Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
Story by Catherine Norman-Donovan
With little insight and great hope I moved to Lunenburg County in 2007. With no friends or family to greet me I was on a mission to create a sense of belonging in my new home. Finding work in the tourism industry I came to meet many people travelling the area but made very few connections to the community. It was after a death in the family and a notice about palliative care training that I began to look at the idea of becoming a volunteer in this sector. The training sessions were insightful and so very well delivered by the South Shore Palliative Care Team that I was anxious to join them on their journey to create the best possible support for those seeking palliative care services. Volunteering for a group whose work I believed in became my connection into my new community.
I know what many of you are thinking and I hear it often, ‘Why would you want to travel this road. It must be depressing to deal with pain and loss over and over again?’ My answer is simple, there is no greater gift than the gift of time especially when it is in short supply. Palliative care patients often want
to share thoughts with someone who just listens with new ears and no history. The stories shared are then new and if tears are shared they are not so much from pain but insight and yes, often laughter. These people that I visited in homes and hospitals changed my life for the better and taught me about the people and the history of Lunenburg County, and I will be forever indebted to them for it.
When you move to a new region you look at work opportunities, schools and health care, birth to life’s end health care, even though the latter is seldom spoken of. Those long established in the county find that their families are spread across the country and indeed across the world, and new residents have left family behind seeking an easier pace and seaside lifestyle. The South Shore Hospice/Palliative Care Society (SSHPCS) grew out of increased need for support and services for all residents, new and established. I became involved in event promotions for the newly formed group as we looked at ways to inform the public about the work and goals of the SSHPCS. I will admit that we were all overwhelmed by the groundswell of support for each event hosted both for educational purposes and fundraising. Death Café events where we can talk freely about our experiences and share insight about end of life brought out many people who wanted to hear more about SSHPCS and share stories. An Equinox Hospice Breakfast at Wile’s Lake Farm Market in fall of 2019 saw a full house and overwhelming support for the work moving forward. Another sold out
event brought musician Bruce Guthro to the Best Western in Bridgewater, one of a series of concerts created by Gary Lohnes to raise money for local charities.
The latest project by SSHPCS is the Beacon of Hope Fund offering to ‘improve the quality of life by providing financial assistance to support hospice/palliative care patients on the South Shore.’ Applications for and criteria for this fund can be found through your palliative care service provider.
If you would like to learn more about the South Shore Hospice/Palliative Care Society you can visit
Remember, a strong community is like a second family and ours is the best!