Tarek received support from Cruse Shropshire after the death of his girlfriend, Rachel in 2013. To give back, Tarek decided to take part in a challenge event every month in 2014 with his friend to raise money for Cruse.
Tarek says: “I lost the best part of my life back in February 2013, when my best friend and Girlfriend, Rachel Lucy Maddox, was tragically killed in a car accident on her way to my house one Saturday morning.
“Needless to say everyone who knew and loved Rachel were devastated at the huge hole created in our lives. Rachel’s parents, Jane and Bob losing their Beautiful Daughter, Andrew, losing his big sister, as well as all of us who lost our future with her. None of us had ever imagined such a loss in such a sudden and tragic way and had no idea how we would cope.
“I had no idea what I was going to do without Rachel, we had been building the foundations of a life together with 2013 shaping up to be Our Year. Every aspect of my everyday life was turned upside down and I felt as if I was cut in half and was always missing something. I had seen and/or spoken to Rachel every day from the day we met. Then there was the feeling of isolation, no matter how many people told me they were there for me or that they can only 'imagine how I feel'. I felt no one truly understood how alone I was without Rach.
“That’s when I was told of Cruse Bereavement Care. In the beginning I didn’t want to go to Cruse as I just thought, 'what is talking about Rachel not being here going to do? It won’t change anything?' I was adamant that I was not going but as time passed I could feel myself getting worse. I was not looking after myself and was becoming detached from everyone. My mum guided me towards Cruse.
“After the initial few sessions, my guard dropped and they became 50 min slots where I could talk about Rachel, or how I was feeling about anything and I didn’t feel like I was shoving my tragedy down people’s throats, or making others feel awkward. For example when talking to a friend of Rachel’s or her family, if they were having a good day they might end up having a bad day for talking to me.
“It was a very strange situation, but my Cruse bereavement volunteer was very helpful and I couldn’t thank them enough. Even the donation I could have made myself wouldn’t have been enough, so I thought I would do something to raise the awareness for Cruse. After a few fundraising ideas I decided that I would complete a mud run/obstacle race/ challenge event, once a month for all of 2014.
“When I told my close friend Ali Sim about my idea, he told me straight away that he would run every event with me and has been true to his word, as well as spreading the news about my fundraising efforts. Rachel’s mum is also taking part in her first ever mud Run as well. We will be running side by side supporting each other as we have done since we lost Rachel.
“All the runs have been challenging, but the rewarding feeling I get from completing a run is multiplied when I think how many people could receive the support from Cruse when they need it most.”
Read more bereavement stories here.