Earlier in the week, I was at an event and there were a number of businesses and non-profit organizations there. As I walked past some tables, a vase full of flower stems caught my eye and I met a friendly woman at the Abbotsford Hospice Society booth named Marion. We ended up chatting and I told her that I had visited the local hospice in my area after we lost our son a couple of years ago. She immediately held out her hand and reached out to me with sincere care and compassion. Marion told me that she also lost a loved one and was now involved with raising funds as the Capital Campaign Manager for ‘Help Us Light The Way’ to support the services offered by the Abbotsford Hospice.
We both agreed that hospices are needed in our communities and can make a difference in the lives of families missing a family member or dear friend. For about a year after Keaton died, I received excellent one-on-one grief support from a well-trained therapist. It amazes me that the services offered at the hospice were free of charge. Grief counselling and various support groups are available to those living in the catchment area. Contact your local organization for more information.
Many hospices need support to be able to continue providing services so it is important to keep them in mind if you are looking for a worthy cause to donate to. For example, think about setting aside gently used items and bringing them to a hospice thrift shop. How about visiting one of these thrift stores the next time you want to go shopping for a unique treasure?
Monetary funds are needed, but hospices are often looking for volunteers so the gift of time, or resources such as books on grief and other items are welcome. Businesses can help too! For example, Lakeland Nurseries kindly dropped off a large donation of flowers for the Abbotsford Hospice to hand out to people attending the event. Before I left, Marion made sure to give me a bunch. “They are in honour of your son” she said knowingly with a smile.
I went home with a fistful of neatly bundled stems topped with little buds and wondered to myself how long it would take for them to grow, but I didn’t have to wonder for long! Overnight, they bloomed into full daffodils and bright yellow flowers greeted me in the morning. What a nice surprise…
Through a ministry that I have started, I am collecting teddy bears to give to bereaved families. I received a message just this morning that someone wants to send me a few dozen teddy bears. She is moving and thought it would be a good time to pass them on. How great is that?! These bears will be lovingly delivered to the local hospices and hospitals in surrounding areas and given directly to parents and siblings missing a little one. For myself, receiving the gift for Keaton knowing that someone has taken the time to care makes me think about what little things I can do to let others know that they are not alone.
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one and would like support, consider seeking out services that may be available in your community by contacting:
bcbereavementhelpline.com. In the Lower Mainland 604.738.9950 and throughout BC 1.877.779.2223
If there is a hospice nearby, it might be worthwhile to see if grief counselling, support groups and events are available.
To support the Abbotsford Hospice Contact:
Marion Keys, Capital Campaign Manager – Help Us Light The Way at 60(four).852.2456 or MarionKeys(at)abbotsfordhospice(dot)org or visit them at abbotsfordhospice.org
HOSPICE NEWS & UPDATES
Great news! Canuck Place is expanding services to the Fraser Valley. The Canuck Place Children’s Hospice will be located next to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
The Surrey Hospice Society is hosting a Walk of Remembrance & Dove Release on May 7th. I participated in this event last year and went with a group of other bereaved parents that I knew. It was meaningful to be able to release a dove for Keaton and walk with others who understood my journey. I wish you peace in yours…
Note: If your organization would like us to publish a link to help promote an event for bereaved families, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to do so.