Creating space to pause, reflect and share experiences with dying and death

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Conference 2015

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Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Conference 2015

At the 2015 Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Conference held in Ottawa, Ontario, Saint Elizabeth invited attendees to visit the first installation of The Reflection Room to pause, recharge and remember an experience with palliative care over the past year.

A collaboration between Karen and Saint Elizabeth Research Centre Director, Paul Holyoke, the design of the Reflection Room was informed by findings from spiritual care and grief research which highlighted that people benefit from space and time to reflect and that creating a sense of place is important at end of life. Many elements within the room, such as the use of sound for relaxation, incorporating elements of nature, were based on themes that emerged from the spirituality research.

With the spirituality research in mind, the Reflection Room also designed to be an immersive experience inspired by the public engagement installations of artist Candy Chang, whose ‘Before I die…’ series captured the attention of people around the globe. The invitation to share a reflection at the CHPCA conference was meant to provide a place for people to honour a memory of a patient, family or colleague, or to a share a memory from personal experience.

Over the three day conference people shared stories that were both professional and personal. We know that human beings are storytellers and that understanding complex challenges through narrative builds empathy. Stories also trigger the imagination for future possibility.

A collection of stories from the CHPCA conference can be also be viewed in the online book, created after the event, in both English and French.