How bereavement services helped Robert begin to heal a hole in his heart

Robert Sobczak says the support he received at Aurora Zilber “didn’t just end” after he lost his wife, Nancy.

Robert Sobczak says the support he received at Aurora Zilber “didn’t just end” after he lost his wife, Nancy.

Robert and Nancy Sobczak were together 39 wonderful years. When you hear how fondly he speaks of her, it is clear he simply adored her.

“The thing about Nancy, she was so many things; an engineer, a farm girl, a singer, a pilot. She was so passionate about Marquette University,” Robert says. “She was a gourmet cook. She could do so many wonderful things.”

Because Nancy was the true love of his life, you can also imagine the heartbreaking devastation Robert felt when he lost her. Nancy was diagnosed in 2008 with breast cancer; it was an aggressive form and eventually spread to her brain and spine. By 2011, after an incredibly courageous fight, her battle ended. Nancy spent three days at Aurora Zilber Family Hospice.

“That’s where Nancy softly stepped into eternity. And yet months later, their job wasn’t over. I was surprised when they called me up and suggested their bereavement meetings,” Robert says.

Robert attended eight bereavement sessions and says he learned that grieving is a process of discovery, “The process was very revealing to me. The answers are within you, you just have to find the right people to bring them out. Being able to go through it with people who were in the same boat as me was really a Godsend.”

Jocelynn Hosea-Davis is the Bereavement Coordinator at Aurora Zilber Family Hospice. Her goal is to keep in touch with families for at least 13 months after their loved one passes away.

“We do outreach calls, support groups, bereavement workshops and other things to build coping skills. 13 months is important because it gets them past that one year anniversary,” Jocelynn says.

Robert still keeps in touch with the other people in his bereavement group; they get together about once a month. He also comes back to Aurora Zilber every year, around the time of Nancy’s passing, to make a financial gift as well.

“I look forward to coming back,” Robert shares. “I don’t know if I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for Aurora Zilber. I feel so fortunate that we found it.”

tree of angelsYou can support the compassionate end-of-life care offered at Aurora Zilber Family Hospice. Join us in celebrating the 10 years of unique care that has made a difference to so many families, including Robert’s. You can also honor one of your loved ones by attending the upcoming Tree of Angels event on Wednesday, December 9. To make a gift or learn more, go to give.aurora.org/zilber10

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