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Trying to be Brave: When Grief is Delayed

Roxy in a garden

11 year old Roxy lives in Wales with her mum, stepdad and siblings. Five years ago Roxy’s dad Daniel & grandad Gareth were lost at sea in a fishing accident. This was devastating news for the whole family though Roxy and the children didn’t get the help they needed at the time, so experienced a significant delayed grief some years later.

For the last two years the family have been supported by Sandy Bear Children’s Bereavement Charity. Based in Pembrokeshire and funded by your donations, they run a bereavement service for children and young people further isolated by Covid-19. Roxy and mum Alice have been able to have one to one sessions, create a memory box and join on non-judgemental support groups. All of this has had a huge impact on their lives.

Sandy Bear helped the family come to terms with their loss and meet others like them. In her own words Roxy reflects on her side of the story and the impact Sandy Bear has had on her life:

A picture of Roxy writing

“When I was 6 I got home from school and went to my oma and opa’s house and my mummy took me in the sitting room on my own. I remember feeling worried. That was when my mum told me that daddy and grandad were not coming home from fishing and that they were in heaven now looking down on me. I burst in to tears I didn’t understand it, it just hurt so much. Then I came to Sandy Bears with my mummy and they helped me a lot. They listened to my questions and answered them all and also explained what happens when you die and funerals and stuff. There are 4 boys in my group whose dads died as well and I trust all of them because they make me feel normal because they are the same as me.”

A picture of Roxy's writing

“I will never forget Sandy Bears they made me understand and be happy.

In the future I will try to be brave but I just want to be happy when I think of daddy and grandad not sad.”

Thanks to the support from Sandy Bear Roxy is less anxious on a daily basis and worries less about mum leaving her to go about normal life activity. The family are better able to express how they feel about what happened and release the emotion that comes with that. The effects of the pandemic meant there was a pause in the peer group support but Alice says Sandy Bear were always there for them and always will be. As restrictions lift Roxy and Alice are continuing with their Sandy Bear sessions and looking forward to the end of session celebration party.

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