Richard’s Story…


Richard’s Story…

I am so grateful to all the team at ACCORD, for all the support they gave my mum and continue to give the family and I.

I have decided to take part in the Kiltwalk this year in memory of my mum and to support ACCORD Hospice.

I am so grateful to all the team at ACCORD, for all the support they gave my mum and continue to give the family and I. They really are a vital local service and need your support.

As a nurse I have on many occasions had the privilege and honour of nursing palliative and end of life patients. I had the complete honour of supporting my mum with her end of life and can honestly say it was the hardest thing I have ever done and going through it I now realise how truly precious and fragile life is.

Over the years as a nurse I have learned, through these experiences how to care for palliative and end of life patients, and have supported so many patients and families through these difficult times. From my mum’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, I had the honour of supporting one of the most caring, compassionate, loving, brave and sincere person I have ever met, my mum!

As my brother and I both inherited my mum’s caring and loving nature we both became nurses and we were able to carry out ‘last offices’ for my mum and help my mum one last time before we had to say goodbye. For those of you who do not know last offices are the procedures performed, usually by a nurse, to the body of a dead person shortly after death has been confirmed which we were both honoured to be able to do. But doing this took it’s toll on me psychologically, ACCORD have supported me the whole time and even now to remember my mum the way she was; beautiful, loving, compassionate, brave and caring. Mhairi, Joy and the Parent Loss Group really did bring me through the darkest years of my life.

When I look back at my grief and how I felt, It was the hardest thing to explain or talk about, I learned with ACCORDs help to use imagery and I now describe it like sitting in a dark field, I couldn’t see the end of the field I could walk through this field for hours in all directions and never find the way out or find anyone to help, I felt lost and alone and didn’t know what way to turn to escape this darkness. It was truly terrifying and overwhelming but with the love and support of my wife, family, friends and the Hospice I found a gate and they helped me walk through it.

With my daughter due in April, I don’t want to stop walking now I have found my way, so felt like the Kiltwalk was a fitting continuation to my journey through life. Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.

When I think of my mum I now remember her in a positive way and for who she was, my mum was always looking out for everyone else, without a care for herself. That was just who she was, always looking out for everyone around her. She has taught me so much throughout my life, however the things that I want to hold on to and share with my daughter is the love she had for everyone! She forgave quickly and loved always. All my mum has taught and shared with me has made me feel ready for this next chapter in my life.

My mum is sadly missed by not only me, but by everyone who knew and loved her!

I love you mum, more than words can say.

Thanks to you and thanks to the team at Accord Hospice for all they do.