Hike 4 Hospice: Rachel’s story

My (almost) five-month-old son Olsen, my partner, mother-in-law and I will be participating in the Hike for Hospice on May 4 at Providence Farm for the first time. We want to participate in this wonderful fundraiser for hospice care in our community as this is such an important service, and I want to ensure that others can receive the support that I did. Here is our story.

My beautiful mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in April 2011. She was given a very grim prognosis. How blessed were we to get to spend many wonderful months with her before she made her journey to the other side! During this difficult, scary, emotional time my mom was connected with Hospice. Through all of the doctor’s appointments, scans, treatments, ups and downs, it was a true gift – a sanctuary of safety for my mom to go and have someone work their magic on her (therapeutic touch). My mom always looked forward to these appointments, and would talk about them often. She was hopeful to volunteer for Hospice one day.

My mom passed away on July 20, 2013. I was devastated. Not only had I lost my mom, but I was five and a half months pregnant with my first child. We had been so hopeful that she would meet my son, Olsen.

While my family was in the hospital (we ended up having to be in Victoria), I received a phone call from one of the Hospice counsellors in Duncan. Although I had a great deal of support from friends, and family it was such a relief to talk to someone who could genuinely empathize with what I was experiencing. It gave me great comfort knowing I had their support.

During my first appointment at Hospice, the counsellor I was chatting with offered therapeutic touch. I was so surprised! I had a misconception that this service was only offered to individuals who were ill. Therapeutic touch has been nothing short of a miracle during my healing journey. It has been such a gift to have a warm, empathetic, experienced, kind, open individual help to move the grief through my body. Like my mom, I have so looked forward to my appointments. It is such a relief to have a safe place to go where it’s encouraged to just "be" – whatever that may be on the particular day – angry, sad, happy, silly… I would strongly recommend Hospice to anyone experiencing grief. It has been such a gift to me, my son, and our family.

For more information or to register for the May 4 Hike for Hospice at Providence Farm visit the Hospice website at www.cowichanvalleyhospice.org