Many people who visit the Hospice of the Good Shepherd are surprised at the wide range of services and support we offer to our patients and their families. Many people think that a Hospice is somewhere people just go to spend their last few days, however we offer so much more.
Part of our service is to care for and support family members as well as patients and this care is delivered by our Family Support team. This includes the award-winning West Cheshire Bereavement Service and Reflect Children & Young People’s Bereavement Service. Both services provide bereavement support and counselling for adults and children in the West Cheshire area.
When Paul’s wife Melissa died in 2012 it left him as sole parent to their two children, Alyisha and Lucas, who were just 6 and 3 at the time. Looking back Paul said;
“I didn’t want my children to be treated differently at school just because their mum had died. I wanted my children to understand that they were no different to anyone else.”
Paul supported St Teresa’s Primary school getting in-touch with Reflect to arrange to see the children for one to one counselling. Paul knew that the children had different ways of remembering and expressing their feelings and that as they got older they would understand memories from a different perspective. Paul said;
“Whilst I knew there was no right or wrong way to grieve what was really helpful to me was that I knew I could pick up the phone and ask one of the Reflect counsellors for advice and that the children could have more counselling if they needed it. The children could also attend a monthly group session as and when they wanted to and the 3 of us were invited to remembering days. Those days gave Alyisha and Lucas the opportunity to be with other children who’d also lost a parent, however it was in a more fun environment and it was great seeing them smile again over time.”
Looking back over the last 7 years Paul said he was thankful for the support they all received from Reflect; “I never thought I’d be where I am now and the children are doing really well in school. They still have their memory boxes and every year we still put up the Christmas decorations they made at one of the remembering days.“