New to Town? (or still feel new?) Come to the
Newcomers Social! Tuesday May 16, 2017 Dwight Hall 6:00 – 9:00 pm Get an introduction to groups, organizations and businesses within the community. Meet new people, socialize and learn what Powell River has to offer! There will be refreshments, entertainment and great information. For more information or to register a booth, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 604 485-4051
WITH DIGNITY: After some administrative hiccups, Sarah Barton-Bridges and her grandmother Nancy Fidgett were ultimately very satisfied with how UBC medical school honoured their donation of Keith Fidgett’s body. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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• april 2017 • prliving.ca
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Planning for the BY SANDRA TONN
or years before Keith Fidgett was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 73, his wife Nancy wanted to “get things in order,” but he didn’t want to discuss a will or plans for his remains. “The children will be left with one hell of a mess,” she told him—strong words for her Catholic husband of many years. When the cancer that would kill him spread to his lungs, bones and eventually his brain, Keith relented. “Okay, let’s do it,” he said. They were already both registered organ donors, but Nancy started to think maybe there was something more they could do. After some research they agreed they wanted to donate their bodies to the University of British Columbia (UBC) through the Body Donation Program. By the time their lawyer was ready for signatures on their wills a week later, Keith was in the hospital. With only a curtain for privacy and his meal tray for a table, Keith, Nancy and a witness signed the papers. “It was absolutely the 11th hour,” Nancy says, “right under the wire.” The next day Keith was moved to Irene Thomas Hospice Residence in Ladner where he died within the week at the age of 78. Before his death he and his family were having a party at his bedside—a hockey game on and wine flowing—when Keith’s priest came and spent some private time with him. Keith and Nancy’s daughter, Kim Barton-Bridges, a long-time resident of Powell River, says that afterwards, despite the fact that her father had been death-denying through his entire illness, he was at peace and was ready to go. While Keith’s death was a good one—with loved ones
“Attending the (UBC) body donation reception for my Grandpa completely erased any doubts that I may have had about the process.” – Sarah Barton-Bridges present, laughter and tears, and what the family describes as “amazing care” from hospice staff—the execution of Keith’s after-death wishes did not go smoothly. As Nancy succumbed to the numbness of grief, Kim and her sister, who only learned of the body donation wish when the lawyer visited the hospital, and had to organize the process on the day of their father’s death, emailing back and forth with UBC and conferring with hospice staff. Kim called a funeral home, assuming they would take her father’s body to UBC, but then found out UBC deals with a specific funeral home as a partner in the program. “At one point we had two different people on their way to pick him up,” Kim explains, “A woman showed up and I was crying and had to ask for her ID so I could be sure he wasn’t going with the wrong person.” Adding to the difficulty was the fact that Kim, as well as her sister and brother, were not comfortable with their parents’ wishes. To Kim it seemed a rushed, last-minute decision, and based in large part on cost savings. “Money was a strong factor for us,” Nancy admits, “I
Published on Apr 4, 2017
Lean how traditional names are being re-applied to local places, thanks to a Tla'amin Nation project. As plastic bag bans get inevitably clo...