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Hudson speaks at final Lenten Luncheon of the season

| April 6, 2017
Cathy Hudson was the speaker at the final Coshocton County Lenten Luncheon of the season on April 5. She was introduced by her pastor, the Rev. Jeremy Roseberry. Josie Sellers | Beacon

Cathy Hudson was the speaker at the final Coshocton County Lenten Luncheon of the season on April 5. She was introduced by her pastor, the Rev. Jeremy Roseberry. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – For the past 22 years, Cathy Hudson has had the honor of incorporating her faith into her work.

Hudson, a licensed social worker at Community Hospice, was the speaker at the final Coshocton County Lenten Luncheon of the season on April 5 at The Presbyterian Church in Coshocton. The luncheons are co-sponsored by the Coshocton, River View and Ridgewood ministerial associations and the theme for the speakers was, “God’s Call to the Workplace.”

“The hospice program is focused on comfort care, but it also has a very purposeful spiritual element,” she said. “We help people with pain management, but there is also a social piece, emotional and spiritual piece to what we do. We deal with the whole person.”

Hudson said anyone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and is deemed by their physician to have six months or less to live can become part of the hospice program.

“Some live longer than that and some much shorter,” she said. “I’ve seen a person pass on just a few hours after we’ve been called in, but it has to be someone who is considered to be in the last chapter of their life. They are no longer working on a cure or aggressively seeking treatment. They want comfort care.”

Hudson first heard about the hospice concept after her father passed away in the late 1970s when she was in college.

“My father was very ill and I helped my mother take care of him for many, many years,” she said.

A few years after she and her husband Rick moved back to Coshocton she learned about a group of people in Coshocton trying to start a hospice program here. She attended an information session and was impressed with what she heard and thought she and her mother could have really used it when her father was ill.

“I was a busy mom then though so I put the information in the back of my head and thought I’d revisit it sometime,” Cathy said. “Hospice ended up getting started in Coshocton and the first patient was served in 1986, but at that time my daughter was born. Several years later a friend from church told me she saw in the paper that hospice was looking for a part time social worker. It seemed like the timing was right and God was talking to me. He wanted me to use what I’d learn from taking care of my Dad for this new adventure.”

Since starting with Hospice, Cathy has been able to help numerous people in their end of life journey by listening to them, supporting them and praying for them.

“Some of our patients believe in God and some don’t, but we don’t push them,” she said. “We respect their beliefs and leave the door open in case they later want to talk about their faith journey.”

Cathy remembers one patient who made it very clear that she didn’t believe in God, but her husband was on the fence. He eventually became a hospice volunteer and then a patient and at that time Cathy was able to have a conversation with him about faith.

“He looked at me and asked me what I believed,” Cathy said. “I told him and when I looked at him he had tears in his eyes. I don’t know if he decided to reach out to God, but I know no matter what we try to show everyone love and meet their needs. I’m very honored and humbled when I get to pray for my patients and their families.”

She was honored to share her story at the Lenten Luncheon.

“My hope is that something I said today encourages you to take the opportunity to listen to others, be present for them and if you have the opportunity, pray for them,” she said.

The luncheon included a soup and dessert meal prepared by the people of the county churches under the direction of Sue Carlisle with assistance from her daughter Laura Fouts.

Carlisle said 17 churches helped with the food and manning the kitchen.  She also noted that she wrapped the luncheons up with her traditional tomato bisque soup and quiche.

“I like to cook and I’m used to doing things like this,” Carlisle said. “Before we came here our church in Beaver Falls started a soup kitchen and would have 150 people a week. That was 25 years ago and it’s still going. I’m used to cooking big meals.”

A donation of $5 was asked for the meal to cover some costs with the remainder given to Church Women United for their children’s clothing program.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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