Trees of Love: Christine’s story

Christine Knight attends Trees of Love every year in memory of her mum, Ada. Here, she explains how coming together with others who have a connection to Pilgrims helps her to give back.

My mum was a strong, often misunderstood woman, she always kept everything very close. But underneath it all, she was very soft and vulnerable. When she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that all changed, and she really started to open up to me. I even found out she had been blind in one eye her entire life and I’d never known!

Mum was extremely active, always doing everything for herself, well into her late eighties. So we only went to the doctors when I saw her one day looking yellow, and it was then we got the cancer diagnosis.

It’s our way of giving back to the place that gave Mum such care, and through Trees of Love we feel we are beginning to pay back that kindness.



She stayed at home for as long as I could look after her, then she said she would like to move to the hospice. She was only there for four days, but they were four days I will never forget. The care for both my mum and her family had such an impact on all of us. I was so amazed by the incredible support they gave to us – always offering toast, chocolate, biscuits and tea.

When Mum died in February 2012 it hit us all very hard, but the care we had been provided was so good I felt I had enough closure not to need the hospice’s bereavement support. We gave Mum’s funeral collections to Pilgrims and were sent an invite to Trees of Love, and it seemed such a wonderful idea. The first time I went it was very emotional, but I felt it was where I needed to be because it was where I saw my mum last, and I felt such a connection to the hospice. My husband has given me the support to come back every year and dedicate a dove. I enjoy the company, and being able to share with people who have been through the same experiences as us. It’s our way of giving back to the place that gave Mum such care, and through Trees of Love we feel we are beginning to pay back that kindness.

Trees of Love outdoor services will take place at our hospices in AshfordCanterbury and Thanet at 5pm on Saturday 7 December 2019.

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

  • All Souls Church, Cheriton, Folkestone, 5pm on Sunday 1 December
  • Barham Crematorium, Barham, 4.30pm on Friday 13 December
  • Charing Crematorium, Charing, 4.30pm on Friday 13 December
  • Assembly Rooms, New Romney, 3pm on Saturday 14 December
  • St Peter and St Paul Church, River, Dover, 4pm on Saturday 14 December

To dedicate a dove in memory of a loved one please visit or contact Sara or Ellie:

This year, 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.