Losing a loved one is never easy. For anyone, it can be a difficult thing to come to terms with, but perhaps even more so for little Megan Phillips who lost her Grandfather early in 2019.
Megan’s mother, Michelle Phillips, described Megan as a vibrant young girl who had a very close relationship with her “Yaya” (what he was known to all his Grandchildren), however after his passing in March 2019, Megan became very introverted and struggled to talk about her Yaya.
Michelle said: “No amount of preparation can help when it comes to losing a loved one. When we lost my father, Kev, it was extremely difficult for all of us. However, it had a profound effect on my daughter, Megan, who had a very close relationship with her
“After the loss of dad, we noticed a change in Megan’s behaviour. She would always talk about her Yaya and tell stories of their adventures, but this stopped. She is only young so didn’t fully understand the situation and couldn’t deal with the grief, which resulted in her refusing to talk about her Yaya.”
Concerned she was bottling up her emotions and unable to process what had happened, Michelle sought out the help from City Hospice and enquired about their Child Bereavement Services.
Michelle continued: “Our journey with City Hospice began when my Dad came out of hospital to be cared for at home by my mum, Andrea. He had been diagnosed with a rare skull-based tumour called a Chordoma in October 2016 and after being discharged, he needed 24-hour care at home.
“In 2017 we were referred to City Hospice and Dr Capel saw him at home and a specialist nurse was allocated. Regular visits from his nurse were invaluable in supporting both Kev and Mum, and mum even had counselling at City Hospice with Sarah Bull.
“With the support of City Hospice, District Nurses and his GP, Mum was able to care for him at home for two years until he passed away peacefully at home. During his time at home Megan liked to help mum with his care and we used to call her ‘his nurse’.
“After his death Megan struggled a lot with loosing Yaya, which is when we spoke to City Hospice. We were aware of the counselling services available and Megan was invited to join the wonderful children’s bereavement group that the hospice runs.”
After joining City Hospice’s Child Bereavement group, Megan has returned back to the bright girl she was before and is happy to talk about her Yaya, even speaking about him within 30-minutes of her first session.
Michelle said: “Megan has been a different little girl since her sessions, and we are so grateful to have been offered this wonderful service. She talks openly about her Yaya now, supports her older sister and has made life-long friends along the way.
“When asked to participate in City Hospice’s Light up a Life campaign, as a family we were very happy to help in any way we could. Megan and her new friend Bethany were little stars and we are so very proud of her.”
The City Hospice Light Up a Life campaign, which runs from 1st October to 31st December, is a special annual event where individuals can add a dedication to loved ones in City Hospice’s Book of Remembrance by donating online. Every donation made to City Hospice will be matched by the Hodge Foundation.
If you would like to get involved in the City Hospice Light up a Life Campaign, call the fundraising team on 029 2052 4150 or visit https://www.cityhospice.org.uk/get-involved/light-up-a-life/ for more information.