Rituals at Rosedale Hospice

Rituals at Rosedale Hospice

Many things come together to form the holistic care offered at Rosedale Hospice with all parts of the house working together for our patients and their families. Rituals can play an important role at the end-of-life; to patients, their families, and hospice staff and volunteers. They can be a source of comfort, meaning, and affirmation.  

Rituals create a powerful connection between emotion and experience. Death often leaves us speechless, and our rituals help us express what we can’t find the words for.   

Rosedale has intentionally developed rituals to create meaningful moments and connections throughout the journey with each patient and their family. Some of these special rituals include: The memory lamp that gets turned when one of our patients dies and it stays lit for 24 hours.  A special book is kept beside the lamp to be filled with notes and decorated name cards. When 24 hours have passed, the lamp is turned off and the name card is moved into in our chapel.  Families can return whenever they would like to see the card, read the words they wrote in the book, and spend time remembering their person.  

In recent years we have started a new ritual at Rosedale with our ?dignity quilt?. The quilt is kept on a wooden frame that sits close to the table that holds our memory lamp. When a patient dies, our team moves the quilt and places it outside the room door. This ritual provides a signal to everyone in the house that somebody we have cared for has died. The quilt remains outside the room until the funeral home arrives and we transfer care from our team to their team. At that point the dignity quilt is placed over the individual, and the entire team stands in honour along the halls as our patient makes their final journey through the halls of Rosedale.

Rituals offer tangible ways for people to come together, honor each patient, find strength during difficult times, and know they are part of a shared tradition experienced by past and future guests of Rosedale Hospice.

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