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Teresa's husband, Rob, was 31 when he died of brain cancer, which he'd been fighting for eight years. Teresa, who now works at Saint Francis Hospice, explains why she will be supporting Light Up a Life in his memory this year.
In July last year my husband and childhood sweetheart Rob spent three weeks being cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before he died after battling brain cancer for eight years. Even though this was one of the most difficult times of my life, I felt lucky that I was able to remain by his side with our three year old daughter, Lily-May. I was 17 when I met him and he still is my best friend and the love of my life and he always will be. In Lily-May I have my mini Rob.
Rob with Teresa and their daughter, Lily-May.
Saint Francis Hospice gave Rob back the dignity he deserved and the most peaceful and pain-free death possible. Rob wanted to come here so I could be his wife again and not to have to worry about his medication and being his carer. The hospice became a home from home for us. He was also admitted to the Inpatient Unit twice before to get his symptoms and pain under control and benefited from complementary therapies such as reflexology.
We got to know all the staff and I felt like we were under this big orange umbrella and everyone was so kind and considerate to us all. Myself and my daughter also received counselling to help us come to terms with our grief. I do not know how to ever thank the children's bereavement counsellor, Stella Christou, without her and the coping mechanisms she taught me, I would not have the happy little girl I have.
L-R: Rob with Lily-May, Rob. Teresa and Lily-May spend time in the hospice garden.
This year, I'll be lighting up a life in memory of Rob, and also my mum, who was cared for at the hospice in 2012 after battling cancer for 25 years. I know it will be very sentimental and emotional but it is important for me to do events like this because it keeps their memories alive. Most of all it will help Saint Francis Hospice to continue being the warm and welcoming place that it is. The staff here make it so easy for families like me to be with their loved ones in their final days. Sons, daughters, wives and husbands can show their love and say their goodbyes, just as I was able to do for my dear mum. That's so precious and important.
I can't imagine what I'd have done if the Hospice wasn't here and I'd hate for anyone going through what I went through not to be able to access the support they need. Some people are surprised that I am able to work in same place where I went through the most difficult time in my life. But for me, it is the best place I can be. Coming to work here shows me that there is life left for me and I am giving something back. Being in the environment where he died makes me feel especially close to him.
Rob and Teresa
Will you join me in dedicating a star to your loved one this Christmas and attending one of our special remembrance events? It will lift your heart and raise your spirits. And, perhaps best of all, the money you donate will help more people like me.