This year at NHPCO LAC, Enclara is excited to host an evening event at the Elephant Trails Exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. A Night at the Zoo will take place on Monday, April 15 after the first day of the conference and will include industry conversation, music and plenty of delicious food to go around. The evening will even feature an up close and personal introduction to our special guests of honor….real elephants! As great as that all sounds, you must be wondering why we opted to host our event at the elephant exhibit. At Enclara Pharmacia, the elephant is the main focal point of our logo but underneath the surface, it is so much more than just a logo. Let us take this time to explore why hosting an event at this location couldn’t be more perfect!
Elephants & Grief
The elephant is well-known in the animal kingdom for its unique response to death. Throughout their lives, elephants form close family and community bonds, and when these bonds are broken by death, they respond in a very human way – expressing visible signs of grief and mourning for the loss of one of their own. These visible signs of grief may include:
- Examining and taking great interest in the bones of deceased elephants
- Participating in funeral rituals, using leaves and twigs to bury the body or skeleton of the deceased animal
- Visiting the deceased elephant body and spending time by their side
- Vocalizing their sadness if the forms of low rumbles and high-pitched screams following a death
Elephants & Their Herd
Elephants are also known for forming deep family bonds and living in tight family groups. They express their complex social and emotional behavior by:
- Babysitting each other’s calves
- Saying hello to one another, either by wrapping their trunks or giving each other friendly “hello” taps
- Communicating over long distances using a sub-sonic rumble that other elephants receive through their feet and trunks
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
The hospice and palliative care community fosters an environment that encourages families to acknowledge and talk about the end-of-life. These difficult conversations about death and dying are often referred to as the metaphorical “elephant in the room”. It is only natural for people to avoid talking about death because it’s uncomfortable. While the sensitivity around the subject can make it difficult, it is comforting for patients and their families to connect with the behavior elephants display both in life and death, and ultimately use the “elephant in the room” as a guide to openly discussing death and terminal illness.
Incorporating the elephant into our logo serves as a special tribute to the majestic animal and opens an opportunity to bring awareness to the importance of end-of-life discussions with the goal of providing transparency and comfort to better serve our patients and their families.
As you can see, spending time at the Elephant Exhibit could not be more fitting for a hospice community gathering. We look forward to an evening that is sure to be full of life, laughter, and good conversation. We hope to see you there!
Let’s connect at the conference! If you are interested in attending our Night at the Zoo event or if meeting us for a cup of coffee is more your style, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by booth #321 in the exhibit hall.