DOCTORS spend their lives surrounded by sickness and death, but when it comes to having to watch your grandson die of a brain tumour and then losing your wife of 55 years to a long-term illness, no amount of experience can soften the blow.
That’s exactly what happened to respected south Essex GP, Dr Parasmull Jaswant Mull.
Because he knows how important it is for a loved one to spend their final days with dignity and love, Dr Mull, who is now retired and lives in Stanford-Le-Hope, is backing this year’s St Luke’s Light Up a Life campaign.
The appeal is held each Christmas to give families who have lost loved ones – whether they were cared for at the hospice or not – the chance to honour their memory.
It is open to anyone who wants to sponsor a light on one of several beautiful Christmas trees located around Basildon and Thurrock over the festive period, in honour of a relative or friend or even a pet who has died.
It is also a way people can show their love for someone who is still living, such as a friend or relative they have lost touch with or someone serving in the armed forces.
Dr Mull, who ran a surgery in Southend Road, Stanford-le-Hope for many years, will be sponsoring a light in memory of his wife Kamla, who died at the age of 72, and his grandson Anup Chajed, who died when he was just 21.
Anup was cared for at St Luke’s Hospice, based in Nethermayne, Basildon, towards the end of his life, while Kamla died in India in March 2011.
Dr Mill says he has not got over the heartache of losing her.
“She was the person who I had loved for 55 of her 72 years on this earth.
“I have felt a tremendous void in my life and although I am blessed with a loving and supportive family, some of whom live close by, I am still painfully aware that my lifelong companion is not by my side.
“Losing my best earthly friend hurts, but I cannot let this feeling consume me. There are important things left for me to do while I am still here that will make her smile in heaven.
“In times of loneliness, I also find myself calling upon memories of her. We had a wonderful life together and reminding myself makes me more grateful to God”.
Dr Mull says the care given to his grandson Anup, who passed away in the hospice while studying for a degree, which was awarded posthumously, was “excellent”.
He added: “He had suffered from leukaemia from which he had recovered but then relapsed, and died due to a brain tumour.
“He was such a good boy. After he died, my wife would make a point of coming into the hospice and making donations in Anup’s memory.”
The Light Up a Life campaign is one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the self-funded hospice and helps raise vital cash for the continual running of St Luke’s and its hospice at home service.
Once your dedication has been received by the hospice, you will be sent a special star with the name of your cherished person written on it. Their name will also appear on a dedication list near to each tree around the area.
It is hoped this year at least £50,000 will be raised through the campaign.
Anita Pease, community fundraiser at St Luke’s, said: “By taking part, you will be honouring and remembering someone special in your life, as well as supporting the work of all our hospice services.’ ý To make your dedication go to the tribute and legacy page under the Light Up a Life heading on the hospice website www.stlukeshospice.
com or contact St Luke’s on 01268 524973.