Welcome to the inaugural column of the Greater Trail Hospice Society. It is our hope that this will be one more resource for people seeking information and support during one of the more difficult passages in the human experience.
Difficult, we believe, in large part because our culture does not really know ‘what to do with death’ and so we are encouraged to deny its existence wherever and whenever possible.
That is not a particularly healthy or helpful response, however, and our hope as members of Hospice is to provide help to manage the transition from life to the next stage of being (we’ll leave it up to you to define what that looks like) in as healthy and supportive manner as we can.
It’s no real surprise to find out that a great deal of work has gone into helping people die well.
Over the past few decades the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation has experienced the loss of loved ones and has decided that if death cannot be ignored, it can be supported in a humane, dignified and care filled manner. Advances have been made in medical, therapeutic, spiritual, and psychological responses to palliative care. Lives have been dedicated to developing hospice programs that offer an unparalleled combination of loving care to the dying and to those who are left bereft by death.
We are beginning to come to terms with mortality, and hospice is a large part of the social response.
In these columns you will read about hospice care – what it is and what it can offer. You will gain insights into what the Hospice Society can bring you and your loved ones as we take the path out of life together. We seek to offer, in plain, understandable language, some of the benefits of current research, and developments that are available, or can be made available.
Through our combined efforts, we hope you too might see the transition ahead as something not to be denied or shunted aside, but as a series of moments in which we can explore, in the company of others, some of the deepest learnings that have come to us in life.
Hospice care is a gift we can all partake of. Death need not be focused on sorrow and suffering; it can move toward discerning where we’ve been and the legacy we leave in as pain free a way as can be offered.
Come along with us, read, learn, and take a thought out step along the road we all travel, in the companionship of others.
Keith Simmonds is a United Church minister who volunteers on the Hospice Board.
The office can be reached at 250 364 6204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the hospice website at http://www.trailhospice.org