Stacey’s story

Stacey tells us about her mum's experience at St Ann's, and the quality time they had together at the hospice

Stacey's mum in a bed at the hospice, with George her ragdoll cat who is grey and white sat on the bed too

When my mum found out that she had terminal cancer with a poor prognosis, she was obviously upset and very scared, as anyone would be. She wouldn’t speak about dying at all.

One day, I took my mum some cushions with photos on, that she could have at the hospice. Mum had been in hospice care for just a week. I took a video of her opening them, and when the camera stopped rolling she said to me: “Can you make sure these cushions go in with me?” I said: “What do you mean? Do you want me to put them in bed with you tonight before I go home?” She replied: “No Stace I want them with me.” Then it was obvious what she meant.

At that moment I honestly felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because my mum seemed happy and no longer scared. She has accepted everything and we were no longer tip-toeing around 'the elephant in the room'. Stacey

The amazing work of the staff at the hospice through counselling and support had literally taken mum’s fears away. I was able to spend quality time during visits instead of giving her medication etc. I watched her enjoy food and we chatted for hours. I was allowed to visit her with her ragdoll cat, George, who became a therapy cat through the hospice.

I talked to her about memories, music, learned things I never knew before about her and just generally enjoyed the last moments. I didn’t know that I was the best person in the world at tucking her in to sleep. I never knew she really liked David Bowie and I never knew that her favourite colour was blue. She was like a completely different person.

Stacey's mum sat holding and looking at her ragdoll cat, George, who is looking up at her

My mum actually said she never wanted to go back to her flat because she was so happy at the hospice. She wished that she had known that a hospice could be such a positive place. She wished that more people knew because the experience was totally different to what she expected. She wanted others to know that it’s not a morbid experience, because for both me and mum it was a great experience.

Let's Talk

If you’d like to talk to someone about what has been going on and how you’re feeling, we have a trained team of counsellors and trainee assistant practitioners who are here to support you. This service is free and available for anyone who has had treatment at the hospice or is a family member, carer or friend who is grieving someone they have lost.

Find out about counselling support