Meet Oscar and his mum Leigh, who have shared their story of what a big difference our bereavement weekends made to their lives.
Leigh’s son Oscar was just two months away from his third birthday when his dad died, just 12 weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Oscar’s uncle, Leigh’s brother had also died just six months before and so bereavement had already touched and affected their lives and so the family was put in touch with us when Oscar was six and they joined us for a bereavement weekend.
Leigh said: “When we arrived, he became anxious and cried because he didn’t want me to leave him on his own but the staff were so reassuring and explained to Oscar that he’d be having a really fun time whilst the grown-ups were in the staff room having a very boring chat!
We felt connected and comfortable to share our experiences with the help of an Educational Psychologist. It was a significant help for many of the adults to understand that their child’s behaviours were just a normal part of the grieving experience.
Over the weekend he made the most beautiful memory box for all the special things he’d made to remind him of his daddy and to help with his feelings.
His behaviour and angry outbursts have lessened considerably and he is more able to manage his feelings. I’m so very proud of him. Oscar often reaches for his memory box and we go through the things together and remember the special weekend.”
She added: “Without the help and support of HOLG, Oscar and I would not have had the opportunity to fully share our feelings in a setting with others who truly understood what we had been through.
Most importantly, I think that Oscar recognised that the feelings he was having were related to his sadness and anger at losing his dad and that he wasn’t just being naughty. His self-esteem has also improved greatly and he’s a genuinely cheeky, funny and kind little boy who is sociable and resilient and making lovely friends.
Thank-you HOLG for all your support.”