North London Groups 07532 423 674 | South London Groups 07908 937 722 info@slowgroup.co.uk
Summer Sibling Workshop with Cloud Workshop

Summer Sibling Workshop with Cloud Workshop

On the 15th June 2019 SLOW held a special sibling workshop at the Ecology Centre, in the heart of the wildlife reserve in Gillespie Park, Islington.

The workshop was generously gifted to SLOW by the amazing Cloud Workshop New Zealand who have been running creative art workshops with bereaved children since 2008. This workshop was also supported by the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust.

The workshop was led by Cloud Workshop with the theme of ‘Peg Guardians’.  Cloud Workshop has a long tradition of making talismans to ward away sadness and strengthen us. The peg guardians were inspired by Guatemalan Worry Dolls and Depression era toys that were made from everyday objects such as pegs and wooden spoons.  The peg guardians have had to work hard over the years – helping to keep bad dreams away, reminding us of someone we are missing, comforting their spirit, comforting our own spirit, trying to provide strength against bullies (and encouraging talk with adults about this). After an introduction from Deb, the children brainstormed on the qualities they wished their guardians to portray and then created their figures with flat pegs, fabrics, papers, felt, decorations and character faces.

Children took part in a ‘show and tell’ at the end of the workshop describing their work to other children, team members and parents. The combined volunteers from SLOW and Cloud Workshop worked very hard throughout the afternoon to create a very successful and activity packed workshop.

Cloud Workshop NZ

Thank you to both our sponsors – Cloud Workshop and Angus Lawson Memorial Trust.

 

Some information about SLOWsibs

SLOW runs creative workshops for bereaved children that have lost a brother or sister so they can meet each other with the aim of reducing isolation, building resilience and confidence and making new friends. We provide a safe space to explore feelings and develop their creative skills.

SLOWsibs meets quarterly and previous workshops have included cupcake decoration, miniature worlds, gardening, marbling, decoupage and Christmas wreath making. Children aged 6 years to 15 years are invited to attend the groups.

Take a look at our picture gallery here to see some of the wonderful and creative work from our SLOWsibs.

 

 

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Holding on, or letting go?

Holding on, or letting go?

Since the death of Naomi Grace 13 years ago, I’ve read a lot of the grief literature and heard lots about ‘letting go’.

I’ve come to learn that ‘holding on’ and ‘letting go’ is not a goal to strive for, not an aim for grieving to ‘resolve’ or ‘gain closure’.

Letting go and holding on is simply a dynamic flux, a relationship of loving and grieving.  As natural as breathing in and out.

The thought of ‘letting go’ of our child is abhorrent to bereaved parents. So, for me it’s about holding on closely to what needs to be held onto and at the same time loosening the grip of fear, to breathe in the love that brings her more fully into my heart. I now accept this is the life-long rhythm of grief and love.

Nicola Whitworth

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Stillbirth: I am a mother without a baby

Stillbirth: I am a mother without a baby

My arms no longer ache like those first hours, but they are still empty – I am a mother without a baby

BBC Journalist Fiona Crack became pregnant last year with a much – longed for baby girl, but her waters broke early and her beautiful baby girl, named Willow, died. This is her story of a year of grief and healing, and the stories of 5 extraordinary women who shared her experience and all went on to channel their grief into futures that bear the legacy of their child.

In this moving article, Fiona describes her ordeal and the grief that followed:-

Grief folded and stretched time. ..One day we travelled to a register office and an official asked quiet sad questions. We left holding legal proof she was here, she was real. Birth and death shared the paper, the only document she will ever have.

She describes her coping mechanisms, so recognisable to many of us who have suffered the death of a child:-

My coping mechanisms are all about doing stuff and so I planned a part of our garden to dedicate to Willow, buying graph paper and poring over garden design books. We started landscaping in the coldest wettest week in February. We hired a 1.5 tonne digger. Friends and family came to help us in snow and frost, in driving rain.

After being given a memory box in which to place special things to remember Willow, Fiona set out on a journey to meet other mothers who had experienced such a loss as her and the stories of five remarkable women are here. They are:

 

Val runs the Tigerlily Trust, which provides hospitals with blankets, wraps and gowns for stillborn babies

Rachel runs Gifts of Remembrance, which trains midwives to take photos of stillborn babies

Ruth retrained as a midwife after the stillbirth of her daughter Scarlett. She has just started her first posting, having qualified this summer.

Aliyah Publishing graduate makes bespoke wall prints through her online shop, which help parents celebrate their baby’s name and birth date and is working on a bespoke memory book.

Megan began a popular vlog about stillbirth just weeks after the death of her son Milo

Val says:-

My advice to other parents going through this is let yourself grieve hard. Don’t be afraid of your grief – share it with people. That’s almost precious time before the world sort of expects you to be OK. Let yourself have that time.

To read the full article please click here

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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Getting through it – Jason Watkins and Clara Francis

Getting through it – Jason Watkins and Clara Francis

SLOW Patrons, Jason Watkins and Clara Francis talk to the Guardian about losing their daughter Maude, aged two and a half.

“It changes you. It changes everything in your life, and that includes your work. In one sense, after a loss this huge, work seems trivial. But in another sense, it becomes more important. I feel that whatever I do, I’m going to really make it count …”

You can read the full article here.

 

Photograph of Jason and Clara by Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

If are looking for support groups in London please get in touch using the details below or take a look at our calendar of events here.

North London Group

In North London (Islington) we run weekly daytime support groups for bereaved parents on Wednesdays during term time.  We also run monthly evening support groups for bereaved parents and sibling workshops.   For further details contact 07532 423 674 or info@slowgroup.co.uk

South London Group

In South London (Streatham) we run weekly daytime support groups for bereaved parents on Tuesdays during term time.  For further details contact 07908 93 77 22 or info.south@slowgroup.co.uk
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My daughter died when she was seven. I still get waves of terrible grief today

My daughter died when she was seven. I still get waves of terrible grief today

Tim has written about the loss of Naomi and his experience of managing to continue through the grief. He also talks about the help from Helen and Douglas House and also the support group for bereaved dads he started.

It’s been eleven years since Naomi died and I still get sudden waves of terrible grief. But in this group we find real comfort in one another. Some of us have been on real journeys, had relationships break-up and come back together, had more children,  all the things that happen in life. But this is a place where we can bring our relationships with our dead children – it just goes on.

The article was published in this Tuesday’s Telegraph and you can read the article here.

If are looking for support groups in London please get in touch using the details below or take a look at our calendar of events here.

North London Group

In North London (Islington) we run weekly daytime support groups for bereaved parents on Wednesdays during term time.  We also run monthly evening support groups for bereaved parents and sibling workshops.   For further details contact 07532 423 674 or info@slowgroup.co.uk

South London Group

In South London (Streatham) we run weekly daytime support groups for bereaved parents on Tuesdays during term time.  For further details contact 07908 93 77 22 or info.south@slowgroup.co.uk
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