Always Loved Tribute Funds: Natalie’s story
After Natalie’s mum, Ronda Evett, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet in 2017, she and her family decided to set up an Always Loved Tribute Fund in her memory. Here, Natalie shares how this helps the family to collect memories and photographs of Ronda in one place, as well as providing a secure way for family and friends to donate directly to Pilgrims Hospices.
Much of what has happened in the last six months has been a blur to me. This, of course, does have its advantages when you lose a mum like ours; it can buffer the pain of the loss, but coming back to reality is a hard shock and continues to be so. Mum was one of those beautiful people in life that no one ever forgot; she enriched everyone’s lives, far and wide, with great big outstretched arms that were never-ending with time, love and compassion for everyone.
Mum always loved her garden and flowers. During her illness many flowers arrived at the house; each time I would open them for her, she would look at them and then cry. ‘Oh Nattie, people are just so lovely and caring’, she would say through the tears. She was always thinking about the efforts other people took, but never her own. Towards the end she wanted people to stop sending flowers, saying the smell was ‘too strong’ and ‘too close’. I think this was one of her ways of letting go, letting people know it was soon to end. It was her way of telling people to let go of her, to ease their pain.
Our Much Loved Tribute Fund allows us to see thoughts and messages that people have written about Mum and to add photos. I’m sure we will use this page for years to come, showing it to our children and remembering Mum on special days by adding to the site.
Charity was very close to Mum’s heart and she supported many organisations. We knew she would want donations for a charitable cause rather than money spent on flowers (which she didn’t like the smell of anyway and had clearly told us so!)
Our Much Loved Tribute Fund was set up whilst we were planning Mum’s memorial service; I don’t really remember how it came about, it must have been in one of ‘the blurs’ that I set it up online.
It has been invaluable to us, and to family and friends as a secure way to donate directly to Pilgrims. We’re really proud of what we have achieved financially, and continue to raise funds through various activities. Our Much Loved Tribute Fund allows us to see thoughts and messages that people have written about Mum and to add photos. I’m sure we will use this page for years to come, showing it to our children and remembering Mum on special days by added to the site. Many people spoke at her memorial service, and we are currently putting these beautiful words on to the site so that everyone can have access, keeping thoughts of Mum very much alive.
Pilgrims made a heartbreaking time for us more bearable than we can ever express to them. They continue to support my sister and I now, as well as our children.
At the moment our Much Loved Tribute Fund is almost a focal point for us as we are about to embark on various coffee mornings in France, where I live, to support Pilgrims, and the Paws 4 Pilgrims dog walk in Deal on 25 March 2018. It is definitely helping us to do the best that we can to raise funds for Pilgrims, who were astounding in their care, compassion and professionalism for our darling Mummy. Pilgrims made a heartbreaking time for us more bearable than we can ever express to them. They continue to support my sister and I now, as well as our children. We are forever in debt to them.
If you’d like to set up an Always Loved Tribute Fund in memory of a loved one please visit www.pilgrimshospices.org/alwaysloved or contact Sophie or Sara on 01227 782 066.