How Wendy found a way for her love to live on
Before she passed away earlier this year, our hospice patient Wendy discovered a way to communicate some important personal messages to her grandchildren (aged five and three) enabling her love to live on in her grandchildren’s future lives. With Rowcroft’s support and through ‘memory cards’ and pairs of knitted hearts, Wendy expressed her love for her grandchildren while also conveying some poignant and inspirational life messages, so that her voice would continue to guide them into the future.
A token of love
“Rowcroft gave me two pairs of small knitted hearts,” said Wendy. “I took these hearts to my grandchildren and I explained that I would be leaving soon to go and live with God. I gave my grandchildren each a heart and I said ‘whenever you look at this heart, you can think of me and know that I love you and whenever I look at my heart, I will think of you and know that you
“And then I was given some of Rowcroft’s ‘memory cards’, so that I could write on these cards little messages for my grandchildren for them to have after I’ve died. The cardshave titles like: ‘I hope that in tough times you remember that…’; ‘You make me so proud because…’; and ‘A special memory of you is…’
“Through writing these cards, it’s really given me some peace of mind – it’s made a huge difference. I’ve written down everything I wanted to say – to my grandchildren, to my children and to my husband. I feel I’m at peace now.
“The care here in the hospice has been amazing – it’s a happy place, very caring.”
Honoring a Rowcroft journey
Kayleigh Hines from the Rowcroft social work team was one of the members of staff who supported Wendy while she was in the Inpatient Unit. “We try to hold people’s hands through the process and help them honour and support their relationships throughout their journey, whether it’s a mum with a young family who wants to leave lasting memories for her children, or a grandparent who has a special relationship with their grandchild,” says Kayleigh.
Discovering what’s important
“Before time runs out, we always ask the question, ‘What is the most important thing to you right now?’” says Rowcroft’s social worker Nicky Monks. “Sometimes the answer is about being pain-free or symptom- free; other times it’s about achieving a last wish, such as finding a daughter they’ve not spoken to in a long time, or finding out what’s happened to a child who was adopted. Where we can, we help patients to achieve their last wishes.”
With thanks to Wendy and her family for sharing this story.