To mark Grief Awareness Day, we asked Demelza's Theraputic & Bereavement Lead, Jo Burton, to write about a special event she organised for some of the families we have supported that have lost a beloved child.
"Finding tranquillity in a busy world can be challenging. Having to put emotions to one side in order to respond to those around us, to negotiate the complexities that life presents or to accomplish the tasks that often dominate our time becomes a frequent reality. When coupled with being consumed by the pain that losing a child presents the feelings can be overwhelming and moments of tranquillity few.
This week the Family Support Department took further steps to re-connect physically with Demelza Bereaved Families. With the Garden of Tranquillity recently tended to by Demelza's facilities team, and a break in the clouds, we waited for our first family. A new experience always brings with it a pinch of nervousness with staff and volunteers wishing to offer a supportive, welcoming and safe environment, though not really knowing what the family wants to experience from their time with us. Within minutes of their arrival everything felt “just right”.
Our parent had the opportunity to take in the garden, walking with a volunteer whilst sharing their experience and how they were feeling before spending time alone with her own thoughts, and choosing to read a story to her child from one of the peaceful gazebos. After taking in the space, the parent joined us again expressing thanks for treating her with such gentleness and allowing her the time to “just be”. “Just being” is such a precious event that is often not afforded to us, but which is needed in order to begin to make sense of the world around us.
Expressing to us that she could feel her heart beating again, our parent had begun to take steps in moving forwards and has planned to return to the garden in a few weeks’ time. Keen for others to have benefit from our Tranquillity gardens the parent was keen to share her experience and to encourage others to take time for themselves and to seek support in navigating this challenging path through grief.
We are extremely grateful to the volunteers who helped make this special moment happen, including Dave and Cathy (pictured above with Jo), and Claire, a volunteer driver who was able to bring the parent to the gardens for the event.