Bereavement doesn’t have to be a taboo subject~ Grace, a Winston’s Wish Young Ambassador.
I was 8 years old when my dad died of pancreatic cancer. I felt like I was in a daze until the day after he died when I realised how ill he was. My mum always kept me up to date and made sure I knew everything. I remember the night he died clear as day. Straight away, I knew and I didn’t even have to hear the words every child dreads hearing. I felt empty but so heavy and weighed down with what had just happened. One day he was here and overnight he had died. Everything afterwards was a blur – apart from the funeral.
I don’t remember much – apart from the point when Winston’s Wish entered my life.
The counselling at Winston’s Wish gave me a hope for the future. My dad was my go to and without him, I felt very lost, but it was Winston’s Wish that allowed me to develop the open relationship with my mum but also myself. They gave me the strategies I needed to cope and a guarantee that I wasn’t alone. The weekend away allowed me to see meet others who knew how I was feeling but also accepted and didn’t think I was crazy. It was a comfort to know that I could talk about my dad and not have everyone go silent because they didn’t know what to say or look at me with wide eyes as they could hardly believe I still wanted to. Like my friends at school did. I found school tough as I felt misunderstood by my classmates. I wanted them to know how hard it was meanwhile I never wanted to feel the hurt I was feeling and still feel sometimes today.
Now, I know that it is okay to have bad days and to still feel deeply sad, but I also know that I have ways to remember my dad and that he won’t be forgotten. They showed me that life without dad didn’t have to be a horrible one and I would always be able to go back.
Winston’s Wish was a lifeline for me and my mum and without them I know I wouldn’t be the open and confident person I am today. It was with their help that I feel I can show others they aren’t alone and talking about it is the most vital thing. I will never be able to repay WW for how they helped me but being a Young Ambassador allows me to do what I can. A thank you just doesn’t even cut it. Even today Winston’s Wish show me that I don’t have to feel ashamed when it comes to talking about my dad and keeping his memory alive. Bereavement doesn’t have to be a taboo subject and talking about it helps so much and I’m so glad that it was Winston’s Wish there to listen.
If you can resonate with Grace’s story and feel that you may need support, please email email@example.com or use our online chat.
Emily’s story: Grieving for my dad