Christmas is a very special time of year, a time when we gather with those we love to celebrate the season together and take time to think back to the Happy Christmases we shared with those who are no longer with us. At Hospice we know how difficult this time can be for many, and how important it is to pause and take time to remember. Each Christmas our very special tree is adorned with thousands of little white lights, each one shining in honour of someone special who is lovingly remembered.
Joining us in remembering a loved one this Christmas are the family of Pamela Dixon from Newry who was cared for by the hospice early this year and they would like us to share their story with you…
“What can we say about our Pamela? She was a beloved wife, mother, wonderful sister and friend, a generous and
fun-loving aunt. Words frequently used by many. Her love of life was infectious, especially her laugh - you couldn’t help yourself but smile and immediately felt better after speaking to her. Pamela Fearon as she was born - was one of seven sisters, the second youngest to Breidge, Norine, Margaret, Kate, Stephanie and Teresa, a close knit family – a family of best friends. One special night in June Pamela met Damien
in the Ballymac hotel, got engaged in December and married the following August.
She was 28 and they spent the next 28 years together happily married and were totally blessed with their son Cathal who turned 21 this year. Pamela worked in homecare – looking after people in their own homes and they loved to see her coming, she always took time to help, to talk and listen to them, she cared about people and tried to
do her best for everyone. That was Pamela – one of life’s great characters with a heart of gold and a kindness
second to none.
Looking back Pamela was unwell for a while but it wasn’t until October of last year she was told her diagnosis. Our
hopes were shattered and hearts broken. Our beautiful Pamela, the life and soul of our family, was gravely ill. Pamela took her diagnosis better than we did; she was so very brave protecting all of us as much as she could. Her faith was so strong and it was this belief that really
helped her deal with what was happening to her, she often said, “Miracles do happen, don’t they?” even reminding the consultants.
Pamela really loved Christmas and it quickly became clear that it would be her last one with us. Pamela, like her
mother, started buying presents in August. Every child in the family received one and they loved her for it. She used to ask “when are we putting the tree up?” She was the first to have it up in Caiseal Court and she was so proud of that. Last Christmas day, everyone called at different times to see her, the doorbell never stopped. It was very hard but she refused to be sad – “no crying this is a happy day,” she ordered and so we all did our best to give her the day she wanted, and boy did she enjoy it. This year it was her turn to host ‘a
wee night’. We all came together for our tea followed by music and singing. Pamela led the songs with her favourite Two Loves. We had a fabulous night and will always treasure the memories. The chain will never be broken.
Pamela had a very difficult start to 2017 she was in and out of hospital and seemed unable to get relief anywhere, it
was a truly terrible time for her and for us all. We took turns to stay with her at night so she was never on her own; she always liked to have someone close to her. By early
February it was clear that we could not continue to look after her at home. She needed specialist care and so she was referred to the Hospice.
This might seem a strange thing to say but the time she spent in the Hospice was the best of her illness, she quickly
found the relief she sought. She of course knew everyone. It’s hard to explain but she settled there, she was comfortable and she felt so safe that she sent us all home that very first
night. All the help and support she needed was right there. The care from Marianne and her staff in the Hospice was
incredible. We have heard about the Hospice for years and thought we knew what they did, but we really didn’t. We
can honestly say no one does until you experience yourself. Our families will never forget the Hospice for their absolute kindness in their care of Pamela and of ourselves. Nothing was a problem, every query was answered and we will forever be indebted to everyone.
Pamela peacefully passed away in the Hospice surrounded by her loving family on Sunday 19th February, she was just 56 years old. We miss Pamela so much and we always will, she was truly an amazing person.We attend monthly
Counselling & Bereavement Support Groups, these groups help us to deal with our grief and come to terms with our loss.
Pamela used to live on Courtney Hill beside the Hospice and when she moved house a neighbour said “It was like a
light being turned off on Courtney Hill when she left”. So there could be no better tribute to Pamela than to share her story with you all to launch this year’s “Light Up A Life” Christmas Campaign for the Hospice that took such
care of her, and in doing so light the biggest and brightest Christmas tree in memory of her and all those who are loved and missed this Christmas time”.
The Dixon and Fearon Families
Join the Dixon and Fearon Families in dedicating a light in memory of a loved one this Christmas. Thank-you for your support!
Light Up a Life Illumination Ceremonies 2017
Tuesday 5th December - Craigavon Civic Centre at 1pm.
Wednesday 6th December - Banbridge Old Town Hall at 11am.
Friday 8th December - Mid-Ulster Council Offices, Dungannon - Coffee Morning at 10am followed by Tree Illumination at 11am.
Tuesday 12th December - Palace Demesne, Armagh at 11am.
Thursday 14th December - Hospice Grounds, St. John's House, Newry at 7.30pm.