Fam­ily and friends come to­gether to re­mem­ber loved ones

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Uk And World News - BY KEITH ROS­SITER

Fam­i­lies from across Devon are com­ing to­gether in a se­ries of church ser­vices to re­mem­ber loved ones who have died.

“Christ­mas can be an emo­tional time for those miss­ing loved ones,” said Sarah Smith from Hospis­care, a char­ity that pro­vides end-of-life care in Ex­eter, Mid and East Devon.

The Hospis­care Light Up a Life ser­vices take place through­out Ex­eter, Mid and East Devon in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, of­fer­ing fam­ily and friends the op­por­tu­nity to come to­gether and re­mem­ber those who are no longer with us, with car­ols, poems and can­dles.

The fi­nal ser­vice will be in at Ex­eter Cathe­dral on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 16 at 6.30pm.

Just out­side the cathe­dral is the Hospis­care Christ­mas tree, swathed in lights that are lit at dusk ev­ery evening un­til Twelfth Night.

Hospis­care sup­port­ers are be­ing in­vited to hon­our their loved ones by mak­ing a ded­i­ca­tion, which is in­scribed in the Hospis­care Book of Mem­o­ries, which will be at each ser­vice.

Al­ter­na­tively, a “me­mory star” can be shared on­line, also al­low­ing friends and fam­ily to re­mem­ber some­one spe­cial.

Each year, Hospis­care pro­vides free, spe­cial­ist care and sup­port for more than 2,500 adults with life-lim­it­ing ill­nesses and their fam­i­lies in Ex­eter, Mid and East Devon.

Anna Bowen and her chil­dren, Martha and Jessie were sup­ported by Hospis­care af­ter her hus­band Ge­off died with a brain tu­mour.

She said: “No one ever hopes to find them­selves in the po­si­tion that we as a fam­ily did when Ge­off was di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour, but we will be for ever grate­ful to all the amaz­ing staff at Hospis­care for al­low­ing the four of us to live, eat, sleep and just be to­gether in those last few pre­cious days and nights.

“Ge­off re­ceived ex­cep­tional and sen­si­tive care to the very end, and we were given space and pri­vacy in the lovely calm fam­ily room. We can never thank Hospis­care enough.”

Sarah Smith, from Hospis­care, said: “Our Light Up a Life ser­vices are a beau­ti­ful way to re­mem­ber some­one spe­cial as Christ­mas ap­proaches, and ev­ery­one is wel­come. Hospis­care is very much part of the com­mu­nity and these ser­vices are a chance for those com­mu­ni­ties to gather and sup­port one an­other, they of­fer not only the op­por­tu­nity to re­flect but also to cel­e­brate the life of a loved one.”

The Bow­ern fam­ily on hol­i­day be­fore Ge­off Bow­ern died and (far left) the Hospis­care Light Up a Life Tree out­side Ex­eter Cathe­dral

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