Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw, a community-based organization advocating for increased hospice and palliative care options in the city, held its second annual Heartlights Memorial Ceremony on Aug. 30 at Pioneer Lodge.
The ceremony was held in the Serenity Garden that Heartland Hospice conceived, designed, fund-raised for, and completed last year. The full project of the organization at Pioneer Lodge includes the following:
- Three dedicated palliative/hospice rooms
- A family resource centre with reading materials and activities for children
- A holy space for the use of the entire facility
- A dedicated family entrance separate from the long-term care entrance
- A serenity garden
- Essential palliative care training for hospice staff
The non-profit has already built one dedicated hospice room space, which served as a proof-of-concept. After years of passionate volunteer work, Heartland Hospice is now very close to completing all of its goals in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
In a Sept. 9 media release, Amanda Dowling, a Heartland Hospice board member, said, "Under the warmth of the setting sun and in the calm of the evening, we gathered to honour the memory of those served to date in the Heartland Hospice Room, to honour those who worked as caregivers for their needs, to honour their beloved who grieve, and to be in a safe space with others who understand this grief."
Local musician Lori McNaughton provided accompaniment for the ceremony, and guests at the Heartlights Memorial Ceremony included Tyler Mudry, SHA's palliative community care co-ordinator, and Pat Campbell, a registered nurse working in the palliative home care program.
Also present were numerous family members of people who spent their final days in the hospice room and, of course, members of the Heartland Hospice board.
"The evening was meaningful and moving and Heartland Hospice was grateful to be able to support our community's hospice care through this event," Dowling said. "We are so thankful to all who helped in bringing the Serenity Garden, and this event, to readiness for this special evening."
Learn more about Heartland Hospice on their website at heartlandhospicemj.ca.
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