How my wife and I supported each other after our daughter died from sepsis, aged two and a half

By Jason Watkins

After Maude died, our grief was not dissimilar. Clara helped me get through it and I hope I helped her. There were times when she was really desperate and that was very difficult. I didn’t know if I was doing or saying the right thing, but you have to keep going, to keep trying. If you get things wrong, you just keep trying to get it right.

You just have to try to be present and hold it together. Clara did that for me; she was brave, but I just lost it completely at times. Then Clara would have really desperate hours where I would hold her for hours. Grieving is like a strange graph that goes up and down sharply, then it cruises and then it’s like an earthquake again.

We talked a lot about what had happened and how we were feeling, which helped. There were a lot of practical things to be done, like the post-mortem, the funeral and inquest, so I had a kind of focus to help me heal. Strangely, I probably set aside some of my grief by doing practical things. Clara didn’t have that opportunity as readily to hand, although her work helped a bit.

For Clara, having friends to come over and talk and just to be present and listen was great. We found a support group of parents and that helped as we were able to think and articulate what was happening to us. Having someone that you can talk to who has experienced what you are experiencing is key. If you can find somebody who understands, in the way you do, it helps enormously.

 

Jason and Clara are Patrons of Child Bereavement UK