June Liggins was a regular supporter of St Wilfrid’s and would often come over for a cup of tea or lunch with her daughter, Lynne. She would also donate her handmade crafts to be sold in the hospice shop. Sadly, June died a few weeks ago, just after she had met our Fundraising Manager, Sarah Marsh, and donated her ‘final quilt’ with the wish for the Fundraising team to use it somehow to raise money. Lynne has kindly allowed us to share her mum’s story.

June was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and was automatically referred to the hospice. Within a short space of time they had an appointment with a member of the Nursing staff, where they explained the process thoroughly and discussed respect forms. ‘For the first 12 months life carried on as normal,’ Lynne told me, ‘she remained so positive.’ Then in the last six to eight months, her illness started to get worse, but she had regular visits from the Community Nursing team. 

June had set herself a target of reaching 87 years old and she died the day after her 87th birthday. She was 87 years, 5 hours and 25 mins old! ‘She always said that she was born in June, she was called June and would die in June.’

Unfortunately, with the hospice being a key part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, there were no beds available on the hospice Inpatient Unit at the time she needed one, so she spent her final days at a local care home; her second choice and the same place where her husband had died.

Her family won’t be having a traditional funeral, but instead a celebration of June’s life at Payne and Sons. The coffin is going to be made out of wool and instead of flowers they’re having red Aran wool, with a sewing machine at the foot of the coffin – an ode to her creativity and love for sewing.

After the service they will all be having fish and chips, because when June first went in to the nursing home, she said ‘when I get out of here I want fish and chips!’

As a tribute to her mum, Lynne is going to be buying a leaf to go on our Memory Tree. ‘Mum was an active and forward thinking woman who strongly believed in living life to the full and has told me to do the same, which I will do in her memory.

‘We spoke very openly and honestly about her end of life and what her wishes and wants were for herself and me. To be honest everything she wanted came together like a jigsaw, which consoles me greatly, along with knowing she passed away pain free and peacefully. Mum always said “when he’s got a job for you, you have to go.”

Lynne is incredibly appreciative of the support they all received from the hospice, particularly the 24/7 Nurse Line. ‘Being an only child, who do you talk to? The Nurse Line have been invaluable, particularly Anika who probably answered seven times out of ten. She was wonderful and it gave me reassurance straight away. You don’t have to suffer, because there’s always someone there if you need them.’

June was very open to the idea of death and dying, and very much believed in what will be will be. Lynne’s advice to others is that ‘If you can have those discussions do. Then there is no doubt and I can sit with no regrets knowing that her wishes have been met. The hospice is always there.

‘I know I will miss mum, but I smile in her memory and thank her for the strong person she has made me.’

As we look to the future, we are only able to carry on supporting our patients and their loved ones in the hospice and out in the community if we keep getting financial support. 

If you can help support us through our Resilience Fund, with a donation big or small, we would be immensely grateful. You can donate via the button below, or over the phone on 01323 434284

Donate to our Resilience Fund