“Our mom was a caring person who was always ready to help, ready to feed you and ready to listen with a hot cup of tea.”
Joan Mootoo (our mom) was born and raised in Guyana, South America. She came from an exceptionally large family. She moved to Canada after marrying our Dad in 1974. Initially, they lived in Montreal where both of us were born. In the late 80’s, our Dad was transferred to Toronto and our family joined him.
Mom was special. She had an energy about her that everyone wanted to be around and when you left, you were forever changed. She had so much positive energy; you could not help but feel good. On many occasions she literally gave you the shirt off her back. Her generosity knew no bounds.
After a 2-year battle with cancer of the bile duct which went into her liver, she passed the morning of Friday, August 14, 2020 in the comfort of her home while I (Raya) sat next to her.
The hospital provided us with the connection to Heart House Hospice. Initially, they wanted our 75-year-old Dad to access support to learn how to grieve for his wife of over 50 years. He was hesitant and full of pride, but we thought if he sees the rest of us getting support, then maybe he would be more willing. So, dad, both of us and the grandkids began learning how to cope with our grief. Dad and I (Jaya) participate in individual counseling with India; my dad by phone and myself through zoom. I (Raya) participate in
group sessions on Mondays and the grandkids participate in the HUUG (Help Us Understand Grief) program to support them.
Heart House Hospice is helping us learn that grief and loss are feelings we all must deal with at some point in our lives. For some, it may be the loss of a pet, a friendship, or a cherished item. For us, it is the loss of our mother, grandmother, and wife. Most of us have never felt this kind of loss before and even if we have, it is still difficult to get through on our own.
Heart House Hospice provides our family with the support and encouragement we need to continue our bereavement journey while continuing our own lives. We miss our mom, grandmother, and wife every single day. Somedays, every single minute.
We miss hearing her voice in the mornings singing, ‘Morning baby’, seeing her smile and hearing her say, ‘Hi baby, how was your day?” and watching her spending time with her grandkids. She taught them so much! She taught them how to cook, read, and even their multiplication tables. She had such a special love for each of them, and they each loved her in a special way too. Our mom had a unique talent of making up funny bedtime stories. It started with us as children and then with her grandchildren. It is these little moments that we miss the most.
Now, with the help of Heart House Hospice, we are receiving the support and encouragement we need while we mourn. Some days, they provide us with guidance on how to get out of bed and start the day when our grief is more than we can bare. Other days, they teach us how music can be both healing and triggering.
Heart House Hospice is helping us understand that each day is different, each one of us mourns differently. Yet Heart House Hospice is able to help each of us in our own way.
During the pandemic, Heart House Hospice has had to find new ways to keep supporting the community and families like ours. Support through virtual programs such as bereavement, one-on-one and group sessions, health and wellness, complementary therapies, educational workshops, and of course their invaluable HUUG (Help Us Understand Grief) program/workshops have
helped our family immensely.
Heart House Hospice provides services you do not think you will ever need but when you do, having someone with your best interest in mind to help you deal with a life changing situation is immeasurable.
We feel everyone should support this wonderful organization. By supporting Heart House Hospice, you are supporting a place for people to grieve safely and at their own pace; a place for families like ours to receive the care we need.
Jaya and Raya Mootoo
P.S. You can contribute any amount that you can afford. Donations from people like you are the lifeblood that allows Heart House Hospice to provide their programs and services, always at no cost to anyone who needs them. For help with your donation, please contact Shelley Maynard at 905-712-8119, extension 233 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.