Trees of Love: Kirsty’s story

Kirsty Beaumont attends Trees of Love every year in memory of her mum, Valerie. Here, she shares why dedicating a dove to her mum and placing it on the tree is so important.


My mum was the life and soul. She was always on the go and loved a party – even drove up to Scotland and back in a day so as not to miss one!

She was a primary school teacher for 20 years. She loved sports, would watch as much as she could, and coached football at her primary school in Deal. She was always so healthy and strong, so when she was taken to A&E in December 2017 it was a real shock to all of us. It was my birthday when we were told she had a brain tumour, and by January we knew that that she wouldn’t have long left.

Mum died in June 2018, and that Christmas I was invited to the Trees of Love remembrance. It’s near my birthday and just seemed like such a lovely idea, which is why it’s really important for me to remember Mum with a dove.

Kirsty

Our first experience of Pilgrims was when Mum was admitted for a week to help manage her pain. Mum loved it there, she received the best care. She couldn’t quite believe her luck when the drinks trolley came around and she was offered a glass of wine! They made her feel so much better, and when she came home she was like her old self again for a while.

It was just a few months later that she came back into Pilgrims for her final two weeks. Mum had become confused, which I found distressing, but the nurses were amazing stepping in and supporting me, encouraging me to keep talking to her every time I visited.

Mum died in June 2018, and that Christmas I was invited to the Trees of Love remembrance. It’s near my birthday and just seemed like such a lovely idea, which is why it’s really important for me to remember Mum with a dove. That is why I’m taking part again this year.


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
  • St Leonard’s Church, Hythe – Date and time TBC

To dedicate a dove in memory of a loved one please visit pilgrimshospices.org/treesoflove 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.