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April 2023

Image by Vincent van Zalinge


Would you describe yourself as a compassionate person?

Even if you don’t necessarily see yourself that way, I bet you’re compassionate at least some of the time (e.g., when you’re well-rested and not in a hurry), or with certain people in your life (e.g., with your closest friends). Compassion can be thought of as a mental state or an orientation towards suffering (your own or others’) that includes four components:

  • Bringing attention or awareness to recognizing that there is suffering (cognitive)

  • Feeling emotionally moved by that suffering (affective)

  • Wishing there to be relief from that suffering (intentional)

  • A readiness to take action to relieve that suffering (motivational)

Contrary to what many may believe, compassion is considered to be like a muscle that, as any other, can be strengthened with relevant exercises—or can deteriorate and atrophy. In other words, your capacity for compassion can expand, if you choose.


Welcome to April!  Wow, we made it to a successful third edition of our new newsletter.  A very special thank you to Pam and Manpreet for making this happen … along with everyone who has and will be contributing articles. ​

As an organization we greet April with a couple of big milestones under our belt.  Just this past week we organized and ran a three-day conference called “Compassionate Caregiving and Death Awareness” for the Métis Nation of Ontario. We also presented, with our partner Hamilton Public Library, our first in-person “How to Talk with Kids about Dying, Death and Grief” session.  Both events were fantastic and you will be able to see pictures in this newsletter as well as in our photo gallery in the Press Room on the HHA website.

As mentioned in our March newsletter, Internship onboarding is in full swing.  Thanks to a new partnership with ILAC International College we are welcoming 6 new interns this month.  We continue to be proud to be known as one of the premier internships available today. 


This past month we welcomed a new Director to our HHA National Board: Emily O’Kell.  While Emily is new to the Board, she is not new to HHA.  As a matter of fact, her mom Jeanne is one HHA’s co-founders.  Emily brings the legacy of her mom’s passion combined with her knowledge, experience and passion for diversity, equity & inclusion. I know our entire Board (Members, Officers, and Directors) join me in welcoming Emily and wishing her great success as she helps grow a charity her mom helped to found.


As April comes into full swing it feels like the challenges of gathering virtually only are coming to an end.  We are exciting to be returning to Ottawa to work at our National Capital Region Chapter and to the planning of a first trip to Alberta to establish a new chapter out west. 


Our circle is drawing wider every day, and it is thanks to every one of you reading this newsletter that we are able to serve communities well.  


Tracey Robertson

CEO, Home Hospice Association

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Image by Daniel Weiss
Emily O'Kell
From The Desk Of
Image by Jared Rice

Practice Self Compassion

1. Be in charge of your own breathing 

2. Appreciate the beauty around you

3. Be present in the moment

4. Cultivate your inner calmness 

5. Focus on your values not anxiety

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Whether the loss is due to miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, infant death or adoption, Our Babies, Our Grief welcomes participants to make our support part of their grief journey. 


The HHA Infant & Pregnancy Loss Doula team has been hard at work ensuring both their virtual and geographical communities have the support of Our Babies, Our Grief. April launches a monthly open group as well as an in-person progressive healing group in Almonte, Ont. In the Event Listing section of our newsletter as well as on the Current Events Page on our website you will be able to see the full schedule. If you or someone in your life has experienced this kind of devastating loss, please consider joining us. Learn More

Our Babies Our Grief
Practice Self Compassion

Moonlit Memory Walk Video

With the weather warming up we are all getting outside more often. This is the perfect time to start making your plans to join the event on October 28. We have a goal of 25 Host Walk Partners and locations.  Are you able to help us meet our goal?  Check out our video and visit the Moonlit Memory Walk website ( to learn about how to become a Host Walk Partner and why your support matters.

Moonlit Memory Walk

Introducing our Changemaker -  Manpreet Kaur 

My Favorite Quote 

"The more the matter emerges from the depth of the heart, the higher that matter will reach."_Giani Sant Singh Maskeen
Read More.

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In the words of Precilla Garcia (HHA Co-op Coordinator) "One of the team members I felt went the extra mile and continues to do so with a positive attitude is Manpreet. Her work ethic is inspiring and she has been a great addition to my team through her dedication and hard work to see the success of HHA flourish.

The milestones reached with Manpreet have been significant; working with the new wave of intern students coming to HHA would not have been as easily accomplished had it not been for her attention to detail and support."


Did You Know?

The International Day of Mourning is an annual day of remembrance observed on April 28th to commemorate workers who have been killed, disabled, injured, or suffered illness due to their employment. 

Image by Joshua Sukoff
DidYou Know

Volunteering Weaves Us Together​

April 16-22 is National Volunteer Week! Thanks to the incredible commitment to our mission and vision – to ease the suffering of our dying and those who love them, HHA has grown at a pace that makes many eyes widen in wonderment, especially when you consider the limited funds are available to organizations like ours. It is thanks to those who work so passionately in a volunteer role that we are able say we have moved the mountains we have moved.  Did you know this “people power” represents more that $2,000,000.00 in support?​

Volunteerin Waves Ous Together

National Volunteer Week

Ottawa Champion Pam Keetch

By Pamela Keetch

is a time designated to recognize and celebrate the impact volunteers have in making Canada and the world a better place.  Research has shown that the single biggest reason that Canadians volunteer is to contribute to the community.   Home Hospice Association volunteers are the heart and soul of our unique “village” approach to palliative care in the communities that we serve.   They embody the true spirit of volunteerism – they are “people doing ordinary things that make an extraordinary difference.”    We deeply value and appreciate the skills and life experience provided by our Home Hospice Association family of volunteers, and we are glad to accommodate their interests and time available.   

Self-care is a core component of all Home Hospice Association programs, ensuring that all members of our volunteer family are supported and that no one “walks their journey alone”.  

The gift of volunteering not only helps others, it also gives joy and a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you are making a positive change in peoples’ lives.   “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” – Helen Keller

There’s a famous quote “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”  Home Hospice Association truly cherishes, honors and celebrates the invaluable contributions made by its volunteers…. today and every day!

Ntional Volunteer Week

Welcoming Package Task Specialist - Current Volunteer Opportunity 

The position encompasses a range of responsibilities related to welcoming new members joining existing working teams; some of them are, but not limited to:


  • Planning meetings with the relevant stakeholders and collecting the required information to create a welcome package for new team members. 

  • Creating the welcome package (Welcoming video, Terms of Reference, Welcoming agenda) for welcoming a new member to the team

  • Working with the relevant stakeholders to review and make changes to the team Welcome package as required.

If you would like to learn more about the Welcoming Task Specialist position, please contact:

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Join us as a Welcoming Package Task Specialist for an opportunity that provides a well-rounded and varied volunteer work experience, and a platform to further grow your leadership skills.

Welcoming Task Specialist

Pet Lovers Death Cafe

April 12, 7p.m. EDT

Via Google Meet

Learn More

MAiD Death Cafes

April 27, 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. EDT 

Via Google Meet  

Learn More

Our Babies, Our Grief

April 16, 11a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT

139 Queen St, Almonte, Ont.

Learn More

Glad Day Book Shop LGBTQ2S+ Death Cafes

April 20, 7:00 p.m. - 9 :00 p.m. EDT

499 Church Street, Toronto, ON

Learn More 

Image by Agê Barros

Death Doula Certificate Program Weekend Sessions

April 28, 6:00 p.m. EDT - April 30, 5:00 p.m. EDT

Via Google Meet

Learn More

Parents & Guardians Death Cafés

May 9, 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. EDT 

Via Google Meet

Learn More 

Upcomin Events

Inside Out

The 2015 movie, “Inside Out”, follows the adventures of 11-year-old Riley, whose emotions, personified by Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust, help her safely navigate the tumultuous waters of growing up. The movie follows Riley as she is uprooted from her home and family in Minnesota, and moves to San Francisco. As she tries to adjust to her new surroundings, Joy takes the lead in trying to make the best of the situation. However, it is Sadness that ultimately leads Riley to the understanding that life is not always full of joy, and that sadness and pain are a part of life as well. 

Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself

40 Ways to Transform Your Inner Critic and Your Life by Lori Deschene (Amazon)

1. The guide offers advice on how to be kind to oneself and how to practice mindfulness, both of which are key elements of compassion.

2. It also provides tips on how to practice self-care and how to recognize and appreciate one's own unique gifts and strengths.

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Inside Out
Tiny Buddha's Guide To
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