“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
Living with a loved one who is seriously ill or coping with grief are some of the most challenging things we may face in our lifetimes. This can be especially difficult during the holidays. That is why Evergreen Hospice is here – to support those coping with a life-threatening illness, caregiving or grieving. We help individuals and their families make the most of precious moments together by providing a space of support and understanding. Our client, Dale, shares her story with us of her dear mother, Kathryn.
My mother, Kathryn, lived on her own in a townhouse after my father’s death in 2011and demonstrated her immense strength and courage. Three years after my father’s passing, we (her four daughters) convinced her to move to Parkview Senior apartments in Stouffville, which was only 5 minutes away from me, so I could help with any assistance she may need. At the age of 96, Mom’s eyesight was continuing to decline, dealing with diabetes and we were concerned about her mobility, not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic. We felt it was time she moved into one of our homes for support. After Mom agreed, and since I was the closest, she moved into my home along with my husband in November of 2020. We thoroughly enjoyed and cherished every day and moment we had with her. From watching Blue Jay games, playing cards, visiting and just being together.
In March 2021, Mom ended up in the hospital with a heart attack. Due to the pandemic we were not allowed to visit her which was very tough. She spent a week in the hospital but was never the same afterwards. Her strength and mobility suffered and she was deeply depressed and concerned for her well being. Mom made it clear to us that she didn’t want to go back to the hospital.
Fortunately, we were referred to Evergreen by our family doctor and were provided incredible medical care and support through the Evergreen Palliative Physicians. They guided us in every step along the way with giving Mom the best quality of life in her final days. After caring for my Mom for a couple months with the help of one of my sisters, thankfully my other two sisters were able to come and assist and we were all able to spend time with Mom through her final month. We took turns caring for her throughout the night as she never wanted to be alone. We laughed, shared memories and each of us had our own time with Mom to hold her hand, share with her our deepest love and appreciation for all she did for us. Evergreen physicians kept her as comfortable as possible, especially in her final hours. She passed away on July 7, 2021 with her four daughters at her bedside.
After Mom’s passing, our grief was overwhelming. Being reminded every day by looking in her room that she wasn’t with us anymore was devastating. Myself and one of my sisters took advantage of Evergreen’s one-on-one grief counselling as well as the group sessions. The compassion and understanding they showed was immeasurable and helped guide us through our grief journey. The entire organization was amazing, extremely comforting and understanding. They made an unbearable loss bearable. Evergreen provided the medical, emotional support and encouragement we needed to fulfill our mother’s wish to be cared for by her daughters, in her home until her final breath. We are eternally grateful!” – Dale, Evergreen Client
There are many individuals in our community coping with caring for a loved one with an illness or with grief, like Dale. With your help, we can be there for more people that need us, supporting individuals and their families through illness, death and beyond into bereavement. We help families make the most of their precious time together, making memories that will last a lifetime. We hope you will become a Friend of Hospice, or make a single donation, to help us be there for more people like Dale and her family.
Supporting your local hospice
Since 1989, Evergreen has provided community based supportive services to people of all ages and backgrounds in Markham, Stouffville and Thornhill, who are living with a life-threatening illness or coping with caregiving or the death of a loved one.
That is why Evergreen is here. We provide one of the few accessible options for professional counselling, support groups and other programs related to death and dying, at no cost to our clients.