by Martin Tweeddale
The Precious Belongings Bag.
It exemplified for me what the Society is all about – identifying something (however small) that could improve the palliative or end-of-life journey.
One of our previous board members spoke to us of his wife’s death in the hospital at the end of a long illness. He described one of the worst experiences as leaving the hospital with his wife’s personal effects (“all that remained of his wife” as he put it) in the standard white or yellow plastic bags that hospitals use for this purpose. It all seemed so impersonal, public and undignified.
Roseanne, a board member and tremendous volunteer, responded by getting some of her friends together to make unique quilted bags to replace the plastic ones. Each one came with a note attached expressing sympathy and naming the Society. The bags were given to the hospital and were received enthusiastically.
That episode has motivated me ever since. It encapsulates beautifully the ethos, focus and function of our Society.