Dying from incurable disease is not ‘healing’

Dear Editor:

Fr. Harry Clarke, in his letter to the Penticton Herald of Oct. 20, seems not to understand the compassion encompassed in M.A.I.D. and other help-to-die plans for the terminally ill in pain.

He says compassion means “to suffer with a person in a process of healing.” How can a person who is dying of an incurable disease be helped in “healing?”

Fr. Clarke also believes such help “pushes people into non-existance.” Such patients often want non-existence, far from being pushed into it. Many go to Switzerland or other more compassionate places for relief, although they’re barely able to travel and have the concomitant travel expenses.

Further, he says it is “torture” to propose medically-assisted suicide. He himself has obviously never suffered the pain of something like terminal cancer, or even protracted childbirth.

Flannnery O’Connor thought that sickness before death is “appropriate,” and is one of God’s mercies! Does that mean that the longer one suffers the more they enjoy that mercy?

Joy Lang, Penticton

A limerick to brighten your weekend

Dear Editor:

With all the gloomy news at present, here is a limerick to cheer you up.

The wonderful fair Okanagan

Is a place that can match Copenhagan.

And if you compare

The price of the fare,

A holiday here is a bargain.

Pixie Marriott, Summerland

Shop local, you will help save businesses

Dear Editor:

This is Small Business Week in Canada and if there was ever a time to consider purchasing from a local business, it’s now.

We are six-plus months into the pandemic and many of us are still partially locked down or bracing for a second wave.

I owned and operated one, and then two, ladies retail clothing stores from 1990 to 2008. That fact has made me a “shop-local-er” for life.

My niece recently asked for a gift card to a big-box store for her birthday. I instead took a drive downtown and purchased an assortment of goodies from five local stores. I bought lip gloss, soap, a book, fancy laundry detergent, cheese twists and a chocolate chip cookie. Did I spend more than I would have at a chain store? I’m not sure I could compare the items.

The thing is, shopping local is a choice, just like choosing to shop elsewhere. In April of this year, I, like many others started to venture out into our local neighbourhoods to see what the world was like now.

It was frightening to see Pandosy, or Bernard completely devoid of cars and

people. One of the local businesses that was still open, but with reduced hours and staff, was a local bakery. With clients lined up outside, all were wearing masks, distanced six feet apart. When my turn came, and I stepped into that bakery, I was surrounded by enough warmth to fog my glasses and with smells and sounds that made me

hungry and happy.

Smells like yeast and cinnamon. Sounds of coffee beans being ground and cups clattering. I swear I almost cried.

I called a couple of other local shops and left a message asking if I could give them my VISA number over the phone to

purchase a gift card. Every store owner called me back and we talked about the COVID situation.

We asked about family members. Discussed the stock situation and if and when a store visit would be possible. It was if I had been transported back in time to Kelowna in the 1960s and the conversation made me feel connected, appreciated, and useful. For the previous six weeks, I had felt useless, scared and alone. These women in business. These merchants. These suppliers of life-giving bread had saved me.

Now it’s time for us to save them.

Don’t shop local out of obligation. Shop local to save downtown Kelowna, downtown Penticton, downtown Vernon, downtown Calgary and downtown Saskatoon. These business owners are all in this with us.

Cathy Burrell,


Many thanks to superb workers in health care

Dear Editor:

Just had yet one more occasion to be under the care of our health-care workers.

As an 83-year-old with broken bones (four), stents (four), emergency ECGs (many) and more stitches than Frankenstein’s monster, my hours in hospitals and clinics are impossible to tally.

In all these events, not once did I ever feel that they could or should be doing more for me. Better care would be impossible to imagine. Always cheerful and efficient, even under the most trying, stressful times. To be fortunate enough to live in B.C. or even the rest of this great country is indeed to be blessed by God Herself.

So to all our doctors, nurses and all hospital staff; cleaners, janitors, maintenance and administrators, as well as the paramedics and fire rescue members; sufficient words of appreciation elude me, so as a retired Navy bloke I can only offer one great honkin’ “Bravo Zulu” to you all.

Ben Weber, Mill Bay