In Victoria Times Colonist op-ed honouring National Bereavement Day on Nov. 17, CEO Kevin Harter says we can meet this current pandemic of grief with kindness and connection.
“Every day in 2020 we are reminded of life’s uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic change and upheaval in our political, social and emotional worlds. One thing is certain: We all need kindness and connection.
Kindness and connection are what’s needed most by the community of people who have experienced, or are experiencing, or will experience, grief.
That’s every one of us.
We have lost more than 10,000 people to COVID-19 in Canada. Many of these people died alone, as have thousands of others who have died of other causes while in hospital during the pandemic. Everyone who has died during the pandemic leaves behind friends and family who have had to grieve alone, unable to join together with others to honour their loved ones and hold each other in grief.
Today is National Bereavement Day in Canada. Today we honour and acknowledge the unprecedented wave of grief that is sweeping across our communities and we act to support the people around us who may be grieving right now. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association campaign this year reminds us that while we may be physically distant, grief can bring us together.
Support for people in grief is central to the work of Victoria Hospice, and it has been since the organization was founded 40 years ago. We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the demand for our bereavement services, and we know that demand speaks to the ways people are struggling more with grief at this time.”