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Overcoming the phobia of death

The uncertainty of dealing with death is being addressed in Wainwright as the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association brings its Roadshow to the region on May 25th.

Blair Collins who is a retired registered social worker will be presenting at the one day workshop. He says the Roadshow is an annual event that his association takes information on various topics to communities around Alberta. He says for this year’s topic they are addressing the notion of fear and denial surrounding death.

“We’re going to talk about how we can as a culture and society have a healthier sense of a recognition of human mortality, because whatever else we can say, regardless of the state of medical advancements and development, all of us are mortal human beings. And part of what it means to be a human being is that we are mortal and at some point in our future, we all are going to die.”

Collins brings several years of experience in grief counselling as well as palliative care to the table. He encourages people as they recognize the time they have and to focus on quality of life and what they want to do along the journey of life.

The day is open to caregivers, professionals and volunteers especially in the palliative care sector. Collins says as they look forward to meeting in-person, the sessions are not sombre as the topic might suggest.

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“Believe it or not, it’s filled with some laughs and fun as well. Even though it’s a serious topic, we try to deal with it in a way that is light but gently challenges people to take a look at their own death issues or their own mortality and begin to talk about death more in the normal sense of it.”

Collins says it’s important for families to discuss issues, especially when there is someone facing a life limiting-illness, to know the wishes of that person before they pass.

“It takes so much of the stress and anxiety out of the painful time when we do lose someone, at least we know what their wishes were. We don’t have to guess or debate about it because mom or dad have been very clear about what they want.”

The Roadshow runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Grace United Church, 1038 4 Avenue, Wainwright.

More information and registration details are online. The sessions will be recorded for future reference.

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