On 1st April, the Peters family will be attending our Lights on the Lawn in memory event which is designed to pay tribute to loved ones no longer with us. Mum Marie and children Chloe and Jordan will be dedicating a special candle to mark the birthday month of their dad and husband Carl, who sadly passed away from Motor Neurone Disease in October 2021.
The family were already aware of CancerCare and knowing that they could self-refer at any time was a huge help for Marie and her children.
“We all understood that Carl was terminally ill, and we initially questioned how therapy would make it all better. But, we found the support from CancerCare gave us the inner peace to deal with everything that happened over such a short period of time. It’s Carl’s birthday on 23rd April so being able to come together as a family to remember him at the start of his birthday month whilst supporting the charity that did so much to help us after his death will be very special for us,” said Marie.
Chloe, aged 26, selflessly gave up her job to care for her dad during the latter stages of his illness. During this time, she received support at our centre in Lancaster with aromatherapist Dany Brown and was also later rereferred for some counselling in Morecambe with therapist Helen Fry.
Caring for dad was isolating and when the rest of the family went back to work this feeling heightened so when they came home, I used this time for myself. CancerCare’s support was invaluable, just having an hour out every other week to have aromatherapy massage was just fab. I had a lot of strain on my back from supporting dad which went away with the help of Dany. After dad passed away, I thought that talking about what happened wouldn’t change anything. I was extremely wrong! It’s very hard to describe the process you go through but in 4-5 sessions I felt like a new person,” said Chloe.
Feeling reluctant to access our services and only trying it to “tick the box” of trying therapy both Marie and Jordan soon realised that the space and time with a therapist was much more than just somewhere to process what had happened.
“I was able to cry, smile and be vulnerable. At first, I couldn’t walk in the centre but after the first few weeks I started to feel proud of what I was doing. Knowing that there was someone there that offers support is priceless,” said Marie
“Throughout dad's illness I felt helpless, upset and angry about what was happening to him. I wished there was something that could’ve been done to get him back to his old self, but I knew his condition was going to worsen. I was apprehensive about starting counselling due to not having done anything similar before and, being a young man, I didn’t know anyone else who had done it. The support helped me by simply having a space to talk about my emotions and why I felt like I did. I think I would’ve been in a much worse place, mentally, if I hadn’t come to CancerCare,” said Jordan.
Lights on the Lawn will be an opportunity for families to get together to celebrate and remember the lives of a lost loved one whilst being surrounded by nature and the illuminated beautiful gardens.