At The Compassionate Friends we know that different things work for different people at different times with their loss and grief. You will find below individuals' blogs outlining what has been helpful for them in coping with their loss and grief – however, we do appreciate everyone’s beliefs and ways of coping and managing will be different and what works for one person may not work for another. We hope it helps to hear from others about what works for you so we can each take from these personal contributions what feels helpful for our grief - we would like to hear from other parents about what has/is helping you with your grief so do please let us know below or at email@example.com
The grief does not go away
Nov 14: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s eldest son, Nicholas, dies of gastric cancer aged 43.” When I read that headline last weekend, everything around me disappeared and my mind went numb. And then the pain returned. A pain like no other I have ever known — one that sits somewhere just under the heart, buried deep, and one which is inconsolable and incurable.
Saying the Wrong Thing – or Saying Nothing
Nov 1: People in your life may occasionally say the wrong thing. Some may not fully grasp that you won’t ever get over this and might say something like ‘Time heals all wounds.’...They may talk about their children of a similar age, citing something trivial or annoying that their child has done, as they momentarily forget you can no longer do the same. All this can hurt.
Stepping out of life...the healing power of nature
Oct 9: “I can hear your absence in my soul, loud and luminous, sometimes it’s a hushed echo, lingering low and lurking loose but it never fades, it takes a break but it never breaks away.” This is a beautifully written blog about the healing power of nature and one couple's way of coping with the death of their 25 year old son.
Aug 25: Being here on this island with the sun shining and waves lapping at the sandy beach forces me to think. I look out to the sea, the view framed by rugged sandstone rocks eroded by time and tide. People - families, bobbing about in the water, face masks on as they explore the under world, invisible to us beach dwellers.
Getting good (better) at feeling bad
May 5: If you have recently lost your darling precious child - this is for you…I’ve written a blog for newly bereaved parents because I was that mum not so long ago. I’ve tried to write what I needed to read because it helps to know how others are living this same kind of loss.
Feb 1: My Mum was a cleaner. Not professionally, although she had worked at “the big house” when she was in service as a young girl in Liverpool. No, I mean that my Mum loved cleaning and was very houseproud. Dust didn’t dare settle on the furniture and the carpets were vacuumed within an inch of their lives. This must have rubbed off on me because I like to clean too, especially when I’m stressed.
In His Slipstream
Oct 17: Shortly after losing my son Laury at the age of 21, I decided to do something to honour his memory. Many of us do this, whether it’s a memorial garden, planting trees, holding a festival or setting up a charity or campaign organisation. It can be a way of trying to make something positive arise from the death of our precious child...
My Grief Journey So Far
Sep 13: This 'Christmas Tree' is an analogy of the way grief ebbs and flows. Starting at the bottom of the image, and moving up towards the tip of the tree. Those periods of raw, agonising pain, so protracted for many months, gradually become a little shorter over time.
Aug 19: With my son’s death, I have come to the painful understanding that he has given me a gift. More than any other I have received, I didn’t expect it and didn’t want it. But I have it now and cannot return it. It is beholden upon me, for my sake as well as his, to use it as well as I can.
Griefbursts and silent screams
Jul 2: Grief can leave us feeling wretched. There is an acute pain when someone you love dies, a pain that can be felt physically on occasion. On the long journey of adjustment – becoming accustomed to living life without the presence of this precious person – we go through ups and downs.
The Healing Power of Writing
Apr 26: I know I am not alone in expressing my thoughts, feelings and emotions in writing as a vehicle for processing life and all its wondrous and not so wondrous happenings...Of writing being healing (Michael Rosen) said, “There is relief and release as the words go onto the page”.
We keep him close, always
Feb 27: ‘We keep him close, always’: how I survived the loss of my teenage son Seven years ago, my 14-year-old son, Kadian, was killed in a road accident. This is the advice I’d give myself back then...The first thing I would say to my seven-year-younger-self is this: I am so sorry for your loss. I am so, so sorry for your loss.
Over 5 Years In
Oct 13: What follows is a chronicle of my thoughts in a typical day, five years after David’s death. Hopefully, it will also serve as a reminder to all of us still struggling to move forward, that we do not walk alone. Your grief is not abnormal or strange, and the fact you think of your deceased child all the time is completely and totally normal.
Finding hope in the darkest of places
Sep 10: Years ago, as a newly qualified CBT therapist in the NHS, I was allocated a patient whose notes filled me with dread and anxiety. Two years previously, this patient had lost her son to suicide. I wondered what I could possibly offer this poor woman who had suffered surely the very worst fate imaginable.
August is the month my life changed
Aug 25: I’m writing this in mid-August. August is the month my life changed - 13 years ago. I was a happy and fulfilled working mum, – juggling a satisfying career with bringing up 3 boys, which was stressful at times, but I was managing fine.
Early Grief Survival Guide: The first month
Aug 3: "In the very early days of grief, my children and I searched the internet for advice. How do we do this grief thing? What will we feel? How long will it last? Some resources were better than others, but few stood out".
Rolling Along Like A Bent Penny
Jun 4: " I’ve learned to carry the pain, to live with it and recognise that it is what I look like now. Bruised, dented and prone to falling over every now and then. But … I get back up again because I have survived the worst that this world can throw at me, and I wobble off into the future".
You will always be the light that colours my jar
May 28: So James. Here's a story. Picture the scene. A hotel, nestled in the Derbyshire Dales, crammed to the rafters....literally.....with mums and dads of angels.... I hear the words..."Maria, don't forget to collect your jam jar before you leave"
Swimming through grief
Mar 5: "Our lives were thrown into a living hell. The shock of it, the cruelty of it, the grim unreality of it. Yet even in those first, nightmarish days when I was living in a fog of despair, I felt a primitive need to get in the water, to swim, to lose myself in the river and the sea".
Have you Ever Wondered? All about the Mourning Light
Sep 30: “Once you have begun to emerge from the darkness of loss, once you have begun to unfurl, blinking in the light, like someone waking from a long sleep, you rarely go back to the black pit of despair where you started".
A long reply to a simple question
Aug 19: This is a long reply to a simple question and the short answer to “does it get better” would be; yes, because it changes and it becomes different. Instead of drowning in sorrow you grow a new skin that keeps you afloat and contains the ocean of pain".
The Power of "and"
Apr 24: “After we left our session that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about that one little word. Ever since Dorothy’s death, I had found myself trying to separate my re-emerging feelings of happiness from the steady depression I was in.