Marta shares her story of how Willen Hospice helped fulfil her husband’s wish of dying at home, as well as supporting her, and her four young children.
“Steve wanted to die at home and the Hospice organised absolutely everything. It was just a few days of him being at home, but his last wish was granted. As well as this, the Hospice helped me with sharing information, making wills, and providing support for the family. This is when I was introduced to Jackie McLeod, the Willen Hospice Children and Family Social Care worker.
“After Steve died, Jackie phoned me almost the following day saying ‘Right, this is what we’re going to do, this is what you have to do, and this is what I have to do. We’re just going to make sure that everything will work.’ All of the technical information she just served to me on a gold platter, and it was something that I really needed.
She also helped me with what I was supposed to say to my children. Whenever Annie asked ‘Why’s Daddy not coming home?’ I had Jackie literally holding my shoulder. She told me what to say, how to say it and how to slowly upgrade it as all of them grow up and their understanding of the world changes.
“Jackie even helped me with getting my marital name on my Polish passport, as Steve and I married shortly before he died. Because of COVID and Brexit, I was struggling to get an appointment with the Polish Embassy and Jackie helped me straight away, contacting them on my behalf. And while I am not sure how she managed to do it, I finally got my passport. She’s a superstar.
“I also got into the routine of having ‘me time’, thanks to Jackie. She would constantly tell me ‘You need time for you. Even if there is still a mess in the house, you take care of yourself first so everybody else around you will be okay.’ That was basically the best and the most valuable lesson for me.
“I think Willen Hospice is an amazing charity. It’s not just about the care, it’s the people working here who are pouring their hearts into their job.”
Thank you so much to Marta and her family for sharing their story.
You can find further bereavement support and advice here: Bereavement Support – Willen Hospice (willen-hospice.org.uk)