Liina McNeil, the Bereavement Coordinator and Counsellor at Burnaby Hospice Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing compassionate care to individuals and families in Burnaby during the end-of-life journey, know any discussion about death can be difficult.
“People don’t want to talk about death – I get it,” says McNeil. “As a society, we generally try to avoid discussing things that are both ambiguous and scary—regardless of race, culture, age or ethnicity. And yet in spite of that, we all know the reality of the situation. As the famous movie line goes: ‘none of us will get out of here alive.’ One hundred percent of Canadians will die someday – it’s inevitable.
“Here at Burnaby Hospice Society,we’ve learned that the more prepared you are, the more information you have, and the more tolerance you have for the subject, the better you’ll deal with the end-of-life process.”
Serving the Burnaby community for over 30 years, the Burnaby Hospice Society has thrived in large part thanks to their efforts to provide psychosocial support and raise awareness surrounding hospice, palliative and end-of-life care.
“We have added workshops that provide important education about the end-of-life journey free to Burnaby residents,” says McNeil. “Not everyone has to come to a support group or to a counselling session when they come here. You can just come for the information sessions.”
“We’re not trying to focus on the scary, gloomy, darker side of the discussion,” she explains. “Instead, we focus on helping people build mental resilience, manage fatigue and prepare for self-management and well-being through the end-of-life journey. It’s about changing the narrative.”
McNeil points out that Burnaby Hospice Society’s new seed grant initiative, made possible by the BC Centre for Palliative Care, is designed to educate families on the end-of-life process.
To find out more about Burnaby Hospice Society, drop by their location at 4535 Kingsway, Burnaby or http://burnabyhospice.org/, call them directly at 604-520-5087, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find Burnaby Hospice Society on Facebook.