Daughter shares comfort of hospice’s special remembrance events after dad’s death

Daughter shares comfort of hospice’s special remembrance events after dad’s death

A Knaresborough woman is sharing the poignancy and comfort of attending a Harrogate hospice’s Light up a Life services for seven years ahead of its special remembrance events this December.

Bill Crewe and his family were supported by Saint Michael’s Hospice during his last three weeks of life before he died from bowel cancer in 2015.

Since then, his daughter, Portia Crewe has looked forward to celebrating her dad’s life alongside family, friends and others in the local community annually at Saint Michael’s. This year, they are set to return to Light up Life for the eighth time, with the service now an established Christmas tradition.

Remembrance services will take place on Sunday December 4 at 3.30pm in Ripon Cathedral and Sunday December 11 at 4pm outside Saint Michael’s Crimple House Hospice on Hornbeam Park in Harrogate.  People are being invited to dedicate a light to remember someone special at https://visufund.com/saint-michaels-light-up-a-life-2022 or by calling (01423) 878 628.

Saint Michael’s Light up a Life services feature beautiful music, comforting readings and quiet time for reflection alongside the heart-warming moment where the community’s dedicated lights are illuminated together.

Portia said: “For me and my family, Light up a Life is incredibly special and touching for so many reasons. My dad Bill died on December 8 2015 and I always remember a lovely nurse at the time telling us about the event which was happening outside the hospice in a few days, and encouraged us to come along.

“Since attending the first time, several friends and family now attend, and it has become a staple within our family’s calendar. It was so poignant that we haven’t missed a service since. The songs, words and togetherness that the service brings makes me so warm within that moment that nothing else can compare.

“As the service usually happens around my dad’s anniversary, everything feels so fitting as it allows us that time to remember my dad, surrounded by others who are also remembering their loved ones.

Portia describes how Light up a Life offers her and her family a meaningful opportunity to reflect on special memories of her dad, and Saint Michael’s care and support:

“In life, you are never ready to say goodbye to anyone, but the hospice made the goodbye to my dad that bit more manageable. They really allowed us to be a family at the end of my dad’s life. Those final three weeks that we spent together, I will cherish forever. Between my dad’s steady stream of visitors, we enjoyed movie nights and singing sessions where we were constantly laughing and enjoying being together.

“Knowing that I can take a moment to remember my dad at Christmas, while supporting hospice care for my makes Light up a Life so special.”

To continue offering care and support in people’s homes across the Harrogate district and from their Crimple House hospice, the charity needs to raise more than £7 million each year, with the majority of its care funded by the generosity of local people and organisations.

Tony Collins, Saint Michael’s Chief Executive, said: “We know how much Light up a Life means to the families we’ve cared for and our wider community, and it means so much to us too.

“We treasure every dedication as a special tribute to loved ones, and hugely appreciate the generous gifts which help our community’s lights shine on through our care.

“For example, a donation of £28 could ensure a member of our helpline team is on hand to listen and support those experiencing grief, loneliness or anxiety seven days a week, including over the festive period.”

You can dedicate a light to remember someone via https://visufund.com/saint-michaels-light-up-a-life-2022 or by calling (01423) 878 628, with the opportunity to add a gift to support Saint Michael’s vital services.

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