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REPORTING · 9th May 2014
Walter McFarlane
It’s Hospice Week and on Saturday, May 3rd, there was a special guest speaker at the Hospital, Mary Gavan from Scotland.

“I wanted to present my show, ‘Dying to Tell’ End of Life Stories from a Celtic Palliative Nurse.’” said Gavan.

Gavan is a nurse who trained at Edinburgh University. She worked with people dying for her life, since she was nine. Her Grandmother took her along on visits. She wanted to share her experiences with family, friends and volunteers.

“They give love which is always better then professional interventions. They do the bits the professionals can’t. They’re what I call, the people of goodness today. Real pure kindness,” said Gavan.

She shared stories and the Celtic language of dying. She explained once a person is grounded in themselves, they are free to hear the other person.

One of those stories is about an old sailor who passed away while he was on his way home in an ambulance. The ambulance driver taught her to cope with the passing, learn from it. It is her favourite story and it is one of the seminal stories on her CD.

“Their moving because they are about ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Living and dying. Woven into them is Celtic wit, because we like our sense of humour, and Celtic understanding. It’s those terms and concepts that over the years, we’ve learned to talk about dying in other then just bold terms,” said Gavan.

She has come to Kitimat from talking to Hospice organizations in Ontario and will move on to other places in BC. She does a variety of storytelling. She has found the hospitality in Kitimat to be outstanding.