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Meet our Changemaker

June 2023

Image by Drew Beamer

Dianne Lakusta

Death Cafe Registrar

"Dianne has been an excellent addition to the Death Cafe team, helping daily to ensure our clients are registered to the support they need."

- Amanda Dymond, Pathway Coordinator

How did your journey with HHA start?

While searching online for volunteer positions with Hospice organizations I noticed a posting with HHA for an Intern Registrar. As I have an administrative background I applied and began my new role in January 2023 as registrar for virtual and in-person Death Café and any free events offered.

Tell us a bit about yourself. What's important to you and why?

I have always been drawn to the medical and wellness fields and as a daughter of ninety year old parents and our aging population I looked into death and dying. I completed an online End Of Life Duola course with Douglas College in BC and many online End of Life and Death Duola sessions/presentations. I retired from my twenty eight plus years with the government recently and decided to follow my heart further into the hospice and palliative care, death duola and especially the No Ones Dies Alone programs. I’ve recently completed a Reiki course as well.

What impact is your work at HHA having in your community or the communities HHA serves?

I am hopeful that my work with HHA will allow timely communication for communities to participate in virtual and online death café campaigns and other free community courses offered. I see the convenience of online notification/registration/notifications/participation allowing everyone to attend any death café they wish to.

Who inspires you, and why? 

I am inspired by Suzanne O’Brien, a Wellness and Oncology nurse, speaker and author. In 2008 she began offering free community educational seminars at her local library to teach families how to care for their loved ones at the end of life, a similar concept as hospice care. She then travelled to other communities offering free trainings and webinars. During a trip in 2012 to Zimbabwe she saw people being trained to ‘sit’ with the person dying and ‘guide’ them through their end of life journey. After this trip she founded the Doulagivers End of Life program. She realized the need and created the opportunity for people across the world to train and ‘hold the space’. I have found each one of her sessions, webinars interesting and all so informative.

What are some things you've learned about yourself since starting at HHA?

I have enjoyed working with HHA as I work with a great team and have learned there are death cafes on a number of subjects. I have also learned to work with a new database and a website building platform.

“I’ve learned that
People will forget what you said,
People will forget what you did, but
People will never forget how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou

Design Book

Dianne's Favourite Quote

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