Hospice families sail across the Mersey in remembrance

Over 70 family members from across Merseyside and Sefton came together on a beautiful summer’s evening for a very special Mersey river sailing to remember their loved ones.

St. Joseph’s Hospice (Jospice) organised the Reflections on the River sailing for its patient’s families on Sunday (17 July), in partnership with Willowbrook Hospice in St. Helens.

Families who have lost loved ones at the hospices went along to share memories, leave flowers and scatter petals on the water to remember all the good times they shared. Some families also released balloons.

The O’Brien family from Maghull were remembering their much loved husband and father Stephen O’Brien who passed away at the hospice in May 2015, aged 54.

Stephen’s wife, Sheila O’Brien (54), said: “Stephen was at the hospice for three months before he died and it is a lovely peaceful place. The staff and care provided are second to none and we wouldn’t have had that special time with him if it wasn’t for the hospice.

“Stephen was a very outdoorsy person and so the river sailing was a very fitting way to remember him.”

Sisters Jenny (31) and Danielle (27) Jones, from Liverpool, were remembering their nana, Betty Jones, who passed away in November after being on the Inpatient Unit for six months.

Jenny said: “This is a really lovely way to remember our nana. We heard about the event on the hospice’s Facebook page and we all want to get involved in other hospice events in the future as the hospice was such a warm and loving place. It felt like we were visiting her at home as she was so happy and comfortable there.”

Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St Joseph’s Hospice, said: “This year’s Reflections on the River event was a wonderful way for families to enjoy a summers evening cruise as they reflected and remembered their loved ones.

“As well as providing specialist nursing care for our patients, we also look after their emotional, spiritual and social needs. This extends to carers and family members both during a person’s illness and during bereavement and Reflections on the River is an extension of that care and support for our families.”