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"I couldn’t imagine feeling joy like I feel today..."

Adelle Brenner ran the London Marathon 2018 on 22 April in memory of her daughter, Celia and to fundraise for The Compassionate Friends. Here, Adelle writes movingly the day after about her inspirational run in the hottest Marathon ever in London and what it meant to her.

"What a day. Running the London Marathon for The Compassionate Friends was such an honour. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have supported me and TCF in memory of your children. Your love and kind words helped me carry on when I doubted myself.

The hottest London marathon on record after training in the coldest winter was awesome and awful in almost equal measure but I’m hugely proud that I finished it. I had to stop for a cry and a few jelly babies at mile 17 and was looked after by a lovely medic but I carried on and finished in 5 hrs 59 minutes.

For a long time after we lost our daughter Celia at 3 years old, nearly 7 years ago, I couldn’t imagine feeling joy like I feel today. My world was turned upside down when she died suddenly in an accident. I questioned everything I had believed in. My assumptions of a future watching my children grow up healthy and happy as I grew older proved to be wrong. The confident, positive person I had been was lost too.

Running the marathon for TCF has helped me rediscover not just who I was before we lost Celia but also who I have become since. I’m still not a very good runner but I’ve got determination in spades - I needed it just to get out of bed every day. It’s also helped restore my faith in humanity, the love of friends and family who encouraged me and the kindness of strangers who shouted my name, gave out ice pops to cool us down and sprayed us with water.

I ran dressed as Wonder Woman. Celia was fond of dressing up and I thought she would approve. She especially loved dressing up as Cinderella but I thought at 44 I was a bit old for that. Yesterday I honestly felt like Wonder Woman. It’s not just me though, all of us bereaved parents are super heroes. We have all had to develop superpowers to carry on without our children, to rebuild our lives and we should be immensely proud of ourselves for that.

My sponsorship fund for TCF has now topped £8,000! I never even dreamt of close to that. Not only will this enable more families to be helped but it’s also meant that people who have never been able to ask about Celia, to say her name, have been able to, even if it’s only in a sponsorship message. It’s started a conversation amongst many of my friends and family that I’ve been hoping for for years. Through this and talking to the Bath TCF group I’ve learned that as bereaved parents if we want to talk about our child and our grief, it so often has to be us who starts the conversation. It’s tough to do but if we can it enables those around us to support us better.

Thank you TCF x"

You can still donate to Adelle's epic run at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AdelleBrenner

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