Paul is one of our Veterans Service Users and he kindly agreed to share his story with us to mark VE Day 2021.
My journey with Rowans Hospice Charity began in November 2020 when my wife, Jan was transferred to the In-Patient Unit at the Hospice. Initially, Jan was a patient in Southampton General Hospital and had started end of life treatment there, however, she had to share a ward with five other patients, which was not ideal.
On the day Jan arrived at the Hospice, the Nurses gave us a warm welcome and ensured Jan, like all patients in the Hospice, had her own bedroom. This gave us both relief and comfort; having her own bedroom ensured Jan retained her privacy and dignity, particularly in the days ahead.
During the six days Jan stayed at the Hospice, the Nurses who looked after her were really kind and thoughtful. They not only took care of Jan and I, they also ensured all of her visitors were well looked after. Sadly, on the day she passed, Jan was in a lot of pain, however the Hospice Doctors and Nurses did everything they could to make her as comfortable as possible. I do not know how we would have managed without them by our side.
For the first four months after Jan died, my bereavement care was on a 1-1 basis. The ladies I spoke to were really very helpful and I looked forward to them phoning for a chat. They seemed to know just how I was feeling and allowed me time to talk, not just about Jan, but also about anything else I wanted to discuss.
More recently I have been attending a bereavement support group. This is a small group of three people which is run by Dr. Steph. It helps to be able to share things with others who have been through similar situations and we all seem to benefit from the discussions.
“I know the pain of losing my wife will never go away, but Rowans Hospice Charity are with me and helping me to get through the day.”
As well as the Bereavement Support Group, I also attend the Veterans Living Well Service. These meetings are for ex Forces Personnel with health issues themselves or
for those who have recently bereaved. As a former Royal Marine, I would highly recommend this group as the banter and camaraderie is just what I need at this time.
With V.E day coming up, it is nice to get together with other service personnel to reminisce about our times in the Armed Forces, as this is always a very special time for us. We take time out to think about and remember our lost comrades and all those that have fallen during both Great Wars.
The Veterans Service is a dedicated support service for ex Forces Personnel who are living with or caring for someone with a serious or life-limiting illness or are recently bereaved.
If you are a Veteran of the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy:
- Did you serve at least 1 day in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy?
- Are you experiencing loneliness or social isolation?
- Are you struggling with the impact of your illness physically and/or emotionally?
- Have concerns about the future and whether your loved ones will be looked after?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or, call 023 9224 8011 to find out about the wide range of services we can offer to help you find answers.