When I was a child I was frightened of hospitals because my Mum was very ill. She had MS, and was only 46 when she died. I had to have an old head on young shoulders, but I do know that her illness had an effect on me and made me want to nurse.
I loved every minute of it although it is work that you have to like, one must not be half-hearted about it.
You always had to know what to say, and when not to say it, when to speak, and when to be quiet. Even if people are not talking, you are listening, and you are feeling it, especially younger people when they die. That is one of the hardest parts.
And St Gemma’s are in my Will too, because hospices are very necessary places, I definitely think that. They allow people to end their days peacefully and with dignity.
Many people said ‘I don’t know how you could do that sort of work! You must be hard’, which is definitely on the contrary as far as I’m concerned. It is so very necessary to be a very kind, caring, unselfish person.