Way To Go Meeting Minutes, Feb 20, 2023

Way To Go Feb 20th Meeting Minutes

13 of us met in the main hall of the QCC, and 4 joined using Zoom, which Matthew kindly facilitated. Heather Simpson chaired the meeting.

After a rich time of sharing, Laurie North talked about “My Mother-in-law’s Home Death”.  She spoke about how this death brought family together in a beautiful way, the gift of presence for all who were there, and the gentle exit of a woman who had reached the natural end of a long life. Laurie shared this poem she wrote at the end of her talk. Enjoy the poem but please do not use it or copy it without Laurie’s permission.

“Loves vigil and Last Breath” by Laurie North Nov 2020

She blew her last breath
In the days of the November winds,
nestled in music and wrapped in stories…..
Through the window,
Waves broke in the bay,
Seagulls glided on the currents,
Leaves turned yellow then brown ……
One night ,the southeast gales rose up
And blew them away,
Leaving the branches bare

With the gusting winds,
As love held vigil,
struggles eased,
Her breathing waned …..

Early in the morning
We knew a change was with us….
Surrounding her.
we watched her go….

Soft shallow rhythms, then
One cough
And her breath blew away …..
We listened…..is it ? …….
Holding our breath…..is she gone ?…
One more gentle puff …..
Blowing the branches bare

Golden leaves and her last breath
With wind and
Autumn’s light

Mingled with the air
We breathe
Mingled with the air

Business Items

Collective Plays: Jude told us that Chris Thompson approached her with an invitation for Way To Go to run the concession for the play performances Jan 28 and 29th, as well as receive donations collected at the door in excess of what the Collective needed to cover expenses. Mia organized the concession, and many contributed baked goods. A Way To Go information table was set up. The concession raised $357.55, and the donation at the door totaled $960.90. Joyce, our informal and excellent treasurer, reports we now have $1,510.56. There was much appreciation expressed for the generosity of Chris Thompson and the Collective, as well as the quality of the plays and generosity of the community.

Community Connections Fair: Carol F reported that the Connections Fair was well organized and attended, and how helpful it was to learn more about what various groups and businesses are contributing on Quadra Island. Margaret and Nancy shared the table with Carol F. Although some people walked by the table quickly, many were interested and information was shared.

In The Parlour Documentary: After some discussion which Matthew facilitated, we decided showing the movie in Room 3 of the QCC on a Sunday afternoon would be appropriate and simple. Margaret will look at dates for this in March. Giving people assistance to navigate the stairs can be offered.

Natural Burial Section of Quadra Cemetery: Matthew facilitated a brief discussion about the presentation which will take place on Zoom Feb 22nd.

Next Meeting March 20th: Carol explained that this meeting will not follow our usual format, but will be devoted to a presentation by folks from Powell River, whom she met at Campbell River Hospice.

Books: There were several books mentioned with death related topics. For very young children: Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way to Explain Life and Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie. The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of a Pet by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. For older children: The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia. Also mentioned was This is Assisted Dying: A Doctor’s Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life by Stefanie Green M.D.

Agenda Item for April 17th meeting: How to decide how the money gets spent, and ideas for how to spend it. Equipment for Community-Led Death Care was suggested.