After Cess Crascall’s husband, Robert ‘Cracker’ Crascall, was cared for by Pilgrims Hospices, she now dedicates a sunflower in his memory as part of the charity’s Sunflower Memories campaign.
Here, Cess shares how the annual celebration helps her family to remember Cracker.
In December 2017, my husband Bobby and I spent his last 10 days in Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury, and they were wonderful. After being in and out of hospital for several weeks following the return of prostate cancer after six years of remission, he really relaxed as soon as he got to the hospice. He was comfortable and chatty – always sharing banter with all the brilliant nurses there, they even used his nickname, Cracker!
The hospice is not a sad place at all, we got time there and we will never forget it. Loads of his friends came to visit, getting drinks at the pub next door, and all sitting round the bed while Bobby enjoyed a Guinness. On his last night, our nephew came and we talked all through the night, and even though Bobby wasn’t able to contribute much, it was lovely to know that we were able to be there with him. The following afternoon he passed, with our son, Arron, daughter, Amy, and myself by his side. As a family we felt very lucky to be able to be together.
My daughter and I went together in 2018 to our first Sunflower Memories, it was such a wonderful day and so nice to feel part of the celebration. Sunflowers has become so important to us, the ‘sunshine flower’ is a reminder of Cracker and the amazing care we received.
I still cannot get over the care we received – Bobby deserved the best and he got it. Being able to stay with him from the moment he got there, until his last moments was just unbelievable. You just can’t get that anywhere else.
As part of a fundraising group called The Sunshine Girls, I knew when I heard about the hospice’s summer remembrance that I needed to take part. My daughter and I went together in 2018 to our first Sunflower Memories, it was such a wonderful day and so nice to feel part of the celebration. Sunflowers has become so important to us, the ‘sunshine flower’ is a reminder of Cracker and the amazing care we received. I will be remembering Bobby with a sunflower again this year, as a way of giving back and thanking the hospice for all they have done for us.
In those 10 days I got my life as a wife back; having cared for him at home, I could relax with him and sleep at the hospice alongside him. We will never forget the care, support and kindness shown to us and all my family.
Long may Pilgrims continue.
Sunflower Memories events will take place at our hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet on Saturday 24 July 2021.
When you book, you’ll be allocated a 30-minute time slot in which you can visit your chosen hospice, so we can ensure the event is COVID-secure.
If you’d like to dedicate a sunflower in memory of a loved one, please visit pilgrimshospices.org/sunflowers.
If you’d prefer to remember from home, please visit our online Memory Wall where you can post pictures and messages in honour of your loved one as part of our annual summer remembrance.