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Dying Matters: Speak to someone

Cancer Relief Gibraltar is marking Dying Matters this week, a Hospice UK-led initiative that helps open up the conversation on death, dying and bereavement.
As part of this awareness campaign, the charity is sharing testimonials from its members of staff and service users on the hospice service it offers. Today’s testimonial is anonymous.
Each day Chronicle readers will have the opportunity to learn more about the service and the services available when faced with a terminal illness.
The charity is also running a survey on the community’s attitudes towards death which is available on:

I could never have imagined my life without one of my parents, but on July 4th last year, I lost my Dad nearly 5 years to the day my Mum had passed away. My life as I saw it had flipped on its head and I found myself struggling to come to terms with the loss of not one but two of probably the most important people in my life.

After my mum’s death and my dad’s diagnosis, my sisters encouraged me to go and see someone, but I insisted that I didn't need any help. As days and weeks went by, I couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I found myself low, angry and snappy with my wife and knew it wasn't fair. It was time to try and get help. At first, I was embarrassed to say I was going counselling, I used to tell work I had an appointment and that’s it. However, it turned into a weekly thing, so I had to come straight with them. I started using Cancer Relief; I always had this image of the Centre being just for older people chatting and so on, but it has such a warm feel to it and, now that I look back, I know I should have gone for help before.

As my Dad started deteriorating, as much hope as we all had, in my head I unfortunately knew what was coming. Again, the centre was there throughout, offering their services but especially for my Dad who had great care from their nurses.

The embarrassment of speaking out wasn't there anymore, I was happy to speak out, to get others to accept that they need help too. It's very easy to hide feeling inside but you need to be true to yourself and make sure you get the help that you need. My advice if it can count for anything is that it’s always better to go and speak to someone and maybe realise it's not something you need as opposed to keeping it all to yourself and trying to battle through the hardship of times on your own.

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