Art installation invites people to share their own experiences with a death to help start conversation

Art installation invites people to share their own experiences with a death to help start conversation

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, are inviting everyone in the northwestern Ontario city to help create a unique art installation about the end of life.

The Reflection Room offers people a place to pause, think and then share their thoughts on the death of a loved one, or death and dying in general, explained Paul Holyoke, the director of research for SE Health in Toronto, a not-for-profit home care group and the organizer of the art project.

The room is a physical space, set up with pencils, cards and tissues, where people can read about others experiences with death, and then record their own.

The Reflection Room at the 2018 Northwestern Ontario Palliative Care conference framed some of the comments and hung them on the wall, like an art installation. A similar format will be used in the room set up at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay, until November 24. (Cathy Alex/CBC )

“Hearing stories, reading stories, it’s the base of human experience,” said Holyoke. “The stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes expressions of regret, and very deep stories that touch people in a real, deep way.”

People are often hesitant at first to enter the Reflection Room, he said. But then they start reading and “they sit down and sometimes have a cry as they remember their own experiences and then they write something down and leave it for others.”

Canadians tend to avoid thinking about death and dying, said Holyoke. But advanced care planning – preparing for the health care we need in our last days, hours and minutes of life – demands we think about it and talk about it with our friends and family.

 

Following the link to read more – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-reflection-room-1.4882840?fbclid=IwAR3ixkRowkutAtMUvTZXUz3reIedx0JY46A1C5gAAIKmtVm_AuXPbVtpiac

Cathy Alex · CBC News · Posted: Oct 30, 2018 6:30 AM ET | Last Updated: October 30