Sunflower Memories: John’s story

After John Marchant’s wife, Betty, was cared for by Pilgrims Hospices, he now dedicates a sunflower in hey memory as part of the charity’s annual Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, John shares how it helps him to remember Betty and ensure that Pilgrims can continue to support other families in the future.

I knew Betty for 61 years and we were married for 58, so it was a wrench to lose her after all that time and I miss her terribly.

Sunflower Memories helps both me and the hospice and long may it continue.


Although I was lucky enough to have her at home with me in her last months, the Pilgrims Hospices ‘girls’ came in regularly to look after her (and me) and I shall be forever grateful to them, hence my continuing support.

Betty was an attractive, intelligent woman and a really good friend. We enjoyed the same things, especially on Exmoor, our favourite holiday destination. I still go back there to remember her.

Sunflower Memories helps both me and the hospice and long may it continue.

Due to COVID-19, Sunflower Memories will take place online in July 2020.

Although we’re not holding events in our hospice gardens this year, we hope you will join us for an online remembrance throughout July, culminating in a special celebration on Saturday 25 July at 2:00pm.

If you’d like to dedicate a sunflower in memory of a loved one please visit or contact the team:

If you or someone you know is coping with a life limiting illness and you think you may benefit from Pilgrims free services, talk to your GP or Healthcare Professional about your options or click here to read about our Wellbeing and Social Programme.