Ben and Linda
It takes special people to volunteer. Linda Cryderman is one of those special people
in Elgin's Hospice Volunteer Visiting Program. Linda was matched with Ben Popp in
April 2010 on a beautiful spring day. Linda shares a lovely story regarding that
first visit with Ben.
"Right after you left, Ben and I set out for a "walk" and spent an hour and a half
touring the many acres of his property," Linda reports. "We walked through mud,
through bush, up hill and down, forded a stream, through pastures dotted with cow
pies (old - not fresh, thank goodness); culminating in a climb along a cow path
up a hill so long and steep I thought my legs wouldn't carry me to the top! But
there was Ben, old and sick, charging ahead of me – I was not going to be outdone!
When we traipsed through the bush, he went ahead and held the branches so they wouldn't
hit me in the face, bless him. We arrived back at the house at noon, greeted by
an enormous German Shepherd that was clearly delighted to see us. And Ben showed
me the trophies he'd won racing his pigeons. My black pants and shoes were spotted
with mud, my hand was scratched from an encounter with a bramble, and I had the
Linda quickly became part of the Popp family. All would look forward to her visits
and the respite she was providing to Ben's wife, Hilde, was an important part of
the care. Ben lost his battle in April 2012. The support Linda was providing to
Ben quickly transferred to Hilde. Being there for Hilde as a consistent support
is an integral part of the Hospice Volunteer Visiting program with VON. Grieving
the death of someone loved is one of the hardest experiences for an individual to
go through. Ensuring that person is supported through their grief is what makes
our program successful.
Hilde feels ready to continue with her grief work and plans to attend VON's Grief
Support Group, which will be held this winter in St Thomas for a period of 8 weeks.
Support through the grief journey is available to anyone in Elgin County regardless
of where they are in that journey.
For more information on this program, please plan to attend VON's Awareness Event
being held at the St Thomas Senior's Centre on January 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00
p.m., to learn about all of VON's programs and services available in Elgin County.
If you would like to share your time and compassion like Linda has, please call
VON at 519-637-6408 as soon as possible to register for the hospice volunteer training
held in January 2013 in St Thomas.