Patron and facilitator, Clara Francis, shares her heartbreaking story

Patron and facilitator, Clara Francis, shares her heartbreaking story

Please join us tonight at 7pm by lighting a candle in memory of all the babies and children who were lost too soon and, as baby loss awareness week culminates today, we wanted to share a beautifully written article by our patron and group facilitator, Clara Francis.

Clara describes her daughter’s tragic story, the deep sadness she felt in the aftermath of Maude’s death and how she was helped by SLOW.

I felt a deep compulsion to speak to other bereaved parents – but I didn’t know any. The logic behind this impulse was probably that I needed to speak to people who were further down the line, to prove it was possible to live a life afterwards. I found a local parent bereavement group called SLOW which was set up and run by two bereaved parents. They meet once a week sitting together, eating cake, drinking tea and sharing stories. Knowing there was one place I could go every share my darkest thoughts was integral to my healing.

Maude, the daughter of Jason Watkins and Clara Francis

Clara explains how working for SLOW has kept her both connected with Maude and has allowed her to give back to the charity and community that helped her navigate the pain of losing a child:

A couple of years ago, I trained as a group facilitator for SLOW. I now work for them part-time running my own group for bereaved parents. I also volunteer for the Child Death Helpline at Great Ormond Street Hospital, offering hope to other bereaved parents who may be in the same turmoil I was. I do all of it for Maudie and find it a very powerful way of staying connected to her. It’s turned her death into something positive.

If you are a bereaved parent, please do get in contact if you need support.  We offer both face to face support groups in London and virtual meetings for UK bereaved parents.  All our groups are facilitated by trained, expert bereaved parents like Clara.  Click here for dates of all our forthcoming groups.

 

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National Grief Awareness Week 2020

National Grief Awareness Week 2020

Beautiful words from Clara Francis – our bereaved parent facilitator:

It’s National Grief Awareness Week this week – a week that aims to normalise grief and get the nation to talk about their own losses.

This is my beloved daughter Maude – she died when she was was two and a half years old, very suddenly, to Sepsis.  I talk about my own grief a lot. It is a part of me now…it has burrowed through my skin, sunken into my blood, plunged through my veins, snuck into my bones and subsequently forever altered my DNA…my grief knows no bounds. It is a massive scary beast that can lay dormant for days and weeks, a constant nagging hum and then unexpectedly, sometimes with a trigger sometimes without, simply smash me in the face with memories, longing, sadness, ‘what ifs’.

We as a nation MUST be able to talk about Death without fear…by talking about it, it releases us.

My brilliant friend, Rob Delaney, was on the Radio 4’s Today Programme talking about the death of his beloved son Henry 🕷….it was so very VERY beautiful – I encourage everyone to have a listen… He talked about how he loves his living children all the ‘better’ since Henry’s death, as he has since come to the realisation that ALL his children are merely “temporary gatherings of stardust” none of them will be here forever, but they are here NOW…. how beautiful is that?? So don’t be scared to talk about your grief – if people can’t handle it that’s THEIR problem not yours….

And here’s the link for Rob on Radio 4 – https://www.instagram.com/p/CIiSuEnlpmr/

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