Monday, 7 February 2011

Leanne's gift Dignity House Day Hospice

Leanne Alward
A precious princess
1974 - 2003
Dignity House Hospice is grateful to have received a gift of tea cups and saucers. We use these with our clients and volunteers during our Day Hospice at lunch.

My dear internet friend, Susan Oling, a marvellous photographer, and outdoors naturalist, read about Dignity House tea cups, the idea of Alanna Scanlon (Program director, B.ScN), and offered to pack up her precious collection to send for our use.

We are grateful for the gift both tangible and spiritual.

Please read about Leanne. Her mother's beautiful words honours Leanne's spirit and demonstrates how we can grieve internally (our emotional response), mourn externally (funerals and Celebrations of Life), and manage our loss, yet give back to others. We can recognize the difference Leanne's life journey made on this earth.

What I most respect about Susan's mourning in the dignity she holds for her other daughters, and the importance that living in the present is for a grieving parent.
This is the tribute written by Susan Oling, Leanne's mother:

This is my golden favourite!
Leanne Alward was the second child born of 4 daughters, and we were blessed with the gift of her life for twenty-eight years. She was always a quiet baby, and very popular in her school years, but worked hard for her accomplishments. We were fortunate to have seen her as a bride; she always said it was her day to be 'A Princess!'

Leanne loved children, was always drawn to her youngest sister or baby cousins, and of course dreamed of having her own. But it was not to be. She worked two jobs as an Early Childhood Educator, and was looking forward to studying for her Montessori School Teaching certificate the following summer at Sheridan College.
On November 9th, 2003, she suffered severe head drama from a horseback riding accident, and on Nov.13th our dear Lord came and took another daughter home.

Leanne was not successfull in being an Organ Donor, but she did restore sight for two blind men and helped to regenerate skin for severe burned patients.

Leanne was always so kind and thoughtful, she loved spending time with her Grandmother Elsie, as well as the young children in the family. We know she would be proud to share her pretty little china cups, giving moments of pleasure to those who participate in Dignity House Day Hospice.
Thank You Sincerely,
 Her Mom, 
Susan Oling

Susan writes further:
 I was fortunate to have the help of a group called Compassionate Friends and even talking to the parents on the forum that was accessible from Leanne's Memorial Website...they were all a big help, but mostly knowing what Leanne's view's on life and death were and how she would expect us to keep living our lives for what gave me the strength to keep moving forward...I also enjoyed the publications of John Edwards, James Van Praagh and Silvia Brown....they gave me hope and inspiration. And of course a good friend of mine who's son died of Aids so early in life....she also gave me the strength and hope to move on with my life, to support my grieving daughters and honour Leanne's Memory...I also experienced new found strength with my spiritual beliefs they say, If God brings you to it, he will help you through it...

Grief - we do much research, and do not absorb its implications.

Professionals' Experiences of Grief Counseling: Implications for Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice
"After controlling for contextual factors and time since death, complicated grief symptoms were higher among caregivers with less education, among families with lower prior conflict but higher conflict at the end-of-life, who had family members who had difficulty accepting the illness, and who were caring for patients with greater fear of death. Additionally, hospice utilization moderated the effect of fear of death on complicated grief. "

Complicated Grief Symptoms in Caregivers of Persons with Lung Cancer: The Role of Family Conflict, Intrapsychic Strains, and Hospice Utilization
Betty J. Kramer, Ph.D., MSSW, Melinda Kavanaugh, MSW, Amy Trentham-Dietz, Ph.D., Matthew Walsh, MPH, James A. Yonker


You can never take too many pictures said...

Let me be the first! Thank You so much for this lovely post to honor the Memory of my Beautiful Daughter Leanne. I'm just lost for words......

Jenn Jilks said...

Susan, you are so gracious in your grief. We have much to learn from you!

Kay said...

I am so touched by this beautiful tribute. Susan's strength and love must be a foundation for everyone to lean on at this time of grief. No wonder Leanne was as beautiful and kind as she was.

Anonymous said...

Like those present at the unpacking of Leanne's tea cups, I watched with tears in my eyes. Leanne and I worked together for 7 years and I think of her almost every day. It's nice to know her tea cups are respected and will be put to a good use.

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful way to honour the memory of my beautiful cousin Leanne. Our family has learned so much about life and love since we lost her. Her mom continues to inspire us with her strength and creativity.

Jenn Jilks said...

I was so very honoured to present them.
Thanks you Stephanie.
I can tell that she is dearly loved.