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New Hospice workshops feature ‘Dinner for One’ and creative ways to honour legacies

Following the death of a partner, dinner time is often one of the most difficult times of the day for people who are grieving.

“It is a lonely time, and cooking for one can feel overwhelming,” said Melanie Dailey, Hospice Prince Edward’s Community Development Director.

Beginning next month, dinners for one will be cooked and eaten together via ‘Zoom’ internet conferencing workshop.

It is one of a few new programs by Hospice Prince Edward in answer to skyrocketing requests for grief and bereavement support since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infection control protocols mean regular support groups Hospice normally facilitates are no longer feasible.

Dailey notes compassionate volunteers have pivoted to providing one-on-one support using telephone and video chat, “but the needs of the community have outpaced their ability to provide much-needed support in this time of radical social isolation.”

Recent grant funding through the federal government’s Emergency Community Support Fund will help Hospice build four new projects.

Currently, a regular Wednesday afternoon ‘Zoom’ drop-in is available for people looking for fellowship, assistance and answers.

With the funding, Hospice will be able to expand one-on-one grief and bereavement support by providing additional volunteers with specific training required.

Hospice has also partnered with Prince Edward County Libraries to develop and promote a section of multi-media resources related to death, dying, grief and bereavement that will roll out in the coming weeks.

Two innovative workshop series will begin in March. The first, affectionately referred to as ‘Dinner for One’ is a five-week series beginning March 3, from 5-7 p.m. with a second series to launch in April.

To combat the difficulties that dinner time can present, Dailey says Hospice has partnered with Nat Wollenberg, the charismatic co-owner of 555 Brewery and Jackson’s Falls Inn, and is co-author of County Heirlooms, a cookbook that celebrates local cuisine.

“Nat will teach simple, nutritious and quick recipes for one, and participants will cook and eat together via Zoom.”

The second workshop series will provide creative ways to honour the stories, values, meanings and legacies of a loved one who has died.

“This six-week bereavement group will support participants to use creative writing, music, and visual art prompts to connect with memories of a loved one,” said Dailey. “Each session will encourage group sharing and discussion alongside an introspective creative activity. The sessions will be facilitated virtually over Zoom by local therapist and musician Lisa Bozikovic.”

That workshop takes place from 4-6 p.m. on Monday evenings from March 15-April 19.

Registration information for all of the programs can be found at www.hospiceprinceedward.ca,  or by calling 613-645-4040 x204. Click here to visit the Hospice Prince Edward Facebook group.

Hospice Prince Edward is a charitable organization that provides quality of life, dignity in death and grief and bereavement support for all those living with or affected by a life limiting illness. All services are free of charge.
The residential hospice, at 40 Downes Ave., Picton, has served more than 300 residents since opening in 2013. An additional 400 families have benefited from visiting volunteers, caregiver support groups, and grief and bereavement services.

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