Hospice society helped teen through loss of her mother
TRURO - At the young age 15, Shelby Breimer has triumphed over hardships that changed her life while coping with a terrible personal loss.
The Truro teenager, raised as an only child in a single parent household, spent months at her mother Helen's side last year as her caretaker, before losing her to breast cancer in January at the young age of 46. "At times it was hard, but I didn't mind," said Breimer.
She said there were days she felt relief when Colchester East Hants Hospice Society palliative care volunteers came to help her mother, sharing her heavily weighted responsibilities.
During an eight-month-long relationship with the hospice, Breimer said it helped her and her mother as the family worked through difficult planning for the end of her life.
"When we needed information they gave us what we needed, along with reassurances," said the teenager. The mother and daughter made a list of all the things they wanted to do together before she died and accomplished many of those activities, now some of Breimer's most cherished memories.
On Friday the teenager joined hospice volunteers at the launch of its Angels Remembered Tree campaign at the Truro Mall, hanging an angel in her mother's memory.
"The Angels Remembered Tree is a bereavement program that provides people a space and an opportunity to acknowledge significant losses in their lives during the holidays, which is often a difficult time," said Catherine Yuill, executive director for the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society.
"Unfortunately many people in our area are grieving alone or in silence, and the Angels Remembered Tree provides an opportunity for public recognition that a death has left an impact."
She said taking "a moment in time" to pause and remember a loved one is a wonderful way to cope with grief and invites everyone who would like to hang an angel in their memory to visit them at four locations in the region. Last year more than 1,000 angels were placed on trees around the region in memory of loved ones