Unaddressed grief impacts daily life

This morning while scanning the news I was struck by the number of tragic losses of young people

To the Editor,

This morning while scanning the news I was struck by the number of tragic losses of young people – a young Canadian is killed in Egypt, a young woman dies tragically at Occupy Vancouver and a much-loved young man dies in the ATV accident here in our community.

One can only imagine how many are affected by these losses.

It’s true, these types of incidents occur all the time – we know that well at Nanaimo Community Hospice because we see the impact it has on the lives of others.

In fact, I was at a dinner party on the weekend when the hosts’ daughter arrived home unexpectedly – devastated by the news of her friend, the young woman who died of an overdose.  So many are affected when tragedy occurs.

I was especially struck by the words of the young friend of our most recent local tragedy when he was quoted as saying, “now it has happened to us and there is no way to be prepared for it and no idea how to handle it going forward.”

People often don’t know about hospice until it “happens to them” and often they don’t reach out. Or at least, not right away – and when that happens grief goes underground and only resurfaces at what often appear to be unrelated times.

Unaddressed grief has enormous impacts in the home, at work, at school, and in our community at large. The work of hospice is about supporting and maintaining a healthy and resilient community. We can help and we’re only a phone call away – 250-758-8857.

Wendy Pratt

Executive Director

Nanaimo Community Hospice