Dedicate a candle in memory of a loved one for special St Josephs memorial service

Mark Reid

Mark Reid - Credit: Archant

A widow is encouraging others who have lost loved ones to remember them at a special service at St Joseph’s Hospice next Thursday.

Stamford Hill resident Alexandra Reid - who lost her husband Mark last year to stomach cancer - will be one of hundreds attending the annual Light up a Light service, where people can dedicate a light in memory of a loved one on the Christmas tree at the hospice in Mare Street.

Mark, a long distance lorry driver who was born in Stoke Newington, was diagnosed in 2007 and spent the last three months of his life being cared for at St Joseph’s.

“I was really nervous about him going into the hospice because I thought hospices were just where people go at the very end of your life,” said Mrs Reid.

“But I quickly realised that it is about supporting the person who is unwell and their families with a really holistic approach to care.

“The one to one care is amazing and whenever Mark rang the bell someone would be at his bedside within seconds, everyone was incredible from the cleaners to the top doctors. It was like a luxury hotel.”

Mrs Reid said she would not have coped without St Joseph’s which also provided weekly counselling to help her deal with her grief.

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She still attends monthly group meetings there while someone phones her regularly from the hospice to make sure she is ok.

The multi-faith service featuring music, readings and reflection takes place at 7pm on Thursday December 5.

Dedicating a light on the tree is free, but people are able to make a donation to raise money to help more people like Mr and Mrs Reid.

To participate call 020 8525 6000.