An unconnected phone is in the works for Clearwater to help those who have lost loved ones mourn.
District of Clearwater mayor and council passed a recommendation to coordinate the installation of a “phone of the wind,” a project with community collaboration from the Clearwater and District Hospice Society, Wells Gray Country Seniors Society, Interior Health and Men’s Shed.
The phone of the wind is a disconnected landline-style phone on a pole, bench or booth, that provides people a place to mourn. Members of the Men’s Shed are building the post for the phone and the WGCSS is looking to purchase a bench to accompany it.
“People used to go to the grave site and talk to their loved ones,” said Counc. Lynne Frizzle during the Nov. 16 regular council meeting. “That’s not an option anymore because cremation is happening more and more and more so this is a way to be able to go and just spend a little bit of quiet time talking to your loved ones on the phone.”
The idea has become very popular, with a similar set up erected in Port Moody’s Pioneer Memorial Park earlier this year. The idea originated in Japan.
For Eileen Sedgwick, president of the Clearwater and District Hospice Society, the grave sites for her husband and son are in an area that is hard for her to access. She said the phone would provide her a space to speak with them.
The decision to construct the phone behind the hospital was provide a place for those who have a friend or family member in hospice.
“A lot of times what you see people…they just walk around the parking lot,” said Sedgwick. “They’re lost because their loved one is dying, so they need somewhere to go.”