Janet, 79, from Coventry has recently completed a one-day workshop to be a bereavement supporter at Earlsdon Park, a retirement village where she lives with her husband, John. She first heard of Cruse Bereavement Care 25 years ago when her first husband died. She was supported by a Cruse bereavement volunteer and valued the experience so much that she now wants to help others who are struggling after a bereavement.
Janet said, “I have never forgotten how much Katrina, my bereavement supporter helped me after the death of my husband. I saw Katrina for around six weeks and we built up a really good rapport.
“I told her everything and we talked about things that I didn’t feel able to tell my family as they were also grieving. She helped me heal and open up. I am a great believer of talking and I really embraced the support I was given and it really helped me.
“I always said I wouldn’t get married again, but Katrina told me that you never know what might happen and she reassured me that I still had a lot of love to give. Six years later I did remarry and John and I have now been married for sixteen years.
“Ten years after my first husband passed away, I had two devastating bereavements. My stepson died from stomach cancer and six weeks after my son died from a brain tumour. It was a really difficult time, but remembering the sessions I had with Katrina really helped and gave me comfort. It helped me to realise how important grieving is.
“I like helping people and being a bereavement volunteer has been on my mind for a long time. When John and I moved to Earlsdon Park village, I saw a poster on a noticeboard about a one-day training course to become a Bereavement Supporter with Cruse Bereavement Care and ExtraCare.
“I found the course very interesting and I am really looking forward to helping people in our community that have been bereaved. The support will start in November 2018 and I hope it will help tremendously as living in a retirement village means that we will all be affected by death at some point so it is important we are supportive of each other.”
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