When There are No Words
The First in the Many Faces of Compassion Workshop Series
Join Us on January 21, 2021 ~ 7:00 pm
An opportunity for those who have experienced different kinds of loss; judgement around loss and tragedy associated with certain losses to share, with our audience, what was helpful, what was hurtful and what we can do to be a more compassionate community when supporting others in their journey of mourning.
Meet Your Moderator and Panelists
Moderator Glen Burkholder: Glen is a Co-Founder of HHA and a 35 year licensed Funeral Director. Throughout his career he has seen, dealt with and supported every type of loss you can imagine. He will be responsible for ensuring the evening is meaningful. Glen publishes a Blog called Eternity’s First Week
Panelist: Merri-Lee Culbert, Merri-Lee joined the HHA family in 2015 and her primary role within the organization is Lead of HHA's Professional Development Training Programs. She is also a Death Doula, Bereavement Specialist and Reiki Master within her private healing practice in Niagara. In September 2019, Merri-Lee's 31-year-old niece Stephanie died suddenly. Her death was initially investigated as a potential homicide, but ultimately deemed a suicide. "I will never forget where I was standing when I got the phone call that Stephanie had died. It brought me to my knees and took the air out of my lungs. The sound of her sister's anguish on the other end of the line changed me physiologically. I remember thinking that this only happens to other people's families, to the people I help in my practice. When it happened to my family, I was paralyzed. Everything I knew about traumatic loss and grief evaporated and I felt lost. Learning to navigate healing this grief has given me a different perspective on suicide grief and allowed me to better support clients experiencing a similar loss."
Panelist: Taijah Stone, Program Manager for the Compassionate Caregiving Program at Home Hospice Association. Three years ago (July 10th, 2017), Taijah lost her first boyfriend to a drug overdose; he was only twenty years old. In her own words: "It was a very traumatic experience because it was sudden and unexpected. I miss his humble personality and child-like laugh daily. I didn’t expect anyone to understand how I felt and at times, I wished that someone else could take a walk in my shoes. All I ever wanted when he died was for someone to say, “I am here for you”" Taijah has been a member of HHA for the past year, beginning her journey while completing her Social Service Worker diploma at Humber College. Graduating with with honours; she is now aquiring an Honours Degree in the Bachelor of Social Science- Criminal Justice program at Guelph-Humber. Her goal in life is to help others because "supporting others has helped me find meaning in life".
Panelist Dan Steinwald: I’m a retired healthcare executive with experiences on both sides of the Canadian-US border. Now I am an HHA Director; member of the Niagara Chapter, HHA; and member of the development team for The Diana Pathway, which offers support for individuals who choose MAiD. I too lost a loved one, but my journey to that moment was both planned and deliberate, not a random event of life. Diana and I met late in life, and she became the meaning in mine.
Diana had always nurtured others and been a caregiver. In 2012 that challenge fell to me. Having previously survived breast cancer, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Despite surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy she continued to bring light and joy to all who knew her. For five years she showed what real courage was but in the Spring, 2017 her cancer had returned and we were told that it would be appropriate to make final arrangements. Diana did not fear death and wished to spare others from prolonged suffering - she chose MAiD. On St Patrick’s Day, 2018 her journey ended, peacefully, at home, surrounded by family and friends, as she planned. While MAiD is a law in Canada, it is not universally accepted. The Diana Pathway is part of my legacy to her and her gift of support to those who would choose to follow.
Panelist Melissa Sulley: Melissa leads HHA-Hamilton Halton in care and passion through our Pre and Perinatal Hospice Program, she is also the owner of josiah+co. A bit more about Melissa...
"After experiencing multiple pregnancy losses, I realized there was a lack of support in the community for grieving families. I began my small business, josiah+co., as a way to share my story and to encourage others to not grieve alone. I am passionate about building supportive communities for those impacted by pregnancy and infant loss."
Other Great Workshops To Look Forward To
Many Faces of Compassion is an educational series aiming to provide valuable information and resources for volunteer, family and professional caregivers supporting someone with a life-threatening illness.
Compassion is what motivates us to go out of our way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and ourselves…. Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? Would you like to learn more about how to be the most compassionate person towards others AND yourself?
Our days are busier and busier it seems. Each Many Faces of Compassion event is a time for you to “breathe” and through that sense of peace learn, practical ways to care for ourselves and others. Will it make our days less busy? Likely not. It will however make us more aware of how to make time for compassion in the middle of that busy-ness.
Who is Many Faces of Compassion for: Volunteer, familial and professional caregivers. “One in four Canadians aged 15 and older (7.8 million) provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, a physical or mental disability, or problems related to aging” (Statistics Canada, 2018). Further “over half (55%) of caregivers felt worried or anxious as a result of their caregiving responsibilities” (Statistics Canada; Portrait of Caregivers, 2012). The theme, “Walking In Each Other’s Shoes”, portrays an important message: “you are not alone”.