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Friends come together to support Forever Flowers

Friends Rachel Cable and Carly Murray have come together to support Forever Flowers and shared their experiences of hospice care as they remember their loved ones.

Forever Flowers is a new campaign by City Hospice, Cardiff’s local hospice, which invites supporters to purchase a limited-edition flower to celebrate the lives and remember much-loved family members, friends and loved ones. The unique tributes will feature in a special display in the grounds of Cardiff Castle from Saturday July 24 to Sunday August 8.

In recognition and appreciation of the care City Hospice provides to people in the capital, from specialist at-home care for patients to support services for families, Rachel and Carly are getting involved with Forever Flowers this summer.

Rachel said: “My father passed away last summer of cancer. I didn’t really know anything about hospice care before my dad became ill and suddenly, City Hospice popped up and were able to navigate all the services and care that he needed. They looked after him at home and looked after us, his family, as well.

“I’m really excited to support this campaign because it’s a lovely way of remembering my dad at a time where we can’t all get together, hug and do all the things we’d normally do when grieving.

“The exhibition at the castle actually starts on the day that my dad passed away so it will be a nice way to mark the anniversary and once the exhibition is finished, we’re going to place our flower with the apple tree that we planted for dad on the allotment.”

City Hospice is Cardiff’s local hospice and is the only provider of home-based specialist palliative care in the capital – providing care and compassion for 550 patients at any one time, in addition to bereavement counselling and support services for families.  The support is really valued and means a lot to grieving families going through a challenging time.

Carly explains: “My mum passed away from COPD in 2017 and we’ve had so much invaluable support from hospice care. I’m supporting Forever Flowers because it’s just a really special way to commemorate her.

“It’s something you can do with others as well and they are all going to be displayed together. It’s a nice idea, that you are part of a tribe of other people who have dealt with similar things as you have; everyone coming together to celebrate loved ones and create something that is going to be really beautiful.

“Our family will be going to the castle to see the display. We haven’t decided yet where our Forever Flower will go afterwards but I will be asking my daughter where she wants Nanny’s flower to go so that she can be part of putting it somewhere special.”

Through their shared experiences of loss and hospice care Rachel and Carly’s friendship of 13 years has grown stronger.

Rachel said: “Because dad passed away during the pandemic, we couldn’t do all the things we normally do to grieve. Having a friend like Carly texting and ringing me to see if I was OK meant an awful lot.

“When it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas or big events, it can be really difficult. Unless you’ve lost someone you don’t necessarily understand quite how difficult those things can be so having a shared understanding and support is really valuable.”

Carly added: “With Rachel, I felt like I had got somebody very close and special as a friend in the way she supported me. When most people have moved on and are carrying on with their lives, Rachel was still checking on me, acknowledging my loss and it made a massive difference to me.”

Forever Flowers can be purchased by visiting cityhospice.org.uk/forever-flowers and cost £18 per flower.