I recently attended a public meeting of the Vancouver Island Health Authority board of directors.
I estimated that 200 Cowichan Valley residents were in attendance, the majority sporting “Hospice House” badges.
Until 2012 I was aware of the Hospice Society but was not aware of the scope of their importance in the community.
In August of 2012 my husband died of cancer in a four-bed ward at Cowichan District Hospital.
That began my journey through the grieving process.
It is not until you begin the journey that you realize how long and arduous the path may be. Grief can express itself in many ways, physical as well as psychological.
Thanks to the various programs the Hospice Society provides its many clients the journey can be made smoother. Many of these programs have assisted me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to make new friends who are on the same journey.
We have to look to the future and realize that the population of the valley will increase in the next few years and more grey-haired seniors and people with chronic debilitating diseases will require the service a 24/7 Hospice House would provide. An overcrowded acute care hospital cannot be expected to provide a serene and comforting end of life experience. This means we should have a dedicated hospice facility, with dedicated staff and volunteers, which strives to provide end of life/palliative care for everyone, every time, everywhere in the Cowichan Valley.
To this end there are volunteers from every walk of life who are presently dedicating a great of their time to make a dream become a reality so that the residents of the Cowichan Valley can be assured that they will have a comforting, dignified end of life experience.
We should support, applaud, and thank these volunteers.