Express & Star

Annual service offers comfort to those who have lost loved ones

A service to remember lost loved ones has been held to give Black Country families and friends an opportunity to come together and grieve.

Bereavement Nurse Specialist, Stacey Owen, with Tony Thomas (photo: The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust)

The Annual Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving, which was attended by more than 50 people, took place at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s (RWT) New Cross Hospital.

To coincide with Dying Matters Week (6-12 May), families were able to light a candle and place a note in the hospital’s remembrance book and on its memory tree.

Bereavement and Chaplaincy specialists were in attendance, giving specialist advice and support.

Reverend Joe Fielder, Chaplaincy Team Leader at RWT, led the service, said: "Grieving is a journey in which we all need support. The service we offer is a compassionate stepping stone in the journey of recovery."

Joe was also joined by Ahmed Salloo, Muslim Chaplain, and Shyam Singh, Sikh Chaplain to offer support to those of faith and to those of none.

Bereavement Nurse Specialist, Stacey Owen, shared empowering poems and offered one to one support alongside other colleagues.

She said: “We are a mixture of culture and different beliefs but one thing we all have in common is that we grieve.

“Not only are we here to provide a service on the day, but we are also for patients, their families and members of the public to offer support and advice in their bereavement.”

Tony Thomas, 62, was among those who attended and spoke of losing his wife, Jan Thomas, who died last year.

Jan was battling ovarian cancer for five years and the family cannot thank their NHS “heroes” enough for the care they received during her illness and following her death.

Tony, forklift driver from Wolverhampton, said: “When Jan passed, the Swan Suite were so supportive and respected all our wishes. They are real life heroes.

“She was laid in the chapel of rest, and my family and I were able to grieve with her by my side. It did make me feel at ease.

“I miss her more every day if that’s even possible, but without the Bereavement Nurses, I wouldn’t be able to carry on. I attend the hospital once a month and staff are there whenever we need them.”

The Trust’s Bereavement Nurses can be contacted on 01902 444072 for anyone who needs support.

By Amy Downward - Contributor

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