When Brittany Petrie spoke these words at the 5th annual Handbags for Hospice event earlier this fall, it was a reminder that for those grieving, or spending time visiting their loved one in hospice, this time of year can be especially difficult.
We will all experience grief and loss. Brittany beautifully captures the important role Rotary Hospice played in her mother’s end-of-life journey.
“My name is Brittany Petrie and I am the daughter of Debra Ann Sterkenburg. My beautiful mom died at the age of 61 at Rotary Hospice on October 10, 2022.
She was vivacious, she loved to socialize, travel, play sports, paint ceramics; and most of all she was determined not to let an illness hold her back from creating lasting memories with loved ones. In July 2022, my mom’s care became more complex, and her symptoms were rapidly changing. She was considered terminally ill with no treatment options left.
This is when my mom made the decision that hospice care was the next step. We spent up to 8 weeks in the hospice and, on the day that my mom passed away, the staff supported us by explaining what was happening.
As my mom took her final breaths, there were two words that I told my mom: she was safe and she was loved. It felt like those words came out so naturally, it’s not what I thought I would say.
But I truthfully think that I said those words because safety and love is
what hospice care is.”