A time to dedicate to lost loved ones

Janet Spicer and her husband Alan
Janet Spicer and her husband Alan

Christmas is a time for families to remember loved ones who have passed away by lighting a Christmas tree at their local hospices’ Light Up A Life service.

Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care will host services in Hemel Hempstead Old Town at 6.30pm on Saturday and also at 4pm in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Tring on Sunday.

And supporters will also be on hand to see the lighting of the Hospice of St Francis tree at its headquarters in Shootersway, Northchurch on Sunday, December 9 at 4.30pm.

People are welcome to make a donation to the hospices to dedicate a light to someone, and the money raised will help other families through the difficult time when a loved one suffers with terminal illness.

It helped Janet Spicer, whose husband Alan died at the Hospice of St Francis last December.

She said: “The staff bent over backwards to help me and our family to be with him for those final days.

“I was able to stay in his room. Our son Jamie was able to come in whenever he wanted to. They even catered for Alan’s brother who flew over from New Zealand.

“On Christmas Day they prepared a full Christmas dinner – with crackers and all the trimmings – for us all and we sat and ate together. It’s a lovely, positive memory that we now have to keep Alan’s memory alive.

“Christmas is coming around again now and it will be our first one without him. I know it’s going to be very hard, but I know that the bereavement team at St Francis will be there to support us again.

“We’re looking forward to dedicating a light to Alan, seeing the staff and volunteers who helped us all make it through last Christmas and celebrating the incredible work that the Hospice of St Francis does.”

The support and care from IRGH nurses enabled Lynn Bendle’s husband David to die at his Hemel Hempstead home with his family around him.

Lynn said: “I will always be thankful for the care and support IRGH gave us.

“Christmas is a special family time and Light Up A Life gives us the opportunity to remember David with love by dedicating a light to him, whether we choose to attend the service or not.

“It is a great comfort to know that by dedicating a light it keeps our precious memories alive and helps more local families coping with life-limiting illness.”

If you would like to dedicate a light to a loved one call the Hospice of St Francis on 01442 869555 or IRGH on 01442 890222. You can also make a dedication online at www.irhh.org/lual