Stella, 51 from the Forest of Dean got in contact with Cruse Bereavement Care after her daughter, Laura died from substance misuse two and a half years ago. Stella is bringing up her daughter’s son, Blake, who is almost three years-old.
“Four months after Laura died I decided to reach out to Cruse. I had heard about them through a friend who had lost her grandchild and received support.
“I cannot thank Sue, my Cruse bereavement councillor enough. She helped me tremendously. I am a family support worker and at the time of Laura’s death I felt judged by people. I felt judged and shame that my daughter had decided to go down that route.
“However, Sue helped me work through these feelings and I now no longer feel that like anymore. She made me realise that it is ok to have a bad day and gave me the permission to feel sad, scream and cry my eyes out when I felt I needed to.
“My grandson, Blake is an absolute joy, he keeps me going. He is constantly going through new phases and I just wish that my daughter was here to see him. He is such a confident and out-going little boy, and this is something that Laura really struggled with, so she would be delighted about that.
“I have tried to explain to Blake that his mummy has died. I started by saying that his mummy was up in the stars and we use to let balloons go up in the air to mark her birthday and special anniversaries.
“I have a locket with a picture of Laura in it that I used to regularly show Blake, but around four months ago he said he was angry and wanted to throw my necklace away because he didn’t think it was fair that mummy didn’t come to visit him. He is starting to understand that his mummy has died and I talk to him about her all the time.
“I am determined to bring him up in a way that would make Laura proud. I am so thankful for the support of Cruse, I really don’t think I would have been able to cope without the wonderful Sue.”