KIRKWOOD Hospice’s annual Light Up A Life appeal will culminate in a special ceremony at a Dewsbury church next week.
The United Reformed Church on Longcauseway will host the final event of the appeal, which aims to bring people together over winter to remember loved ones and dedicate a light in their honour on a ‘Tree of Lights’.
There will also be a further two ceremonies this weekend (tomorrow and Sunday) in the grounds of the Huddersfield hospice where the tree is situated.
Light Up A Life is celebrated every year and is not just aimed at those who have been involved with Kirkwood.
Linda Hooley, from Batley, takes part each year to remember her son Paul who died shortly after being born.
“I gave birth to Paul in November 1967,” said Linda.
“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.
“When a baby died so young back then, they felt it was best to erase his or her existence so as to not traumatise the mother. However, it left me with huge emotional scars that I’ve carried all these years.
“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 is really comforting to know that he is being remembered as Christmas approaches.”
A total of 400 tickets for each event are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
The two events at the hospice tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, start at 4.30pm, while the one at the United Reformed Church next Saturday, December 9, starts at 12 noon.
If you would like to remember a loved one this year, visit www.kirkwoodhospice.co.uk/lightupalife or contact Kirkwood Hospice on 01484 557911 to say who you would like to dedicate your light to and to stipulate which of the events you would like to attend.