the goodbye place
After witnessing families caring for their terminally ill children interstate, a determined couple acted on the need for a hospice in Queensland for parents to farewell their kids with dignity.
Kate Engwirda was, her mother says, divine. “Just like” – Fiona Engwirda’s lips shape into a kiss – “Mwah.” Her eyes gaze down as her arms fold automatically into cradle position and it is as if, for a moment, her daughter Kate is back in them. But Engwirda’s embrace no longer holds the little girl who died on May 21, 2011, at two-andhalf years old. Tiny, beautiful Kate, who in her short time on Earth endured much, never walked, had open-heart surgery, suffered regular seizures, or upside-down, did all sorts of amazing things she was not meant to do. Her life, and death, is one of the major driving forces behind a planned respite and palliative care children’s hospice to be built in Queensland, and named Hummingbird House.