14th November 2022

    Trees of Love: Christina’s story

    Christina Johnson supports Trees of Love in memory of her mum, Julie.

    Here, she shares why she chooses to remember Julie in this way.


    Our family – my mum and her husband, Terry, and two daughters, myself and Sarah – was originally from London, but later moved to Sandgate to be by the sea and the countryside.

    My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, which then spread, and she sadly passed away in March 2016. 

    Pilgrims Hospice Ashford cared for my mum from November 2015 until March 2016. We had no idea what to expect, but we felt Mum had the best end-of-life care. Their service was exceptional, and it was reassuring knowing that she was being looked after so well. Mum always said she felt she was in a nice hotel! The staff were so kind and friendly, making Mum laugh, with time for conversation.

    Trees of Love is such a special event for us, and we attend every year. Christmas time is hard and feels different now Mum is no longer with us. By joining other families at this event who have lost loved ones, we draw comfort, and enjoy the time to come together to remember our dear mum.

    Christina

    My mum always liked to look her best. The side effects of chemotherapy made her lose her confidence, but Pilgrims Hospices provided a volunteer beautician, who gave Mum a lovely pedicure in her room. The little extras they do for people are wonderful. She even enjoyed a little glass of red wine on some evenings!

    Trees of Love is such a special event for us, and we attend every year. Christmas time is hard and feels different now Mum is no longer with us. By joining other families at this event who have lost loved ones, we draw comfort, and enjoy the time to come together to remember our dear mum. The hanging doves on the trees are a wonderful, personalised tribute to each individual family, for their lost loved ones. The beautiful lit-up gardens at Pilgrims Hospice Ashford, and the music and prayers, bring us both joy and comfort. 

    Pilgrims Hospices will always be a part of our lives. It helps us to feel connected to our mum and keep her memory alive. 


    Trees of Love events will take place at our hospices in Ashford, Canterbury and Thanet at 5pm on Saturday 3 December 2022.

    There will be a filmed service released on the Pilgrims Hospices YouTube channel at midday on Saturday 3 December.

    We also offer indoor services with seating across our east Kent community:

    • Firmager, St Nicholas Church, New Romney, 3pm on Saturday 3 December 2022
    • St Peter and St Paul Church, River, Dover, 4pm on Sunday 4 December 2022
    • All Souls Church, Cheriton, Folkestone, 5pm on Sunday 4 December 2022
    • Barham Crematorium, Barham, 4.30pm on Thursday 15 December 2022
    • Charing Crematorium, Charing, 4.30pm on Friday 16 December 2022

    To dedicate a dove in memory of a loved one please visit pilgrimshospices.org/treesoflove or contact our Supporter Relations team:

    You can also post a message and a photo in memory of your loved one on our online Trees of Love memory wall.


    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 Programme.

Go back