When it came time to say goodbye to her husband of 46 years—her confidant, her travel companion, the father of her children, her best friend—Coralie Hunter knew she couldn’t do it alone. Fortunately, thanks to Fairview Home Care & Hospice, Coralie didn’t have to.
The beginning of the end
Her husband, John, was many things—a dedicated father, an environmental scientist, a man of devotion, an activist…and a cancer patient. And, in 2011, after a two-year battle with cancer, he had run out of options.
It was time for his wife to begin exploring hers. “I asked the question no one wants to ask—I asked his doctor how much longer he had to live,” recalls Coralie. The answer—just four short weeks— brought her world crashing down.
Caring for John at home “I was never comfortable with medical care. I didn’t know where to start. Without the support of Fairview Hospice I literally would not have made it,” says Coralie.
Once the Hunters decided to forgo additional treatment, the hospice team acted quickly. They set John up with the equipment needed to care for him at home and put a support team in place. However, what Coralie remembers most from her experience is her husband’s last days.
“They never left my side”
In John’s final hours, the care team provided round-the-clock care. The dedicated staff allowed Coralie to focus on what really mattered—being with her husband and saying goodbye.
“They never left my side—they were just angels,” says Coralie.
Nurturing those left behind
Thanks to Fairview Hospice’s donor-funded bereavement program, Coralie’s support didn’t end there. After John’s death, her family had access to resources to help them cope with their loss. When Coralie learned that her three-year-old grandson was struggling with the death, she knew just where to turn. Despite the child living out of state, Fairview Hospice connected with his mother and sent her tools and information on how to support her son in his grief.
Now Coralie gives back to Fairview, in honor of her husband, to the program that gave so much to her. “My husband was a man who wanted to make the world a better place, so I know he would have loved supporting this organization that does so much good for so many people.”
To learn more about how you can support families like the Hunters, visit fairview.org/giving