Hospice of the North Coast Celebrates 10th Anniversary of its Pacifica House End-of-Life Home with Heartfelt Dedication of New Monika E. Son Reflection Garden

Carlsbad, CA …When nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast (HNC) opened its warm and welcoming, spacious, six-bedroom Pacifica House in late 2013 on a tranquil street in Olde Carlsbad, it was – and remains – the first and only in-patient hospice care facility in North County. Pacifica House offers around-the-clock, severe symptom management and palliative care provided by skilled, compassionate medical professionals to nearly 250 patients and families annually.
On October 25, 2023, HNC celebrated Pacifica House’s tenth anniversary by dedicating its serene new Monika E. Son Reflection Garden; honoring the generous, community-spirited woman whose $1.4 million unrestricted estate gift marks the largest private donation in HNC’s history.

To respect the privacy of Pacifica House residents, the garden dedication was a limited-invitation celebration that included Monika’s friends and associates. HNC Board member Father Doran Stambaugh, Rector of St. Michael’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, conducted a blessing of the garden while attendees enjoyed a light repast and tour of the space.

HNC Executive Director Sharon Lutz notes, “Pacifica House was a gift to HNC through a sizable grant from the City, and now it is a gift to the community. Monika’s largesse will enable us to continue providing exceptional in-patient hospice care to people in need, regardless of ability to pay.”

Among Pacifica House’s value to the wider community is a newly remodeled second floor that accommodates HNC’s Palliative Care staff. This expanding free program serves people with serious chronic illnesses who may not be ready for hospice care. Over the past year, the Palliative Care program served some 230 clients.

A Beautiful Garden that Reflects its Benefactor The garden is an outdoor extension of Pacifica House’s focus on creating private spaces for patients and their loved ones to gather quietly so they can share meaningful conversations, memories, and reflections upon their lives. Beautifully landscaped with a graceful water feature and easy access to four private, shaded sitting areas, the lush garden has offered residents solace and serenity from its inception in September.

Philanthropy Director Shelly Dew states, “Monika, a kind person who died at age 57 in 2021, embodies HNC’s descriptive motto: ‘compact in size yet large in heart.’ She was beloved as someone with a heart for seniors. She served as a caregiver and enjoyed delivering flowers to senior facilities. Her passion for helping others led Monika to become a hospice volunteer and ultimately to leave this generous gift in her trust, which will ensure that hospice care continues to be available to its fullest extent, including at Pacifica House. The Monika E. Son Reflection Garden will be a constant reminder of the good that one person can effect in the lives of others.”

She notes, “We are so appreciative of the continuous support from private citizens, organizations, and the community over the years. HNC offers many ways to support our mission, including the purchase of Tribute Wall Tiles at various levels to commemorate departed loved ones served at Pacifica House. We also welcome volunteers to serve in an array of capacities and welcome community members to participate in HNC programs such as our November 4, 2023 Light Up A Life Memorial Candle-Lighting Ceremony at the City of Carlsbad Dove Library.”

Nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast was established in 1980 to fill the need for comprehensive, compassionate hospice care in North County San Diego. Since its inception, it has grown in services that include global partner Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi, a resale store in Encinitas, Palliative Care program, Hope Bereavement Center, and Pacifica House, the only in-patient acute symptom management facility in North County.