I support Light up a Life in memory of my wife Patricia, who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2015.
I had a good 2-3 years to prepare myself for Patricia passing away. On several occasions we received the all clear, but unfortunately the cancer kept returning. I was with her every day, so I got to know her good days from her bad days and how to deal with managing it.
I attended a carer support group at the hospice. I found this useful to attend as although I had the time to prepare for Patricia passing, grief did accompany me. The staff were so supportive, it was lovely to see that the carers are in their thoughts as well as the patient. I met many other carers who wanted to share their stories of losing their loved ones. The realisation that there are people going through a similar journey to myself, who think and feel similar emotions, was a comfort to me.
They have a great aftercare system which is available to everyone, the bereavement counselling especially. I had family members use the bereavement services at the hospice, talking through with a counsellor helped process their grief easier. They struggled after Patricia died and the kindness of the staff, allowing them as many sessions needed to allow time to heal.
Patricia spent around a month in the hospice before she died. Each time I visited, we would have lunch in the hospice café. We were soon on first name basis with all the volunteers behind the counter! They are such friendly people, always greeting you with a smile and a warm welcome.
It’s been 8 years since Patricia has passed and I still visit the café for my lunch every week, visiting who I now consider very good friends. I think until it happens to you, you don’t realise how important company is. It seemed so natural to me to continue to come.
I have supported Light up a Life and attended each service since 2017. Attending the Light up a Life service, to me, means giving thanks for loved one’s lives and remembering those memories. It’s one of those events in the lead up to Christmas to take part in, for my family and myself, to remember Patricia.
As a family, we have many Christmas events we take part in and Light up a Life is one of them.
I am extremely thankful for the support from the hospice, and I will continue to support them for a long as I can.
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