Charlotte – living without her mum

Two and a half years after her mum died, Charlotte jumped out of a plane (with Amanda Holden) – to honour one of her mum’s wishes.

Here, she tells her story of what happened when her mum died, how she found HOLG and how we helped her to grieve.

Charlotte was just 14 when her mum died from cancer. Her sudden death left Charlotte struggling to process her grief.

“Mum’s cancer had decreased by 50% so when she went into hospital, we fully expected her to come home but didn’t know when that would be. But she didn’t. It was a real shock. Her death threw everything off.

My parents were divorced so when Mum died, it left just my sister and me at home. I called my nan and grandad, who were on holiday at the time and they came back to support us.

Six months later, I moved to live with my dad. It was difficult to leave our home as it was where we’d lived with Mum and I found it comforting to be there with all her belongings.

It wasn’t until around two years after my mum died that I realised things were getting harder and that I’d bottled everything up. When Mum first died, I cried a little but always stopped myself, feeling as though I needed to be more ‘mature’. I decided to look online for help with bereavement and learned about HOLG on social media. I read through their website with my dad and decided to get in touch.

I went to a bereavement weekend and it was such a relief to be with people my age who’d been through similar experiences. As much as other people say they understand what you’re going through, they can’t really unless they’ve been through it themselves. It was just nice to be with people like me and not feel out of place.

I feel like HOLG helped me to start grieving. They helped me understand my emotions and that grief can be unpredictable. Some days you feel fine, others you wake up and it just hits you. But I learned that it’s ok to cry whenever you need to.

My advice to anyone else who has lost someone is it’s not going to be easy but having a way to release your feelings of sadness or anger, or to distract you, can really help. For me, that means writing a diary to my Mum. If I need to talk but can’t get hold of anyone, I write to Mum and it helps me get my feelings out.

Last year, I took part in a charity skydive with Amanda Holden. It was insane! Amanda was lovely and we were both as nervous as each other but really excited. The best bit was that I did something my mum had always wanted to do but never got the chance. I really felt like I’d achieved something and we raised around £26,800!

I’m studying public services, after which I’m hoping to start an apprenticeship. I have good and bad days but I’m doing well. Thanks to HOLG, I’ve learnt how to cope with my emotions and although it can be rough, I feel like things will be ok.”