A message of hope from a Hospice Chaplain this December

14 Dec 2021

Reverend Rob Pestell is Chaplain at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, and in his blog he shares a message of hope and light in what is the darkest of months.

Continuing to care through uncertain times

The past year has been an unsettling time for us all, not knowing what the future will hold, sometimes with the prospect of life settling down to a more usual pattern, and then only days later more disruption and the reintroduction restrictions.

All of us have had our lives disrupted in various degrees and ways and sadly, it seems that this will continue into the New Year and beyond.

But one constant that I can assure you of is the continued high quality of care and support that is offered to our patients and their families here at Sue Ryder, both in our hospices and out in the community, with all staff fully committed to maintaining the high quality level of care, for which the charity is known.

Lights of Love

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we had to regretfully cancel this year’s Lights of Love service for the second year in a row at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. This was a difficult decision but was taken to help keep families, supporters, volunteers and staff safe.

However, you can still visit our Lights of Love online dedication pages, where you can leave a message in memory of a loved one and help support Sue Ryder.

A message of hope

I know this has been greeted with sadness by a number of families who look forward to this event and I share in their disappointment. Instead, I wanted to write this blog to give families and carers a message of hope and comfort as they remember loved ones in these uncertain times.

I share the following poem with you as you prepare for this festive season, reminding you that it is a festival of light and joy in the midst of the darkness of the winter season that also celebrates the precious gift of love.

Night is coming on

Night is coming on,

the last birds fly hurriedly to their nests.

Slowly, but surely, darkness takes possession of the world.

However, no sooner has darkness fallen,

then the lights begin to come on –

below us, around us, above us,

near us and far away from us –

a candle in a window, a lamp in a cellar,

a beacon in a lighthouse, a star in the sky;

and so we take heart and find our way again.

When a good person dies, darkness descends on us,

we feel lost, bereft, forlorn.

But gradually the lights begin to come on,

as we recall the good deeds done by that person,

and the love we shared with them.

They spring up all over the place,

and we are amazed at how much light is generated.

In this strange and beautiful light,

We find not only our way,

But the meaning of life itself.    (Anon)

With very best wishes,  

Rob Pestell, Hospice Chaplain

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