Our experiences – moments of joy, the thrill of adventure, the despair of loss, and the challenges of hardship – form the basis of our individual life stories. When we receive an end-of-life diagnosis, it can often feel like the story just stops. At Saint Elizabeth Foundation we offer quality care to Canadians like we would to our own families to ensure those stories don’t just end. From coast to coast to coast, we offer encouragement, celebrate triumphs, and support each other though the difficult times – all while drawing on our guiding values of life care, love and working with purpose. This year we’d like to share Mary’s reflections from Journey Home Hospice Windsor, our three-bed satellite hospice specifically caring for patients experiencing homelessness and vulnerable housing in Windsor and Essex County.
“To me, it’s much easier to tell a story with a paint brush than to talk about things you’re not proud of,” said Mary. “I learned that in the ninth grade when my favourite teacher Mr. Vasic saw me doodling in class and suggested I try art as an option. I never thought I could be a painter, and that part of my life ended when I became homeless. Even though I’m now dying of cancer, the hospice has given me a piece of my life back. I can now look at all my paintings from my bed and feel like I’m going to leave something beautiful behind.”
Aided by Journey Home Hospice art therapist, Ainslee, Mary was able to express her life story in the way she felt was most fitting. “Our patients come from such varied
backgrounds and are so resilient,” said Ainslee. “Part of art therapy is allowing pati ents to express emoti on in a way that can be liberating and healing. It is an honour for me to help our patients reclaim a sense of life meaning.”
Our Foundation is proud to have complementary therapists like Ainslee, and countless others, who support patients like Mary, and their loved ones, as they journey through end-of-life. We offer a variety of programs and services such as virtual national spiritual care, our Reflection Room® a peaceful, dedicated space where people can think, talk, and write about their experiences with death, dying, grief and loss, Indigenous healthcare provider education and community support, and much, much more.
Now more than ever, each dollar you generously invest into care for Canadians will bring Hope and Happiness to people in need across the country. From our Foundation family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and thank you for your support!
Nancy Lefebre, SVP, COO
Please note that the Saint Elizabeth Foundation is only able to accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards. American Express and Visa/MasterCard Debit are not accepted. Thank you!