I was sat on the train back from London, after being asked to go on loose women to raise awareness about grieving children.
At first, I felt sick at the thought of opening up the world I had been living in for the past couple of months, as this would be the first time speaking in public about the death of my children’s father.
I started to think about our lives, realising we are not the only people in this situation. But every night, for hours at a time, when you’re left holding your grieving children that you love completely, you do feel like the only person in this world going through this. For me, hearing stories of others that have been in a similar situation has helped me to come to terms with the future and what it means for my children.
When a death happens, so many people do not know how to deal with or react to it. This is even more so when it is a suicide or when there are children involved. So many people feel like they have to shy away or avoid those connected to the death, which, I understand may be difficult, as no one likes to probe a conversation about the loss for fear of upsetting the loved ones. When someone dies, people need to talk, you need to know people give a shit!
Talking and addressing feelings needs to happen, especially for children. It is ok to say to a child that has lost a loved one “I’m sorry someone you lost died, I’m thinking of you”, children need to hear words of support and to know that they can talk. But if we all walk around with our bloody heads in the sand, pretending everything is hunky dory – nothing will get resolved and can leave permanent damage.
Children are so much more attuned to things than we give them credit for, and children, more than anyone, are the ones that need to understand that it is normal and healthy to talk, because they do not carry the logic that we have as adults.
Apart from free therapy from Jeff Brazier (I am joking there) I felt compelled to go on the show to help people understand/raise awareness for grieving children. It is important for people who are in similar situations to myself to know that they are not alone and there is help out there.
I want to thank Loose Women for having me, Colleen, Nadia, Janet, Andrea and Jeff for handling this painful topic with love, grace and support. I was nervous, sad, anxious, all the feelings you don’t want to be when you are talking about something so important. So thank you. It was a cathartic experience.
The Samaritans, talked me through what was the best way to tell my children their father had died and the second charity was Winstons Wish , who are great with advice on how to handle such a delicate situation and a friendly voice.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my partner, Alex, for his continued support and love with my family. And also the messages of support and kindness.