Burlington's Compassionate City Charter

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Burlington's Compassionate City Charter

A new initiative that encourages conversations about death, dying and grief, and is focused expanding Burlington's palliative care resources.

Burlington's Compassionate City Charter

Before I Die I want to....

We wanted to share an amazing article Karen Candy of the Carpenter Hospice recently wrote about death, dying, grief and our new Compassionate City Charter...

"As someone who works in palliative care, I have often wondered why as a society we tend to treat death with fear and even repugnance.

We know with the birth of every human baby that death is an inevitable part of the deal. It’s what we sign up for when we are given life.

Throughout that life most of us, if we are lucky, are social animals. We make connections with others, we laugh, we cry, we share. We aspire to treat each other with kindness and compassion.

But too often at the end of life our fears around dying prevent us from celebrating the life lived and I firmly believe that is something we can change.

In 2015, the Compassionate City Charter was launched. The charter is a framework of 12 social changes that lead communities towards being more compassionate cities. It’s a community initiative that focuses on increasing awareness and better use of existing and new palliative care resources.

Through a variety of community events, it helps to add a sense of normalcy to death, dying and grief and enables people to be more comfortable talking about and planning for these inevitable life events.

It advocates changing our entire perspective about death and dying.

Carpenter Hospice is excited to officially launch the Compassionate City Charter in Burlington from Oct. 2-8. Burlington residents will be able to actively participate in the launch of the Compassionate City Charter. The week includes many free events the whole family can enjoy.

Let’s imagine Burlington as a compassionate city. A city that recognizes health and sickness, birth and death, love and loss occur every day in our city and is a normal part of life. A city that recognizes care for one another at times of crisis and loss is everyone’s responsibility, not just those who work in health and social services. A city where discussing death, dying, loss and grief is no longer taboo but part of our everyday lives.

Being dead isn’t what scares people, it’s how we actually die that’s scary and we have an opportunity to do it so much better by rethinking how we care and connect with each other.

A city that supports people with life-limiting illnesses, those who are bereaved and grieving, where we don’t hide from illness, death and grief is a city that is united and one we’d all be proud to call home."

A full schedule of events as well as registration, can be found at www.facebook.com/3CBurlington/