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8 Dec 2021 Community

Community comes together to Light up a Life

Last weekend, hundreds of people from across our region came together to celebrate those they love and dedicate a light in their memory as part of The Kirkwood’s Light up a Life appeal.

Each year, we invites people from across Kirklees and beyond to remember the special people in their lives as part of Light up a Life. Following a series of special events, a beautiful tree at the heart of our gardens in Dalton is lit and continues to shine brightly throughout the festive period in memory of all those who have been remembered.

Light up a Life offers an opportunity to reflect on the good times spent with people's loved ones and cherish their memory. It’s a time to come together to remember and celebrate the lives of those that are special to us. Last weekend, hundreds of people turned out despite the torrential downpours and terrible weather conditions.

The event took place in our peaceful and tranquil gardens in Dalton. As magical as the gardens usually are there is always a sense of something more extraordinary at our Light up a Life services, as the gardens come alive with spectacular lights. Each bulb evoking the memory of some being remembered.

The Light up a Life services were led by Seamus Nash from The Kirkwood Counselling Team, with special readings from members of The Kirkwood team. The events were beautifully complemented with music from Grange Moor Brass Band and the wonderfully talented singer, Georgia Harrup.

Guests who attended the events in person were able to light a candle for loved ones to remember them. Some people placed their candles on the seat directly under the tree, evoking a poignant image as people left the gardens.

With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect all our lives, The Kirkwood chose to live streamed the event on YouTube again this year. This gave people the chance to be a part of our event with their families from the comfort of their own home.

The Hall family attended this year’s Light up a Life events in person to remember Michael, who was a loving father, brother and husband.

Joanne Hall, the daughter of Michael said: "I am remembering my father who died in June. I am thankful to The Kirkwood for the care he was provided with. I thought the service was so peaceful and beautiful."

Judith, Michael's sister was delighted to see Grange Moor Brass Band playing at the event. She said: "Michael used to be involved in a brass band in our village and so would have loved to have heard them.The event was amazing."

Joyce, Michael's husband also commented: "Michael would have enjoyed the brass band and the lights. He loved lights and we had them all over our garden.

"The whole experience of The Kirkwood, right from when Michael first came here was just amazing. We thought he was going to come home, but he was content to be here, he was peaceful."

Another person remembering a loved one was Jackie, she was remembering her husband, John.

She said: "I am here to remember my husband, John, who died the same day he came here, six years ago. He died of cancer and it's lovely we get to come to a service like this to remember our loved ones. It's so important."

Richard Parkin was remembering his father Antony, who died from cancer two and half years ago. Richard spoke passionately about the care his father received at home before he died.

Richard said: "My father didn't come into the hospice in Dalton. He was cared for at home by The Kirkwood Nurses. They were truly amazing with the way they cared for him.

"The nurses weren't just there for my dad but for us too as a family. They were outstanding in explaining to us what was going to happen even though we knew what was going to happen.

"One of the nurses who cared for my father came back to see how we were doing after he died, which was just so comforting and appreciated. We can't thank everyone who works for The Kirkwood enough."

Richard has attended our Light up a Life service before and did so again this year.

He commented: "I believe it's important that these services are put on. I have been able to come here, support The Kirkwood and remember my dad."

Light up a Life reminds us all that The Kirkwood is a movement of people, a family and we are here for people all across Kirklees.

You can still make a dedication to someone special this festive season. If you’d like to find out more visit: thekirkwood.org.uk/lightupalife

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