Helping families through the loss of a loved one is an important part of the end of life care that we give in our homes and can make a significant difference to relatives at a difficult time for them. Our Wings of Love project, initiated by our Wulfrun Rose home, is based around the fact that although people physically pass away they do not do so in our minds and hearts. They remain very much with us…part of a thousand memories and thoughts, small and large.
For each resident who enters into end of life care, we create a small remembrance box that contains photos of their involvement in activities if possible, photos of interactions with families on visits, forget me not flower seeds in a small packet to be planted by the family, a memory quote, white rose petals and then when the resident finally passes we add their personal possessions – items such as their wedding ring, watch and perhaps a lock of their hair (all with consent). The resident can, if they wish, assist in building this box for the loved one being left behind. The box is then presented to the family after the resident has passed as a keepsake of their loved ones last few weeks.
This project has only just started but it has already brought tears to a family’s, and staffs’ eyes, as it was gratefully accepted by the husband of a recently departed resident. We hope that as on this occasion it brought comfort to him, so it will to other families. This is only a small token of remembrance, but often it is the little things we cherish the most.