Growing Hope with Hospice Garden

Press Release
Barbara Normandin, Executive Director of Franklin VNA & Hospice receives a check from Steve Bourdeau, Exalted Ruler of Franklin Lodge of Elks for the development of a hospice garden and patio.

Think tranquility. Just for a bit. Forget the snow, the salt and the ice melt. Forget the stress of life and everything that’s pulling you in a million different directions at the same time. For just a moment, think flowers. Think of stones warmed by the sun, a celebration of the cycle of death and rebirth. Take a deep cleansing breath and hold it. Let it out, and as you push out that breath send with it all the stress and negative thoughts that crowd your mind. Now imagine a place built to help you do that, and not just you but everyone. This is the vision behind the Teuscher-Wilson Hospice Garden now coming to life at the Franklin VNA & Hospice.  The garden is named in memory of Kathy Wilson and Kathy Teuscher, two dedicated Franklin VNA & Hospice employees who started the Hospice program. It will feature flowers, a path leading to benches to rest and relax, and Kathy’s rock, a stone meditation circle. It will also feature a brick patio where anyone can purchase a memorial brick engraved with the name or message of their choice.
“The patio is truly the heart of the garden,” says Barbara Normandin, Franklin VNA & Hospice’s Executive Director. “Here is a space to remember a loved one, honor the work of the Hospice staff and volunteers and be present in a peaceful supportive place.”
Creating a garden is no small task and several local organizations and donors have partnered with us.

Watts Water Technologies was early to recognize the importance of the project and to stand behind the Franklin VNA & Hospice as a Founding Donor, and their support isn’t simply the seed money. Showing genuine dedication to the importance of a memory and meditation space, Mike Mullavey, a design engineer at Watts says, “The President of Watts, along with some other executive management staff, has expressed interest in visiting your facility to see the project first hand.”

Demonstrating their commitment to building stronger communities, the Franklin Elks Lodge #1280 has also become a partner in the project. Exalted Ruler Steve Bourdeau stated “We feel strongly that multiple demonstrations of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity will not only impress upon others that this is a noble and necessary pursuit, but by adding Franklin VNA & Hospice to the other agencies and services we currently partner with, we can only improve the lives of those whom we touch through these acts.” In addition to financial support for developping the garden, the Elds will also provide labor for the construction of the patio and plantings.

Another important partner in the project is the Winnisquam Regional High School’s Agricultural program. Under the direction of Janet Rosequist, the students will have the opportunity to gain real world experience in the construction of the garden and patio.

A Dedication and Brick Laying Ceremony is planned for this spring, bringing together the supporting partners,  all the families who sponsored bricks, others who supported the garden’s creation, and the staff and volunteers of the Franklin VNA & Hospice program.
Normandin stresses, “The community is welcome in the garden.  Everyone needs a safe, peaceful place for quiet and contemplation whether that is a local business owner down the street, the members of our grief support group, or a hospice volunteer.”
She also had strong praise for the community partners. “Without their support, there simply would not be a Memorial patio.”
Franklin VNA & Hospice is an independent, non-profit organization established in 1945 to serve the Home Health care needs of the community. They provide home care, Hospice, clinic and community education services to Andover, Belmont, Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin, Hill, Northfield, Sanbornton, Salisbury, Tilton, Webster and surrounding towns, as requested. For more information on sponsoring a Memorial Brick or partnering with them for a stronger level of support for the Teuscher- Wilson Hospice Garden, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at (603)934-3454 or visit