St Clare Hospice Light Up A Life services help residents celebrate lives of lost loved ones
People attending St Clare Hospice's Light Up A Life services had the chance to remember and celebrate the lives of their lost loved ones.
The hospice held three services at its Hastingwood base, one last Thursday evening (Dec 16) and two on Saturday afternoon and evening (Dec 18). They raised £20,000 for hospice funds.
St Clare chief executive Sarah Thompson welcomed everyone who attended, saying: “I hope you will take the opportunity to remember the wonderful times you have had with your loved one.
"And those memories will raise a smile, because remembering the happy times is so important on your journey without those you love.
"Grief is so individual, and we recognise that everyone is different and we are here to support you along the way. Please be kind to yourself, do what feels right for you and your family in the run-up to Christmas. There is no right or wrong way of grieving.”
Sarah thanked everyone for supporting St Clare during the year and invited them to place a candle, in memory of their loved one, under a tree in the garden at St Clare or take it home for their own Christmas tree.
A marquee was filled with hundreds of silver paper stars, each one bearing a hand-written personal dedication to lost loved ones. There was a book of remembrance on display which is now in the hospice sanctuary room.
Before each ceremony, the hospice's patient and family support team ran art workshops for children and young people.
St Clare supports patients, their families and carers in West Essex and East Herts when faced with death and dying, helping people to make the most of every moment, no matter how long they have left to live.
The charity must raise £8,000 a day to be able to continue to care. Last year it cared for around 1,400 people.