Staff and volunteers helped arrange a wedding for a patient who wanted to spend his last days as the husband of the love of his life
The following article was written and submitted by Dianne Rinehart, volunteer member of the Communications Committee and Hospice Georgian Triangle.
“Good morning sir!” Trevor told his wife Kathy the day after their wedding as he would the following days.
That was Trevor’s time left to live at the Campbell House of the Georgian Triangle Hospice.
Trevor and Kathy were married on April 17, 2021 and Trevor passed away on April 30.
Trevor knew death was imminent. With his strength waning, he decided to do something he would have liked to do much sooner: marry the love of his life, Kathy.
Their marriage was a testament not only to their love for each other, but also to a love that can survive any illness.
It was a tribute to the incredible staff at the hospice who, throughout Trevor’s illness, supported not only him in pain and illness, but also his wife Kathy through bereavement and counseling. of mourning.
As Debbie, a patient and family support worker, said, the wedding not only lightened the mood for the happy couple, but also for the staff.
“During those hours, there was a shift, I think – thinking about what was to come was put on hold – and everyone was ‘in the moment’ sharing the obvious happiness and contentment…knowing that a desire decades had been accomplished,” Debbie said.
Instead of gifts given to the bride and groom, the happy couple gave a gift to the staff and their families through their example of prioritizing love and life over death.
As Deborah Emmerton, a patient and family support worker at the hospice, said, their marriage “was a gift they were able to give to each other and their families.”
“It was an example of commitment, dedication, tenacity, cooperation and resilience,” she said.
It was a “never give up a wish” heart cry.
“Laughing, loving and being happy is part of coming together — and letting go,” Emmerton said. “There is a peace that comes with achieving a goal.”
So how did this happen? Everyone at Hospice Georgian Triangle participated.
“It wasn’t an ‘are you crazy?’ response to the idea that a couple could get married in a hospice during a provincial lockdown in a global pandemic with just days to hold the event,” Emmerton said.
“It was proof that love can and does last, that memories become what we have, that happiness can co-exist with sadness.”
The preparations were a team effort.
Melissa, a staff member, came on a day off and did Kathy’s hair. Myke, PSW, shaved Trevor and helped him put on his best shirt and tie.
Local florist Abigail from Petals in Thyme provided beautiful flowers.
A small gathering of family members joined the couple in the garden for a moving moment of love and commitment in a very unique setting.
Meanwhile, another family watched from as far away as Trinidad on Zoom.
Helen Rusell, volunteer and food service manager, prepared holiday sandwiches.
The Living Wish Foundation provided funds to pay for the wedding cake, flowers and a photographer.
Sharon, the spiritual leader of Hospice Georgian Triangle performed the ceremony.
“It was such a sweet, magical, tender and joyful day,” she said.
In the end, is there a better way to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day than to remember the example set by Trevor and Kathy?
Mahatma Gandhi couldn’t have described it better when he wrote, “Where there is love, there is life.
Hospice Georgian Triangle provides compassionate home and Campbell House care to individuals and families with life-threatening illnesses living in the communities of
Collingwood, Clearview Township, City of Blue Mountains and Wasaga Beach.
Palliative care and community programs are free to the user and focus on the physical and emotional needs of the patient and their family, thereby improving quality of life.
The Hospice Georgian Triangle Foundation needs donations from the Southern Georgian Bay community to fund over 50% of palliative care and to provide the level of programming, especially grief and bereavement counseling, support groups child support and pain and symptom management programs. For more information, visit hgtfoundation.com or call 705-444-2555.