Glenn Thompson remembers his wife Haley who died last year. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Remembering our lost loved ones

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Glenn Thompson picked a star to hang on the Tree of Remembrance last week.

It was to remember his wife Haley who died last October after a long battle with breast cancer.

“I picked the star because she was a star.”

Glenn says, while the past year has been tough, he had nothing but praise for Nelson Tasman Hospice team who welcomed Haley into their service last July.

“They were awesome. We were stressed, we didn’t know what was going on. We felt like family straight away.”

The family were there for four months. It all happened while they were moving house and trying to figure out what to do with their three children.

“To watch your partner fade away is hard but it puts you in stead to deal with it,” Glenn says.

Trees of Remembrance is an annual tradition for hospices around the world and a vital fundraiser for Nelson Tasman Hospice which needs to raise 45 per cent of its annual operating costs each year to remain free for patients, their families and whanau.

The trees are a way to remember a loved one by leaving a message on a tree.

The service is available from outside Stoke New World, inside Richmond Mall and outside Nelson Hospice Shop until December 11.

Glenn says this time of year is hard for the family.

“We had plans. We were going to do things. Haley and I were a true love story, that’s for sure. She was awesome. She was so selfless.”

Now he honours her memory by letting as many people as he can know about the importance of getting check-ups. He even has changed the t-shirts of his panel beating business to feature pink breast cancer ribbons.

“Helping people helps me heal.”

Glenn now volunteers for the hospice – selling raffles and donating when he can.