Jayne was supported by Child Bereavement UK after her daughter Georgina died aged 15.

Coming to Child Bereavement UK gave me somewhere where I could talk about what I'd experienced and the thoughts I was having. 

I was aware of Child Bereavement UK as I'm a teacher and knew about the charity’s work with schools. When my daughter Georgina died in 2021, I started being supported by Child Bereavement UK myself.

When Georgina first went to heaven, my heart physically ached and the days were difficult to get through because the feeling was so overwhelming. I’d heard it said that when someone dies you feel as if you’re never going to smile again and that you'll never laugh or be happy. I could relate to that because the feeling of sadness and the pain of her not being here was so great that I wondered if I could survive.

My husband and I were grieving differently. We had a shared experience, but our response was so different because we're such different characters and talking to him about it was really difficult. I had to be guarded about sharing reflections or memories and it was difficult for him to share my pain because he was so consumed by his own.

As bereaved parents we were living with the ramifications of being submerged in grief, dealing with the dynamic in the family, anniversaries and talking to other people. I was in such a depleted state and needed help navigating things.

There are so many elements to being a grieving parent that can sometimes make you question whether you're going mad. Coming to Child Bereavement UK gave me somewhere where I could talk about what I’d experienced and the thoughts I was having.

When you’re bereaved at the beginning you think it will never get better, you think this is going to be my life, my heart will ache for the rest of my life. But the bereavement support practitioner had seen other grieving people go through the same journey over a long period and had seen that things could improve.

When you're bereaved, you're on your own and you need the wisdom of others who have that foresight and who have seen people survive.

You spend a lot of time being fake, putting on a smile to avoid the social challenge of somebody having to deal with your loss, because they don't know what to say. You're on your own and you need the wisdom of others who have that foresight and who have seen people survive.

Georgina’s friends are all celebrating their 18th birthdays; it’s hard to imagine what she would have been like as she was 15 when she died. I love seeing her friends and chatting to them, finding out what they’re doing, and sending them gifts and cards - that’s not to say it’s not difficult sometimes, but I love having that connection to Georgina. This is my life now and pain is part of my life - unsolicited pain that comes when you’re least expecting it. But Julia Samuel says pain is the agent of change and that just because something is painful, it doesn't mean you should avoid it.

I find lots of ways to remember Georgina. She was a real gift giver so at Christmas time I make sure that there is a gift for every person at the table from Georgina with a picture of her on it. When it was Father's Day, I bought a little gift from Georgina for my husband. We planted a tree at her school and for her 18th birthday, I made brownies using her recipe because she loved to bake. I wrapped the brownies with a picture of Georgina and gave them to her friends in her memory.

It's such a lonely road being a grieving mother or father and you can feel that no one understands. There are all kinds of trip wires and things that you have to navigate all the time and being surrounded by people who don't understand is the biggest challenge. So to be able to come to Child Bereavement UK and sit in a room, talk and have somewhere to cry is important. 


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