All Comox Valley families are having to find new ways to navigate day-to-day activities and create new routines. It means going out less, working from home, or possibly not having childcare.
These are unusual and stressful times for everyone, but the requirement for isolation and social distance is especially difficult for the dying and bereaved. The Comox Valley Hospice Society has modified their programs to ensure that compassion is available to grieving families.
While measures of self-isolating and social distancing are for the health and safety of everyone, they can be especially difficult in times of loss. Family members cannot visit a loved one who is dying in the hospital.
It may be that when someone dies no gatherings are permitted for family and friends to mourn or to celebrate the life of their loved one. Travel is difficult. The usual activities that might help to ease a person’s loneliness are not available. Even the comfort of a hug needs to be postponed. Virtual options may only feel like an additional barrier.
For safety reasons, the CVHS office is closed to the public, services continue to be available to the community. Counsellors and volunteers continue to support those with life-limiting illnesses, their families, as well as those who have lost a loved one and are in need of bereavement support.
Services have been modified in order to ensure personal safety, but staff and volunteers are still actively providing compassion in these challenging times. Those in hospital can still access hospice support by making that request to hospital staff. Those grieving a loss at home can access free counselling by phone or video chat to help them cope during a very difficult time.
If you know someone who is struggling with the recent death of a loved one, or who has had a palliative diagnosis, help is available. Self-referrals for counselling are welcome by calling 250-339-5533.
If no one is available to take your call at that time, leave your contact information in a message. CVHS staff will be in touch to ensure you are connected with a member of their clinical team. For more information visit comoxhospice.com.