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As another year draws to a close, we wish to express:
  • Gratitude for everyone who supported our work in 2022.
  • Thankfulness that we were able to deliver services to vulnerable people in our community; that people put their trust in us.
  • Appreciation for our many volunteers who logged over 9,000 hours in the last year.
  • Compassion for people in our community who are dealing with serious illness, caregiving, and grief and bereavement. We understand that for a lot of you this is a very difficult time of year.
We hope that you find peace and love in your life over the holiday season and in 2023, whatever your circumstances may be.
You will see in this e-newsletter that we are expanding — we have the highest number of clients in our 10-year history. We are delighted that this is happening, but it does mean that we need to raise additional funds so that we can continue to offer our services to everyone in our community — something we are committed to do. Many people make donations to charities such as ours at this time of year as a way to give back to the community. We would be so grateful if you would choose Home Hospice North Lanark for your end-of-year giving.

We invite you to read the article found here to better understand our mission and our needs.
Do you or a loved one need support from our team?
Please contact our Program Coordinators:

email:   •    phone: 613-406-7020 or 343-262-0902    •    fax: 613-691-6060
In this edition:
>> In Memory of Phyllis Moore
>> Thank you, Nancy!
>> Book of the Month — Bearing the Unbearable
>> Report From our Program Coordinators
>> Coping With Grief Over the Holidays
>> Board Members Needed
>> Public Education Fall Events Recap
>> Satellite Offices
>> Fundraising Update
>> Our Tree Fundraiser (and a link to the Mississippi Mills Bicentennial Tree)
>> A beautiful poem for people who are grieving and the people who love them

In Memory of a Very Special Person
“Phyllis contributed to the betterment of every community she lived in during her life,” read Phyllis’s recent obituary. There could be no truer words.

Phyllis Elizabeth Moore saw the difference hospice care makes when her loved mother-in-law needed hospice support. So, when she saw that Home Hospice North Lanark was looking for volunteers, Phyllis stepped up. That’s what Phyllis did. She stepped up when she saw a need in the community.

HHNL was only one of the fortunate beneficiaries of her generous heart. Phyllis served as a Director on our Board, and was a pivotal member of the Fundraising Committee. Her creative flair, energy, and people skills, combined with her incredible organizational abilities were a big part of the success of many of our fundraising events over the years. A talented baker, Phyllis baked a seemingly endless supply of cookies and her famous Banana Gumdrop Bread for events such as the Visiting Volunteer thank you tea, and to help raise funds at Farmer’s Markets.

We extend our deepest condolences to her husband, Jim (always a willing helper), and her family.
Phyllis, we loved you, and will miss you more than you could ever imagine! Thank you for the endless hours you so freely and joyfully shared for the benefit of HHNL’s clients.

Photos, clockwise from top left: Jim and Phyllis Moore at tree pickup day last Spring; Phyllis at the Volunteer Christmas tea 2021; Phyllis with Chair Jan Watson at the Carleton Place Farmer's Market summer 2022; Phyllis with Toni Surko, Board Director and Chair of the Fundraising Committee at the Hike for Hospice launch event in October 2022.
Thank you, Nancy!

Nancy Deschênes, shown at right, has completed her term as Past Chair. As someone who was used to keeping busy, Nancy set to work to find ways to contribute to her new community when she moved to the area in 2009. Nancy obtained her training as a Registered Nurse in Sudbury. Her career took her in many interesting directions — she was a Canadian Certified Occupational Health Nurse, an Infection Control Practitioner and an Employee Assistance Councillor, and also worked in mental health and palliative care.
She initially joined the Board as a Director, and soon stepped into the role of Vice Chair. It was during her two-year term as Chair that the organization changed its name. Nancy brought her many years of experience and her gentle manner and humour to her work with HHNL. She won’t be sitting around doing nothing…she keeps busy with family, her photography hobby, and is an active member of the Almonte Lawn Bowling Club.
Thankfully, Nancy has signed on to our Communications and Public Education Committee and will continue to take part in Public Education events, especially Advance Care Planning sessions. We thank Nancy for her time and work and look forward to benefiting from her talents in the future!
Book of the Month
Did you know that Home Hospice North Lanark has special sections in our local public libraries that hold a curated collection of books that deal with serious illness, death and dying, grief and bereavement, and other relevant subjects? Each month we feature a review written by someone in the organization to assist in choosing titles. All the reviews can be found here:

Bearing the Unbearable:
Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief

by Joanne Cacciatore, PhD
Review written by Ruth DuBois, Board member, HHNL
Read the full review here.

It's been a very busy year! The biggest news is how our client numbers have increased in the last year. This means that we could really use some additional Visiting Volunteers. If you are interested in this rewarding work, we invite you to visit, and then email Emily Ballinger RPN at
We love to get positive feedback — it validates that we are offering what people need. These are some of the comments we've received recently:
"[The Program] Coordinator was great – a good listener – kind – calm – able to navigate difficult subjects."

"Thank you Emily – you are excellent."

"Sidney did an excellent job of intake followed by Emily who has been amazing. The volunteer she selected for my sister was excellent. This is an extremely well run program which is badly needed in our community."

"The support we received was exceptional. We would like to pass on that Sidney is absolutely wonderful. Her caring, expertise, advice, knowledge and support that she gave us was beyond what we expected. She took the time to explain things and to offer ideas for solutions. Hospice Lanark should be proud to have her as a staff person and hope that she is valued. She is certainly an asset to your company (sic) and to the community and we are certainly promoting your service to everyone that we talk to."

"Caregiver support – someone who understands my needs and was able to listen and offer."
Coping With Grief Over the Holidays
As Jan mentioned in her message, we know that there are many people who find this time of year incredibly difficult. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need support. Here are links to some information that you may find helpful.
Grief: 10 Things to Keep in Mind (from Champlain Hospice Palliative Care)
Canadian Virtual Hospice 
How to Cope With Grief During the Holidays
We wish to thank all of our Visiting Volunteers for their dedication and commitment. 
You are the heart of this organization!
Sidney Thomson, one of our beloved Program Coordinators is retiring in the New Year. You can find a lovely article about her experience with HHNL here.  We will be sharing information on our new part-time Program Coordinator soon!
Do you have an HHNL experience you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it! 
When people read about the positive experiences others have had, they may also be motivated to reach our for help. (We will protect your anonymity, unless you tell us to do otherwise!)
You can send your story to Home Hospice North Lanark, Box 787, Almonte, Ontario  K0A 1A0, or email
We are seeking dynamic, energetic people to join our team!
Volunteering with HHNL is a very satisfying experience; knowing you are making a real and lasting difference in the lives of people in your community. It is also an opportunity to learn new skills, grow as a person, gain valuable experience, and work with other dedicated people.
Won't you share your talents with us?
Presently, we are looking for Board members, and particularly people with experience in fundraising.
We are going to put together a team for each of our main fundraising events, so we are asking that people sign up for whichever one interests you the most. This ensures you have a start and an end to your obligations, and you can choose which event aligns with your interests and skills — the Spring Online Auction, the Hike for Hospice, or the Tree Fundraiser. If this interests you, please send an email to Jan Watson at
The Practical Caregiver Training, a course designed by Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program, took place between October 18 and November 15 at the Almonte Legion. Nancy Deschenes, Ruth Dubois, Sidney Thomson and Katrina Ayling shared their expertise with the 10 people who signed up. Robyn Breshnahan from CBC Ottawa Morning came out to see what it was all about. [You can listen to this excellent interview here]. We are planning to offer this valuable program again in the spring. Thank you to the Almonte Legion for letting us use their beautifully renovated hall at no cost.
Participants were very clear about how much they benefited from the training: 
"Thank you so much for offering the course to Caregivers this fall. It offered many good tips and support for those of us going through difficult times."
"Thank you so much, Jan, for coordinating the Caregiver's course which I felt very fortunate to have participated in this past month. I found it superb — very thorough and informative and delivered so very well by Ruth, Nancy, Sidney and Katrina. What a marvellous program you've put together and how thoughtful."
Understanding Dementia & Advance Care Planning took place on November 22 at St. James Church, 225 Edmund Street, Carleton Place with 27 people in attendance. The first part of the event was presented by Robin Hull from Alzheimers Society of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville who is very knowledgable on the topic of dementia. The Advance Care Planning section of the event was presented by Nancy Deschenes from HHNL and lawyer Teresa DuBois of Howard Kelford & DuBois LLP in Carleton Place. This event, which we plan to offer again in the spring, generated a lot of interest and lots of questions. Ms. DuBois was able to answer questions on wills, power of attorneys and so on. 
Program coordinator Emily Ballinger, RPN, and Liz Higginson facilitated another successful eight-week Grief and Bereavement Support Group held between October 26 and December 7 in Almonte, for a group of 9 individuals. The group explored topics such as how each person's grief is unique. We had open discussions about normal reactions, self care, family and friend dynamics and interactions, and many other areas of interest to people who are mourning. We are planning to offer this program again in the spring. 
Our Satellite Offices will be closed between December 26 and December 30. Please note that there are some changes to the schedule when we reopen in January 2023.  You can get information about our organization, or simply find a listening ear. Whether you are looking for information for yourself, a family member or a friend, you are welcome! Please take a look through our website to learn more about the services we offer. Services are free and completely confidential.
   CLICK FOR DETAILS    … scroll down for all the information.
HHNL relies 100% on donations and targeted fundraising to finance our programs and training. We thank everyone who shows their support!
You can donate anytime at
10th Annual Hike for Hospice
Thanks to some wonderful corporate sponsors, the people who signed up to Hike in October, and everyone who pledged funds or made a donation, our 10th Annual Hike for Hospice brought in about $20,000. This money will stay in our community, and help HHNL to continue to offer the programs and public education events, all at no cost to the clients.
Thank you!
Have you ordered your tree of shrub yet?

This popular fundraising activity raises much-needed funds for Home Hospice North Lanark, and beautifies our community! We offer lots of wonderful variety at a good price point.

Special for this year, we are offering the official Bicentennial Tree for Mississippi Mills.

Trees and shrubs make a great gift — for someone you love, or for yourself! Better hurry, they sell fast!
Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends. If you haven't signed up to receive your own copy of the newsletter yet, you can do so at Is there something you would like to see covered in our newsletter? Drop us an email at

We leave you with this beautiful poem.
Do you know someone who is grieving? This is good food for thought.

Will you…
Hold my hand for a little while?
I don’t need you to save me
No need for you to fix anything
No need for you to hold my pain
But will you simply hold my hand?
I do not need your words
Your thoughts
Nor your shoulders to carry me
But will you sit here for a while with me?
Whilst my tears they stream
Whilst my heart it shatters
Whilst my mind plays tricks on me
Will you with your presence let me know that I am not alone, whilst I wander into my inner unknown?
For my darkness is mine to face
My pain is mine to feel
And my wounds are mine to heal
But will you sit with me here, while I courageously show up for it all my dear?
For I am bright because of my darkness
Beautiful because of my brokenness
And strong due to my tender heart
But will you take my hand lovingly, when I sometimes journey into the dark?
I don’t ask for you to take my darkness away
I don’t expect for you to brighten my day
And I don’t believe that you can mend my pain
But I would surely love if you could sit for a while and hold my hand, until I find my way out of my shadowland!
So will you…
Hold my hand until I return again?”

~Zoe Johansen ~

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