The 7.5 miles walked by over 2,000 men earlier this month was an opportunity for men of all ages to join together in memory of loved ones lost, walking, talking and sharing.
The day was particularly poignant for Martin Jones from Plymstock, who was walking for his wife Jenny, who sadly died just five days before.
A wonderful woman, partner, soulmate and friend, Jenny, 76, was a nurse who worked at St Luke’s from its very early days at Syrena House. The couple actually met at St Luke’s 35 years ago when Martin was a volunteer and Jen was working at our specialist unit at Turnchapel. Since then, the pair have volunteered together at our Plymstock Broadway charity shop, with their daughter Jackie following in her mother’s footsteps and also joining the St Luke’s team.
Before her death, Jenny was cared for at home by St Luke’s Urgent Care Service team, giving her comfort and dignity in her final days. While it was a big step accepting the help, Martin describes it as one of the best decisions they ever made bringing back some dignity for her, which for her was massively important.
Martin, a retained firefighter with Plymstock Fire Station, has been a regular at our Men’s Day Out over the years and despite losing Jenny just days before, he knew that it was important to honour her memory, while using it as an opportunity to speak freely with others who really understand the pain of loss.
“Jen passed early Monday morning and this walk was the following Saturday and I’ve got to admit I woke up in the morning, looked outside and thought no I’m not going, I can’t do this,” Martin explains.
“But then I had a bit of reflection back on it. I thought no Jen and I had talked about it, I do it every year. Just days before she said, ‘No, you go on it my love, you do the walk, you do it every year. I’ll still be here when you get back.’
“If you can talk about it, it can ease the pain. It won’t get rid of the pain but certainly hearing other stories from other gentlemen here, the pain will go. It won’t go completely but it will ease away.”
Jenny’s funeral will take place on her birthday, Thursday 30 March, at Yealmpton Woodland Burial. Friends of the family are more than welcome. For further information please contact Walter C Parson Funeral Directors in Plymstock.