December 14th, 2018

“As we switched on the lights, my mums face just lit up”

2018 October EndofLife Pet Margaret Taylor Image cropwith Jackv1

I didn’t know what Rowans Hospice did until last year. My mum, Margaret, was only in Rowans for a week before she died on 14th November 2017. It is still so raw, however I want to share our story as I hope that it will encourage people to support our local hospice.

It was just ten weeks from when mum found out she had secondary liver cancer to when she passed away. It was literally that quick. Luckily she passed her last week in Rowans, thanks to the amazing Doctor who was looking after her on ward C6 at QE Hospital who pushed for it to happen.

She was visibly happier when she arrived at Rowans. The staff could give her the attention that she needed, the hospital were very good, but there is only so much they can do.

One day, when I was sat with her in her room, mum actually asked “Do I have to go home?” I replied “Not if you don’t want to”. Mum then looked at the nurse and me, and said “Can I stay here and die here”. I just said “If that is what you want, Mum you can do exactly what you want to do.”

I would come and sit next to her every day. During this time she kept talking about the Christmas tree that she had brought in the New Year sales. Finally, her best friend, Lesley said “Do you know what, we are going to have to put that tree up as she wants to see it.” We put it up in her room and as we switched on the lights, my mums face just lit up. I will never forget it.

I was also able to bring in her dog, Jack. He had been her constant companion, so it was important they had opportunity to see each other. The day before she died Jack jumped up on the bed and nudged her hand, as she lay quietly he went up and licked her cheek.

I am so thankful these things were possible. Mum passed away, peacefully, in comfort and I was able to be with her.

Since she died, I have had a lot of support from Rowans, having a number of one-to-one sessions with counsellors as I was really struggling at the beginning. I didn’t know about the amount of care and all of the support Rowans gives. Therefore I hope through sharing mine and my mums experience, the local community will donate to Rowans.