Presumably you are here because you are bereaved, or because you know someone who is. Let me start by saying sorry. Genuinely, from the bottom of my heart – Sorry. To my mind, bereavement is just about the most painful thing humans ever experience. Sadly, there’s only one god-awful way to learn that I am probably right.
I set this website up to help people through the devastation of bereavement. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, bereavement counsellor, or social worker… I am just an ordinary guy who’s experienced a number of extremely traumatic bereavements first hand:
As a child, my best friend told me he wanted to kill himself. A few days later, just before Christmas, he did just that. He was only 11 years old.
In 2004, I lost a brother to the ocean. His loss left a hole in my life that will never be filled. 8 years on, I still can’t bring myself to delete his number from my mobile phone.
In 2008, my girlfriend and I, having been together 6 years, had just started talking about marriage. One night she went to bed with a headache, and never woke up. I did meet her at the church. But not for a wedding…
There aren’t enough words in any language to describe the devastation that crashed into me that terrible morning in 2008. My world ended. I cried myself to sleep for months. I gave up on life, and on myself. For the next year and a half I was a zombie – Just getting through my days on auto-pilot, not really living, just… existing. I learned to be a great actor. Convincing the world, my family and friends, that I was fine, when in reality I was anything but.
Recently I was Googling some old friends, in a “I wonder what they’re up to now” kind of way, when I learned that one of them, Blackie, had recently passed away of heart failure, aged just 51. I hadn’t seen him for 20 years but the kindness and patience he showed me as an impressionable, and clueless junior, had never been forgotten. He taught me plenty about the job, but even more about how to be a man. Reading about his death was like a punch in the heart. Time had dulled none of the affection held for a man who saw potential in me that most others could not.
Blackie was an excellent role model, and in the time capsule of youth, I guess you could say he was a hero of mine. You always want to believe that your heroes are immortal, and will be around, blazing trails, forever… Sadly that’s just not the case.
That was when the idea for this site first took hold… but then life, as it always does, got in the way, and the idea, whilst not forgotten, was certainly shelved.
…Until two weeks ago, when I was again shedding tears for an old friend. But this old friend had four legs, not two. He wasn’t even my dog, he belonged to some friends of mine, the loveliest collection of people you could ever hope to meet. They were a perfect match.
Jeeves was his name, and he had more love in his little body than half the people in this world. I could tell you about his heart of gold, but that would be an inaccurate comparison; as gold is brittle and cold to touch. Jeeves was warm, and as soft as they come; his heart – pure marshmallow… But his passing, in addition to being immeasurably sad, has also been my call to action. So thank you, Jeeves, for genuinely being the sweetest dog I ever knew, and for kicking me up the backside, and out of inaction. You won’t be missed. You are missed.
My aim is not to be, or to present myself as, the definitive authority on the subject of bereavement, but merely to share my experiences, and show you that whilst right now you are shipwrecked on the shores of incalculable sorrow, you can, and will survive, and that in a strange, but real way, you will one day in the future, be a better person for the sadness and loss you feel right now.
If I can help one person feel a little better, even for a second, then I will consider this website a massive success. Feel free to get involved, share your recollections, thoughts, feelings, experiences. My big dream is to make this site a meeting place where the bereaved and broken-hearted come together, to share and heal.
We’re in this together. Regardless of race, religion, colour, nationality, social standing, the two things we are ALL destined to share, are life… and death.