The Williams Lake Hospice Society is proud to announce the completion of its new grief and support room, located at its office next to Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
Named ‘Heather’s Room’ in memory of Heather Morton-Knezevich of Williams Lake, the space will allow individuals to seek comfort, resources, guidance and bereavement support in a safe environment.
Daphne Johnson, executive director of the WLHS, said the refurnishing, painting and room supplies would not have been possible without generous support from the community including the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust, United Floors and City Furniture and Appliances. She noted Linda Dubeau, program services co-ordinator with the WLHS, took the lead on the project.
“We were approved by the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust, which has the Heather Morton-Knezevich fund, and the rest went from there,” Johnson said.
Harry Jennings, who is responsible for the Heather Morton-Knezevich fund through the CFHT, said the room turned out beautifully, and he’s happy to have been able to contribute.
“Over the years we’ve contributed money toward palliative beds at Deni House, a sound system, piano and now we’ve been able to outfit the grieving room, which is nice,” Jennings said.
The Heather Morton-Knezevich fund was started by her husband, Fred Knezevich, after Heather passed away in 2000.
“It’s a nice, quiet place for people to come in, explore our resources, have conversations, and our library is being moved in there, which we are looking at updating and getting some newer resources,” Johnson said.
“We’re also creating a kids’ corner in that same room, so we’re getting more children’s resources around grief and bereavement, and we’ll have a little toy box with crayons and colouring books.”
The library update is being done through the Pat Cross Legacy Fund through the WLHS’s cookbook sales, Meals and Memories, over the past two years.
“There’s really nothing in our community for children dealing with bereavement — there’s a gap in our community,” Johnson said. “So we’re hoping with this room we can open that door up a little more and have a nice, safe comfortable place to be in the process.
“We’ve got a list of 73 books we’re starting to bring in, so that will be kind of the finishing touch on it.”
The WLHS office, located at 530 Fourth Ave., meanwhile, is still only open by appointment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.