Volunteers help families grieve loss

Death is a part of life, yet it is part of the human experience that so few of us are able to wrap our heads around.

Julia Cundliffe has been volunteering with the Golden Hospice Society since it was founded in the early ‘90s.

Death is a part of life, yet it is part of the human experience that so few of us are able to wrap our heads around.

That is why it is so important, when faced with the death of yourself or a loved one, that there are organizations like the Golden Hospice Society to help you through it.

“There’s such a fear of death, and a level of denial that people go through,” said Julia Cundliffe, one of the founding members of the society. “It’s a tough process for people, and that’s what we try to help them with.”

The society was founded in the early ‘90s, and still has the same strong core of volunteers keeping it going. Some people might think she’s crazy surrounding herself by so much heartache and grief, but Cundliffe says that she gets back just as much as she gives.

“It is such an extremely rewarding experience,” she said. “You feel so good knowing you helped a family through such a difficult time.”

The hospice society’s purpose is to help the patient and the families cope with the difficult time. This could include anything from giving relief to caregivers, sitting with the patient who may or may not be conscious, providing support for the family during the end of life planning, or simply be a sympathetic ear without judgement.

Hospice volunteers can work with a family up to six months before a patent’s passing, or even the last few days.

“We train volunteers right here in Golden, and myself and some of the others have taken courses elsewhere,” said Cundliffe. “Invermere has a wonderful hospice, they’ve been very helpful.”

The volunteers also attend the funeral after the patient passes to show support to the family.

“It can be tough and draining work, but we all get together and talk about our experiences after, see what we could have done differently. It’s a bit of a release for us,” said Cundliffe. “And when you get a thank you or a hug from a family member, it’s all worth it.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Golden Hospice Society, or learning more about their services can contact them at goldenhospicehelp@gmail.com.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Above, MLA-elect Doug Clovechok cast his vote early. He says he’s ready to get back to work for his constituents. Photo submitted
MLA Clovechok re-elected; ready to get back to work on Golden priorities

Clovechok says he’s ready to get back to work on issues like lower canyon access and water bottling.

Pringles.
Morning Start: The inventor of the Pringles can is now buried in one

Your morning start for Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

Above, MLA-elect Doug Clovechok cast his vote early. Photo submitted
MLA-elect Clovechok reflects on election

He’s ready to get to work as an opposition MLA, he says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Penticton resident Seamus Kirby, 30, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars for fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle this April. (Facebook)
Prolific offender back behind bars

Seamus Kirby, 30, has a long history of crime in the Okanagan

Cameron James is celebrating the recent release of his second single, Voodoo. He is pictured in downtown Kelowna, his hometown. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna hip-hop artist makes waves on the West Coast

Artist Cameron James and filmmaker Jordan Powers proof talent doesnt stop at west coast

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

A yellow 2011 Can Am Commander XT was stolen from a driveway in Parker Cove Oct. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Licence plates and several ATV’s stolen in North Okanagan

RCMP said none of the property has been recovered

A structure fire was reported in Eagle Rock Mobile Home Park in Armstrong Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Contributed)
UPDATE: Home destroyed in North Okanagan mobile home park fire

Large structure fire broke out at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Slippery roads led to this crash in West Trail on Friday morning. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in Kootenays causes multiple crashes; one suspected of involving alcohol

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

Most Read