Derek’s Tribute to Janet

Derek shares how the pandemic led him to create an online tribute page for his wife, Janet. To date, the page has raised over £15,000 for Rennie Grove Peace.

Derek’s Tribute to Janet

Janet passed away peacefully at home on July 29, 2020, thanks to the enormous help and support from my family and Rennie Grove (now Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care) during the last few weeks of her life.  Janet was able to spend her last days in comfort, pottering around the house and garden whenever she felt up to it.

The funeral took place during the pandemic, when we were all living under severe restrictions.  Only a small number of close family members were able to say their goodbyes.   We needed some way to allow other family members and Janet’s many friends to be involved.

With the help of the funeral director, we came up with the idea of making a webcast of the service and we set up an online tribute page dedicated to Janet’s memory.  We added photos from Janet’s life, the eulogy that I had written, and we encouraged people to donate through the tribute page.

We wanted to raise funds for the hospice to show our gratitude for all the care and support Janet received at home free of charge.  The family liked the idea of taking part in a challenge that would bring everyone together in her memory and we chose the Chilterns 3 Peaks Walk.  It was a fun day out, if not a little exhausting, but people made generous donations via the tribute page.  We have since participated in the walk every year for the last three years and many friends and family have continued to make donations.

Janet was an active member of Harleywood Golf Club, and the Seniors’ section have held a golf event for Rennie Grove twice in the last three years in her honour.  The tribute page gave her many friends a way to remember the good times we all had together, as well as providing the means to make donations.

The family like to mark Janet’s birthday and remember her at Christmas time with a donation to your charity.

So, in reality, the tribute site was set up out of a necessity brought about by the pandemic but as time has gone on it seems to have generated a life of its own.  At today’s date the total amount raised is £15,007.50 and hopefully, the donations will continue.

Derek, husband of Janet