Published Tuesday 15th December 2020

Janet Wheeler’s husband, Alan, died on 28th February 2020. His funeral was just two days before lockdown.

‘Until then I had not realised the enormity of the effects of the Covid virus,’ she said.

‘When I did wake up to it, it was devastating. I felt extremely frightened and horribly alone, and without the kindness of my immediate neighbours and the routine telephone contact from Alan’s sister and brother-in-law and friends, I would have been completely alone.’

Janet’s normal support network dried up. She wasn’t allowed to attend bell ringing, pilates, or just to see her friends.

During this time though, Janet was in regular contact with Debbie and Helen from the Day Services team at St Michael’s.

They invited her, and her lovable spaniel Barney, to meet up with them at the Hospice Summerhouse and it was these conversations which helped Janet.

‘I began to feel more optimistic about the future and a possible, eventual return to normality.

‘The importance to me of the Hospice was that it had been a place Alan and I had felt welcomed and safe. The shared experience of caring for loved ones and facing potential loss had been extremely valuable to me and despite the fact that I had now lost my loved one I would once again be with people who had known him and recognised the difficulties of our lives.

‘This weekly contact with Debbie and Helen has been the highlight of my existence.’

For more information about our Day Services, call 01432 851 000 or click here https://www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/our-care/day-services/