Like many engaged couples, in the summer of 2022 Lori and Denis were immersed in planning their upcoming wedding. These two had been together more than seven years, and were excitedly counting down to their big day on September 3rd, 2022. Then on July 28, barely five weeks before their wedding date, Lori’s mom, Nancy, was admitted to Hospice with a terminal cancer diagnosis.
With many aspects of their lives immediately put on hold, including wedding planning, the family refocused everything around Nancy and her care. But, while the family was focused on Nancy… Nancy was still focused on something else…the wedding. She was bound and determined to see her daughter married.
After discussions with the Hospice clinical team, it became evident that September 3rd was just too far away to ensure that Nancy could attend…it was time to get creative.
When staff and volunteers at Hospice heard about the situation, they jumped in to help, and the wedding planning picked back up, with a new date…just four days away!
“I said ‘Really? You’re giving me four days to get ready for my wedding?’” laughs Lori the bride; but, it was for her mom, and she knew how much it meant, so she went with it.
The planning then began in earnest. First, they needed a venue, and Hospice had just the place – April’s Garden, a beautiful conservatory space at the back of the Windsor Campus. Next, an officiant; Hospice Spiritual Care Practitioner, Maria, offered to lead the service, and perform a beautiful, traditional Handfasting Ceremony. The food and drink plans followed, supported by our Hospice Volunteers, and lastly, the invitation list, with the whole family planning to be in attendance.
And just like that, four days later, with all the emotion and beauty of a “real” wedding, Lori and Denis were walking down the aisle in the Hospice Conservatory.
“It was really so incredible to see it all come together. The staff and volunteers at Hospice were just amazing. In between all their usual duties, they spent the whole week putting it all in place,” says Lori. “They arranged a meal for our guests, as well as flowers, and all the pampering that comes with the morning of a wedding.”
The wedding went off without a hitch, with Nancy present as witness and Mother of the Bride. “Mom was right in the middle of it all, and loving every minute.”
From the special moments of the wedding, to the daily care provided by the team, Nancy is truly thankful to have the support of our Hospice. “Hospice has been so wonderful, I can’t even tell you how much it means to be able to have my great-grandbabies here to visit with me, to have their artwork all over my room. My family visits me every day, and I can see that all of them have so much less worry, now that they know I’m safe at Hospice. This feels like home to me.”
Lori goes on to explain that Hospice has been the perfect place for all of them to settle down, re-connect and just relax, knowing that their Mom is comfortable and supported. “We can all finally sleep at night again,” says Lori. “Just knowing that Mom is safe and happy makes all the difference. She’s going out in dignity and style, and that’s what everyone deserves.”
And that, in essence, is The Hospice Way.
For every $150 donated, your donation will cover the unfunded cost of one night in our Hospice Residence for a patient, like Nancy, and her family.