From Grief and Resilience help

Articles we have written to help those grieving or those wanting to help the grieving.

My appearance on live TV – the Afternoon Express show – by Simone

I had the privilege to appear on live television yesterday on the Afternoon Express show on SABC 3. It was my first time on television and they all immediately put me at ease. The show is impressively run and it was a privilege to watch it all unfold. I really did just feel like I was sitting on the couch talking to friends and was hardly aware of the cameras etc and what was happening around me.     As you can imagine, most people/commercial organisations shy away from this sort of subject matter – its heavy!! But they were…

What to do when your friend loses a baby – by Simone

It was the first anniversary of our Thomas’ birth and death last week, and wow, it was tough! It was tough for all the “normal” reasons but something which made it even harder was that I felt almost completely alone. Very few people, family and friends alike, remembered the significance of the day, until I posted something on this blog, and while I shouldn’t find this hard, I did. I want to scream from the rooftops “he existed, he was real, he was my baby, he lived!” but I know that to almost everybody he wasn’t real. They never physically…

Option B – you have got to read this book – by Simone

  I have always been a big fan of Sheryl Sandberg and loved her book Lean In. Her second book which has just been released is called Option B. It’s brilliant! A very personal account of her experiences from losing her husband, but also an excellent grief handbook. It gives really useful tools in terms of how to deal with grief on every level – personally, with your kids, from a work perspective and how to enable and help those that are grieving. What she highlights so well, is that while losing a husband/child/loved one is one of the worst…

That much tainted word…THERAPY – by Simone

That dreaded word..Shhh, don’t say it too loud, someone might hear and think you are crazy. THERAPY. PSYCHOLOGIST. PSYCHIATRIST. There are very few people who are able to stand up proudly and announce that they are having or have had therapy. And when you hear someone is in therapy, you generally can’t help but wonder what is “wrong” with them. What do they have issues with that they can’t solve on their own? What has messed them up? Why on earth would they be depressed? For some reason there is still a massive stigma around therapy, psychologists and psychiatrists and…

Making Mountains interview – by Simone

For those of you that may have missed it, here is the interview I did with Belinda Mountain. Thank you for the opportunity, I so appreciate it!   http://www.makingmountains.co.za/2017/03/02/meet-mom-simone/ In Simone’s words: On the afternoon of 15 September 2015 our lives changed forever. Our beautiful, perfect daughter Isabella, 7 ½ months old, died tragically. “Belsie” asphyxiated on her own vomit in her cot and help was too late to bring her back. On the morning of 4 May 2016, our son Thomas was born prematurely at 26 weeks and 3 days. We had much hope for his survival but he only…

Resilience – we all have it! – by Simone

  “Although our world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it,” Helen Keller.   Resilience – it’s a subject I have spent so much time thinking about and reading about. What makes some people more resilient than others? Is it life experience that shapes resilience? Or is it your approach to life that drives resilience? What makes some people able to pick themselves up and carry on whereas others can fall into a deep depression without being able see the wood from the trees, any light at all? Is it about being a glass…

How I wish I could help – by Simone

Loss, it’s all around us all the time. There is almost nobody who is unaffected by loss, it’s just the depth and gravity that is different. And when your loss is an “unnatural” one, it’s just that much harder to deal with.   Since my children died, I have witnessed other people go through loss of various kinds, but a loss very recently has rocked me to my core. People I know, not well, lost their little boy last week when he drowned. It’s this kind of unexpected, out of the blue loss, like with our darling Bella, that is…

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017 – by Simone 

Another year, and wow, what a year it’s been! Good, great, bad, awful and everything in between.   But before I reflect on the year that has passed and the upcoming one, the last few days I have been privileged enough to read a life changing book called “The Book of Joy”. It is a recount of the week that Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama spent together in India to mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. All their conversations were around joy, and how to recognize and promote joy in your life and in others. I will write…

The Story of Books – by Simone

  You meet so many people in this grief journey, some who really go on to help you in dealing with your grief by sharing their own journey with you. Kate Polley is one of those people. She is quite remarkable and very inspirational, but most importantly, just so real. After experiencing the loss of one of her twin sons, Kate wrote her first book ‘Sam and Finn’ to share Sam’s story with her surviving twin, Finn, as well as her family and friends. Demand for the book spread and it was published and distributed worldwide, providing hope and comfort to many other families who…

Our Yugen Tree, as written for The Story of Books – by Simone

After the loss of a child, so many days become so hard. Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas – they are all fraught with a kaleidoscope of emotions, even more so when you have other children who you want to show the joy and happiness of these events to. You think about all of those things that you would have been doing with your child. All the milestones you are missing, all those shattered dreams and hopes you had for them – and you are once again reminded of some of the consequences of your loss.   We lost our daughter, Bella on…