You may not have seen our beautiful Tree of Life sculpture, It was handcrafted by local artist and blacksmith, Will Jones, in collaboration with local retired landscape architect, Brian Mitchell, who created our Peace Garden.
Our Tree of Life has become a welcome place for reflection for many families in Milton Keynes. The sculpture, which is set within our beautiful hospice gardens, offers the chance to create a personalised lasting tribute, in the form of an engraved leaf, in a place that many hold close to their hearts, whether your loved one was cared for at Willen, or not.
“It is a quiet place of reflection and remembrance for all of us”.
Judy has sadly suffered a number of family losses in recent years. Just over 3 years ago, Judy lost her mother, who was cared for by our wonderful nurses, after a brief stay at the hospice. In the short time since she has also bid farewell to her Sister, her Dad, Sister-in-Law and father-in-law.
Judy explains what the Tree of Life means to her, “the silver leaf on the tree and the gardens have played a big part in helping us to come together, reflect and celebrate their lives. It is a quiet place of reflection and remembrance for all of us.”
To Judy, The Tree of Life has become much more than a just a tribute. “The lovely peaceful garden and tree at Willen Hospice have played a big part not only in helping us to come to terms with our loss but also a place to sit and reflect, and to celebrate the lives of our loved ones.
“It was Willen that made such a tragic situation so beautiful”.
Sharon lost her amazing Mum, Linda, in 2016, after she spent her last few weeks at Willen. Linda’s end of life care began at home, but she insisted she wanted to be in her “comfort zone” at the hospice.
Sharon said the fun times she was able to spend with her Mum at the hospice, were thanks to the help they had in coming to terms with her Mum’s prognosis, through pre-bereavement counselling and making memory boxes.
She recalls a time, just before Christmas, where fun-loving Linda joined in with Elf on the Shelf placing her Elf all around the hospice, and how receptionist Tony always saved her a sandwich on her visits, as he knew she wouldn’t have eaten.
Sharon treasures her memories on her “Happy wall” of photos at home, and Linda’s engraved leaf on our Tree of Life, offers Sharon, her Nanna (pictured) and her son, Jay, a special place full of happy memories, where they can come and remember Linda. On her happy memories of her Mum at Willen Hospice, Sharon says, so poignantly, “It was Willen that made such a tragic situation so beautiful”.
If you would like to add a leaf in memory of your loved one, you’ll find more information here: Tree of Life – Willen Hospice (willen-hospice.org.uk)