Great grandmother’s tribute ahead of Lincoln Light Up a Life event

A great grandmother who died from ovarian cancer will be among hundreds who will be remembered at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice’s Light Up a Life celebrations.

On Tuesday, November 25, hundreds of people will take part in a flaming torchlight procession through Lincoln.

The annual event sees hundreds gather for hymns, carols and readings before a torchlight procession to Lincoln Cathedral for the switching on of the Tree of Life lights.

Services are taking place across the county. People can find out more about events in their local areas on the website.

Last year over 1,200 people turned out for the Light Up a Life celebrations and raised £35,000 for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice.

Jo Love, 57, will be dedicating a light on the Tree of Life to her mum Jean DaSilva, who died aged 77.

Jean spent around three weeks in the care of St Barnanbas Lincolnshire Hospice before she passed away and Jo has been attending Light Up a Life since.

Jo said: “In 2006 Mum was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, she had already beaten the disease back in 1998, and the fact it had returned made it all the harder to accept.

“Mum managed quite well at first but by Christmas 2008 she had become very unwell and was taken into hospital.

“She was continuing to deteriorate and it was suggested that she move to the hospice where she would receive dedicated care.

“It was like falling into a black hole. I heard the word hospice and I was frightened, really frightened. In my mind the hospice was a dark place where people went to die.

“The hospice was nothing like I had imagined. We were immediately put at ease by the warm and welcoming staff and Mum was given a lovely room that overlooked the garden. I felt safe here and knew that Mum was in the right place.

“The nurses were so kind and understanding, they became my friends, I felt I could talk to them about anything.”

Jean DaSilva died on February 15 2008 after spending three weeks in the hospice on Nettleham Road in Lincoln.

“I knew the night before she died that she didn’t have long left. I sat awake with her all night and then was joined by the rest of the family the following morning. We were together as a family and as I held her in my arms she quietly slipped away.

“Light Up a Life has become such an important date in the calendar for me. Everyone is there to remember someone special and there is real comfort in knowing you are not alone in the sadness you feel.

“Last year the procession stopped outside the hospice and we stood and sang carols to the patients who wrapped up warm and came out with the nurses. There was something very special about that moment; it simply took my breath away.

“Best of all I know my Mum would have loved the whole thing.”