Comox Valley ‘village’ helped her mom to die with dignity

Dear editor,

We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Dear editor,

We’ve all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

In the case of my mother, Shirley Harrison, it took this village that we call the Comox Valley to help her pass away with as much dignity as possible. The kindnesses shown toward her during her battle with cancer allowed her to die at home with family always with her.

I’d like to first thank Dr. Odegaard, the most generous and forgiving of dentists. You went above and beyond to be more than fair to my mom in a difficult situation.

Then there were the Cumberland Elementary students who held a bake sale to help raise money for her. Very special to her was the young girl who came at least twice afterwards to say hello and ask how she was doing. Thanks to newspaper coverage, she received help from many total strangers.

We could not have had the experience we all did without the veritable army of home-care workers and nurses who came multiple times a day to care for Shirley when she became housebound. Every one of you has chosen the correct profession, where you can utilize your compassion and gentle spirits.

Dr. Konway, your visit to her at home was the highlight of that week for her. Thank you for taking the time.

Our family would encourage the folks of our village to make generous donations to our local Red Cross. Their equipment-lending program made many things possible and easier for mom, including being able to stay at home rather than go into the hospital.

I’d also like to thank the always-cheerful and caring employees of Safeway, who always treated Shirley with friendly respect and concern. I’m sure there are many more such kind businesses and individuals that I am not aware of or have neglected to thank, but I send out thanks to you as well.

Many of you may know mom’s husband George as The Can Man who collected empties for donation to children’s charities. This village helped him donate tens of thousands of dollars to charity, thus helping raise those children.

George has now gone to the Mainland to live with his daughter.

And last but certainly not least, I thank the owner and staff of Toneff Funeral Services. From beginning to end: above and beyond.  Thank you all.

Ruth Dilts,



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