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Actor and SLOW member, Rob Delaney, writes about the heartbreaking illness of his young son, Henry

Actor and SLOW member, Rob Delaney, writes about the heartbreaking illness of his young son, Henry

Actor, Rob Delaney and his wife, Sarah, lost their 2-year-old son, Henry, in January 2018.  Here he writes honestly and poignantly about Henry’s illness and treatment.

Henry’s tracheotomy tube prevents him from speaking, so I haven’t heard him make a peep for over a year. My wife recently walked in on me crying and listening to recordings of him babbling, from before his diagnosis and surgery. I’d recorded his brothers doing Alan Partridge impressions and Henry was in the background, probably playing with the dishwasher, and just talking to himself, in fluent baby. Fucking music, oh my God I want to hear him again. Now he has a foam-cuffed tracheotomy tube in his beautiful throat, rendering him mute.

The post was originally intended to be part of a book for the parents of sick children:

The reason I’m putting this out there now is that the intended audience for this book was to be my fellow parents of very sick children. They were always so tired and sad, like ghosts, walking the halls of the hospitals, and I wanted them to know someone understood and cared. I’d still like them to know that, so here these few pages are, for them. Or for you.

But I can’t write that book anymore because our family’s story has a different ending than I’d hoped for. Maybe I’ll write a different book in the future, but now my responsibility is to my family and myself as we grieve our beautiful Henry.

To read Rob’s article in full please click here.

Many of the bereaved parents at SLOW have nursed their children through painful illnesses and treatment.   After their children die some are lost without the routine of hospital admissions and caring responsibilities of looking after their seriously ill child.

SLOW welcomes all bereaved parents irrespective of whether their child was an adult or a baby, or the varying circumstances in which they died.  And though circumstances surrounding the deaths of our children differ widely, parents find a way to share their pain and grief.

Should you need bereavement support following the death of your child please contact us.  Click here for further details of how to get in touch.

 

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Please sponsor our two Royal Parks Half Marathon runners!

Please sponsor our two Royal Parks Half Marathon runners!

SLOW has two runners, Annabelle Williams and James Galilee, signed up for the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 14 October 2018.  Please please support these fantastic people to raise funds for SLOW!

Annabelle’s fundraising page

Annabelle Williams LocalGiving

James’ fundraising page

Screenshot James Galilee LocalGiving

For more information on the Royal Parks Half Marathon click here.

 

If you would like to help SLOW please do contact us with your fundraising ideas.  Click here for more information.

 

 

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Changing your relationship with grief

Changing your relationship with grief

This blog article from ‘What’s your grief?’ has really resonated with us here at SLOW, especially for the bereaved parents and facilitators that are a little ‘further on’ in their grief.

What it Means to ‘Change Your Relationship With Grief’

For many parents coming to our support groups, one of their first questions is ‘will it always feel like this?’.  It was definitely one of my overriding questions in the early days after my daughter’s death that I directed at Nicola and Susie, the facilitators at my first SLOW group.   I wanted to know if it would get better – surely I couldn’t feel like this forever and I didn’t think my body could even survive such physical heartache?

I can clearly remember Susie saying – ‘it does get better but it doesn’t “get better” ’ and now eight years on I know how right she was.

This article shows how you can live with grief and that over time that isn’t as negative as it initially appears.

The reality of grief is that it often stays with you until the day you, yourself, die. For those who think of grief as being all negative emotion, I can see where this may seem unmanageable, but rest assured the impact of grief changes over time. As you change your relationship with grief – by changing how you respond to, cope with, and conceptualize grief – you will likely also find hope and healing. If you think about it, grief is one instance where there is a strong benefit to accepting its ongoing presence in your life because doing so creates more room for comfort, positive memories, and an ongoing connection with the person who died.

SLOW support groups are here for bereaved parents weeks, months or even years after the death of a child.   And I know, personally for me, that in the early days it was so important to understand from others further along how the grief for a lost child evolved.

For more information on our forthcoming groups click here

 

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Sands survey: Bereaved parents let down by a lack of support in the workplace

Sands survey: Bereaved parents let down by a lack of support in the workplace

A survey carried out by SANDs has reported that ‘Two out of five parents who went back to work after their baby died said no-one talked to them about their loss”.

SANDS carried out a survey of more than 2,500 bereaved parents and concluded that most employers did also not offer support.

The BBC Article says:

Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive of Sands, said: “Sadly, the death of a baby is not a rare event but too often, bereaved parents are faced by a wall of silence because people around them, family, friends, and colleagues, are lost for words.

“Death is never an easy subject and when a baby dies it is even harder to talk about.

“But finding the right words at the right time can really help to support bereaved parents and families when they need it most.

“Not everyone will be ready to talk about their bereavement – but simply saying, ‘I’m so sorry,’ for example, can really help.”

Dr Harmer added: “For grieving parents, returning to work may be a difficult step but the workplace can be a vital source of support.”

Unfortunately, this too has often been the story for bereaved parents at SLOW, although we also know there are some sympathetic employers out there.  Bereaved parents very often don’t get anywhere near the level of support they need to cope.

In our experience at SLOW it is often essential that grieving parent want to verbalise the pain and to talk about their child and what has happened, sometimes over and over.

SLOW support groups are here for bereaved parents weeks, months or even years after the death of a child.   For more information on our forthcoming groups click here

 

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