Archive: July 9, 2021

Mandela Day 2021: This is how you can help HospiceWits

Mandela Day was first celebrated in 2010, and aims to mobilise citizens to devote 67 minutes to community service on 18 July. The 67 minutes are derived from the 67 years Madiba spent fighting for social justice.

HospiceWits, in its capacity as a non-profit organisation that aims to better the quality of life of the patients we serve, as well as of their families, is heavily dependent on donations from the public and corporate institutions to continue doing our work. While we are always grateful for any donations, we now especially appeal to donors to consider contributing in the spirit of Mandela Day.

All the funds we raise go towards catering to the needs of patients with life-threatening illness that HospiceWits cares for, and to also provide additional support to the families that have entrusted the care of their loved ones to us.

This Mandela Day, HospiceWits’ wish list relates to the refurbishment of our in-patient care (IPU) facilities. Following recent upgrades to one of our IPUs, we are looking to undertake further renovations, and are in need of:

  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint vouchers
  • Any contributions towards repairs

There are various other ways in which you can assist HospiceWits on Mandela Day, both financially and otherwise, and we thank you in advance for making a difference to the lives of our patients and their families.

Club 2000

HospiceWits’ Club 2000 doesn’t only form an integral part of this charity’s fundraising efforts, but also rewards Club 2000 members by entering them into a monthly cash draw, standing a chance to win a whopping R20 000 every month. A commitment of as little as R50 enters you into our monthly draw, and Club 2000 members may choose to sign up for as many numbers as they wish in order to maximise their chances of winning.

Register HospiceWits as a beneficiary on your MySchool card

When you register HospiceWits as a beneficiary on your MySchool card, we will receive a percentage of the transaction every time you swipe your card at a participating retailer. Here is how to sign up for the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card, and to set up HospiceWits as a beneficiary.

Support our shops

HospiceWits shops are central to our annual fundraising. Our shops in Parkmore, Orange Grove and Kensington are especially popular among Joburgers that are looking for bargains, as is our stand at the Rosebank Flea Market.

Every time you buy something at our charity shops, you are directly contributing to covering our day-to-day expenses, but please don’t forget that we are also thrilled to receive donations. We are always looking for:

– Pots, pans and kitchen goods
– Crockery, cutlery
– Linen and curtains
– Ladies’, men’s and children’s clothing
– Furniture
– Electrical items in working order
– Ornaments, bric-a-brac, general home goods
– Books, DVDs and CDs
– Toys

– Non-perishable food donations for distribution to our patients

If you have a large quantity of items to donate and are unable to deliver them yourself, we also collect! Please call our depot on 011 728 1052.

How to move on from grief

In the midst of what is perhaps the most tumultuous time any of us have ever experienced in our lives, moving on from the grief associated with the passing of a loved one may seem almost impossible. While loss is an inevitable part of life, personal losses are now compounded by the collective grief that the world is experiencing due to the effect of the pandemic.

When it seems like everyone is constantly in a state of grieving, how does one move on from your own, and start living your life to the full again?

What is grief?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines grief as “deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement (sadness because of the death of a loved one)”. Most people who have had to deal with the death of a loved one will have heard of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

It is important to note that not everyone who experiences grief over the passing of someone near to them will go through these exact stages, and that not everyone’s grief will follow this trajectory.

The author Vicki Harris describes grief as being “like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing”. “Sometimes the water is calm,” says Harris, “and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”

Learning to swim

Looking at the stages of grief, acceptance is ultimately what any grieving person is working towards. For many people, learning to live without the person they have lost is something they explicitly do not want to do. For these people, accepting the fact that their loved one is no longer physically here feels like something that is disrespectful towards the person they have lost, and is not honouring their loved one’s memory.

A person who is stuck in their grief may feel persistently depressed about the loss they have experienced, not seeing a way out of the sadness that constantly overwhelms them.

If you feel like you are stuck in grief, these five tips may be of help to you:

  • Respect your loss: Paying respect to a loved one is an important part of accepting the loss. You can do this by creating a memorial space to serve as a reminder of your loved one, or by journaling or writing them a letter.
  • Prioritise your self-care: After spending so much time making the care of your loved one a priority, it can be exceptionally difficult to shift the focus to self-care. This is very important, though, not just for your physical health, but also for your mental wellbeing. Practice good self-care by eating well, staying active (even a short walk makes a huge difference) and steering clear of addictive substances that numb your feelings.
  • Be kind to yourself: This is not the time to ruminate on what you could have done differently while your loved one was ill. Of course, hindsight will bring its own lessons, but there is no point in beating yourself up about things you did or didn’t do.
  • Reach out: Even if it might feel like you are having a singular experience that no one will truly understand, grief is central to the human experience, and everyone will have to deal with it at some stage. Speak to someone you can trust about the emotions you are experiencing, and reach out to a mental health professional if you find yourself consumed by grief and unable to move forward.

COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the way we deal with loss. If someone passes away in hospital, chances are that their loved ones won’t be able to say goodbye to them like they’d normally be able to. The rituals associated with loss, like memorial services and funerals, have also been significantly affected by the pandemic.

This means that we will all have to learn to create our own customs to deal with our loss. Remember, even if it may feel so, you are never alone.

The loss of someone close to us is something that deeply affects us. Learning to swim without them by our side is difficult, but not impossible – especially when we realise that there are plenty of other people who also have to navigate these stormy waters.

If you need to speak to someone about your grief, feel free to contact the South African Depresson and Anxiety Group (SADAG) by calling 0800 12 13 14.