NHS Lanarkshire is calling on staff and families with a connection to University Hospital Wishaw to honour lost loved ones during the annual ‘To Absent Friends’ week.
People with a close link to the hospital are being asked to submit photographs of loved ones who have died to be displayed in the hospital’s sanctuary as part of the Scotland-wide festival of storytelling and remembrance which takes place from 1-7 November.
The photographs will be exhibited for the whole of November alongside an invitation to add a dedicated leaf or star to the sanctuary’s Memorial Tree.
Harry McKenna, Healthcare Chaplain, University Hospital Wishaw, said: “The sanctuary was designed as a reflective space for patients and their families to help support them through difficult times. It is open to everyone, especially long-term and palliative patients and their families. It is also a valuable resource for staff.
“We do everything we can to support families through the grieving process. Since opening the sanctuary garden three years ago we have provided a focal point where people can remember loved ones, as well as helping them connect with others going through a similar experience, which can be a great source of solace.
“This photographic display, as part of ‘To Absent Friends’ week, will allow people to unite and remember their loved ones through sharing visual memories of the lives of those who have died.”
The ‘To Absent Friends’ festival was started in 2014 to give people an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who have died, through stories and acts of reminiscence. For more information on the festival, please visit: www.toabsentfriends.org.uk
Staff and families are asked to ensure permission for any photographs submitted is given.
Those who wish to submit a photograph or find out more about the festival can contact the Spiritual Care and Wellbeing Team on 01698 366779, or the Chaplains direct by email:
Ali Pandian, Healthcare Chaplain, University Hospital Wishaw
Harry McKenna, Healthcare Chaplain, University Hospital Wishaw