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Relative of West Essex about End of Life Care



My Mum was able to die peacefully at home with help from the St. Clare's Hospice

My Mum had angina – and then it got really bad. I was looking after her and I did that until she died at the age of 50. She had told me what she wanted – burial, not cremation. She had chosen everything about the funeral, including a piper – which we then arranged. It was difficult to talk about it, but me and my sisters didn’t want to get to the point of arguing about things after she had died, so we had the conversation. We are all quite headstrong! So I think she knew that everything needed to be clear! Even down to the flowers and the donations to the Hospice. She went to St. Clare’s for respite. She used to go for the day originally and then we had a MacMillan nurse coming round. And then when I couldn’t cope any more, the cavalry arrived!! (I mean the home team from the Hospice). People should know that it is possible to organise a peaceful and happy atmosphere in the last days – it wasn’t a horrible thing. She knew she didn’t have long and we were able to spend time sorting things out and deciding what would happen to her stuff and who would get what. It was calm and peaceful, that’s the most important thing. At the end, she encouraged me to go away for a few days – a little trip I had got already arranged with friends. I said “no, I won’t go” because we knew she was dying of course. I think she knew she was going to go and she didn’t want me to be there at the end itself. That’s what she chose and because we had spent so much time together and I had looked after her all that time and we had talked and organised everything, it was fine. (Now I am still good friends with one of the home care team)

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