Having a loved one pass away suddenly, when you least expect it, can be devastating and leave you not knowing what to do next or where to turn.
The days and weeks following the unexpected death of a loved one can be extremely difficult for those left behind, which is why the Campbell River Hospice Society is reaching out to the community for help in establishing a Sudden Death program.
Hospice’s goal for its inaugural fundraiser campaign, #griefcan’twait, is to raise $75,000 by Dec. 31.
“Proudly, our society is operated by just eight per cent staff and 92 per cent volunteers,” says Executive Director Louise Daviduck. “We are able to keep our administrative costs low, but we need financial support to launch this critical new program, while continuing to fund our existing services which our community depends on.”
Not just for palliative care
The Campbell River Hospice Society supports people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, but their services extend beyond this. The Hospice also provides counselling, art therapy and other resources to help those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. But with the increase in sudden death in the community, Hospice recognized the need for a more specialized program.
“We’re seeing a lot of people impacted by sudden death,” Daviduck says. “When it’s from suicide, a drug overdose, an accident, or a health situation like a heart attack, the impact is different. Families who know their loved one is dying may have the opportunity to say goodbye and tell them things they have always wanted to say. With a sudden death you don’t get that chance and the family can immediately start falling apart.”
Effects of sudden deaths can be traumatic
In cases of unexpected death, the grief can affect individuals in different ways, Daviduck notes.
“Families can experience depression, become isolated, and self-medicating can occur. All kinds of reactions and behaviours can evolve out of it.” It is a critical time when providing families with the tools to help them learn to grieve together and to support each other is important.
How can you help?
To donate to Campbell River Hospice Society’s services and to help establish the sudden death program, visit crhospice.ca/annual-campaign or call 250-286-1121. You can also follow the latest on the Hospice Facebook page.
The Campbell River Hospice Society provides compassionate and caring support to those facing end of life and who are grieving.