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“We knew we’d wear something bright when we did Moonlight Walk in memory of Mum, and the rainbow tutus seemed perfect – even the men were happy to wear them,” laughs Leah, one of Sarah’s daughters, who with other family members wanted to reflect her mum’s love of life as they took part in Moonlight Walk for the first time last year.
“We couldn’t believe it at the start when we saw the rainbow above us in the sky,” says Josh, Sarah’s son. “It was an unusual purple sky too – purple was Mum’s favourite colour. We just knew she was watching.”
“It was tiring but we wanted to make that effort together. When we put our stars on the memory wall, it became very emotional.”
Martin, Sarah’s husband, adds:
Sarah was cared for at the Hospice in Pembury before her death in August 2021, aged just 57. The family are still processing her loss but find comfort in happy memories.
“Mum was loving, kind, warm,” says Josh. “She supported me throughout school and supported me when I came out, she was there for the whole thing, she was just great.”
Martin adds: “She was the life and soul. When I met her, she had two girls and I was so proud when we had Josh and Libie too. She loved her grandchildren, was happy and jolly, but often put on a brave face.”
“She was the best. I don’t think many could have coped like she did,” adds Libie, Sarah’s youngest daughter.
“Mum was really, really special,” explains Leah. “She was hilarious. I could talk to her about anything. What I most miss is feeling ‘safe’, feeling ‘home’. I always talk to my daughter Orla about Nanny.”
When Sarah was admitted to the Hospice, the family was by her side. Josh explains: “The staff were brilliant and put mum in a big room, so all her friends and family could visit. We spent many years looking after Mum before she came to the Hospice, so it was nice to be able to let others take on the care and just spend time with her.” “I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way than at the Hospice,” Libie adds. Martin agrees: “The level of care and diligence was above and beyond. It meant everything to be together.”
The family found comfort by organising a celebration of Sarah’s life on the anniversary of her death. “It felt like the right thing – a remembrance and celebration,” explains Martin.
They are taking part in Moonlight Walk again this year and are planning to surpass last year’s outfits.
“I’d definitely encourage others to do it,” says Martin. “It’s so important to share that experience, it helps knowing everyone is there for a wife, a mum, a dad, someone they’ve lost.”
“It was such good fun, we are doing it again,” says Josh. “If Mum had seen us all dressed up, she’d have laughed. She’d have loved to be there in her tutu as well!”
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