participants in our 13-month bereavement program, Dan shared with staff that he had been journaling his experience after Carol’s death. He said he would be willing, as part of his journey through the grief process, to share his thoughts as he experienced and expressed them each of the first 13 months after his wife’s passing.
A few months later, the “Survivors Companion” newsletter became a reality. It is now offered to all of our bereavement program participants, and a key feature in each issue is Dan’s “Postcards” article. In it he shares very candidly the real life experiences of someone in the community who is walking through the journey of grieving.
Dan’s involvement has been a blessing not only to the families we serve, but to our staff as well. Staff’s conversations with Dan have helped us improve the ways we serve our patients’ caregivers, especially in the home. In addition, Dan now serves on our Advisory Council, offering suggestions on ways Highlands Hospice can enhance our services to the community. For his many contributions to our hospice services in Butte, Dan was honored by Easterseals-Goodwill in 2019 with the Family Support award at our Montana Awards Celebration.
Learn more about our Hospice Services and how you can become a volunteer.