“I’ve experienced quite a wide range of care from Hospice – after losing both of my parents.
My mum was diagnosed with cancer late 2007 and spent three weeks at Hospice at the end of her life and received incredible care. My mum was quite a character – she had a good sense of humour – and I remember the week before mum died, one of the nurses that looked after her and got to know her really well arranged for the CD of mum’s favourite singer, Daniel O’Donnell, to be played in her room. Then while it was playing, she got my dad up and started dancing around the room with him! I just remember the laughter that mum, dad, and I had that night – seeing this nurse waltzing my dad around the Hospice room – and I thought, this is just such a strange scenario to be in because we had such happiness in such a sad time.
My dad also sadly died of cancer in August 2022, after being diagnosed ten months before. Once dad was confirmed as terminal, the Hospice community nurses visited him at home often, and we got to know them quite well. They really helped us at a time when both dad and I needed some emotional help, but also when he needed physical help. They’re very in tune with knowing when the time is near and what the next steps will be, and they explained it with such clarity and depth to us – which is what we needed at the time. My dad was quite apprehensive about going into hospice – we’d experienced it with my mum and had a great experience, but I think he was just very scared of what was going to happen. The community nurses were so kind and gave him lots of information and lots of help and made him realise that it was the best thing for him. They gave him the opportunity – if he wanted to – to stay at home and said they could arrange all the necessary beds, the care, and all the nurses at home. However, he decided in the end he wanted to go to Clarkson House, and he went in August 2022 and spent four days there. But for such a sad time, it was actually a very dignified and very peaceful ending for my dad, and I couldn’t have wished for more.
After losing my dad – and both of my parents – I had counselling from the Bereavement Team. I probably started the counselling sessions about three months after dad died – and that was invaluable to me. It gave me the tools I needed to carry on with everyday life. I think if it wasn’t for the bereavement counselling, I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, I wouldn’t have been able to continue with the day to day of life, so I feel very grateful to have been able to use those services. It also just helped me get on with everyday tasks which felt so difficult at a really hard time. When you lose somebody, it really impacts your entire life. I don’t think when my mum died, I had properly accepted it and processed the grief associated with my mum dying. But when dad died, it hit me like a train – and I felt both of their deaths a bit more – and I’m just so grateful for the bereavement team for helping me.
I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Jersey Hospice Care for playing such an important role in both my parent’s lives, and my life. I’ll never forget the care and compassion the team gave my family – it means the world to me.”