Rebecca backs dying awareness campaign

PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 May 2011

Tim Spedding

Tim Spedding

Archant

A WESTON woman who became a bereavement visitor following the death of her husband and brother is backing Dying Matters Awareness Week.

Rebecca Spedding-Blyth, aged 41, now volunteers at Weston Hospicecare where she talks to grieving families and provides them with a shoulder to cry on.

The mum-of-three became involved with the hospice in 1995 when her late husband Tim Spedding was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer at the age of 23.

She said: “We both had support prior to Tim’s death in the form of individual counselling which enabled us to discuss things such as where Tim wanted to be when he died, music at his funeral and his wishes for me and my future life with his two boys Harry and George.

“These things may not have been discussed if it had not been for the input from the hospice as they are usually conversations people feel uncomfortable with.”

Tim died in 2001, aged 29, when the couple’s children were aged just two-and-a-half years and six months.

Rebecca continued with bereavement counselling until she felt ready for the support to cease.

She married Colin Blyth in 2003 and they went on to have a son, Tom, the following year.

Rebecca, who is also a learning mentor at Mead Vale Primary School, said: “Tim and Colin were great friends and we enjoy reminiscing and telling stories to the children about their dad.

“Tim and I chose to collect an archive of video footage of Tim with the boys so they have a visual memory of their young lives with their dad - something they have little or no memory of.

“We believe this has been beneficial and they have a great deal of enjoyment watching it.”

But tragedy struck again for Rebecca in 2005 when her brother Andy died, aged 41.

She added: “I made the decision that I wanted to give something back to the hospice for all the support our family had received over the years so I became a bereavement volunteer.

“I feel we have benefited as a family by discussing death in an open and honest way and Dying Matters Awareness Week highlights the importance of doing so.”

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