Hospice Northwest’s Memory Box Program was created to help lessen the grief of bereaved family members as they leave the hospital or long-term care facilities with their loved one’s belongings.
A deceased person’s clothing and personal items are often placed in garbage bags and handed over to family members. This practice can feel hurtful to people already overcome with emotion. In recognition of this, Hospice Northwest created a program that offers decorated boxes as an alternative.
Hospice Northwest began the Memory Box Program in 2009 and modelled it after a similar program offered by the hospice palliative care unit in St. Joseph’s Hospital. Our goal is to provide Memory Boxes to all long-term care facilities in the city. The Memory Boxes have been very well received, and several Regional offices have also become involved in the program.
The Memory Boxes, covered tastefully in fabric or wallpaper, have a poem and grief counselling information found inside the lid. These boxes, prepared with donated materials, provide a small gesture of kindness, and a way to show respect to the memory of the deceased person.
Our Memory Boxes are decorated by community organizations that include church groups, craft groups and adult day programs. We would like to especially thank the Catholic Women’s League and the Anglican Church Women for their continued support of this worthwhile program.
Memory Boxes are available to the public. Please feel free to drop in to our office and we will be happy to provide you with one at no charge.
If you would like to donate materials or help create the Memory Boxes, please contact our Manager of Client and Volunteer Services, Terri Kannegiesser.
Phone: (807) 626-5570, ext. 5572