Hospice is home for the Holidays

How a difficult time is made easier by Hospice care

Christmas 2018. The beginning of our family’s journey was unknown to us. Christmas was wonderful- my son-in-law cooked Christmas dinner; we took pictures. As a family, we loved the Christmas season. For many years, my husband, Norris would dress the part of Santa for our family and other’s enjoyment.  Everything seemed “normal”. All was well, or so we thought.

In January 2019, our family was shocked into grief when my son-in-law died unexpectedly. Little did we know, my husband would pass one year later.

When Jacob died, Norris was battling a bout of pneumonia. Throughout the year, he fought to get better until the fall when he started to decline rapidly. I cared for Norris at home and had gone into “nurse mode” until he was hospitalized in mid-November. A month later, he was moved to Chatham-Kent Hospice.

Our family found the Hospice environment to be quiet, kind, supportive and private. There were none of the barriers we would have experienced at home… it was comforting.  Being able to stay overnight with Norris was such a blessing. I could wander the halls in the quiet of the night while Norris rested. It gave me time to be me and collect myself.

Hospice gave us permission to be ourselves. I no longer had to be “nurse” but could just be his wife. Norris had the opportunity to dress up as Santa one last time to the enjoyment of our family as well as others at Hospice. He loved being Santa and this made him, and all of us, very happy. We also enjoyed a Christmas dinner together as a family.

We had some familiarity with Hospice prior to this because we had known a few people who had called Hospice, home. After my son-in-law died earlier that year, my daughters also found support in the Art Therapy program offered as part of the Grief and Bereavement services.

It was from this program that the story of the “Christmas Spider” was shared with us.

We found comfort in this story throughout the Christmas Season. We made over two hundred Christmas spiders, shared them with other families and placed them all around Hospice. It was our way to give back to others and celebrate the season, even in our grief.

When my husband passed, I experienced sadness beyond belief. Now it was my turn on this grief journey.

Through the support I received while at Hospice, I was set on a path of grieving that was best for me. On this journey, I am able to grieve in my way, on my own schedule and have found spending time in nature to be very helpful. Our family is forever grateful for the care and compassion shown to all of us!

In this time of Covid-19 , there are so many uncertainties.
We need to stand together.
We cannot take anything for granted.Each of us needs another to lean on.
We may not understand all that is happening.
But it is the smallest thing that will show empathy and give another Hope.
We cannot stand alone.
Together, we will find the New Day when we can share the opportunities of the future
and remember the positives in our lives today.
There are many…….
There is a small blue flower, filled with strength and power.
It represents many things to many people.
At times of change, it represents survival.
It gives courage to those in need.
To all indeed, we impart its’ simple story.
“Forget -me-not. “