At Christmas time each year, St Barnabas Hospice encourages people to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one, which will go on one of their Trees of Life across Lincolnshire. This year, Hospice volunteer and supporter, Margaret Norton, is inviting members of the public to join her in remembering a loved one and sharing their Christmas memories.
Margaret has volunteered in the St Barnabas Hospice Inpatient Unit in Lincoln for 25 years, and her husband, John, sadly died in the Hospice three years ago – just a year before their 60th wedding anniversary. Margaret said:
“John had been ill for some time with bowel cancer, which then spread to his spine. He was in so much pain and I was struggling to lift him, so it was such a relief when he went into the Hospice. I have volunteered in the Inpatient Unit for 25 years, so I knew he would be in good hands. At first it was strange to be on the other side of the cups of tea, but it really was the nearest thing to being at home. I felt so cared for and John’s pain was finally under control.
“John was at the Hospice when the Torchlight Procession took place that year. I remember going outside as hundreds of families came past with torches lit for loved ones. Nurses and patients came outside, and the doors were left open so that other patients on the ward, like my John, could still hear the pipe band.
“I have always known about Light up a Life and the Torchlight Procession, but after losing John they took on a whole new meaning for me. I now donate to shine a light in John’s memory at Christmas – the time of the year when family means the most to me. I also like to attend the Light up a Life church celebration in Lincoln with my family. We take so much comfort from attending the celebration and having our light, and it gives us the time and space to think about our special memories with John.”
Members of the public can join Margaret this year in remembering special Christmas memories of loved ones. St Barnabas Hospice is once again placing Trees of Life at various locations across Lincolnshire. They are encouraging members of the public to dedicate a light on one of those trees, where the memory of their loved one(s) will shine brightly.
Once you have dedicated your light, the Hospice will send out a personalised card and Light up a Life decoration for your Christmas tree at home.
“My special Christmas memory of John is the makeshift Christmas trees that he would always bring in from the garden. He would cut the top off our Leylandii tree, wedge it in a bucket with bricks, and tie bits together with string!”
To join Margaret and dedicate a light in memory of a loved one this Christmas, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/LUAL