Meet Emery – The Elephant in the Room


We live in a death-denying culture and talking about palliative care when a loved one is ill can be difficult and frightening. Prevailing misconceptions stating that discussing palliative care will hasten death or that the care team is giving up prevent this important conversation from happening. By talking about the Elephant in the Room, we can encourage conversations and move past this healthcare taboo.

Beyond the common adage mentioned above and the fact that Elephants Never Forget, the link between this amazing animal and Palliative Manitoba’s mission goes deeper. The largest land mammal in the world, elephants in the wild have been observed displaying complex emotions such as sadness, joy, compassion and loss and show instinctive mourning behaviours and grief rituals. They remain with a dying herd member until death and stay for days afterward. They revisit locations where a member died for years following the loss and, when they come upon the bones of another elephant, they gather, handle the bones with their trunks and have even been observed teaching their calves this behaviour.

Learn more about Elephant Grief

Emery serves as an ice breaker for difficult conversations. Emery can be a grief companion kids can confide in and a symbol of strength and endurance in times of sorrow and uncertainty. Watch for Emery at resource booths, grief seminars and educational sessions and be sure to follow our Facebook page to spot our little friend as the pachyderm appears in posts!