46 years old
“In September 2017, my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer so I moved myself and my two boys into her home so I could be her full-time carer.
“On her final round of chemo she came home and was very ill – more so than usual. The hospital told us to see the doctor the next day, which we did, and it was the doctor who phoned an ambulance straight away, as he was worried she had sepsis.
“Mum was rushed into our local Accident & Emergency, and I followed behind with my sister. Soon after arriving, mum took a turn for the worse and fell into a coma. The doctor took us into a family room and explained it was unlikely she’d wake up – we had to make the hardest decision of our lives to turn off her oxygen and wait for her to die.
“Going home was incredibly overwhelming. I wasn’t working as I had been my mum’s full-time carer, but I had two young boys to look after. Mum had helped financially, so losing her was losing an income – I remember thinking, “How am I going to do this, I have no money!” I wanted to give her a proper funeral but I just couldn’t afford to pay for it.
“Dad was a Freemason, so I got in touch with an Almoner who supported me in contacting the MCF. I had managed to get a government grant to cover half of the cost of the funeral and after hearing my situation, the MCF agreed to pay the difference and also provide grants to cover our daily living expenses. It was the light at the end of a very long, and dark tunnel and in all honesty, it saved me.
“The funeral was still very simple; I bought flowers from my local supermarket and made all the food myself, but I was so happy I could do this last thing for my mum.