Losing my beloved has been a difficult journey, and it’s a road better not traveled alone. I’ve been on that road for some time now and can say from personal experience that there is benefit and comfort in sharing the journey with someone with the experience and compassion to help you through. Dove House, and Lynne in particular, have traveled with me to the point where I feel at peace and am comfortable moving forward on my own.
I was encouraged by a friend who had lost her husband to seek help when my wife died, and I in my turn would like to do the same for you….
The road ahead is difficult when you lose someone you love and as I have already said, it’s a road better not travelled alone.
Dove House – My Sanctuary
Dove House – my sanctuary, my solace and my serenity. When I walk through the door I feel an instant sense of peace.
In the tumultuous year that was 2015, Dove House has been the one place that has filled me with hope, love and caring beyond anyone’s anticipation. Diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015 and then a mastectomy with a rigorous regime of chemotherapy and Herceptin, my very caring cancer support person referred me to Dove House.
For those of us who face a life threatening illness it is a very frightening experience. For me it was the feeling of treading in unknown deep, dark waters, who knows what is hidden in the murky depths. Dealing with those internal emotions, outward physical changes and for me, also caring for my husband who has required 24/7 care for the last 13 years following a series of strokes was a very daunting and difficult challenge. Because of his lack of speech and comprehension I was unable to verbalise my fears, discuss my treatment or even take much time out for my healing and well being over the year.
At Dove House, I found these wonderful, wonderful people who, no matter what type the appointment, just listened without judgement, were full of empathy, kindness, love and caring and just made me feel human and strong and more than anything else…NORMAL.
For eight months following my mastectomy I struggled with seroma, (fluid gathering at the wound site), which needed to be constantly drained by the surgeon. One of the therapists suggested that some lymph drainage massage would be advantageous….It worked.
During my time at Dove House I have been so very fortunate to be cared for by the therapists and have experienced amazing Reiki after which I sleep peacefully, magic hands that feed my face with nourishment, healing hands that heal me and gentleness that got my lymph system moving.
I cannot speak highly enough of all the earthly angels at Dove House who give their expertise with the utmost professionalism but with kind and caring hearts.
Bless you all at Dove House and thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Bliss
A Break Away
At Dove House we run a programme called Take A Break. Through the kindness and generosity of our donors we are able to organise a well deserved break for a few days for some of our patients.
Thank you so very much for organising our fabulous weekend at Waiheke. What a beautiful, relaxing and lovely place. Thanks you are all stars. Peter is a fabulous, bubbly and generous guy. See you all soon.
My Hospice Experience
By Jane Wilkins
Walking through the doorway of Dove House is the highlight of my week. What I once considered to be a place of solace and end of life care, or a place that would encourage ‘dying well’, now for me has become a place of encouragement to live well, a place of healing, a place to develop well-being.
My ritual is to sit down to a cup of tea after my drive over – this is the best cup of tea of the week. I have time to brew it in a pot, let it draw and savour every mouthful. You see, I do not need to hurry and I no longer worry – I simply sit and enjoy one of my life’s pleasures – a good cup of tea, along with a morsel from the kitchen such as a club sandwich, a piece of divine date loaf, or those all too yummy scones – all made with love from the angels that give up their time to make life special for those of us who may need a little extra care, nurturing and nourishment. What a treat!
It’s now time for me to go through to the therapy rooms. Walking along the corridor I breathe deeply and naturally relax – I know that whatever happens today, I will leave with some extra wisdom on board and my heart will be filled with the love and tenderness shown by my practitioner. Each and every one of the therapists I have had the privilege of working with has enhanced my day in some way and I am always grateful for what I learn here. I do not wish to exclude anyone, but I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks for two therapists in particular.
The first is Aaron. I tell him a little piece of my story and instantly the rapport is one of ease and deep understanding. Aaron explains concepts and ideas to me around health and healing. The way he relays information always connects or resonates with me, the “a-ha” moments constantly – like I have heard it all before. What I realise is he is able to tap into my inner wisdom and help me to feel more comfortable with those parts of me that I have denied, or I have been too frightened to listen to, or have been taken away from me when I am in fear, especially when dealing with conventional systems. Regardless of what I present with on any given day, Aaron has whatever I need, whether it be acupuncture needles ( which he uses at each session) for chronic gut health problems or EFT for a distressing burning rash under my arm, or an intuitive imagery/visualisation exercise for nausea. Whatever I am dealing with I leave with a sense of peace, dignity and empowerment.
The other practitioner is Meg. Generous with her knowledge and wisdom, Meg can interpret how I’m feeling before I offer her any insights. She is one of the most calming influences with real advice. She is empathetic and at the same time encourages strength and hope. She is beautiful and elegant and I love being in her company.
I understand that when we are open to possibilities we will be lead to what we need. I realise that at this point in my life I need the support and care that Dove House can offer me. I no longer have fear around what I might feel or see there – this place is a gift to those who are willing to accept this help and care to enhance life, to assist the struggle, to share the burden and the pain so that we can live our lives, however long they may be, as well as possible. I don’t go there to learn how to die; I go there to learn how to continue to live until my final breath.
Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at Dove House!
To All the Fabulous People at Dove House. What you do is amazing! Last year when I was being treated for breast cancer I tried my best to keep life as normal fro my husband and 10 year old daughter. Coming to you every couple of weeks was coming to a Sanctuary. I described it to people as “nest like”. I could take some time out for me, I can’t thank you enough.