In the five years since his wife passed away at our hospice, Alan Cartwright has returned time and time again.
And he wants to share their story of care to support this week’s Hospice Care Week.
“It’s never been more important to support the hospice. I will do what I can for as long as I can. I hope others will be moved to help too,” said Alan, from Telford.
Ann died in 2015, one week before the couple’s 48th wedding anniversary and her ashes were interred on what would have been her 70th birthday.
She was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in 2013, and was subsequently cared for by our day services, at home and as an inpatient.
And while many people may think that any link with a hospice ends once a loved one has died; Alan is proof this is not the case.
He makes regular donations. These have been used to pay towards recliner chairs and tablets for the Hospice at Home team, so they can keep in touch while they are visiting patients out in the community.
“When I can, I give regularly. I believe that the Hospice at Home service is a wonderful way of extending care that can be given to individuals and their families which are not otherwise available. It is one that we should all support.”
He has also recently trained as a bereavement volunteer for a national charity, having benefitted from several sessions with our own therapist.
“I first saw the therapist a few weeks before Ann died and then for a few weeks afterwards. If it hadn’t been for her and for the therapist who I have continued to see privately, I’m not too sure how I would be. That is what started me thinking about becoming a bereavement volunteer. They have given me a new life.
“That may sound strange, but I believe that you need to accept that your life will be new after your loved one dies. My life now includes a range of new things, but most importantly it positively embraces the legacy of my life with Ann.”
Whenever he visits us he is always welcomed back by a friendly face, keen to know how he is getting on.
“I know that she could not have been in a better place when her life ended peacefully, and for that I will always be grateful.
“The theme of Hospice Care Week this year is ‘This is what it takes…’ and I know, first-hand, how important their work is.
“It is not only a support for those people needing end of life care, it is also a support for their friends and families for years to come.”
Becky Richardson, our director of care said: “Alan is a wonderful supporter of ours and I can’t thank him enough.
“While we can’t prevent anyone going through what he, Ann and the rest of their family experienced, we were proud to be there alongside them to support them all.
“There is so much that goes into the professional care services we are able to provide but it takes the support of the community fundraising for us to make that happen.”