Death and dying are topics of a third annual community forum planned in Surrey.
Surrey Hospice Society’s day-long “The Beginning of a Conversation” event will be held Saturday, Jan. 26 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s campus in Newton, 12666 72nd Ave., from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free at the forum, which aims to “address the multifaceted support our palliative care team provides as well the alternative care supports available in the community,” according to an event post at surreyhospice.com. “These include physical, emotional, social and spiritual supports to patients and their family members.”
More than 300 people are expected to attend, according to the hospice society’s Tricia Keith.
“It is our mission to provide education and resources to the public – to professionals, students and residents,” Keith told the Now-Leader. “Our 2019 theme (#WhatsYourStory) is important because we learn what to expect from life through stories. By sharing our stories with one another we uncover a place for living and dying in a culture that gives meaning to both.
“We are at a time when our culture is ready to reshape they ways in which we die and build community through grief,” Keith added.
Presenters at the forum will include Ross Waddell, of Canadian Center for Death Education. His interactive workshop “will explore the elements, effects and meaning of nearing death and shared death experiences as described by experiencers and studied by researchers.”
The organization known as Willow will present its “holistic, nine-point, end-of-life planning checklist, and participants will dive into the suggested starting point: making sense of life and death.”
Also featured is Jennifer Mallmes of End of Life Doula Association of Canada. “This interactive workshop will explore common patient and family concerns that end-of-life doulas are able to serve,” the hospice society says. “This newly emerging profession that partners with health authorities has been growing rapidly in Europe and the United States and is now gaining credibility in Canada.”
Josh Neufeld, of Grief Narratives, described as “an online platform built to provide a space for people to find comfort in the shared experience of grief and loss,” will also speak.
Another forum topic is Surrey’s Age-Friendly Strategy for Seniors.
Details about events hosted by Surrey Hospice Society, including a “Red Hot Hearts for Hospice” dinner/dance at Elements Casino on Feb. 9, are posted at surreyhospice.com/events.