After Kathleen Poole’s father, George, was cared for by Pilgrims Hospices, she now dedicates a sunflower in his memory as part of the charity’s annual Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, Kathleen shares how it helps her to remember George and support local hospice care at the same time.
My father, George, was first introduced to Pilgrims Hospices when the team got in touch with him to offer help at home. A Pilgrims nurse came to visit him a few times to help with his medication and keep him comfortable. At first, he really didn’t want to go into the hospice, but later he changed his mind.
He loved the summer – it was his favourite time of year – so it feels appropriate to remember him then, and every year I bring his sunflower home to keep in my garden.
The care he was given at the Canterbury hospice was so good, and so different to what we had at the hospital. It was such a calm and peaceful place – they made my father feel calmer. They gave him so much care and attention, even if he wasn’t aware of it – bringing water to the table and washing him. They were so good with him, and our family was made to feel welcome to stay and treated so well I could spend all day with my father without feeling in the way. We never felt abandoned when leaving the hospice; I knew they were still looking after him even when I wasn’t there.
This is why I now take part in Sunflower Memories, because it’s such a good way to support the hospice and remember my father. It allows me to give back to the place that made him feel like he was important – they treated him like a person, not a number. He loved the summer – it was his favourite time of year – so it feels appropriate to remember him then, and every year I bring his sunflower home to keep in my garden.
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 pilgrimshospices.org/sunflowers or contact the team: