John's story on


These are real stories of people facing the end of their lives. They are about love, freedom, family, home, joy, purpose and trust. They don’t take life for granted. They focus on what matters most.

I met Margot at a house of Australians in London. She said she liked me because I made her laugh. I came here in 1956 and we got married in 1959, 60 years ago.

Margot was a school teacher, loved crafts and created a beautiful home for us. We had six children.

Last year Margot became much more frail. Her kidneys were failing. She wanted to stay at home until she died.  It’s much more comfortable to be in your own home. It’s as normal as you can get when you’re dying.

I was happy to care for Margot. But you need somebody to back you up. You give plenty of love and attention but if you haven’t got the skills, you can’t do the job properly. If Margot wasn’t sleeping or eating, or if she was in pain, I needed advice.

The palliative care people have the right sort of humanity and pass on their expertise to the carer. They made it easier for me to care for Margot.

You’ve got to have somebody on the telephone that you trust and that’s what you get. When you get palliative care you get someone 24 hours a day that you can talk to.  After hours there’s always a nurse on standby and you’re not alone. The care and and the friendship that they give is a sort of love really.

Margot died at home in December last year. It hurts not having her. She was such a special person. It was a privilege caring for her.

I am grieving now but the palliative care group continues to visit and support me.


Melbourne City Mission Palliative Care

Melbourne City Mission Palliative Care service works alongside people with a life-limiting illness, their family and carers, to experience a quality of life that is aligned with what matters most to each person.