She’s always smiling. She’s never really ever talked about it

Andrea (with Christina) – Client – Palliative Services

It’s a series of memories. She tends to have zingers. Andrea was being assessed every three months or so. They do this memory test. The woman says, “Andrea, I will give you three words and five minutes later I will ask you what they were.” So she gave her the words: Kitchen, table, and flowers. Now as you noticed, my whole kitchen is surrounded by flowers because I love plants and flowers. So the time comes for Andrea to remember the words and she could remember kitchen and table, but she couldn’t remember the last word, flower. So I said to Andrea , “Look around. What does mum love?” And she said, ”ME! ME!” She was so proud of herself saying, “ME! My Mum loves me!”

Click play to hear a full interview with Andrea’s mom below: 

He lived… until he died

Ruth – Client – Palliative Services

My husband, he very much wanted to die at home. And he enjoyed it. My daughter and her two-and-half-year-old son live with us. She’s a single mother. And we’re all together. And what my husband, Harry, wanted was to be around his family and be around us as much as he could. And to watch his grandson, Joey, grow. It was wonderful. When Joey came back from daycare he would go running and jumping on his grandfather’s bed, playing with him. It was great. He was always hopeful. He handled himself like it was another day at the office. He kept working right until the week before. He never got dire. He lived until he died.

Click play to hear a full interview with Ruth below: 

I just changed. I said to myself, “I can’t live like this anymore.”

Morris – Client – Palliative Services

You have no idea how much I’ve changed my life from years ago til right now. I was in the shelter system for the last seven years. That’s where I met Kristen. You see, back then I go back on the drugs. Every cent I had went on drugs. Every, every thing! But I never stole. I ever did anything like that. It was just as soon as I got some money, it just went to drugs. Which is why I moved away. I just said, “I can’t live like this anymore.” It was three years before my diagnosis and I said to myself, “I’m going change.”

Click play to hear a full interview with Morris below: 

After I was told I was going to die,  I took charge of my own life

Cheryl – Client – Palliative Services

I was told a day or a week til death so I had to stop work. And after I was told I was going to die, I took charge of my own life and not to do what doctors were telling me what to do. You see, along the way I was misdiagnosed. So you see, being a nurse was a part of that because of the knowledge I had medically. But above all of that was the faith I was given. I was told, I was actually told, “You’re going to die” if I didn’t do what the doctors said. Yet the faith said to me, “No, you’re not.” It was the faith. Just the faith that I had embraced had embraced me.

Click play to hear a full interview with Cheryl below: 

I gave up. I didn’t want to live anymore. And that’s the honest truth

Buddy – Client – Palliative Services

Because it all happened within three months I lost my eldest son then I lost my wife of 50 years, I was in the depths. I had given up completely. Actually, I didn’t feel like carrying on. But there were other people who encouraged me. They were tough times. It was not easy to cope… and this woman…To this woman, I owe her my life!

Click play to hear a full interview with Buddy below: 

More than a blood relation

Ashfaq Awan – Client – Palliative Services

The doctor said he couldn’t survive more than a year and a half. I always thought he had six months left, six months left, six months left. I was always stressed throughout this life. Whenever I needed help, she was there to help us. I always ask her what I could do for this problem or that problem and she’s always gentle and kind to us. It has really helped us come out of that stress. When you are all alone and there’s no one around you, my family was back home, and my husband was all the time on the bed, she treated us more than a blood relation that could console you. And she did that for us.

Click play to hear a full interview with Ashfaq’s wife below: 

Felt like I was left on an island by myself

Novelette Munroe – Client and Volunteer – Bereavement Program

It’s not something a teenager or a 20-year-old typically thinks about. That their life will be cut shorter than the average person and so it was something I had to think about. And then, be there for my friends as they experienced all their ailments that eventually took their lives and wonder at the same time when that would happen to me.

Click play to hear a full interview with Novelette below: 

It’s very simple. I just said, “I am there for you.”

Emmanuel Micallef – Client – Palliative Services

It happened. You can’t go back and change it… What is happening tomorrow, I can’t control it. So all I can control is today. It’s very simple. I just said, “I am there for you.” I said I am going to have my downs and my ups but I will always here for you. I have prostate cancer. I have arthritis in my knees and you know, these things happen. So like I said, I am here for you.

Click play to hear a full interview with Emmanuel below: 

He wanted to die at home

Coral Konatowski – Client – Palliative Services

You’ve got to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. I didn’t take that and use it very well. I wasn’t good at taking care of myself. I didn’t care for myself. It was more about him. You have to take care of yourself before you take care of someone else, you have to nourish yourself. You know you just have to be there for them. They go through all those stages and I think you do a little bit too. The anger and then the hurt, and you know this is going to happen, and then you don’t realize until they are gone. I think you get prepared for it too, so when he passed, I was very prepared so I didn’t even cry at the time when he was cremated. But it creeps up on you as time goes by. The loneliness and then somehow you just get through it.

Click play to hear a full interview with Coral below: 

Get the heck of out the house!

Clarine Taylor – Client – Adult Day Center Program

Get Wheel Transit. Get the heck of out the house. You know you can’t sit home and do nothing. You’ve got to do something. Because you get atrophy. Everything just gets useless and you’ll never get out of bed. So you don’t want to stay home. You’ve got to get out and do things, no matter what it is. You’re still able to do it, no matter how old you are. I was just reading in the newspaper this morning, a woman who is 80 years old going swimming and everything else. I obviously can’t do that because of my breathing problem, but I would love to. I always like to swim.

Click play to hear a full interview with Clarine below: