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Holiday a mixed time for families

It feels good to return to True Colours after having a break for two weeks and to feel refreshed. Although the weather wasn’t favourable to getting outside and doing things, it actually enforced a stop and ‘rest time’.

So for me it was spending quality time with family and friends, which meant good company, red wine, food, music, walking and reading a great book to replenish the soul and body!

In meeting with families on my return to work, there have been many comments made on how relaxed they feel due to not having to rush to appointments or to keep to timeframes of school and child care. While at times there seems to be some cynicism regarding the country coming to a stop at the end of the year, there are certainly some benefits to it!

But illness and grief do not stop just because there is a holiday, and I am mindful of that. When living with serious illness, it is so much more challenging to be able to take time for self-care so that you can refuel to keep doing what needs to be done.

I recognise that feelings of grief and loss are actually compounded at holiday time as we miss loved ones who are no longer here. It is a tenuous balance of remembering, and feeling the closeness of the person’s memories and spirit close to us, and the pain of the loss. I know for myself the experience of managing those two aspects of grief.

At the beginning of each year there appears to be a ‘hope’ that this New Year will bring experiences that are richer and less challenging than the previous year.

My hope for True Colours is that as a team we will deliver a model of care to families in partnership that honour and meet their needs. As I look at my vision for the year ahead for the organisation, it is to deliver a high standard of care, empowering families on their journey regarding health and grief and to walk alongside families so that this journey does not feel so alone.

This year our biennial survey will go out again, and it will be important for our organisation to hear from the families we support as well as the stakeholders who work with True Colours. Our philosophy is to ‘listen to hear’ what is important so that our service delivers care that makes a positive difference.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

¯ Mother Teresa


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