TWO friends are sharing their experiences of City Hospice, Cardiff’s local hospice, to mark ‘Love Your Hospice’ month in February.
Amy-Claire Davies and Natalie Bruno met at the official launch of last year’s Forever Flowers campaign at the Senedd and have since become good friends.
Amy-Claire has been a patient under City Hospice’s care for nearly a decade. She regularly documents her life living with an incurable degenerative disease with her social media followers and is a passionate advocate of hospice care.
Natalie Bruno’s father John received specialist palliative care at home from City Hospice and her family, including mum Sue and daughter Lyra, have been supported by the charity following John’s passing.
“I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Natalie and the Bruno family at the Forever Flowers event at the Senedd. We hit it off straight away as we share similar attitudes and a sense of humour, and our friendship has grown from there.
“For me, it has been incredibly healing to spend time with a family who are a part of City Hospice who have already lost their loved one. Although I never had the joy of meeting John, I feel as if I know him through Nat and his family.
“I have always worried that when I die my loved ones will remember our time together with nothing but sadness and pain; my friendship with Nat has shown me that those we love can be remembered first and foremost with love. Yes, there will be sadness, but there will also be laughter, fond memories and endless love.”
“I met Amy-Claire following her amazing speech at the launch of Forever Flowers. We chatted for a while, shared stories and discussed the invaluable support we had both received from City Hospice.
“My dad was a huge book lover and we were struggling to donate his books when Amy-Claire mentioned that she was looking for books to use as table centres for her wedding. It was looking likely that the books were heading for the tip so we were delighted to be able to share them with Amy-Claire instead for her special day as we know she will truly appreciate them.
“It was such a joy to have met Amy-Claire that day, to get to know her and her family and now call them our friends. Who would’ve thought a sad event, losing my dad, could bring so much sunshine. Amy-Claire is that ray of light and truly amazing. My dad would’ve loved everything about her, especially her humour and outlook on life.”
The pair have enjoyed supporting City Hospice together at events such as Forever Flowers and Christmas at Bute Park and are now encouraging others to get involved with Love Your Hospice month in February.
“I think Love Your Hospice month is an excellent opportunity to celebrate all the amazing things that your local hospice achieves for its patients and their loved ones every single day. City Hospice provides incredible care for patients like myself and John, and for families like mine and the Bruno family.
“City Hospice doesn’t just provide excellent clinical care to patients. They provide us and our families with the most important thing of all: the knowledge that we are not alone on this difficult, beautiful journey and never will be.”
“I will be forever grateful for the support City Hospice provided to my dad, enabling him to be able to stay at home surrounded by his family where he wanted to be. We have found comfort from being able to give a little something back through multiple fundraising events for the hospice to enable other families to be able to receive the support that we have. And of course, we’ve met some awesome friends along the way!”