Chloe from Northern Ireland is 19 years old. Chloe contacted Cruse Bereavement Care in 2014 when she was struggling to cope after her grandfather died seven years earlier. She says that going to Cruse helped to change her life
“I was very close to my grandad, and when he died suddenly of a heart attack, I was just seven years old. His death devastated me, but at the time, I packed away all the grief deep inside me, because my granny was so very sad, and my mum was both sad and busy looking after my gran; I thought I didn’t have a right to grieve.
“Then, when I was 14, all the sadness and fear I’d packed away came bubbling to the surface, and I found I just couldn’t cope well with daily life any more. I found it difficult to get up in the mornings, and everything seemed to be a struggle. That was when my mum phoned and got me an appointment with Cruse Bereavement Care.
“I went for six sessions with a wonderful volunteer called Ruth. It was the first time I felt there was someone who knew how to empathise with me rather than sympathise. I just talked and talked; she gave me ideas on how to move forward and come out of the dark places if I was ever stuck in them again. She suggested things like journaling, writing letters to grandad and making a memory box. I just knew she GOT it; she was so down-to-earth and I felt I finally had permission to talk about it. After that I was able to talk about my grandad to my granny and my mum, and it was a real turning point for both me and my family.
“When I finished my support sessions, I got involved with the Cruse Youth Advisory Group. Cruse had given me a voice, and I wanted to give something back. I want people to know it’s okay to feel grief seven or two years on, and that there is support out there. I want everyone to know that. Now I represent young people on the National Cruse Council."
Read more bereavement stories here.