Hospice care for Margaret inspires yearly Christmas tribute
Margaret was cared for at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool before her death in December 2011. Margaret always loved Christmas, and now every year her husband Billy decorates the hospice as a tribute to her.
“Margaret and I got married six months after we met, and we were married for nearly 50 years,” says Billy. “Everybody loved Margaret and she was good to everyone. She particularly loved Christmas. She would buy all the presents, have the tree decorated, and loved to see the look on the grandkids’ faces when they opened up their presents.
“Margaret was ill for about two and a half years before she was properly diagnosed with cancer. As she got more poorly, she started going to the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool once a week for a meal. Then she started staying at the hospice during the week, but would spend the weekend at home.
"Like one big family"
“All the staff at the Liverpool hospice – from the nurses to the cleaners – were tremendously good. They made sure I could stay the night with Margaret so I could be there with her all the time. Everyone at the hospice was like one big happy family; everybody knew how we were all feeling which really helped.
“Towards the end of the year, Margaret became very ill. Christmas always mattered to Margaret ever since she was a little girl, so we brought some decorations in from home to put up in her room. We put a Christmas tree up in the entrance of the hospice and had a little service, with everyone singing around the tree. It was lovely.
“Margaret died on 7 December 2011. That night I just knew I should get everyone together and the whole family was there with her. Since then, my sons and I have carried on decorating the hospice for Christmas every year. I go and buy the tree and take it in and decorate it. It’s really nice to do it every year and see how much everyone appreciates it.
“It’s been almost four years but sometimes it feels like it just happened yesterday. Decorating the hospice at Christmas time helps me cope in a way – it’s a tribute to Margaret.”
Supporting and caring for people like Margaret and Billy through our hospices is so important, especially at this time of year. You can help families get the most from the time they have left together by funding our Hospice day care services this Christmas.