Caitlan's story

“When you lose someone, you have to learn along the way. No one knows what to say to the kid who’s just lost their Mum. I don’t even know what to say and she was my mum.
Dove House Hospice is my happy place, I think of Dove House and I think of Mum. I don’t just remember the sad times, I remember how happy they made her, how comfortable they made us all and how much they have helped me know that my emotions, anger and guilt are a normal part of grief.
Mum was scared to come to Dove House at first but the hospice felt like a community where they treat you like a person and not just a patient. My mum and dad talked about whether a hospice was right for us but we all wanted her to go somewhere where she would feel at peace and be cared about. Hospitals care for you but Dove House cares about you.
Everyone was lovely and made us feel part of things as we were considered as a family not just visitors. Mum was able to move around which had been difficult until now and found great comfort in the gardens, they were a nice getaway to escape the reality of care for a while.
If my Mum hadn’t have found peace at the hospice like she did I wouldn’t have been able to find peace.
There are times when you just need your mum. For me and Lewis we won’t be able to share those special moments with her as we grow. That is hard to deal with, but with the help of Dove House it is something we are learning to cope with.
I want to be a psychologist when I grow older and I cannot wait to be able to come back to the hospice and volunteer. I know what it feels like to be there, to feel lost as a family member. I want to be able to help people get through one of the hardest times in their lives. Dove House scooped us up and helped me see the way forward and I want to do that for others. I want to give back and if I can help someone like they helped me it will be worth it.
Myself and my brother Lewis also attended the Children’s Bereavement Groups and everyone was really friendly and welcoming. The best part of the groups was we could just be ourselves, there was no fear of saying the wrong thing, of saying something that may make someone else feel uncomfortable. We had all lost someone that meant the world to us. They understood my grief and I understood theirs. When someone dies, people sometimes don’t know what to say, so they don’t say anything or even avoid you. Believe it or not I actually lost a friend at school over it.
At the group I formed a really good friendship with another girl who had lost her dad. We had similar interests and things in common. I think most importantly all of us at the group could relate in some way even though we all had individual emotions. No one judges you, no matter what you say, we all helped each other. Attending the groups at Dove House has had such a positive impact on my life, it has changed my outlook on life, it has changed me as a person and for the better. I am so much more confident now. I don’t feel lost anymore, I know exactly what I want to do with my life and that is to help people just like everyone at Dove House Hospice.”