Advice for tough days

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The back of a woman in striped top looking in the distance with the sun streaming in

Katie was just 14 when her mum died, and wrote to Let’s Talk About Loss to share the blog she started to process her loss. She too has found talking about her loss really helpful and a good opportunity to let others know how she was feeling.

“I was never told that grief was a process”

In Katie’s words: “Firstly I just wanted to say how encouraging it has been to read your blog posts. I lost my Mum very suddenly to cancer when I was 14 but I didn’t start the grieving process properly until 10 years later when I started medical school in 2015 and all of a sudden everything felt like it was falling apart.

“I was never told that grief was a process that one has to work through. It was pretty much sweep everything under the carpet and then it will be all be fine in my family at the time. But as I started studying medicine, I could no longer avoid grieving anymore as most days, what I learnt was directly or indirectly related to my Mum. And only through counselling in the past couple of years have I been able to talk about it and accept that I was going through delayed grief.”

Katie bravely shares her story on her blog, and talks about how studying medicine enabled her to face grief head on and begin to work through it.

How to cope on those tough days

Katie told me her fantastic idea for dealing with her mum’s anniversary, which is obviously a really tough day:

“I’ve had a really busy week, especially as it was my Mum’s anniversary on Monday so that made my week even more intense. But I decided I wanted to do something positive for my Mum this year instead of drown in my grief. She was always so hospitable, so I had a group of friends over for dinner and it was so lovely and positive.

“I never thought that could ever be achievable, or that I could feel my Mum’s presence in the positive things of life. It’s all very new to me.”

What a fantastic idea, and something that I know I would find helpful too. Most anniversaries that I find difficult, I buy a box of Ferrero Rocher, mum’s favourite chocolates, and eat them to remember her.

Mothers Day 2018

This year, I’m holding an event on Saturday 10th March, the day before Mothers Day, to mark the occasion in a different but special way. That event is a meet-up of young people aged 16-30, all of whom have been bereaved. The idea is simply to meet other young people in the same situation, who understand grief and might become helpful friends. If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the support network, I would love to hear from you. Email me at or find more details about the event here.

You can read more of Katie’s story by visiting her blog.

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