Kathy and Alan’s Light up a Life Story: “It was a beautiful, uplifting celebration of our loved ones’ lives.”
20th October 2023< BACK TO NEWS
October 2023 marks one year since Kathy’s husband Alan passed away – a few weeks later, she attended our Light up a Life service in Bridport. This is their story, about their care for Weldmar and how Light up a Life provided comfort.
In 1997, Kathy and her girlfriends decided to enjoy some sun and booked a holiday to Majorca. Whilst sat on the beach, Kathy spotted ‘a very handsome man’, who turned out to be Alan, a hairdresser who lived on the island.
After some hesitancy (both thinking the other was Spanish!) they got talking, and that was the start of their 26 years together.
“We were so happy, and they were wonderful times,” says Kathy. “We came back to the UK as Alan’s mum, Joan, was in her 90s and needed caring for. After she passed, we moved to Bridport because Alan had always loved this part of the coast, and we made lots of fantastic friends here.”
As 2021 arrived, things weren’t right with Alan. The appearance of a lump, just under his ribs, prompted an urgent visit to the doctor, and Alan was diagnosed with liver cancer. Following the initial shock and upset, Kathy describes how they made a pact:
“Alan said, every morning that I wake up we’re going to be happy and make the most of our time together.”
“So we did something lovely every day, enjoyed our garden, saw family and friends, all despite the difficult treatment. We also were married at St Saviour’s, the beautiful tin church in Dottery.”
The couple were introduced to Weldmar Hospicecare at this time. They were visited at home by Weldmar Community Nurses who provided support and guidance.
An occupational therapist helped to ensure Alan could be independent as much as possible, and arranged a bed and other useful equipment.
Alan had an in depth conversation with a spiritual care volunteer, discussed options with a Weldmar doctor, and later started to receive visits from Weldmar at Home to provide care, including night visits so that Kathy could get a good night’s sleep herself.
Alan passed away peacefully in October 2022.
As Kathy later wrote to Weldmar, “We’re so thankful to you all for the invaluable emotional support; the magnificent carers who came with such utter dedication, loving care, and laughter. We were truly blessed that Alan was able to spend the last weeks of his precious life in the home we loved, only possible with all your help, support and kindness.”
It was just a few weeks later when Kathy attended the Light Up A Life service in Bridport. “It was a beautiful, uplifting celebration of our loved ones’ lives. It was very emotional and magical. I’ll go every year.”
“Even if you’re not religious it doesn’t matter, it’s such a lovely, spiritual, moving way to remember your loved one, and it gives you comfort to know Weldmar is still thinking about you.”
We want to say a big thank you to Kathy for sharing her story.