A daughter has outlined how a hospice care service which has a base in Aylesbury helped her overcome two bereavements.
In just five weeks Heather lost both her dad and former father-in-law, she believes counselling helped her move on in life.
Also, the Rennie Grove team helped her deal with the complex mix of emotions she felt after they passed away.
“Losing my dad has made me face the feelings I’ve been running from all my life,” says Heather.
“With Rennie Grove’s help I faced them head on, unravelled them and finally made peace with them.”
Heather didn’t ask for help straight away. But she began to feel increasingly overwhelmed after her dad died.
She added: “I wasn’t sleeping, I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t recognise myself."
Lisa Jackson who heads the family support service for the charity, knows from experience that everyone grieves differently, and that people might need help at different points along the way.
“Dealing with life-limiting and terminal illness is hard,” she says.
“Patients and their families can feel afraid, alone and overwhelmed. Heather felt that as she held her dad’s hand through the final, difficult days of his life.
"And her daughter feels it now, a year on.
"We’ve been able to help them both and we want to be here for everyone who needs us. As soon as they need us and for as long as they need us.”
Lisa’s team is seeing the effects of the pandemic every day, they've had to adapt to the devastation families have felt due to Covid.
She said: “COVID-19 made caring, grieving and saying goodbye much harder, and although we’re learning to live with it now, the people we help are still reeling from its impact.”
The charity has launched its spring fundraising appeal which will go towards the family support team.
Supporters will receive a letter from Lisa, they can also read more details of Heather's story.
With more referrals, increasingly complex cases, and higher levels of serious psychological distress, Rennie Grove’s trained team of counsellors, listeners and therapists is determined to reach everyone who comes forward.
“I just want to make sure no-one is left waiting when they need us,” says Lisa.
“When patients ask for our help, we must work with them while they’re still well enough. And when family members come to us - we know that takes guts and they need our help now – they don’t want to wait.”
Heather added: “Without the counselling, I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.
"Happy, settled, back at work. About to become a volunteer Corporate Ambassador for Rennie Grove, helping to raise funds so more families can benefit in the way we have.”
Heather’s daughter has taken the first step towards getting help too, and is already feeling more positive and able to focus on her studies as a result.
“Most people see us for a minimum of six sessions but many need more,” says Lisa. “It’s a privilege to be a part of helping someone get their life back on track. And we couldn’t do it without our supporters’ help.”
More information on the appeal can be found on the Rennie Grove website here, donations can also be made over the phone by calling 01442 890222.