Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77

Your Irish Hospice Foundation Spring 2022 Newsletter

IHF spring newsletter 2022

In Good Hands: The Peace of Mind Your Kindness Brings  

As you lay your head down to sleep for the night, Annemarie’s shift as a Nurse for Night Care is just beginning. And at a time when more people than ever wish to take their final breaths in their own home, wrapped in the warmth of their family’s love, your generosity makes it possible. Thank you…  

Since the pandemic began, your compassion has helped provide more precious hours of night nursing care than at any other time in our 35-year history.  

Annemarie has been a nurse for more than a decade. But she only joined as a Nurse for Night Care at the start of the pandemic – one of many new recruits your generosity helped provide so we could meet the rising need for end-of-life nursing care at home.  

“I read in the paper they needed more Nurses for Night Care. Patients were suffering in hospitals because their families couldn’t be with them and I wanted to help.”  

says Annemarie.

“Our presence is such an enormous comfort to the family. I can’t count the number of times someone has said to me, ‘I got a good night’s sleep for the first time in weeks because I knew my loved one was in good hands’.”  

Caring, compassionate, dedicated…if the person you love most in the world was dying, it would be Annemarie you’d want there to watch over them as you slept.  

 “You can feel the relief when I arrive. It’s like they feel safe.”  

In her own words, she tells us how your kindness brings untold relief to people who are dying, and their heartsick families, night after night. 

“You’re there for the family as much as the patient…they’re exhausted.” 

“She’d just lost her Mam. She had nobody else. I sat in the garden with her for hours. It meant the world to her that I was there.  
That’s a big part of nursing – bringing comfort and humanity in those devastating moments.”  

A Labour of Love 

Annmarie remembers a family she’ll carry in her heart forever.

“They were a mother and daughter, completely devoted to one another. They had very little money, but the daughter saved and saved so she could take her mam on holiday. She was so proud to show me the photos. 

In those final nights, the daughter wouldn’t leave her mother’s side. She slept on a blow-up mattress by the bed.”  

When the mother took her very last breath, it was daytime. But even so, Annemarie went round to comfort the grief-stricken woman. 

“I sat in the garden with her for hours. She was saying to me, ‘I just want to talk to her one last time’.”   

Your profound gift 

It’s the sad reality of this heartfelt work… there are no ‘happy endings’. The people your kindness reaches are at the very end of their lives. But never underestimate the profound gift you give to families like this one. 

Because of your thoughtful support, this devoted mother and daughter were able to spend their last moments together in the home they shared, amongst a lifetime of treasured memories. A gift beyond all measure. For your caring spirit, your heart full of empathy and for helping families stay together until the very end… thank you. 

Your Compassion Across the Miles  

Even in the face of overwhelming demand, through the toughest of times, your kindness and concern keep our Nurses for Night Care out there night after night.

Every night of the year, across 26 counties, you bring the comfort and relief of a Nurse for Night Care to hundreds of bedsides. Thank you. 

Our Nurses for Night Care service runs almost entirely thanks to kind donations from caring people like you who know how it feels to lose someone you love. And in these past few difficult years, we would have been lost without you. 

Thank you for tens of thousands of hours of gentle end-of-life care for non-cancer patients. Thank you for helping families stay together until the very end. And thank you for being someone who understands what those final precious moments mean.  

A Little Love Note 

When Sophie heard on the radio about our National Bereavement Support Line, your kindness gave her a special way to help her bereaved father.  

Thank you, Sophie, for showing that even the smallest hearts can hold so much compassion.  

If one of your own parents lost a loved one when you were a child, chances are you remember it. It probably made you feel sad and powerless to see your parent grieving. Maybe even confused and disorientated. And that’s how little Sophie felt when her Dad lost his mother, her Nana.    

But thanks to your generous support of our National Bereavement Support Line, you gave little Sophie a way she could help her Dad. When Sophie heard our advert on the radio, she quickly noted down the number with a pencil. That night, she gave the note to her Dad, and you can imagine how deeply that little note touched his grieving heart.  

Thanks to you, a kind, listening ear was there to answer when he did dial our number.  

Remember, if you, or someone you know, is grieving and needs support, please take a leaf out of Sophie’s book and tell them about our National Bereavement Support Line. Call 1800 80 70 77 weekdays, 10am – 1pm.  

Thank you for giving people who feel lost and alone in grief somewhere to turn for confidential, non-judgemental support.   

1,263  grieving hearts called  our National Bereavement  Support Line in 2021.

For Your Peace of Mind

Considering who to remember with a parting gift in your will is one of the most meaningful and life-affirming decisions you’ll ever make. 

As one of Irish Hospice Foundation’s most treasured supporters, we’re offering you the chance to write or update your will for free. No charge. No catch. No strings attached. 

Having an up-to-date will is an act of love you can set in motion today to protect the ones you love, and if you choose, the causes you care about too. 

To receive information on writing your will for free, just call (01) 6793188 and ask for Anna or email anna.sadlier 

How Can I be a Good Friend Through Grief? 

Even when you’ve felt the pain of grief, it can be hard to speak to someone who has lost a person they love. But being supportive and being there during the time of deep sorrow is an act of love your friend will never forget.

Acknowledge what’s happened

Words sometimes fail us when they matter most. But even if it feels uncomfortable, the most important thing is to acknowledge your friend’s loss…don’t ignore it. The simple words, “I’m so very sorry for your loss,” are a good place to start.  

Lighten their load

When someone you love dies, small daily tasks like tying your shoelaces can feel overwhelming. Be proactive and ask your friend if you can help by picking up the kids, taking care of the dog, or even doing the shopping or laundry.  


When the funeral is over and the rest of the world moves on, that’s when your friend may feel most alone in their grief. Make contact frequently to let your friend know you are there and that you haven’t forgotten about their grief.  

And remember 

Grief never ends. It changes over time, but there is no end date for grief. Difficult dates like birthdays or the anniversary of a loved one’s death can bring fresh waves of grief. Make sure you mark down the date of your friend’s loss. It will mean so much that you remember, even years from now.  

Forever Grateful for Friends Like You 

In times of turmoil you need good friends to see you through. Right now, calls for help from our Nurses for Night Care are soaring, and many more people are turning to us for support through crushing grief. Yet through thick and thin, our monthly partners stay dutifully by the side of Ireland’s dying and grieving with gifts of love month after month. 

If you’d like to join with our most compassionate and constant supporters as a monthly partner for 2022 with a recurring gift, please visit our donation page.

For any and every way you choose to support Irish Hospice Foundation, your friendship is cherished. Thank you. 

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