Our Press and Media Relations Officer, Sophie Beresford, shares her thoughts on this year’s Light up a Life service

Grief can be a lonely experience. Even though your family and friends may have lost the same person, no two people’s experience is the same.

When my dad died in December 2013, I felt very lonely. It wasn’t that anyone abandoned me or made me feel as though I was alone, but my life had completely changed. I felt that to a certain extent l could no longer relate to my friends and their life experiences and, although they tried, they could no longer relate to me either.

There was no feeling of loneliness at this year’s Light up a Life service.

The hundreds of people who gathered at each hospice throughout December all had one thing in common- they were remembering a family member or friend who is sadly no longer with us.

Light up a life

I can imagine it is difficult to structure a service intended to remember people of all different ages, personalities and backgrounds but I felt Light up a Life was a fitting tribute to the people who meant, and continue to mean, so much to us.

Although most of us were strangers to each other, we sang hymns together, we listened to poems beautifully delivered by staff and volunteers and, most importantly, we remembered together.

For me, Light up a Life is an opportunity for people to gather and share memories and experiences without judgement or comparison but only compassion in its purest form.

Grief can be a lonely place but thanks to Light up a Life, as we all gathered by the tree adorned with messages to our loved ones and the lights that shine for them, it can feel a little less lonely.