Shana's story

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer early in her life, she still had so much life to live, her son was only nine years old. As a parent all you want to do is watch your child grow up and live their life to the full. You don’t expect them to go before you. Dove House cared for her so well, they took time with us and really had Mandy’s best interest at the forefront of everything. A while later my mum also died. It was such an incredibly hard time.
Having Mandy’s name on a leaf on the Memory Tree brought me a peace that is hard to describe so when Mum died I knew that I wanted them to be shining together like they shone in their lives. Mandy was my world. She was caring and had such a loving heart for animals and my mum was like my best friend. I miss them both dearly.
I cannot buy them birthday gifts, Christmas presents, Easter eggs or treats like I would have done so I save up that money and that’s the money I use to support the hospice by having leaves for them both on the Memory Tree. It’s my way of giving back and helping others at the hospice.
Visiting the Memory Garden is like nipping to my mum’s house to see her or popping to my daughters for a chat. Being able to see their leaves glistening next to each other brings me calmness. I visit the garden at Dove House most days, polish their leaves and talk to them.
The Memory Garden is like a haven, enclosed so that you feel comfortable to feel your emotions and there’s quite often someone else visiting to talk to too which helps. Whatever the weather the tree is quite magnificent and I am pleased that Mandy and my mum are part of it.