Stories About Hospice

Graciously shared by the family & friends of Hospice guests, past & present

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A Personal Story

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - November 3, 2017

Last night I was having a conversation with my friend about grief and she asked me what losses were more difficult for me. I remembered one in particular that I won't go into here, but I really struggled with the feelings and experiences. I really resisted the whole experience and just tried to …

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Let Your Pain Touch You

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - October 16, 2017

This is the way through grief. To let your pain touch you. Your discomfort, your emotions, your thoughts… Pay attention to these. This is your way through. Oh my, it is so hard. It feels easier to push it away, or to resist it. To sit in so much discomfort will take your breath away. …

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A Love Story

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - September 18, 2017

His father had died and he was waiting for the rest of his family to arrive. He came out to get a drink of water and went back into the room to sit with his dad. I decided to follow him in. I'm so glad I did. I said, "I really am just checking in to see how you are doing" …

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A Daughter's Words of Love

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - September 8, 2017

"This is so hard and at the same time such an honour. In my soul I know it's true, but I am having such a hard time with his death." I asked her if I could quote her and she laughed. It was a wonderful conversation about holding space for all of what the experience of dying means …

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Uncertainty

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - September 1, 2017

One of the most uncomfortable parts of my job is that people think I know stuff. Now, don't get me wrong, I do know stuff and if I don't I will find someone who does, but often people look to me for answers. "I need to talk to you." "What do you think about…?" …

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The Paradoxes of Mourning (Part 1)

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - August 25, 2017

We have a lending library here at our Solace Centre. One of my favorite authors that we carry is Alan Wolfelt. He is a very prolific writer and I believe we have most of his books in our library. One of my favorites is called "The Paradoxes of Mourning"

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The Story of Baba's Borscht

Submitted by: Donna Flood - August 10, 2017

In the late 1800s a family immigrated to Canada from Russia, with them they brought their recipe for traditional Russian Borscht. As with most favorite family recipes it was not written down, it was passed down generation to generation by watching, listening and tasting …

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A Shout-out to our Visitors

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - July 20, 2017

The fires have displaced so many people and every one of them left their home without choice. For their own safety, they had to leave. Every person has a different story, a different set of circumstances that they had to leave behind. We think of loss in terms of the house or the …

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Turning The Page

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - July 13, 2017

We do not get over, or complete our grief. But at some point, there is a conscious decision to "turn the page." It is not about "getting on with it", it is about continuing the story. Continuing your story without the physical presence of your loved one …

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Dying At Home

Submitted by: Maureen Taylor - July 7, 2017

The night my husband died, I slept beside his corpse in our bed. All night. This wasn't exactly by choice: the funeral home did not retrieve bodies after 8pm, and there was no other bed available for me to sleep in, as all our children were home to help care for their father …

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Self-Compassion

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - June 29, 2017

Soothe yourself dear one. Put your hand on your heart and give yourself compassion. This is the way through. This is the way in. Be gentle, be patient. Often I will tell people to be kind to themselves and they look at me as if I am crazy. They have never even considered self-compassion an option …

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The Gift of Preparedness

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - June 19, 2017

Are you ready? Have you had the conversation yet? Does your family know your end of life wishes? Have you dotted your I's and crossed your T's? For some reason we avoid thinking about or talking about our own death. Perhaps we think that even thinking about it will bring it closer …

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Friendships Formed

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - June 12, 2017

I love it when family members connect with other families. You see it happen in the kitchen and in the living rooms. Often people find the support they need by talking to people from different rooms. They dine together, they chat and they do puzzles together …

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A Note of Appreciation

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - June 5, 2017

On occasion at Hospice, a guest arrives who is alone. Either their family lives in another town, or they have been separated from them for one reason or another. When this happens, the Hospice staff and volunteers will visit the guest as much as possible …

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Mindset Shifts for Self Care

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - May 23, 2017

You've heard the airplane rule. When the oxygen masks drop, put yours on first BEFORE you assist any one else. The same rule should apply to care giving. Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver. You can't give from an empty well …

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The Grieving Heart on Mother's Day

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - May 12, 2017

For most people, Mother's Day is a time of celebration and appreciation towards one of the most important people in their lives. A time of joy and love. For some people though, people who are grieving the loss of their mother …

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Am I Crazy?

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - May 5, 2017

We have been taught that we "should" be over our grief and getting on with things sooner than is realistic. Because of this societal belief, people who are grieving think that there is something wrong with them. The truth is …

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An Executive Director's Reflection on Care

Submitted by: Donna Flood - April 28, 2017

I would like to take this time to reflect on my experience at hospice this week. Every day I witness you all providing our guests with care that is compassionate and centered on each of their unique needs. With all things, occasionally an experience stands out and requires comment. …

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Ripples On a Pond

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - April 21, 2017

Ahh, summer… The camping, the fishing, holiday plans, family reunions. The excitement of driving the RV out of town, for the weekend, the week, or even the whole summer. Blissful days of connection with community and connection with nature. You gotta love it! …

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A Graceful Passage

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - April 5, 2017

One day as I was working I noticed a man sitting all alone in a guest room with his loved one. I knew that she was close to dying and so I asked him if I could sit with him. I sat down and we chatted a bit. He told me about his relationship with the woman he was sitting with. Then we sat in silence. My eyes were on the guest …

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Just a Short Time Ago

Submitted by: John Kroeker - March 30, 2017

I went for a walk today, the same route we used to walk – just a short time ago. She in her wheelchair bundled up warm, Sassy her pet poodle nestled in her lap. Each turn, each curb, each intersection hold a memory, of no significance to others, but of great significance to me …

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Apple Pie!

Submitted by: Dr. Davina Banner - March 17, 2017

When I think of apple pie, I am immediately transported back to childhood memories with my mom and grandmother. Helping cut up apples and trying to grab a sneaky bit of crust that may have accidently (on purpose) fallen on to the table. There really is nothing like that sweet smell of apple and cinnamon. I challenge anyone to think of something more homely and comforting …

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Continuing Bonds

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - March 9, 2017

There was a death in our family recently. My husband's older brother had died. When I am out in the community, people stop to give condolences and ask "how is A..", my husband doing. One day when asked, the answer that came out of my mouth even surprised me."Oh," I said, "he's okay. He likes to keep his dead people close to him." …

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Rotary Hospice: They Meet You Where You Are At - Gently

Submitted by: Leslie Allen - March 2, 2017

Years ago, I worked at a local retirement home. One of our residents was a very ill gentleman who needed the extra care that our residence provided. I started to bring him little comforts from home - Red River cereal, crossword puzzles, or old maps to match up with some of his lively stories. We became friends …

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From Grief Came Gratitude

Submitted by: Andrea Reeves - February 23, 2017

Up until three years ago, I had never stepped foot within the Prince George Hospice House doors, a sure sign that in my adult life I had not been touched by death, grief or even loss. This all changed, however, when my good friend, Mearl, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer …

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A Bucket List Fulfilled

Submitted by: John's Rotary Hospice House Nurse - February 16, 2017

Our Hospice House Manager recently got a call from a rural nurse advocating for her 95-year old client living in a remote community several hours away from Prince George. She explained that his "dying wish" is to come visit his sister in Prince George …

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Self Care Strategies for Valentine's Day

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - February 14, 2017

For those of us grieving the loss of a loved one, Valentine's Day can be difficult. It can heighten the awareness of your loss. And it is everywhere. You can't even go to the grocery store without being confronted with reminders of celebrations of love …

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Dad Loved You All

Submitted by: The Makowichuk Family - February 10, 2017

I'd like to take a moment to thank you all with genuine thanks and appreciation. While this does not by any means include all those souls with whom my father and his family have shared a bond within this time, we have the privilege of sharing Dad's love with you all …

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Be Gentle

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - February 3, 2017

For some reason our culture has dictated that feeling sad is bad. We are taught to avoid negative feelings at all costs. When someone we love dies, we are told that to grieve openly, or privately for that matter …

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Yellow Rose

Submitted by: Rudy's Wife - January 27, 2017

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories …

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I Watched My Father Die at Hospice

Submitted by: Norm Coyne - January 19, 2017

I watched my father die at hospice. Truth be told, we were never very close. I am not saying I didn't love him, but I realized after he passed that I never really knew him. That is what eventually made me cry …

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