Loved ones remembered on tree

The Oxford Times: Theresa Jordan, left, with friend Sonja Townsend and the tree Theresa Jordan, left, with friend Sonja Townsend and the tree

A WOMAN who lost her husband to cancer has found a way for everyone in her town to leave messages for absent loved ones this Christmas.

Theresa Jordan, a teacher from Wallingford, has worked with officials to have a tree put up for people to leave a message to missing friends and family.

And she says it will help those dealing with the loss of a loved one at Christmas time this year.

Mrs Jordan, who teaches at Wallingford School and lives in Thames Street, said: “For many people who have suffered the loss of a loved one, Christmas is an extremely sad, painful, and possibly lonely time.

“But I believe our loved ones are very much with us at all times, including Christmas. They continue to shape and influence our lives, and we are lucky to have shared theirs.”

Mrs Jordan lost her husband, Roy Seddon, to bowel cancer just over a year ago, when he was 77. Originally from Ireland, Mr Seddon worked in Wallingford as a sports and recreation officer for South Oxfordshire District Council.

Mrs Jordan said: “Walking through the market place last year, I saw a tree and I thought Roy would have loved it.

“I felt he was still so much a part of the community. I know it sounds stupid, but I wanted to acknowledge that.”

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So she decided to hang a bauble on the tree in his memory.

Then she thought, “if I felt like that, how many other people would feel like that? How many of us think of our grandma or grandpa or husband or wife and think: what would we say to them at Christmas?”

She went to Wallingford Town Council with her idea, and staff loved it.

The Gratitude Tree has been put up at the Rest Garden opposite Waitrose.

Anyone can pick up a bauble and a tag to write a message at the Town Information Centre under the town hall.

Mrs Jordan is picking up the baubles and hanging them on the tree herself.

  • CHRISTMAS trees at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital have been decorated with messages of thanks. Patients, families, staff and supporters wrote notes of thanks to hang on trees in the Churchill Hospital and in the west wing at the John Radcliffe.

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