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A platform to be able to talk about Daddy

When their dad Laurence was being supported at the Hospice earlier this year, 10 year old Willow and 6 year old twins Noah and Jude were able to spend time with him in the garden and reading with him.  

Laurence died in June and the children have been working with Sue and Christine from St Helena’s family support team to explore their emotions and capture their precious memories of time spent together through creative sessions. Mum Vicky shares their story…

The children have started to do certain things such as, we went to karaoke and they picked out songs they knew Daddy liked. It's not coming from me; it's generated from them.

The sessions they had with Sue and Christine, combined with support from their school and how we share our feelings at home, have given them the platform to be able to talk about Daddy, open up about Daddy, and to not be scared. And if you're upset, it's OK to be upset and you will be upset. They have learnt some useful tools.

In the sessions, we talked about having a mix of emotions; some days you might be angry, some days you might be terribly sad, and that's OK, that's perfectly normal. After a session at St Helena’s the children would come out slightly lighter, slightly more relaxed, because they had the opportunity to express these emotions. 

Laurence was brought to the Hospice at the beginning of June thinking we would have a few months to make more special memories with the children. Unfortunately, it soon became very apparent that we wouldn’t get that time. All the staff at the inpatient unit were so lovely and so welcoming. When you come in, it's so unknown as a family member but you quickly get to know the routine, know there's so many people you can speak to. 

Image: children with painted ducks

As soon as the children came in, everyone was so welcoming and friendly which I think made a big difference for them, it took away from their fears. Prior to being at St Helena, Laurence was in hospital in London so the children hadn't seen him for a few weeks before they saw him at the Hospice, but as Laurence was transferred the day before Father’s Day, I'm just glad they were able to spend this special day with him.  

Laurence loved the sun and it was such a sunny week and he was able to sit in the garden and the children had space to play which made a big difference. 

We'll keep doing things which give an opportunity for them to talk about Daddy and remember Daddy.  

St Helena Hospice’s chair of trustees, Nigel Pye, upcycled some old gate posts into three wooden ducks which Willow, Noah and Jude painted and chose a spot each in the garden to hide the ducks for others to find.

Image: painting wooden ducks
Image: painting wooden ducks
Image: painting wooden ducks
Image: painting wooden ducks
Image: painting wooden ducks
Image: painted wooden ducks

This story and images may not be reproduced without express permission from St Helena Hospice.


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