Carol and John Harman with Carol’s mother, Mary Deminick
I first became aware of The Dorothy Ley Hospice when my husband was put in palliative care in hospital. I tried to keep him at home for his final days, but we were both scared and I could not lift him. Thankfully a very kind lady, Debbie, helped us get him in the Hospice. It made his last days peaceful and I was able to be there with him.
I was tired and mentally worn out, so it was a wonder that the hospice provided free acupuncture, massage, and therapeutic touch to both myself and my husband. He enjoyed the wellness support greatly too as it eased his pain. This gave me some needed ME time without having to really leave my husband. It brought great strength to me when I needed it.
After my husband passed away peacefully, I went to the bereavement support classes. When you have a dark hole inside you it is great to be around others who understand. Talking and learning about the grief I had, helped me through those days as it was hard to talk to family and friends sometimes.
Just as my husband died, my mother started getting sick. She had a heart attack and stroke and started losing her memory. Debbie helped me again. We tried to get my mom to go out to different support services. In the end I had my mother on palliative care at home. I had support from CCAC and volunteers and doctors and nurses from the hospice team came to my house. I got very tired again. I started going to acupuncture, different types of massage, therapeutic touch, and yoga when I could spare time thanks to Pranita the Wellness Services Coordinator. Sometimes it was the only time I had for myself. I used to fall asleep during some of the treatments. Then I guess all the stress and hereditary risks caught up with me. I had a major heart attack with severe heart damage. I thank god for the CCAC who increased support at home for my mother. The team from the Hospice were a wonder. I hired three support workers myself as I could not even turn my mom or feed her. I managed to keep her at home and a good friend and I were with her when she passed peacefully at home. I could never have done this without all the support from the Hospice.
Again, I faced my grief with sessions at the Hospice. I continued coming for acupuncture, massage and yoga not only for relief for my mind from grief, but also now for health improvement for me. I continue to support the Hospice with donations and have also put memory stones in the garden to remember my wonderful husband, mother, and friend. It is comforting for me to go there and see the stones. I feel close to them there. My friend’s daughters go there to remember their mom. Sometimes we just need that.
The Hospice has been a great support to me over the last few years. Their teams do wonderful work. Losing your loved ones is the hardest thing in the world. I am glad I did not have to do it alone. The wellness services sometimes forced me to get out instead of hiding. The people who do the services also take time to talk to you. I keep coming back because everyone makes you feel so good and not so lonely.