A special service of remembrance will take place in Berwick next week, when residents can light up the life of a lost loved one.
Organised by St Oswald’s hospice, the service at Berwick Baptist Church allows residents to remember a loved one as part of the Light up a Life campaign.
Every year thousands of people – not just those with a connection to St Oswald’s Hospice – remember a loved one as part of the campaign.
Carol Johnson from Berwick will be taking part this year, in memory of her mum. Nancy had been an inpatient at St Oswald’s for three months and sadly died in June last year.
“I had been caring for my mum at home since October 2011,” Carol explained. “I was finding being a full time carer both mentally and physically exhausting.
“When my mum was referred to St Oswald’s for end of life care, it was a godsend, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It meant I could be a daughter again.”
Carol admitted her mum was nervous about going to the hospice, and she felt guilty for letting her go, but said something had to give.
“When we arrived, the nurses were there outside, waiting to welcome mum and me, which instantly put us both at ease,” she said. “Mum soon settled and the staff, in particular the lovely nurses, became like a family to us.
“Christine, the Chaplain at St Oswald’s was a great comfort to mum, as well as being a total rock for me. The nursing staff looked out for me too and offered support when I needed a boost.
“I can’t put into words how grateful I am for St Oswald’s just for being there at that time.
“I have attended previous Light up a Life services in Berwick and last year, my granddaughters were invited to switch on the Christmas Tree lights! I know my mum would have been delighted that they were part of the service.”
Christine Brown, Chaplain at St Oswald’s, added: “Light up a Life is a very special evening. More people come along every year to take a quiet moment and reflect during the busy Christmas season.”
Supporters can dedicate a light in memory of someone special and will receive a card inscribed with their loved one’s name. They will also be invited to a Remembrance Service, where they can see the tree lights switched on.