A quiet space to talk about grief
Sit down and rest awhile
I am Louise
I am a writer and a mother of two boys. The eldest, Fred, died from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2020, aged 14.
This is designed to be a place to provide comfort, support and a window into childhood illness, bereavement and grief in all its forms.
The world can make us feel that grief is something to be hidden away, and endured behind closed doors. It’s only by sharing our stories that all of us can find a better way to look after ourselves and each other.
“I can’t see a way through” said the boy
“Can you see your next step?” said the horse
“Just take that” said the horseCharles Macksey
You never think it will happen to your family until it does.
Suddenly we were locked down. Our holiday was cancelled, Fred’s central line meant he could no longer go swimming. We were not allowed to travel anywhere more than 30 minutes from our hospital. I carried a thermometer in my handbag to check for temperatures.
The thing about tsunamis is the bit before the wave. A monumental rupture happens, hidden underground, miles away and unseen – but the wave doesn’t come straight away. First there is the drawback. It’s the moment where all the water gets sucked out to sea, where the power builds. It’s the part where the fish are left flapping on the beach and no one can quite work out what’s going on. And it’s the part that people see.
How we talk about children’s cancer matters. It’s easy to worry about saying the right thing, the wrong thing, and often people end up saying nothing at all, which is the worst of all. The language used usually involves wars, battles, fighting, bravery. In many ways it’s odd. We never say a child lost their battle against an articulated lorry, but cancer it seems is up for the fight.