Trees of Love: Evelyn’s story
Evelyn White attends Trees of Love in memory of her husband, Bob. Here, she explains why the festive remembrance service is so important for her family.
Robert and I met in 1994 at Whitehall where we both worked. We had both been married before, and between us we have three daughters, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
He preferred to be called Bob. He was an intelligent man with a mathematical brain, a family man who had an affinity with animals and children. He wasn’t afraid to say what he felt and, in turn, he liked you to be honest with him. You could talk to him about anything and everything, particularly if something was upsetting you, if you didn’t understand or just wanted advice.
He was a hard worker and thought nothing of working seven days a week if money was needed for a holiday or to help the family.
Although the pain does not go away, it is really nice that there is always a place that we and other families can come together to celebrate the life of a loved one at Trees of Love, and dedicate a dove at Christmas. The support Pilgrims gives when we feel so low and don’t know what to do or where to turn is amazing, and it means a lot that we are not forgotten.
In 2014 Bob started getting ill and I took early retirement to look after him. We moved to a bungalow in Herne Bay and he got better. We all thought that everything was going to be ok, but in 2017 he took a turn for the worse. It was at that point we started to talk about his end of life.
My mum talked about her friend who volunteered every Monday at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet. I had never heard of this charity before. Little did we know that Bob would be transferred there. When he was in the hospice we didn’t know what to expect, we were so upset but the nurses were so good. We could talk to them, ask questions and nothing – and I mean nothing – was too much trouble. When Bob was alert the nurses would sit with us, talk, laugh and get him anything he asked for. On the 15 August 2017, myself and Bob’s daughter’s, Sarah and Lisa, stayed overnight at the hospice and in the morning of 16 August he passed away.
Two years have passed and we all miss him still. Although the pain does not go away, it is really nice that there is always a place that we and other families can come together to celebrate the life of a loved one at Trees of Love, and dedicate a dove at Christmas. The support Pilgrims gives when we feel so low and don’t know what to do or where to turn is amazing, and it means a lot that we are not forgotten.
Trees of Love outdoor services will take place at our hospices in Ashford, Canterbury 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 pilgrimshospices.org/treesoflove or contact Sara or Ellie:
- Telephone: 01227 782 066
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.