SLOW North London came about in 2007, when we, two bereaved mothers, decided to provide a space where other bereaved parents could come to meet, take time out, have a cup of tea or just be with others who felt isolated in their grief.
Our aim at SLOW is to provide an informal, quiet place for bereaved parents. Some say that our group provides refuge from the ravages of the 'outside' world at a time when life has been irrevocably changed by their child's death. We know that the death of your child disturbs every aspect of life, including all of your relationships with family, friends and the world at large. SLOW is a place to be yourself, in the utterly changed circumstances in which you find yourself, and take strength from the support of others, before returning to daily life and it's challenges.
Changes happen imperceptibly slowly. But there can be an indefinable sense that it slowly becomes more possible to feel and connect with the presence of our lost child from inside ourselves. And, eventually to find a way to walk alongside them, not in physical life, as we dreamed and expected, but timelessly in love and spirit.
We know that life will never feel the same again, and that our children will be forever missing. But gradually life can begin to offer us different perspective, different values, different strengths and different relationships. And, most importantly a deep and continuing relationship with our child who has died.
What happens at SLOW?
The SLOW group lives, breathes and grows from a simple ethos - we meet, we listen, we talk, we can be silent, we respect each other's differences and we share our pain.
Our meetings last for an hour and a half. There is no pressure to come regularly, but to come whenever it feels right to do so. We find that parents come because they want to connect with others who understand what they are going through, be it weeks or years after the death of their child. Though our circumstances vary widely, there is so much that is shared. We have learned to trust our instinct as to what we need, and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve for your child.
All bereaved parents regardless of age, faith or time since the death of their child are warmly welcomed.
Confidentiality is crucial to SLOW. Everything that is shared in the group stays within the group.
Nicki and Susie began this project as they felt there was a vast need for this type of support in the community. Up to date they have given their time voluntarily and fundraise to sustain the running of the project.
They are also trained volunteers on the national Child Death Helpline, and hold certificates in Counselling Skills from Birkbeck University London.