Grief is a profound emotion that touches all of us at some point in our lives. For Brenda, aged 82, the unexpected loss of her beloved sister, Barbara, left her in a state of overwhelming grief and pain. In her darkest moments, Brenda sought support from Nottinghamshire Hospice, and the compassionate care she received helped her find the strength to heal.
Brenda and Barbara were not just sisters; they were the closest of friends. They had shared their lives since childhood, growing up in Radford where their family ran a paper shop. After completing their schooling, both worked in office jobs at the Players company in Nottingham. Brenda fondly remembers their connection, saying, "Barbara lived a five-minute drive away, and we were always there for each other. She was a true pal."
Tragedy struck when Brenda received a call from her niece, informing her that Barbara was in the hospital with a cancer diagnosis and sepsis. In just a few days, Barbara had passed away, leaving Brenda in a state of shock and deep sorrow. The loss was compounded by the fact that Brenda was unaware of her sister's illness until it was too late. Grief took hold, affecting Brenda both emotionally and physically. She recalls, "I couldn't cope. I didn't want to leave the house. I have arthritis, and the pain grew worse."
Recognising the need for support, Brenda visited her GP, who identified her symptoms as grief and recommended grief counselling. He provided her with two contact numbers, one of which was Nottinghamshire Hospice. Brenda made the call, and to her surprise, found that help was readily available. She recalls, "A weight was lifted from my shoulders."
Brenda embarked on a journey of healing with Nottinghamshire Hospice, receiving 12 sessions of one-to-one emotional support. These sessions allowed her to express her feelings and experiences openly and were a lifeline during her darkest days. "For me, speaking one-to-one with someone was brilliant," Brenda says. "When I came out after the sessions, I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders."
Brenda's husband, Michael, stood by her side throughout her healing process. While Brenda attended her counselling sessions, he spent time in the hospice's garden, engaging with the team of gardening volunteers. Together, they found solace and support as they navigated Brenda's grief.
Today, Brenda is in a much better place, and she attributes this transformation to the care she received from Nottinghamshire Hospice. She is once again enjoying days out with her family, which includes her own two children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Brenda has also grown closer to Barbara's family.
Brenda's advice to anyone facing grief is simple but powerful: "Make that call!" She didn't initially realise she needed help, but the support she received was invaluable. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to connect with the hospice team during her time of need.
She is now considering volunteering at the hospice, Brenda wants to give back and say "thank you" for the help she received. Her story is a shining example of how community support can transform lives during moments of deep grief.
Nottinghamshire Hospice recognise the profound impact of grief and loss. Their Bereavement Services offer counselling and emotional assistance to individuals coping with the pain of losing a loved one. However, the need for their services is growing, and we invite you to play Your Hospice Lottery to ensure that they can keep assisting people like Brenda in finding hope and healing.
For just £1 a week, you can be part of a caring community that reaches out to those facing their most challenging times.