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Nathan's Story: Wedding memories to treasure

Lauren and Nathan's Wedding Flowers

When Nathan’s wife, Lauren was referred to Hospice in the Weald last year, they discovered they would not only be able to focus on spending precious time with their young son, but also fulfil their plans to get married. Here, Nathan explains why he is supporting the Hospice this spring.

Lauren and Nathan on a night out

Precious time together

I have never met a more supportive and caring person than Lauren. She always made sure everyone else was okay before thinking about herself, even when she was dying.

Lauren and I had been together for 13 years. We got engaged early on, but chose to have a child, knowing one day we would have our wedding, then life got in the way. She was the best Mummy to our 8-year-old son, Jamie.

We enjoyed spending time together as a family, making memories on visits to the park and trips to the farm. Movie nights with popcorn were a regular event in our house. Jamie would choose a film for us all to watch. Dorset and Devon were favourite holidays; places we went before Jamie was born, so it was even more special to visit with him.

When Lauren was diagnosed with skin cancer back in 2016 we were so relieved when, following surgery, scans confirmed the cancer had not spread. So it was a complete shock when the cancer returned as a brain tumour.

“Thankfully when the Hospice became involved, a huge weight was lifted.”

From the first visit by the Hospice Outreach team, we were supported. Lauren decided she wanted to die at the Hospice, because her priority was always protecting Jamie.

The team understood what was important to us as a family. They went above and beyond to help us spend precious time together, even arranging a special movie night for us all, just like we had at home. As soon as we decided we wanted to get married, the Hospice made it happen. Neither of us wanted a big wedding – Lauren always said she’d be happy to get married at a bus stop – but the Hospice gardens were perfect.

“All the stress of wedding planning was taken away.”

The Hospice team did it all whilst making sure Lauren was comfortable. The lead-up to the ceremony was so special; the way we talked and laughed. Lauren focused on what she wanted to wear and who would be there, rather than being ill and dying.

She wore her favourite dress and held a bouquet arranged especially for her. On 26th June, our family and friends joined us to celebrate, it was a lovely day. It felt like how life should be. Lauren died a month later. She was 41. We had so many dreams for our life together, but I am so pleased, that thanks to the Hospice, we were able to get married with Jamie by our side.

Jamie with balloon

“Jamie and I will be hanging our Remembrance Ribbon in memory of Lauren this spring. By dedicating a ribbon in memory of your loved one, you can provide families like mine with the support they need to be able to focus on celebrating life together.”

Remembrance Ribbons, Jamie's ribbonwith the word 'mummy'

Dedicate a Remembrance Ribbon

Find out more here