A Batley mother has spoken of the comfort the Light Up a Life ceremonies for Kirkwood Hospice have given her.
The hospice, which is based at Dalton and serves the people of Kirklees, held the first two services in the grounds of the hospice last weekend.
Open to all, this year’s annual Light up a Life appeal will culminate in this third ceremony on Saturday, December 9, at noon at the Longcauseway Church in Dewsbury.
It gives people the chance to remember loved ones and dedicate a light in their honour on the Tree of Lights. People being remembered also have their name written into the Book of Lights.
Linda Hooley, from Batley, takes part in Light up a Life every year to remember her son, Paul, who died shortly after being born. She said: “I gave birth to Paul in November 1967. Unfortunately, he was born with serious health problems and I was told that he wouldn’t survive for very long.
“After I gave birth, Paul was taken away from me and put in an incubator. I wasn’t allowed to hold him even though I desperately wanted to. They did allow me to briefly see him but I wasn’t able to touch him. A nurse came and told me nine hours later that Paul had died. I never saw him again.
“Paul wasn’t allowed to have a formal burial. I didn’t receive a birth or death certificate. It almost felt like I’d never given birth and Paul had never existed. It left me with huge emotional scars that I’ve carried all these years.
“Now people are allowed to hold their baby and spend precious time together. They can have photos and memory boxes when a young child dies. I only had one very fleeting glimpse of my son before he was taken away.
“I took part in Kirkwood’s Light up a Life appeal one year to dedicate a light to Paul. I was delighted to receive a beautiful card with his name written in it. It provided me with reassurance that I did have a baby and my son did exist. It is really comforting to know that he is being remembered as Christmas approaches. Through Kirkwood’s Light up a Life, Paul’s memory lives on.”