Observing Hospice Palliative Care Week

Posted by Gail Swan on  May 8, 2020

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It’s National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada. The theme 2020 is “Let’s bust the myths about Hospice Palliative Care!” There are so many myths that exist about dying, death and bereavement. Debunking myths Some of the big myths include: hospice palliative care can only be provided in specialized settings, receiving palliative care means death is imminent, children need to be protected from death and dying, and the list goes on. Dame Cicely Saunders is

You grieve, I grieve – We all grieve.

Posted by Gail Swan on  November 19, 2019

Category: Grief & Loss
National Bereavement Day November 19, 2019 is National Bereavement Day in Canada. This year’s theme is “Coping with grief, together through living and grieving”. What’s the difference between grief and bereavement? Each of us experiences losses and deaths that jar our souls. Grief is our reaction to loss. It manifests in many forms – physically, spiritually, and behaviourally. Bereavement is the objective event of the loss. The root word of the meaning is “shorn off
On March 11, 2008 the United States Congress passed a resolution naming this date as “National Funeral Directors and Morticians Day”. A day to acknowledge the important work of funeral service professionals and the care and service they provide to their communities. Professional challenges A recent CBC News article highlighted the passion of Funeral Director and Embalmer Sharlene MacDonald. The article notes the many challenges our profession is facing, include the recruitment and retention of

Grief Resolutions

Posted by Gail Swan on  December 31, 2018

As we approach the dawn of a new year, many of us contemplate making resolutions designed to kick bad habits and foster a commitment to good health. Resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. Grief however does not respond well to resolutions. We cannot make a firm decision “to do or not do” grief. The option really isn’t ours. As humans who form attachments – to other people,

Death anniversaries

Posted by Gail Swan on  December 13, 2018

Category: Death & Dying
We don’t need a big, red circle around certain days on the calendar. These are the dates that are etched in our memories. We remember where we were, who we were with, and what time of year it was. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the death of my grandfather. In those 30 years there have been innumerable family milestones: births, weddings, graduations, and holiday gatherings. The late Dewar Swan. He enjoyed playing his harmonica,