A Wife’s Moving Story of Love and Loss

My husband, Wayne, was the love of my life. Beginning In the spring of 2019, Wayne was complaining about not feeling well. Soon after, we learned he had terminal lung cancer. The blow to our family was dreadful.

Wayne was my high-school sweetheart, and our love and life together only grew over the years. We loved spending time together and with our daughters, Heather, Laurie and son-in-law Mike. Our grandchildren, Riley and Reid, were bright lights in our lives. We spent many a family vacation in Muskoka and Collingwood where the entire family would congregate and enjoy each others company.

Wayne was a successful Chartered Accountant and businessman, who had worked for Sifton Properties Limited for 35 years. Wayne loved his work and, at 62, was still fully involved in the organization. Wayne had a brilliant mind and could bring concepts together and build a solid plan after carefully reviewing the numbers and logically putting all of the pieces together.

Despite his illness, Wayne wanted to continue to work; first from the office and then from home, but his condition worsened rapidly. We all had to face the reality that Wayne would not be getting better. I tried to coordinate the care Wayne needed at home. My children were huge supports, as we tried to provide round-the-clock-care, but it took its toll on all of us.

The rapid progress of the disease meant Wayne’s needs were changing daily, and before we could tend to those needs, they changed again. We realized that Wayne needed specialized care. At that point, he was referred to St. Joseph’s Hospice.

The Sifton Family Foundation had been a critical supporter of St. Joseph’s Hospice, having helped to fund the new, 10-suite residence. Wayne was well aware of the profound impact that the Hospice was having in this community. He was very grateful that Hospice had a room for him.

Wayne arrived at St. Joseph’s Hospice at the end of May. While at Hospice, all of his physical and emotional needs were tended to, and our daughters and I were able to step out of our caregiver roles and just spend quality, loving time with him.

What surprised me the most was that I was able to move into Hospice along with Wayne. I never left his side throughout his two-week stay. We both were provided with everything we needed, and the suites were large enough to accommodate the two of us and our large family, along with grandchildren, comfortably. Those two weeks were a gift to our family, where spending quality time with Wayne was our only purpose.

At the end of his two-week stay, we could see he was failing. The night that Wayne died, the care team at hospice did everything possible to make all of us comfortable. They brought out an air mattress so that we could all stay and have that one last night with dad.

I suspect that our Hospice story is not unlike so many others. But to our family, it felt like we were the only people in the house. We had expert care, but beyond that, the level of compassion and comfort provided to us cannot adequately be described in words.

My family and I cannot thank everyone who works at St. Joseph’s Hospice enough for caring for Wayne, and all of us really, in the way that they did. We will forever be grateful to Hospice, and to every single person in the community who supports this wonderful organization. It’s your support that ensures families like ours can be given the unique and personal care that we experienced at St. Joseph’s Hospice.

Sincerely,

Kathy Reid (and daughters, Heather and Laurie)

Remembering loving father, Wayne Reid

St. Joseph’s Hospice extends it’s sincere sympathies to Kathy and all who are grieving his loss.