It’s been two months since Shawnna Warriner said goodbye to her husband, two months since their two children hugged their dad goodbye.
It’s been two months since Mike Warriner passed away.
The Warriner family had traveled to Arizona in February for a potential treatment option for his aggressive esophageal cancer. After a week at the Scottsdale hospital, they made the difficult decision to take him to a hospice centre.
“Once we were there I knew that’s exactly where we did need to be,” said Ms. Warriner. “The people that were there supporting us and helping us through it – it was amazing. It was an experience I definitely will never forget, being able to be there, especially with the kids.”
The support her family received helped them to get through life’s most impossible task.
“Our last few days with him and the kids with their dad, it was really special, and they made it exactly how we would’ve wanted it,” Ms. Warriner said. “We had friends and family there. We kind of hung out. We’d watch hockey on TV … It was very just real.”
After the family returned to Invermere, Ms. Warriner looked up information on the local hospice society.
“There isn’t a facility here (like they used in Arizona),” Ms. Warriner commented. “But they work all throughout the Valley. They’ll go into people’s homes, which I thought was really neat.”
From random hugs by strangers in the grocery store who knew her story, to donations, to friends who support in any way they can, the family has felt loved and cared for through this time, Ms. Warriner said. She has found some things that have helped her too, including going to the gym, journaling, and helping others facing similar situations.
“To be able to help support someone going through something similar – that’s a big one,” she said. She has already had someone going through a similar situation reach out to her, and she was able to talk with that person about the journey.
“If I could even help one person to learn what I’ve learnt through this, I’ll take that as a win,” said Ms. Warriner.
She expressed gratitude to the community at large, to friends and family, as well as to the District of Invermere – Ms. Warriner’s employer – for being so supportive to her through this time.
Given what the hospice society meant to their family, it was only natural to Ms. Warriner that she pass some auction items kindly donated for her family’s hour of need onto the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley for their upcoming fundraiser event. Mostly golf passes, for courses from Kelowna to Kimberley, will be part of this year’s auction thanks to the Warriner family.
To support the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley, which works to support families going through the loss of a loved one, buy your tickets now for the 7th annual Butterfly Gala. The gala takes place Saturday, April 27th at Eagle Ranch Golf Resort. Doors open at 5 p.m. The evening includes fun live, silent, and dessert auctions. Enjoy a fantastic meal while listening to live music with Geoffrey Code. All proceeds go towards supporting the society’s free programs and services throughout the Columbia Valley.
Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased in Radium at the Horsethief Creek Pub, in Invermere at Sobeys and Hospice Society Office, or in Fairmont at the Purple Cow store. A table of 8 will reserve your own table. The society wishes to thank sponsors for supporting the event, including the Windermere and District Lions Club, Century 21 Rocky Realty, Wolfe Mining Ltd. and the Bank of Montreal. For more information please contact the hospice office at 778-526-5143.