Inspirational Stories


written by Jackie Truscott

For information on the upcoming, contact Salt Spring Hospice at 537-2770.




Cathie’s Inner Elvis Comes Out.

Aaron Minvielle, Radiology & Tech; Anastasia Cooper-Smith, Mental Health Nurse; Cathie Grindler, SS Hospice Volunteer; and Israel Cohen, RN on Halloween 2011. thanks to Lady Minto Hospital Foundation “Messenger” for photo.

Laughter and Humour are Serious Business
written by Jackie & Cathie

The theme of our last (November 24) Hospice “Going Deeper” relaxation morning was “Laughter and Humour are serious business.”   After considering our Osho Zen card, “New Vision”” we indulged in ten minutes’ laughter meditation which had some of us precariously close to the edge of rolling on the floor.

As we told our personal stories both tragic and hilarious, we began to see how closely linked laughter is with tears, and how laughter brings us back to life, especially when we’re on the edge of it.  Cathie told a story of something that happened to her recently in her capacity as Hospice volunteer at Lady Minto Hospital.  We thought it worth sharing.

 After Lady Minto’s fundraising newsletter came out last week, she had an unexpected call from a man who had been at the hospital for an extended period with extreme lung distress.  He was struggling not to panic and she stayed and held his hands until he was calm and could breathe again.  That’s not the story though…

 On October 31, he was sitting outside the hospital waiting for his wife to come and take him home after his close call with death.  He was gazing into the distance thinking how grateful he was to the “angels” on staff who had looked after him so well, when suddenly he saw ELVIS walking towards him.  Shaking his head in disbelief, he looked to the sky, convinced that he had died and was being greeted by the King.

 As the apparition descended upon him, he realized that Elvis hadn’t dropped down from the clouds after all.  He was much too smiley and rather feminine.  With a little shimmy, “Elvis” gave him some candy, sang a verse or two then sashayed into the hospital as people stared and spoke in hushed whispers.  “Elvis is in the building!”

With a grin on his face, he shook his head at the absurdity of the situation. He had thought for sure he was dead, but it was okay.  Elvis was there too, and he was happy to see him,

It wasn’t until the Minto Messenger came out and he saw Elvis’ photo that he realized it was Halloween.  He found Cathie’s name and made the effort to phone her to tell her how much he had enjoyed being shocked back into life and being able to laugh again.

 It had sparked memories of being a teenager in wartime Germany and the mischievous pleasure of dressing up at Halloween, how the ability to laugh with people had freed so much dark energy and lightened the blackness.

 Afterwards, we discussed how closely linked are tears with laughter, how our lives are most rewarding when we are paying attention, walking on the edge rather than playing it safe, engaging fully instead of hedging our bets, and remembering that sometimes the difference between life and death is just a change in perception.

 Cathie doesn’t know why Elvis sometimes comes out of the closet to appear as her alter-ego, but she knows that when he’s here, so is she, completely.  It lightens up her life and reminds her to remember that laughter and humor are serious business.