End-of-life committee formed in Williams Lake

After attending workshops with end-of-life counsellor Stephen Garrett of Vancouver, locals have formed an end-of-life committee.

After attending workshops with end-of-life counsellor Stephen Garrett of Vancouver in March, 13 local people have formed an end-of-life committee.

“Every event with Stephen was absolutely successful,” said Williams Lake counsellor J.C. Young who invited Garrett to come to Williams Lake. “The turnout was great at the public talks and workshops.”

Garrett hosted a book signing at the library, and gave workshops at Signal Point and the Seniors’ Activity Centre.

Young, who opened Crystal Clear Counselling on Second Avenue, also hosted a Death Cafe with Garrett, where people talked about death, what they think it is and where do they think people go afterwards.

“I was a bit nervous because it was something new, but my office was half full,” Young said, likening the event to a philosopher’s cafe. “The point is to be open to talk about death so it’s not a scary thing.”

Participants were varied in all of the events, some involved with hospice, some being counsellors, other religious leaders and the general public.

The committee plans to create a booklet on death to inform people about what to expect and what avenues are available in Williams Lake for end-of-life care.

“Knowing the supports that are out there is so important,” Young said.

While 13 is a strong number of people to start a committee, she is actively seeking more people who might want to be involved.

“The more people we have with input, the better.”

Garrett shared insights about grief, loss and end-of-life planning, and the committee wants to keep the conversation going.

Anyone wanting more information can reach Young at 250-303-3573 or jc@crystalclearcounselling.ca.

She also plans to keep the Death Cafes going and will host one the last Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in her office located at 77B Second Ave. North.

The next one takes place Thursday, April 30.

During the weekend that Garrett was in Williams Lake, April Dell won a counselling package that she in turn donated to hospice, Young said.