Remembering those who live in our hearts
“I felt comfortable leaving at night because I knew Susan was in the best possible hands.” - Barbara Edwards

On a table sits dozens of photos, some with hand-drawn messages, some with poems, all commemorating a life that ended at Porta Caeli House (PCH). Twice each year, PCH holds a Celebration of Life and Remembrance, welcoming friends and family of former guests to share prayer, music and stories of their loved ones. The emotional event helps bring closure not only to those friends and family who attend, but also to the staff of PCH who cared for them in their final days.

“Gate of heaven” could not be a more appropriate meaning for a place that has been a final home for the almost 1,500 people since its opening in January of 2017. Porta Caeli House is a peaceful setting that provides a home to those under hospice care, welcoming spaces for families to be with their loved ones, meals in a shared dining room, and a caring staff who serve as family to many who have no one else to be with them in this time. There is no charge for care.

“Some of our guests choose PCH because of homelessness,” says Director Sharisa McDaniel. “Some come here because they have no family, and others because their family can’t care for them.”

Barbara Edwards, Michelle Craig and Beth Hecox came to the April 2023 Remembrance event to celebrate their friend, Susan Marlow. Susan was a 48-year-old Tulsa resident who had been battling cancer and kidney disease when she was referred to PCH by Saint Francis Hospital. Her friend of 24 years, Barbara, was with her every step of the way.

“Susan didn’t want to die in her apartment and she didn’t want to die in the hospital. PCH was the most beautiful outcome they could have wished for,” said Edwards. “She loved every minute of being at Porta Caeli House. The staff was always loving her, hugging her, making sure she was in a fresh nightgown daily. I felt comfortable leaving at night because I knew Susan was in the best possible hands.”

Before she died, Susan told her friends she wanted the picture of her in the red dress to be framed and displayed at the celebration of her life. Her wish came true on April 1, 2023.

Porta Caeli House is a family, not a facility. For more information on how to donate, volunteer or join our staff, visit