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“Without Mountbatten, I don’t know how I would have got through lockdown.”

John Shenton knew there was something special about Mountbatten but even he could not have imagined the impact it would have on him.

John’s wife, Marilyn, was cared for at Mountbatten when she died from a rare cancer of the bile duct, known as cholangiocarcinoma, in August 2019.

John takes comfort from knowing her pain was under control in her final weeks and he fondly remembers the happy times they shared together at the hospice.

“It was Marilyn’s birthday and we had the most wonderful day, joined by our sons and their partners in the garden. It was lovely and just epitomised how well we were looked after the whole time we were there.”

After Marilyn died, John was invited to attend bereavement sessions with Mountbatten.

“Coming to the bereavement group really changed the levels of my thinking. Some people talked, others did not but it was so great to exchange views. You realise you are not alone with how you are feeling and I found it a great help.”

John also got involved with the Mountbatten Choir but meetings in person had to stop when the country was sent into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the virtual alternative proved a real lifeline.

“They were an absolute godsend,” said John.

“It could have been an incredibly lonely and isolating time but the virtual meetings of the choir were wonderful and helped keep me going.

"I may have been singing to a camera in a room on my own but it was amazing. The meetings were a real boon and something to look forward to in the evenings when there was little else to do.

“I also got to know a group of people from the choir and as soon as we were allowed, we met for walks and coffee outside and that really kept me sane at such a difficult time. I am so thankful to Mountbatten for all of it, as it has made such a difference to me.”

In memory of Marilyn, John plans to place a ribbon in the hospice garden, as part of the Remembering with Ribbons event.

“I will always hold Marilyn close to my heart and this is a lovely idea to remember her, alongside other families who have been touched by Mountbatten’s care."

By donating in memory of your loved one, you will be helping to ensure that people like John get the support they need to carry on during the most challenging of times.

Together we can ensure that no-one faces death, dying, and bereavement alone. Thank you.

Donate to Remembering with Ribbons