Trees of Love: Pam’s story

Pam Goodwin attends Trees of Love every year in memory of her husband, Charles. Here, she shares how the festive service helps her to reflect on Charles’ life at such a special time of year.


Chas and I were married for 38 years and have three children and a grandchild whom he loved dearly. He was a funny, intelligent man who loved DIY and gardening. Tools were his passion, and he loved growing vegetables for the family. We lived in London before moving down to Thanet for the last two years of his life, and it was the best decision we ever made because he got much better care here than he would have received in London.

It gives me the opportunity to remember Chas in the weeks before Christmas, and the opportunity to reflect on my loss with the support of others around me who understand.

Pam

Chas had cancer for many years, and after long hospital visits he just wanted to be able to stay at home for as long as possible. So after a referral we had a lovely Pilgrims nurse visit our home on a weekly basis during his last four months. It was such a great help. The thing about Pilgrims is they weren’t just there for Charles, they were supportive to me and the family as well. They really understood what we were going through, so when it came to moving him into the hospice for the last 10 days of his life it felt natural.

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Charles

They were so professional, but they also didn’t make us feel unwanted or in the way – we were seen as part of the furniture. We were able to visit whenever we wanted to, and when we were there we were so looked after, they were always offering us food and cups of tea. I was at home when they phoned to ask if I wanted to come in that afternoon as they thought he didn’t have long, and this meant that I and two of our children were able to be at his side at the end.

Pilgrims were absolutely wonderful, not just when Charles was ill, but afterwards as well. I went to Trees of Love eight months after he died. I went alone, and started chatting to a man next to me who had lost his wife. I found such comfort in sharing our stories and experiences, and this is why Trees of Love is so important to me. It gives me the opportunity to remember Chas in the weeks before Christmas, and the opportunity to reflect on my loss with the support of others around me who understand.


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.