Judy Goddard: “In Memory”
Petersborough, Ontario, A letter to Share The Care™
March 29 marks the first anniversary of my mother’s death. It seems fitting that I should recognize the enormous contribution Share The Care™ made in her comfort and well being right up to her final hour. The advancement of Mum’s cancer left her housebound in her final two months of life. I had the privilege and good fortune to live right across the street making it possible for me to continue to work and spend time with her daily including staying overnight when she could no longer be alone. My mother’s wonderful circle of friends started calling daily to ask about her condition and offer support. I had read June Calwood’s book, Twelve Weeks in Spring, many years before, but I did not know where to start in harnessing the tremendous potential help these friends could contribute. My six out-of-town siblings wanted to help too.
In a state of emotional and physical fatigue, I dropped in to Hospice Peterborough to ask for guidance. Sherry Fennel gave me Share The Care™ . Within two days, my sister and I met with our chosen leader from outside the family. Within a week, he led a meeting at my mother’s church with 35 people who, with a few others, formed our Circle of Care. Hospice offered us a room to meet, but when the numbers swelled, we had to find a new venue. My teenage son volunteered that with those numbers, we would need amplification and he brought his microphones and speakers. We followed the suggested format using the sign-up forms, weekly captains, and tapping into everyone’s talents and time availability.
With the system in place, I devoted my time to Mum. I only had to communicate with the leader and everything else was taken care of. The whole family felt the support and love of Mum’s Circle of Care. We mentioned the Circle of Care in Mum’s obituary. The following is an excerpt:
GODDARD, K. Judith (née Whalen) – Quietly on March 29, 2005, at Peterborough Regional Health Centre.
She said a special goodbye to 85 friends and family members by hosting lunch at a Stoney Lake resort last November, six months after her cancer diagnosis. Dozens of loved ones also came together to care for her at home for most of her final two months. Judy was a loyal friend with a great gift for listening empathetically. She always amazed us with her energy and gentle strength.
Thank you for the difference you made in my mother’s life and death.