Reflecting on my last six day tour of south central BC I am feeling happy in my heart, well appreciated, and very blessed!
Wonderful people took great care of me and had arranged all manner of speaking opportunities for me. From meeting with Mayor and Council of Osoyoos, to ribbon cutting at the Desert Valley Hike for Hospice, to radio interviews, workshops, book signings, and public talks.
Castlegar, Osoyoos, Oliver, and Penticton are all lucky to have the dedicate people they have working hard to ensure those facing death and grief are well loved and taken care of.
Many of my views were reinforced on this leg of my Rural Hospice Road Trip:-
1) Grief is a community affaire! Family holds in their loving arms individual family members, community holds the family in their embrace.
2) We need to put our money where our mouth is. Sustainable funding, dedicated funding is mandatory if we are to advance the good work of hospice.
3) We can and are changing our relationship with death, and in doing so we can and are changing how we serve those dying and those grieving.
I used to hold it that I am going to change the way North Americans approach death and dying. I have recognized now I was operating in the wrong tense -I was way off in the future. After this tour I can now honestly say the I AM changing the relationship we have with death.
My favourite question to those who came to listen to my talks – Now that we have dropped the idea of the grim reaper and death is no longer an enemy to be fought at all costs how could we do things differently?