My name is Joe. I am a Chilliwack Hospice Volunteer. When not volunteering I like to hike, kayak, go to the gym, play my guitars and drums, go to music festivals and spend time with my family.
My wife and I moved to Chilliwack in 1985 where we raised our three children.
In the summer of 2008 my seventeen-year-old son Adrian drowned in Hicks Lake. My family and I struggled on our own trying to come to terms with his tragic death for about 3 months. We felt alone. Our thoughts and emotions were all over the place. We were lost.
The Chilliwack Hospice Society was there to give us one-to-one personal support as well as enrolling us into their Eight Week Group Grief sessions. My daughter was enrolled into the teen grief group. The peer support of other teens with their own losses was instrumental to her recovery. In the sessions we met others that were walking their own journeys through the loss of a loved one. We realized we were not alone. We learned that the crazy mixed up thoughts and emotions were normal and that we were not losing our minds. We realized that with the tools that hospice has given us and with time we could manage this journey.
Though our hearts are still broken Chilliwack Hospice Society taught us to manage our grief. To give back, I have been a Hospice Society volunteer for about three years. I’ve used my experience with grief combined with the volunteer training course provided by Chilliwack Hospice to assist others.
I have helped with one-on-one grief and palliative support as well as co-facilitating eight-week First Step Grief Groups. Each year I am involved with the Hospice Children’s Horse Whisperer Camp as a group leader. I also do as much as I can in assisting with fund raising events.
The staff and other volunteers at Chilliwack Hospice Society are an amazing group of people. They are so compassionate and inspiring.