The opening of Holmberg House last week brings Abbotsford a much-needed facility for residents going through the most difficult times of their lives.
For too long, those in their final frame, and their families, endured traumatic days, weeks and months in institutional hospitals that can rarely be described as comfortable, despite the noble efforts of doctors, nurses and other staff.
The movement to create hospice residences, where dying people could spend their last moments with family in a home-like setting while receiving clinical care, has brought a good measure of humanity to a process that is deeply emotional and trying for all concerned.
Before this spring, Abbotsford was the last major Lower Mainland community without the services of a residential adult hospice.
That’s no longer the case, thanks to all those who contributed time, money and gifts to build Abbotsford Hospice Society’s new Holmberg House.
Particular acknowledgment, though, must go to Dave Holmberg Sr. and his family, who committed up to $1 million to build the facility in memory of Dave Holmberg Jr., who died of cancer at the age of 48 in 2011.
Without the Holmbergs’ generous funding, it is unlikely Abbotsford would have a hospice now, or anytime soon. Just as important has been Dave Holmberg Sr.’s willingness to step to the fore of the fundraising campaign to raise money for the project.
The building that will bear the Holmberg name is fitting recognition for a family that has given much not only to those in need of hospice care, but for a variety of other groups in Abbotsford.
In a community often trumpeted as being among the most generous in Canada, the Holmbergs have led by example.
On behalf of the community, and those who will find comfort at Holmberg House, thank you.