When Nita Tapping was invited to a bereavement group after the death of her husband, she feared that going there would only heighten her grief.
But three years later, the 76-year-old still regularly attends the monthly session at The South Bucks Community Hospice – saying it has helped her to cope with the devastating loss of husband Mick, aged 74.
And she is full of praise for the Hospice for the support and ‘kindness’ it has given in a hugely-difficult period of her life.
She recalled: “After Mick died, I had a letter from The South Bucks Community Hospice asking if I wanted to go to the bereavement group. I thought I cannot see what good it would do and thought it would make things worse.
“But it makes it better because you are with people. Talking makes things better. You are with people who are in the same boat as you and everybody understands what you are going through.”
Senior Nurse, Carole Hildreth, said: “We welcome Nita and the rest of the group every month. Nita has shown us how the bereavement counselling can help someone cope with the loss of a loved one.”
Nita, who works as a pharmacy assistant in Prestwood, had recently celebrated her Golden Wedding Anniversary with retired engineer Mick before his death from bowel cancer in 2013. She says an ‘inner strength’ helped her cope up until his funeral but the grief really hit her afterwards.
“I know you have to get on with it but you need support,” she said.
“I find people here are so friendly. It seems a happy place and I look round and see people who are in worse positions than me. It’s opened my eyes to there being so many kind people about who are there to help you.”
Nita, who has two daughters and three grandchildren, attends the bereavement group once a month on a Tuesday with about eight other people. She says there is lots of chat and lots of tears.
“I just think there are so many people at the Hospice to help you. I look forward to coming here. It makes me accept things in a different light,” she said.
She also receives massages at the Hospice and says these really help as well.
Nita, who has made friends at the Hospice who she sees socially, described husband Mick as a ‘gentleman’
“He was very calm – a quiet man who was very well liked.
“I will never get over his death but you learn to live with it,” she said.
“I am now coping – I can come here and talk about things.
“I wish other people realised there is a place to come like this.”
To find out more about the bereavement group, contact Carole Hildreth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01494 552755.