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Compassion is…

Posted 11:50AM on Wednesday 27 January 2016

On 22 January last year we said goodbye to a very dear friend, Keiron Aitken. Keiron had been supported by our East Coast Supported Living Service. In remembering her beloved son, Keiron’s mum, Geraldine, wrote to us to tell us how much she valued the support of our staff team during Keiron’s illness and at the time of his death.

Compassion is a response to the suffering of others, that motivates a desire to help.

Late in 2013 my son Keiron was diagnosed with a life limiting cancer. My world turned black. I knew I had to be strong to support him, but I felt alone and terrified.
Keiron had learning difficulties and had been supported in independent living for many years by Positive Futures. Obviously news of Kieron’s illness was shared with those who supported him and from that moment on, both he and I were surrounded by tender hearted care which helped us both with the fear and loneliness that follows such a prognosis.

On each hospital appointment, and each hospital admission, there was a member of the team there, each of them shining the light of humanity into our lives.

Kindness, tenderness, gentleness and humour, all helped to lighten the darkness. In Kieron’s last days at home each person went well beyond their role, each giving love and true compassion. Each day in Marie Curie they laughed and cried with me, helping me get true value from every moment, and when Keiron lost his battle to live, they mourned with me. The consolation of sharing my grief with those who had known, loved and grieved for him also was enriching.

Compassion is the fire that burns the hurt, that pains the soul. These wonderful human beings from Positive Futures allowed me to experience true humanity, that even in the dark days that followed, allowed me to continue to believe in the goodness of life.