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Your Irish Hospice Foundation Autumn 2023 Newsletter

A header image for the Autumn 2023 Fundraising newsletter

News of your compassion reaching people touched by death and grief across Ireland  

How Your Kindness Keeps Families Together Until the Very End

When you’re losing the person you love, it’s hard to put into words the immeasurable peace and comfort, even an hour with one of our Nurses for Night Care can bring. Shona’s family said of Nurse Mary that “she was like an angel arriving on our doorstep”.

Your IHF Newsletter Autumn 2023

Shona’s mam, Annie, was a strong, independent woman. She raised four children while working full time, running her little shop in Glanmire. She worked all the way up until her late 70s. And she was fit and healthy until she was well into her nineties. But when Annie’s health suddenly declined, Shona and her siblings wanted to do all they could to keep their mam at home. Shona knew in her heart that they’d need help. And that’s when the family learned about Irish Hospice Foundation’s Nurses for Night Care service. Like so many of us, all Annie wanted was to be in her own home, surrounded by her beloved family, all the precious memories they’d made there — and her little cat, Boots — when she died. “This was the final gift we could give her,” says Shona. As demand for this vital service continues to grow, your generosity is more important than ever.

Helping families down a difficult path

Our Nurse for Night Care was wonderful. She was like an angel arriving on our doorstep, couldn’t have been better. We knew she was going to mind our Mam, but she also minded us.

On the third night, the Nurse for Night Care gently woke Shona and her siblings. Thanks to your compassion, Annie took her final breaths wrapped in a circle of her family’s love — her children gathered at her bedside, holding her hand and telling her they loved her. And isn’t that the end we all wish for?

a picture of Annie and Boots for the IHF Autumn 2023 Newsletter

A ‘good’ death

Annie was 94 when she died.

We miss her so much, but when you honestly feel it couldn’t have gone any better, that makes a real difference… to know she had a ‘good’ death. I’m so grateful this service is available. It benefits the person who is dying, and their whole family.

A Special Message from Nurse Mary

Not long ago, we asked for your help to meet the ever-increasing demand and the rising cost of running our Nurses for Night Care service. It was a call you answered, and Nurse Mary is here to say — Thank you.

Nurse Mary has been one of our wonderful Nurses for Night Care for a few years now. “It’s a privilege to be there for people right at the end of someone’s life,” she says. Mary sees with her own eyes the incredible impact of your kindness every single night. She told us…

The people I meet are right at the end of their lives. My being there, or any one of us Nurses for Night Care — it means you can die at home peacefully with your family. Just think how much that means. It’s everything really… People are so appreciative. Thank you so much for making this work possible

Last year alone, your kindness helped provide 2,673 nights of care to people who were dying and their grateful families.

“I now have the words…”

So much of the good work you make possible through your support is about empathy. It’s about understanding that there are people dragging their grief around with them as they go about daily life. And at a library near you, you’re giving librarians like Suzanne the words of comfort and compassion that can mean the world to someone lost in grief.

“She’d lost her husband and was telling us about the first time she ventured out of the house to go to the post office,” says Suzanne. She’s talking about the training provided by Irish Hospice Foundation and Kildare Bereavement Network she and her colleagues received recently.  “At the library, you get people returning books borrowed by someone who has died,” says Suzanne. “Now I feel I have the words…” So often, grief isolates you. People are afraid of saying the wrong thing. But at a library near you, your compassion is already making a difference — “There was somebody in yesterday, and she was very upset. Three people close to her had died in quick succession. We sat down and had a cup of tea, and I just empathised with her,” says Suzanne. “I just let her talk, you know. I think that’s what people need sometimes.”

A Legacy of Compassion that Echoes Beyond Your Lifetime

Did you know that some of our most caring and constant supporters — thoughtful people like yourself who have been changed profoundly and forever by loss — have pledged a gift in their will to Irish Hospice Foundation?

Right now, as a cherished supporter, you can write your will for free. To receive more information, email Isabelle at [email protected]

Past Issues

Read past issues of Your Irish Hospice Foundation newsletters in the archive

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