Chatham-Kent Hospice – My Hospice Experience

Donnie and SugarA Look Back 

Before my husband was admitted, I knew where Hospice was located and that it was a place where people went to die. I soon became aware of just how vital this service is to our community. I no longer look at it as a place to die but as a place where the gentle transition from this life is made a top priority. 

During the time Donnie was being cared for at Hospice, my stress levels dropped far enough that my sleep patterns returned to normal and although the demands and expectations of managing a household hadn’t decreased, they were able to return to what they were before his cancer treatments. I found that day-to-day decisions were more manageable and I was able to think clearly enough to deal with all of the details that typically surround a death – funeral arrangements, service plans, flowers, remembrances, etc. and to share them with Donnie. 

When I arrived each day to be with my husband, my energy levels were renewed and I found it easier to focus on just being with him and making the best of the time we had left together. 

The health care professionals and volunteers we have at our Hospice are remarkable individuals. The medical, emotional, spiritual, and practical support that they offered Donnie and myself was invaluable. 

Donnie loved to laugh and share stories; attentive ears, warm smiles, and gentle laughter were an ever present part of the caring, supportive people who work and volunteer at Hospice. Donnie wanted to visit with friends and family; staff received them like welcome guests. He loved dogs; Hospice welcomes pets. 

Had he stayed at home or had he been taken into the hospital, I do not believe that death would have come to him in such a peaceful, non-threatening way and I am certain that he would not have been able to accept this transition in the same manner. I am so grateful to the visionaries who brought this vital place from a dream into a reality. 

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This article and photo were shared by Mary Haden in memory of her husband Donnie


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1 comment

  1. Barbara and Dwight Carroll

    My sister Mary Haden just shared the article, “My Hospice Experience – A Look Back” as printed in the CKSenior April 2018 Issue 26.

    What a lovely tribute to your Chatham-Kent Hospice.

    As a PGH Class 65 RN grad I do appreciate all the effort that has gone into making this facility a reality. When I was nursing in Chatham we could only dream of this.

    I hope you share this nationally as I am starting to donate to Hospice instead of other charities as I know the money goes directly to care and families, and not to Big Pharma for treatment (instead of prevention). Thanks for all you do and are doing.

    Barbara – Class of ’65 – Now retired and living in Kelowna, BC

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