Light Up A Life – A time for family to remember
Every Christmas our Hospice holds a service of remembrance. At a time of year when people are thinking of family it’s important to give thanks for the lives of those we have lost over the years.
Our annual Light Up A Life service is a beloved part of Christmas for St John’s Hospice. Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions, we have to do things a little differently this year. However, we are delighted to invite you to a virtual service which will be pre-recorded from St John’s Wood Church and will include all the elements that make this service such a special occasion.
The virtual service will be held on Wednesday 9th December 2020 at 7 pm. To take part in the service click this link on the above time and date. You will need to register to attend and the last date to do this is 5pm on Wednesday 9th December at 5 pm. To register please make a donation through the Donation Tree below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because we want to make this virtual service as immersive as possible you can also make a donation on our Donation Tree in this link. Those who make a donation will be sent a candle, an order of service and a bauble to really make the Light Up A Life Service feel as close as possible to previous years.
Central to our Light Up A Life service is coming together at a time when families are to remember loved ones lost. Christmas is very much about family and for those of us who have fond memories of those now departed it is an opportunity to come together and celebrate their lives and all the things that made them so important in our own.
To highlight the importance of family and how palliative care can play such a key role in bringing people together we spoke to Pricilla Omoh a member of our Hospice @ Home team.
Our Hospice @ Home team provide palliative care to patients at home if their condition allows. Describing her job as being the “eyes & ears of the patient”, Priscilla coordinates care with GPs and District Nurses in addition to providing hands on care. “‘I love this job. It has allowed me to develop my skills, work with patients and families to answer their needs and deliver really personal, one to one care in their home. Everyone is unique and I try and put myself in their shoes to find solutions to their problems, answer their questions and help families as they deal with grief.”
Last Christmas Priscilla remembers a patient who, despite having a short prognosis, was determined to celebrate her birthday which fell on the 24th December. Being able to be at home and surrounded by family was incredibly important to her as was the glass of champagne sipped on her birthday. Family and friends were able to visit throughout the period with Priscilla and her colleagues ensuring the patient was kept comfortable. The patient told them that Hospice @ Home had ‘granted her Christmas wish’ and she died peacefully at home on the 27th December.
Priscilla says Christmas can add pressures to an already difficult time and, as she makes her way home after a 12 hour shift, she reflects on the support she provided to the patient. “I am sad when our patients die, but I know that our team has done the very best to ensure our patients and families have experienced the very best care and that fulfils and sustains me”. When asked about her own Christmas day she says “It is a family affair, with excited young children, church services and Christmas dinner before I start work again in the evening”.
Whatever the day or season our Hospice staff are there to support patients and their families. However, they can only continue to care because you care for us. The donations you give to our Hospice are instrumental in allowing us to deliver our essential palliative care.