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Throughout August, there will be a display of colourful sunflower markers at the hospice, each bearing the name of a loved one for whom a donation has been made.
As well as enabling people to remember the life of a loved one, the Sunflower Memories Appeal will help to ensure that St Barnabas can continue to care for others as every donation will go directly towards providing vital care services, both at the hospice and for patients needing support in their own homes.
David Rolf, 81 from Shoreham-by-Sea, and his daughter, Launa Rolf will be dedicating a sunflower to their beloved wife and mother, Mary Rolf, who spent nearly six weeks as a patient at the hospice before her death on 9 February 2019.
Discovering his wife, Mary, had Stage 4 ovarian cancer was so shocking to David that it remains to this day as immediate as when he first heard the shattering news.
“Mary had always made it clear that she wanted to spend her last days in the care of the hospice where she would feel safe,” he said.
“Thanks to the outstanding clinical and other care that Mary received, shortly before the end I said to her, ‘Are you calm?’, to which she whispered, ‘Yes’, and, ‘Are you in any pain?’, ‘No’. Absolutely everyone did everything to make Mary’s last weeks peaceful.
“How can I repay the huge debt of gratitude that I owe to everyone concerned? Impossible I believe, apart from continuing to do what I can to support the hospice’s inspiring care for all who come to it in need.”
David’s daughter, Launa, has only commendation and praise for St Barnabas House after the care her mum received during her final days at the hospice.
“What overwhelmed us was that whilst Mum was being treated at the hospice she continued to live on with her unique individuality where her own strengths were considered every single day by the people who cared for and engaged with her,” she said.
“The room where she spent her days was beautiful; airy and bright, overlooking a garden where she would watch the bushes and trees in the wind, rain and sunshine. She enjoyed watching the birds who visited and ate from the bird feeders; this became such an important aspect to Mum’s psychological wellbeing, knowing that a little of the outside was with her inside her room.
“She enjoyed watching the birds who visited and ate from the bird feeders; this became such an important aspect to mum’s psychological wellbeing, knowing that a little of the outside was with her inside her room.”
This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual gathering at the hospice will be replaced with a special virtual dedication on Friday 21 August. This will enable everyone to take part, including those that are still shielding or self-isolating.
An online dedication page has been set up to allow supporters to pay tribute to their loved one, by adding photos and a personal message so memories can be shared with family and friends, wherever they are in the world.
To take part in Sunflower Memories and make an online dedication visit www.stbh.org.uk/sunflowermemories