About ABC Grief
ABC Grief focuses on the nuances and complexity of unresolved childhood grief that is experienced by adults and the challenges that accompany this. If this grief is not understood or processed it can cause difficulty in daily life and the information throughout may help bridge some of the gaps. ABC Grief strives to build a central resource for Adults Bereaved as Children, so if you have found something useful, or a topic is of interest, please send an email. We can all help each other learn from our lived experiences as individuals and professionals.
The mission was to create resources with two audiences in mind, firstly for those who have experienced early life loss, and to help those close to someone who has experienced this to learn more. Secondly, as a central point of information for professionals interested in Adults Bereaved as Children and this niche area of bereavement and grief.
The resources throughout will help you appreciate and understand the nuances and complexity of unresolved childhood grief experienced by adults and provide:
- A library of books related to early life loss, trauma, grief and healing.
- Details of our favourite podcasts.
- Signposting service to other support and events.
- A therapist directory for those who specifically work with Adults Bereaved as Children.
- Blog posts on topics related to the long term impact of unresolved childhood grief and general information.
The word healing has taken on many interpretations but it certainly does not mean forget. One of the favourite descriptions encountered is ‘to transcend suffering’, because this is the hope and possibility for each and every one of us.
My Mum Jacqueline died of breast cancer in 1973 when she was just 36 and I was nine, that was the beginning of my journey as a bereaved child. I did not receive support for my grief at the time, the adults around me considered it was best to not talk about ‘it’, and in the 70’s childhood grief support was non-existent. The death of my Mum has profoundly shaped me and my world, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. My losses came in a variety of ways as a child, and by the time I was 21 all of my closest family members had either died or moved away.
Childhood grief does not just disappear when you become an adult, it’s complex, and the impact from this can last much longer than we think. I was certainly no exception! The subsequent years were challenging as I found myself lacking self-esteem with a deep anxiety and fear of everyday life cloaked in anger and pain. It was difficult to cope with the numerous feelings that were surfacing, often in ways that made life very unpleasant. My relationships, work and just everyday life in general were impacted and it felt much harder than perhaps it should have done.
When I reached my 40’s, and with a desire to understand the intricacies of human behaviour, I embarked on an initial five year training as a psychotherapist. In 2016 I completed a two year MA research to understand the long term impact of childhood parental bereavement, with a focus on healing. Plus an additional one year training with couples as I knew just how much adult relationships were disrupted by unresolved childhood grief. Many people have helped me to a place I never imagined possible and I am truly grateful to them, but I also learnt how to help myself. With this in mind I wanted to focus on those like me struggling with everyday life that had experienced early life loss. Today I work with adults and couples navigating the challenges caused by their unresolved grief and am recognised for my specialism. I am deeply passionate about my work, I believe everyone deserves to live with more peace, to love and be loved, and even though it might seem impossible, I have no doubt of what can be realised. I continue to research, add to knowledge and have conversations via the media, podcasts and bereavement community so that it will help each and every one of us.
I will always be shaped by what happened to me, I cannot change that, but I certainly live with more ease today. Accepting the layers of grief as they surface and embracing them, even at times when I did not want to, has been a gift. There will be more to come of course, there always is, but this has given me the passion to help others.