The Serenity Garden at the Dave Lede Campus of Care recently hosted a wedding for the son of a woman at the Holmberg House hospice who was nearing the end of her life.

Wedding at hospice fulfills mom’s dying wish

Son married in Serenity Garden in Abbotsford

He wanted his mom to be there for his wedding ceremony, but she was nearing the end of her life in Abbotsford Hospice Society’s (AHS) Holmberg House.

She was unable to move off site due to her palliative needs and physical limitations, so the wedding came to her.

Holmberg House was recently able to fulfill the wish of the son and his family – whose names are being withheld for privacy reasons – by hosting an intimate wedding ceremony on site in the Serenity Garden.

With flowers in full bloom and a gentle stream running through, the garden offered the perfect setting for the mother to witness her son’s big day.

“We were honoured to host this intimate wedding ceremony in our Serenity Gardens,” said Tina VanRy, volunteer coordinator at AHS who helped make arrangements for the ceremony.

“It thrilled us to be able to accommodate the wishes of the groom to have his mother witness this special day.”

AHS executive director Ron Kuehl said Holmberg House wants to ensure everyone feels at home and that families are left with a “legacy of respectful care.”

“When a family member is nearing the end of their life, extremely difficult decisions need to be made. We wanted to help make this challenging time for the family just a little easier in a very real and practical way,” he said.

The Serenity Garden is located on the Dave Lede Campus of Care on Marshall Road, and was created to serve as a therapy tool for patients of Matthew’s House, Canuck Place, and Holmberg House.

It offers a quiet place of respite during what can often be an extremely challenging and emotional time for individuals and families of those who are nearing the end of their life.

The garden is accessible to people in wheelchairs and hospital beds, allowing patients and family members, no matter the extent of their physical limitations, a place to enjoy nature.

Holmberg House offers care not just for palliative patients in the 10 beds it supports, but also for family members through services administered by medical staff, as well as through several grief support programs.

The site also runs day and weekend camps for children and youth who have experienced the loss of a loved one and therapeutic sessions using music, art and even horses.

Also offered are one-to-one companioning and support groups. Visit abbotsfordhospice.org for more information.

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