Jasmine’s story

The ‘Dad look’. This is a look that every parent can relate to; the look where nothing needs to be said but as his daughter I know I potentially could be in trouble. Growing up, I got the Dad look A LOT. Like the time that he left me alone for 5 minutes with a painting set and he came back to the bathroom being painted red with my excuse being, ‘’better than white’’. I also got the ‘look’ the time I set the pan alight whilst making spaghetti (this was embarrassingly recent).

The reason I’m sharing these stories is because I wanted to highlight that in every situation, Dad was always calm, no matter what. This didn’t change with his diagnosis.

My world turned upside down when he told me he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As his journey progressed, I felt as though Dad’s oncologist had become a friend and I loved that his nurses who administered his chemo loved Dad’s sense of humour just as much as I did. It’s important to note that the healthcare professionals we met are people I will admire for the rest of my life. I tried to deal with it well for Dad’s sake but at night my head was full of constant questions and I really struggled with juggling practical things like ‘How am I meant to pay for/ live in a flat by myself’, and emotions like ‘How will I cope without having my best friend here?’

Suddenly, I felt like a little girl again, whilst the person who was actually going through having a life-limiting illness was dealing with it like an absolute champion. This is why I will always call him my hero.

Dad’s chemotherapy meant that we actually had a year longer with him than the original two months that we were first told. I always say the last year of his life was really beautiful. I had so much more appreciation for simple things, like going out for coffee, going for walks together, and all our laughs and conversations. I took more care in making sure I told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him, and I think he appreciated those things more too. My favourite memory was our trip to Cornwall together. We spent the week eating our body weight in Cornish Pasties, going on beautiful seaside walks and laughing until our stomachs hurt.

Inevitably, in December 2022, I saw Dad quickly change. This sparked conversations about hospice care. I knew that no matter how badly I wanted to be able to give him the care he needed, I couldn’t and I was already struggling. As soon as we arrived at Forest Holme, I felt a sense of relief like no other because I knew Dad was in the right place and was going to be looked after better than I ever could look after him. Little did I know how much they were going to look after me too.

I was welcomed by a lady with the friendliest face who instantly gave me tissues in abundance as the nurses took care of Dad. The doctor spoke to me like I was an adult and delivered all the information I needed in the most professional, honest way. Whilst Dad was in their care, the nurses were on hand to supply a listening ear, support and even a giggle whenever I needed one and I am so grateful to Forest Holme for giving me the support and care both Dad and I needed throughout his journey. They truly do go above and beyond for anyone that enters the doors.

I’m 23 now and I think Dad would be proud to know that I’m doing okay. I found the grieving process hard but I’m still in a job that I love, I still love seeing my friends and I’m managing to deal with running a flat and all the other grown up things that need doing. This piece is in memory of my hero. Thank you for everything. Many people say children will never know how much their parents love them but I was lucky enough that you took every day to show me. You will always be remembered for being the calm amongst a storm, your wonderful taste in music and your hilarious one-liners. I miss you and I will always be incredibly proud of you, I will always love you and until we meet again ‘You’re my favourite’.

Watch Jasmine on our ‘Life & Loss’ podcast series here

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or postal news to receive the latest updates from Forest Holme Hospice.

Skip to content