“A hug in the form of a letter” – behind the scenes with the ‘Letters from the Grief Club’ contributors (Part 2)
From the founder and a trustee of the Let’s Talk About Loss charity, Letters from the Grief Club consists of over 50 heartfelt letters written by a group of young individuals all dealing with grief in their own individual way. Some have written to themselves back on their first day of grief, with the reassurance that they will get through those awful first months, whilst others have shared snippets from their grief journeys – from the experience of therapy to the power of getting creative. In the second half of this 2-part blog, we hear from two of the Letters from the Grief Club contributors on their grief stories and writing experiences.
My mum took her life when I was 14 and many of the years that followed were accompanied by deep-rooted pain, anger and loneliness. One tool that supported me the most during this time was writing. I wrote to my mum, about my mum, for my mum, and anything I could to try and express what I was feeling in words I knew were mine, that I could edit, keep or discard. It was powerful.
Reading other people’s words about their grief journeys, often resonating with my own, felt like a hug in the form of a letter. It’s a privilege to have been asked to contribute to Letters from the Grief Club. Even now, 18 years on in my life that has changed drastically from that dreaded day, I can dip in and out and get wisdom and reassurance from the pages of this book that I am not alone. There is nothing quite as comforting as the empathy from a community who understands, and to be able to pick up this book at my own pace, on my good and bad days, is something I’m so happy will now be available to many. We are not alone.
Those first moments after my husband died were emotional and gut wrenching. I’ve always thought of that time as a dark moment in my life that I wanted to put in a box and never open up again, but when I was writing the letter to myself, I felt proud of the person that was in those pages and that I was strong for my husband until his last breath. It’s important for me to mention that Mark died 20 minutes before my 30th birthday because in the weeks leading up to his death, Mark was so worried he would die on my birthday, so I know it would have meant a lot to him that he didn’t.
I hope people feel empowered reading my story and maybe relate to what I experienced about grief. I also need to take a leaf out of my own book and keep forgiving myself for not being the perfect mum! My inspiration is to live a happy, long life with my son and see him grow up to be the person Mark and I always dreamed of.
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