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National Hospice Palliative Care Week

May 10, 2022

National Hospice Palliative Care Week is celebrated from ​May 2nd to May 8th this year.

During these challenging times, staff and volunteers from our hospice and palliative team have compiled thoughts, poems, and messages to provide different perspectives and the significance of this week. This has been a difficult time for many, especially when dealing with a loss. That is why this is important to reflect, learn, and share. Please see below and share with those who will benefit from reading these poems, thoughts, and messages.

Breathe! The world is hurting, her creation is in pain. This is our transforming. From pain and suffering, we birth the new and release the old.

Breathe! Have faith and know after the darkness, comes the dawn.

Breathe! We are here in physical form but we transcend past this body, our physical bodies that we have come to know and accept as what we are. Yet, we are largely disconnected from who we truly are. We are not this mind and we are not this body. We are interconnected with one another, woven together with all living things by vibrational threads linking us all to the universal heartbeat and oneness of the universe.

Breathe through your pain. Let in the sunlight of hope.

Breathe in hope to your troubled hearts. Feel Earth Mother beneath your feet…

And breathe! Touch the waters, smell life’s fragrance of people and creation around you. Sense the life force coursing through your body and feel it in another living being. In moments of disconnect when it is easier to leave the body caused by fear, pain, shock, and other.

Breathe and feel the earth with your hands and beneath your feet. Know there is a Great Plan and we are here to complete this program.

And breathe! Know a new dawn awaits us all. Relinquish the old paradigm, forgive, love and have gratitude, and receive the moments as they come.

And most of all… Breathe! I open my heart and from my heart’s chalice, pour forth Love…

Chrystalla CHEW, Palliative Care Coordinator

It is the ancestors who help us when we are dying and who we return to when we die. Fire represents the ancestors which is why we light candles to call upon their support and presence.

Danielle Lobo, Youth Bereavement Coordinator

I feel privileged to be celebrating my first National Palliative Care Week as a palliative care nurse working alongside some of the most skilled and compassionate individuals that are making immense contributions towards healthcare reform, advancing clinical practice and supporting patients and families in grappling with complex and persistent illness as well as the experience of death and dying. I believe Palliative Care is an approach to care that is rooted in capacity building and empowerment. Although I am witness to this as a member of a robust community palliative care team, I also acknowledge the demanding emotional and cognitive elements of this work. I appreciate that as humans navigating an unpredictable and complex world, we heavily rely on each other to support and hold space to debrief, collaborate and see value in experiences we are challenged by. I am proud to be a palliative care nurse and participate in the celebrations of the everyday people who contribute to what Palliative Care is today!

Nirusha Jebanesan, Palliative System Navigator

My mom was the Light of my Life and our family. I had the pleasure of being with her when she took her last breath. Miss her deeply but glad that she had a good and peaceful death. My mom was the one who held our family together in life and still today in death. She still lives in our hearts every day!

– Susan Endicott, Community Hospice Volunteer Outreach Coordinator

The reason behind what drives and inspires me to volunteer at SCHC with seniors is to not only give back to the community that I am part of but also in a way I feel like I am giving back to my grandparents who don’t live very close to me during this current pandemic. The reason why I grew up the way that I did is the seniors in my life. I was surrounded by seniors who instilled cultural values that enabled me to give back to the community. I strongly feel during this pandemic when seniors might feel neglected, people like me can always contribute time to take care of our elderly.

Aditi Sahu, Volunteer, Hospice Palliative Care Caregiver Group

Being part of the Hospice & Palliative Caregiver Group, I always feel very humbled & honoured to assist a Caregiver along their journey. Having been a Caregiver a few times in my life I understand what a relief it is to know that you are NO LONGER ALONE. Someone is there walking this journey beside you. Someone who does understand and will support and encouraging you every step of the way. For me, this is always a great privilege.

Suzanne Brisson, Volunteer, Hospice Palliative Care Caregiver Group

Our team was wondering if some of our participants may be delayed in attending the caregiver support group. Everyone is so busy cleaning, cooking, making the bed, confirming doctor’s appointments, returning phone calls from caring family and friends. Who has time for a caregiver support group as much as this is what they need?

Sure enough, the participants slowly joined the meeting. We did mindfulness to relax, echoed each other’s difficult experiences in our walk with our loved one’s health care journey, created artwork to celebrate our “love in action”, talked about our joy in spending time with our loved ones, and finally, exchanged a word of encouragement with each other. It is always delightful to see how everyone comes into the group looking tired and share upon their departure from the session that they feel re-energized.

This is a snapshot of what we do at the Caregiver Support Group in the Hospice Palliative Care Program at the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities. I have been blessed by people who shone their light on me in my caregiver role, and I value the opportunity to give back to the community through volunteering in the Caregiver Support Group at the Centre.

Catherine Chan, Volunteer, Hospice Palliative Care Caregiver Group

So many words left unsaid, so many adventures unlived, so many hugs unembraced, so many tears shed from heartbreak. Miss you always, love you forever.

Jacklyn Malik, Volunteers, Outreach, Training & Friendly Visiting Coordinator

If you need the support of the Palliative Care Team please visit the webpage here or call 416-847-4111. We hope you connected with these messages and share it with those who would appreciate it.