For John Barrett, losing his wife of 28 years Josie to cancer was devastating, but he can take comfort in knowing the end of her life was spent in Eden Valley Hospice being cared for by the dedicated and compassionate staff.
“Josie was a marvellous lady, and that’s all there was to it,” John says.
After suffering with a stroke and cancer, in February 2021 Josie was admitted to the hospice for end-of-life care and while it was a particularly sad time for John and Josie’s family, he remembers fondly the care they received.
“The doctors came in and explained everything, the nurses couldn’t do enough for us, it was unbelievable, John recalls.
“I can’t thank the hospice enough what for they have done for us. They couldn’t have done anything more, they were marvellous, I hold them in the highest regard. Anybody you speak to that has had someone in there say the same thing, it’s a marvellous place.”
Josie died after spending around a week in the hospice and ever since, John has supported the charity where he can with donations and by playing the lottery and in raffles.
John attended counselling sessions with the hospice’s specialist bereavement counselling team following Josie’s death to help him with his grief. Once those sessions came to an end, he continued to be supported by the hospice by being a member of their Walk & Talk group. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month in Chances Park, in Morton, Carlisle and is open to anyone, not just those who’ve been previously had a connection with the hospice.
The meetups have become a fixture in John’s calendar, and he encourages others to join in.
“I do really enjoy this walk, I really look forward to going, it’s marvellous,” John continued.
“It’s good company and good craic, bringing people together from different areas. When you first go along, they are all strangers, but I’ve loved meeting new people and making new friends.
“We have a nice coffee and something to eat afterwards. It’s something different, see I was a farmer and I then worked at the auction for a lot of years, so it’s meeting different people.