By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke Hospice Society volunteers should always bear in mind the fact that while death comes for us all there is no one way to mourn the dead and dying. Different people show their grief in different ways, social worker and counsellor Tuulikki Tennant told society members during their Annual General Meeting at the Community Centre last Wednesday, April 24.
“It’s important to realize that people have different ways to deal with grief,” she told the crowd of more than 20 women and one man who attended the AGM.
Some people are vocal in their grief; others seek silence and solitude; and some seek still other ways to grieve. Some people believe in an afterlife and others see nothing beyond death.
“We need to be non-judgemental about that,” Tuulikki said. “Not everybody has the same belief system.”
Some people, too, seek meaning in the deaths of particular individuals or wonder how death could strike down some, but others.
She recalled reading a feature story once about a young boy with a terminal illness. The reporter asked the child: “Do you ever wonder why you?”
“The boy thought about it for a moment, then replied, ‘Why not me?’ That’s pretty profound for a nine-year-old.”
Hospice Society President Sharon Kohlman said that, last year, the society’s 22 volunteers spent 400 hours with palliative care patients and PALS clients. PALS is a visitation program for seniors who live on their own or live in senior residential care facilities.
“Our frontline volunteers, led by Vivian Mitchell, continue to provide exceptional, compassionate service as we strive to meet the growing needs within our community,” she said. “We trained eight new volunteers last fall and each new volunteer has been partnered within individual within our PALS program. We have a PALS waiting list to fulfill so we anticipate more volunteer training will be offered in the fall of 2013.”
Sharon also thanked outgoing executive director Andree Rioux for “her dedicated efforts over the past year.” The society is currently seeking a new executive director. Please click here to see their recruiting advertisement.
And she noted the valuable support from community organizations, especially the Revelstoke Quilters’ Guild, which has contributions lovely creations to be given to palliative care patients.