When Pauline’s husband, Warren, died, she was referred to Springhill’s specialist bereavement support service, where she found a safe space to express her grief and talk about her feelings.
When Pauline’s husband Warren was diagnosed with a brain tumour Diane, a Specialist Palliative Community Nurse from Springhill Hospice started visiting to provide support and advice. At this time Pauline and Warren didn’t feel they needed this level of support but Warren deteriorated very quickly. Pauline recalls, “the Hospice team has been so invaluable. We were able to talk to them and get the advice we needed. Diane could see what was going on with Warren and she was there for us every step of the way. Whatever we needed, or asked for, Diane sorted it, so quickly. She helped to organise everything we needed from a specialist bed to medical equipment even things like special cushions. The help and support from the Hospice was spot on”. “We got Warren set up in the back bedroom and were supported with visits from the District Nurses, alongside support from the Hospice. In the beginning Diane would visit every couple of weeks. Warren was still under the care of the Oncologist at the Hospital and they told us Warren had about 3 months left. As Warren’s condition deteriorated we sat down to discuss options with Diane. Diane just seemed to get it. As Warren approached end of life, Diane’s visits increased to weekly and then we received support from the Hospice at Home team in his last couple of days”. “Warren died on 1st August 2020. Diane remained in contact and suggested I might want some counselling support from the Hospice. After nearly 50 years together it was a very traumatic time for me.” Pauline started 1-1 sessions with Beckie, one of Springhill’s counsellors. “We chatted once a week for five weeks. She calmed me down and it was excellent being able to get things off my chest and talk to a professional. I talked about Warren, the early days in our relationship and happy memories of our wedding.” “Beckie recommended that I might want to try some of the virtual group counselling sessions. They were ‘top class’. There were four of us in the group, plus two of the Hospice Counsellors, Beckie and Joanne. It was a bit strange and emotional at first – we were all nervous and all ended up in tears but as we carried on meeting we were laughing, enjoying each other’s company.” For Pauline, attending the group sessions was a great way to access support, but also to meet new people who were going through similar experiences to her. “I looked forward to our chats and found it was great to be able to talk to other people who were going through the same experience as me. It feels strange to say I enjoyed it, but I didn’t feel as lonely, especially during lockdown. It provided me with comfort and support.