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March 2023

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Become a Champion of Change

A Small, Good Thing

is a short story written by Raymond Carver. In this story, the main theme is loss and grief. The loss in this story refers to the loss of a child. In the story, a couple is grieving the death of their young son, who was killed in a tragic accident. The couple, Scotty and Ann, are trying to find a way to cope with their loss, but cannot seem to find a way forward. They feel helpless and alone in their grief. The story follows a baker, who was the last person to see their son alive. He had given the boy a cookie just before the accident happened. The baker, feeling guilty for the boy’s death, begins to deliver baked goods to the couple’s house every day. This small gesture of kindness helps the couple to cope with their grief and eventually begin to heal. The story explores themes of grief, loss, and healing. It shows how small acts of kindness can have a big impact on those who are suffering. It also addresses the idea of accepting responsibility, and how guilt can be overcome by doing something positive. Ultimately, the story shows how kindness and compassion can be the most powerful forces of change in a person’s life.

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March 1 is a bit of a bittersweet day, as it is my brother (seen on the right) Jordan’s birthday.  Those who have been around for a few years will know that he died in 2021. Although his death was “anticipated”, it was unexpected. It is interesting that while we think we are ready, especially because we are always thinking, talking and being present in dying and death in the work we do, we are never quite ready. March is the time when we greet spring; the season of “re-birth”. For those who are thinking of and missing someone close to you, as the weather starts to warm and the sun shines just a bit brighter, it is my wish for you that your smile of remembrance gets just a bit brighter as the spring sun shines brighter.


March is always an exciting month for all of us here at HHA, as it is when we start to receive resumes and applications for our spring and summer cohort of Interns. We began our Internship Program in 2016 with the Global Business Management Program at Humber College. We have learned so much since then and are proud to be known as one of the premier internship placement organizations among our educational partners.  We are especially proud of the support, mentorship and first “Canadian” work experience we offer to international students. I will never forget receiving this email from Navneet, an international student intern from Lambton College:


"I just got the job I gave the interview for yesterday. I am super happy that they still considered me even though they wanted someone with 3+ years of experience while I only had 4 months with HHA. It all happened because I was able to share the experience and skills that I have learned here in HHA which they got impressed with saying I have the attitude and skills to work with them."


Over the coming months you may be meeting and working with various members of our Internship Team; I hope you will join me in helping to make their experience an exceptional one!  

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Tracey Robertson

CEO, Home Hospice Association

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From the desk of

Featured Events

Doula training and get-together - Ottawa - Feb.25


A training session and get-together for Ottawa Death Doulas was held on February 25.  

In the words of Marlene Morrow, one of the Doulas attending:

"It was so good to be able to meet fellow Doulas this weekend. Nice to have a chance to share ideas. We also had some awesome in person training which was great.


Glen showed us how to shroud a body respectfully, and gave a hand casting demonstration. Hand casting is a wonderful feature to offer clients. We also had a role play opportunity which is always needed for situations that may come up. Nice to have the opportunity to figure out a situation before you are faced with it in real time. Gives a chance to discuss how you and others would deal with it.


This won't be the last get together and I am looking forward to continue bonding with the folks I've met and meeting new folks. Thanks to Tracey and Glen for taking the time to travel to Ottawa to give us this opportunity for honing our skills."

Feaured Events

Make a difference

Do small things with great love

Let’s make this month of rebirth our month to do as many small things as we can think of, and do those small things with love!

1. Let a person with one or two items go before you in the grocery line when you cart is full

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2. Open the door for someone ~ anyone

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3. Challenge yourself to smile or say hello to every stranger you meet this month

4. Decide what “self-compassion” means for you and commit to one act of self-compassion per month

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5. Give up your seat on a crowded bus for who is need or person standing next to you.

HHA is always on the lookout for great resources of care and compassion to share with our clients.  Please feel free to share ideas with Amanda Dymond, our HHA Pathway Coordinator ( so we can put them to great use!

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Make a difference

Why do we walk under the full moon each October?

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The answer to the question and a link to the song is:

Moonlit Memory Walk- October 28, 2023

The song "Somewhere Out There" (from An American Tale) was the inspiration for setting the date for the Moonlit Memory Walk during the full moon every October.   The lyrics


"And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin' on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky"


seemed to provide such a feeling of comfort to our organizing committee, as we thought about how we wanted our walk participants to feel.

Moonlit Memory Walk

Name That Moon: A Contest to Identify the Full Moon of Each Month

The origin of full moon names dates back to the Algonquin tribes who lived in the area from New England west to Lake Superior.  Several hundred years ago these tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Please choose the month when these moon names occur

Test Your Knowledge!

Thanks for submitting!


Did You Know?

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The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recognizes that the injustices and prejudices fueled by racial discrimination take place every day. Observed annually on March 21, it commemorates the day police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.  In Canada, this date is an opportunity to reflect on the fact that while progress has been made, Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities continue to face racism and discrimination every day. It is also a day to re-commit our efforts to combat all forms of racial discrimination, injustice, systemic racism, and hate to ensure a world where everyone is respected, safe, and has equitable access to contribute meaningfully to all aspects of society.

Did You Know

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Come join the fun and help us plan our 2023 April Volunteer Appreciation festivities!

If you love to plan parties and think volunteers are the most amazing human beings on earth, then you will want to join our Volunteer Appreciation festivities planning team.  This committee will start to work on March 15 and will work through until April 30.  If you would like to help organize this year’s festivities we would love to have you.  Let Manpreet Kaur know for more details.

Compassionate Caregivers

In the geographic regions of Scarborough, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton we are looking for Compassionate Caregivers willing to support two of our Agency Partners in support of their palliative clients.  Every day we are seeing more evidence that client facing work is starting come back thanks to our efforts. Let Pamela Keetch know if you would be interested in providing Compassionate Caregiving support in the above-mentioned geographical areas, and a member of our Volunteer Engagement Team will follow up with you.

Board Standing and Ad Hoc Committee Members

If you are thinking that Board membership would be an excellent addition to your resume and professional LinkedIN profile HHA is able to help.  One of the first ways to get involved with a Board of Directors is to join a working committee.  We are looking for those who wish to grow their leadership skills and are willing to work on some specific board projects as a way to do so.  Let Glen Burkholder know if you would like to learn more.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

"We cannot change the outcome, but we can affect the journey."

I have always been motivated by helping others. It is both a passion and a duty I feel inside me; like I was meant for this. I recently travelled to England to help my daughter, who's recently had a baby and dealing with a host of postpartum issues, with her new baby.               

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Featured Blog post
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MAiD Death Cafe

April 27- 7pm EST

Via Google Meet

Learn More

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How to Talk with kids about Dying, Death and Grief

March 31- 7pm-9pm EST

Hamilton Public Library, 55 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON L8R 3K1, Canada

Learn More

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Caregivers Death Cafe

April 3- 7pm-8:30 pm EST

Via Google Meet

Learn More

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Pet Lovers Death Cafe

April 12- 7pm-8:30 pm EST

Via Google Meet

Learn More

Upcoming Events

The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics by Arthur W. Frank
Book Summary 

"The Wounded Storyteller" is both the collective portrait of a so-called “remission society” of those who suffer from some type of illness or disability, and an analysis of their stories within a larger framework of narrative theory,  Drawing on the work of authors, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilities. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering, The Wounded Storyteller is their collective portrait.

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Book Review
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