Zara and Arran’s son, Blake, who was one of identical twins, died at birth. Zara talks about Blake’s death and how she has been supported by Child Bereavement UK in West London.

After Blake died, I was assigned a psychiatrist to help me, but it was very formal, very hospital, very clinical. A few years later, I spoke to my keyworker and told her I needed to talk to someone on a one-to-one basis. She immediately directed me to Child Bereavement UK. I’d been very much dealing with Blake’s identical twin brother, Quentin, who is three and has special needs. I felt I had harboured all my emotions up to this point and had never allowed myself to deal with them. But eventually I needed to talk to someone.

I’m not really a person to talk to anybody, I’m not one to share my emotions, I’d rather keep it bottled up. But when I noticed that the way I was dealing with the trauma was manifesting in other ways like flashbacks, I knew I had to let it out.

I’m not really a person to talk to anybody, I’m not one to share my emotions, I’d rather keep it bottled up. But when I noticed that the way I was dealing with the trauma was manifesting in other ways like flashback, I knew I had to let it out.

At Child Bereavement UK I could talk about any worries and concerns I had. I was exhausted afterwards but I didn’t feel as stressed or emotional, and I wasn’t having as many flashbacks. It felt like I could let it go and then go home.

My sessions at Child Bereavement UK were monthly, which felt sufficient. They were quite intense; we would have a good chat and I would let it all out. I could talk about any worries and concerns I had. I was exhausted afterwards but I didn’t feel as stressed or emotional, and I wasn’t having as many flashbacks. It felt like I could let it go and then go home. Then I told Child Bereavement UK that my husband, Arran, was struggling too;he came to a session with me and then had his own referral.

Coming to Child Bereavement UK has definitely changed me from what I was before. I was a lot angrier before. Now I’m not as angry or withdrawn, I can talk more, I can also tell Quentin what happened. Every year we go to Blake’s grave – we make a point of doing that. It’s important for Quentin because he’s an identical twin which is kind of a curse and a godsend.

I’m grateful to have found Child Bereavement UK but I wish I’d known about the charity when I was dealing with all the raw emotions immediately after Blake died. At the hospital, I had no one to talk to. They give you lots of leaflets but you’re not in a good place to take it all in.

I’m grateful to have found Child Bereavement UK but I wish I’d known about the charity when I was dealing with all the raw emotions immediately after Blake died. At the hospital, I had no one to talk to. They give you lots of leaflets but you’re not in a good place to take it all in.

Sometimes when you lose a child you feel like you can’t talk about them and it’s really important to feel that you can. They are part of your life and your soul. It’s something that you need to express and not always in the past tense.

Grief is a bit of a taboo kind of subject. I sometimes meet other families at the children’s graveyard, and they ask, ‘How old was your son?’, ‘What was his name?’.  I think it’s good to talk about the nice side of things, to reminisce from that perspective. Sometimes when you lose a child you feel like you can’t talk about them and it’s really important to feel that you can. They are part of your life and your soul. It’s something that you need to express and not always in the past tense.