Cowichan Hospice helps families heal

Cowichan Valley Hospice Society is a strong partner with United Way Cowichan. United Way provides funding that gives practical and emotional support to those facing a life-threatening illness and to their family and friends before death and after bereavement.

In 2009, the reality of a diagnosis of ALS and what lay ahead was becoming an overwhelming burden for Raymond, his family and his friends. With his partner, Julie, they decided to learn more about the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society. It was the beginning of a connection that helped them through Raymond’s illness and supported everyone around him.

Raymond needed to talk with someone to help him face the challenges his illness presented and to help him grieve the losses he faced every day. With counselling, volunteer companioning, and therapeutic touch from Hospice staff and volunteers, Raymond felt both understood and comforted. He learned to find a new peace with himself. Until his last day, Hospice volunteers were by his side, offering him unconditional love and support. Raymond died Jan. 6, 2012. He was 50 years old.

Julie and her children were grieving and unprepared in so many ways to deal with the diagnosis and then with Raymond’s passing. Their family and friends also needed a place to go for comfort. Someone from Hospice was always available to talk with them or to provide a much-needed hug. Julie’s daughter attended a grief group at the Community Options Society co-facilitated by a hospice volunteer.

Therapeutic Touch was also a huge part of Julie’s healing and the hospice library was a wonderful asset.

The family continues to receive ongoing grief support from Hospice as they cope with the loss of Raymond. They are so grateful to the Cowichan Valley Hospice Society for giving them hope, peace, love and understanding. A donation to United Way will help us increase the amount of funding we are able to give families like Raymond and Julie. Call 250-748-1312 today to make your donation.

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