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Steve Jacobsen: Hospice of Santa Barbara Embraces Life’s Moments

Bouillabaisse Festival and Light Up a Life serve as opportunities to celebrate

By Steve Jacobsen | Published on 08.30.2012 5:31 p.m.

Hospice of Santa Barbara recently celebrated the Bouillabaisse Festival at theBrander Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley, and I want to thank all of those who made this possible, including the Santa Barbara community for once again making this a fantastic and unique experience.

This was the third time that Hospice of Santa Barbara was the beneficiary of this exciting day, hosted by the Brander Vineyard.

Over the years, Hospice of Santa Barbara has been known for its creative and upbeat events. I realize this may perhaps seem like a contradiction to the important and often difficult work that we do — caring for anyone experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one. It is not.

At Hospice of Santa Barbara, part of our underlying mission in serving the dying and those who love them is to learn to appreciate and recognize the value in every moment of life — even those that are physically and emotionally painful. There is always a lesson to be learned and healing to be found, no matter how unfathomable it may seem at the time.

In our work, we celebrate life and our journey along the way. When those special moments come, like the Bouillabaisse Festival, we take full opportunity to sing; to dance, to enjoy good food, good wine, great friends and an atmosphere of jubilation.

It was bittersweet that our generous host, Fred Brander, had just lost his mother two weeks before the festival. She, too, loved this event. We took a moment to honor her, and her spirit was very present.

Now we look toward our 29th annual Light Up a Life ceremonies in December. These celebrations in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta also serve to allow a unique opportunity for healing, remembrance and, yes, a celebration for those we loved.

— Steve Jacobsen is executive director of Hospice of Santa Barbara. Call Hospice of Santa Barbara at 805.563.8820 for a schedule of adult and children’s groups, or to make a donation. Connect with Hospice of Santa Barbara on Facebook.

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