Home News Emma Maude tells her story about grief and how The Kirkwood helped her through it

7 Jun 2024 Community

Emma Maude tells her story about grief and how The Kirkwood helped her through it

The Kirkwood is always here for those people that may need to seek counseling after the death of a friend or family member. Seeing someone go through a life limiting illness can be as equally hard as having to deal with the grieving process. However our expert counselors are here to offer help, care and support. 

Emma Maude is one person who has gone through that process following the death of her dad Paul in March 2023. Emma decided to access our bereavement counseling service a few months after Paul's death. Emma explained to us how The Kirkwood gave her hope and has given her the ability to open up to someone who truly listens when she most needed it. 

On her dad's care with The Kirkwood first of all Emma commented: “My dad spent the last week of his life as a patient at The Kirkwood's In-Patient Unit in Dalton in March 2023. He passed away on the 6th March 2023, aged 62. 

“All the staff who cared for my dad were amazing. They really made us as a family feel comfortable there and really offered the best quality of care to my dad. I felt The Kirkwood gave me hope when there wasn't any, they helped me and my family through a tough time. 

“I was aware of The Kirkwood before my Dad passed away there, as the team have cared for other members of my family in the past, but I wasn't aware of the support they provide after a loved one has died. Whilst dad was still a patient, the team there ensured we were also looked after by giving us the option to speak with a member of the counseling team. 

“I didn't take the counseling team up on their offer at the time, but I did speak with them a few months after my dad passed away.” 

Emma now looks back and believes accessing our services was the right thing to do for her and says it truly made a difference to her life. 

She added: The counseling sessions allowed me to speak to someone about my experiences of grief and the impact losing a parent had on my life. 

“I had weekly appointments at first, reducing these to once every couple of weeks before moving to once a month. This really worked for me as I started to come to terms with the loss of my dad. 

“In all honesty I wasn't sure about accessing the service at first, but it has been one of the most helpful things I could have done after losing my dad. 

“It gave me a space to open up about how I was feeling and reflect on my experiences. It helped me to understand how I could still do things that we enjoyed doing when my Dad was still alive, but also learn how to restructure my life without my dad's presence. 

“The counseling team was very accommodating and always gave me the option to have appointments when I felt would work best for me.

“Before accessing counseling I did a lot of research about the 'grief process' online and it never really made any sense to me, as I couldn't understand how I moved from one stage to another. 

“Counseling helped me understand that grief isn't a one size fits all process and that it looks different for everyone. 

“I found this reassuring and extremely helpful. I also feel I learned a lot about myself and how my mind works in general, and this has continued to help me move forwards.”  

Emma admits that before she saw what we did and how we care for and support people she did not know a lot about hospices and how they operate. 

She said: "I didn't know much about hospices before some of my family members had been patients there. I certainly didn't know that they could also provide support to family members of someone during end of life care. 

“I thought it was solely about the patient and support for family members would be accessed elsewhere

“The Kirkwood is incredibly important to the people of Kirklees. After losing my dad I came to the realisation that grief and loss is often viewed as a taboo subject and people don't know how to talk about the pain of losing someone. 

“This has a huge impact on people, as it can result in people feeling alone in their grief. 

“The work that The Kirkwood do, and the events that they put on brings people together and creates connection within the community. 

“I attended the Light Up a Life Event in December and this was a time for everyone to come together and reflect on those they have lost, whilst having people around them that understood their experiences. This is so important to a community.” 

Emma would encourage anyone out there struggling with a life limiting illness or someone struggling with grief to access The Kirkwood's services right away. 

She said: “My impression of hospices and The Kirkwood has completely changed. 

“They treated everyone in my family with care, compassion and kindness. I thought it would be quite a clinical place, but it wasn't at all. 

“The team were all incredible and it made such a difference to us as a family at a very difficult time. I would encourage anyone who needs help to contact them.” 

Finally Emma wanted to say a huge thanks to all of our amazing The Kirkwood staff. 

She said: “I would just like to thank The Kirkwood for the work they continue to do. They treated my dad and all of my family with respect, kindness and empathy throughout the time that my dad was a patient and since he passed away.” 

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