By ANISAH ARIF
Christmas is a very special time of the year when families get together and often remember, reflect and celebrate the lives of loved ones.
Every year, thousands of people come together at Kirkwood Hospice as part of their ‘Light up a Life’ Appeal to remember the people they love. They do this by dedicating a light in their honour on the Tree of Lights.
A indoor service is taking place at the Long causeway Church Dewsbury, on Saturday 8th December at 12 noon. This makes it the third event of the year, following from last weekend special ceremonies at the Hospice.
People who want to remember someone who has died and is missing them, or someone living away from home, can use this opportunity to light up the tree in their name. Each light on the tree will represent a loved one being remembered.
If you would like to remember someone special, please visit the Kirkwood Hospice website and fill out a form to whom you would like to dedicate your light.
If you would like more information about Light up a Life, or would prefer to make a dedication or request tickets over the phone, please contact the Fundraising Team on: 01484 557911 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why I’m supporting Light up a Life – Conor Mahoney
“Last September, I was 17 years old and happily attending Wakefield College. It was during this month that we received the awful news that my step-mum, Kae, had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Our lives suddenly changed overnight.
“After her diagnosis, Kae’s condition declined rapidly. We received continuous bad news and by the turn of the year, it was apparent that Kae had very little time left. She finally lost her battle at Kirkwood Hospice on Tuesday 27th March 2018. She was only 44 years young.
“I’m very thankful to Kirkwood for the 5 days that Kae spent at the Hospice. It was the best possible place for her to die. I was overwhelmed with the love and care that was shown to us all, which will stay with me forever. At Kirkwood, it’s not just the doctors and nurses who care for you; everybody else does too.
“Whilst Kae was at the Hospice, we realised that she would not make it to her next birthday, which was due the following month. Before she became really poorly, Kae had hoped to celebrate her birthday one final time and she had even planned her party, which would have taken place at a pub in Huddersfield. The theme for the party would have been Alice in Wonderland because Kae always loved to dress up.
“Unfortunately, we knew now that this wasn’t going to be possible. My dad and Trish, Kae’s mum, were talking about this one afternoon when a cleaner was in the room carrying out her duties. The cleaner overheard the conversation about how Kae had so desperately wanted one final birthday.
“Before we knew it, we were informed that the Hospice would organise a birthday party for Kae so that one of her final wishes could be fulfilled. So, we had a party for Kae the following day. The catering team organised a buffet for us and around 20 of Kae’s closest family and friends visited the Hospice to have one final party with her. By this stage, Kae was very poorly and she wasn’t able to open her eyes. However, I know that she was aware of all these people around her who loved her very much. This was all made possible because a cleaner at the Hospice had overheard a conversation.
“Kae was someone who I really looked up to. I could talk to her about anything and her approach to life had a massive influence on me. I miss her terribly. I’ll never forget how Kirkwood looked after us all during a really traumatic time. Christmas was a time that Kae loved and this Christmas will be our first one without her. It will be a difficult time but I look forward to taking part in Light up a Life this year to remember my amazing step-mum.”