"Your pain becomes my pain just as your hope becomes my hope."
These are your stories, chosen from your real-life experiences of grief and hope. Thank you so much to all of you young people for having the courage to share your story with us.
These powerful stories have been emailed to us personally by brave young people from across the globe, who are willing to share their experience of loss to try and help other people in the same situation. I find it so inspiring and courageous that these young people will give a little piece of their lives to try and alleviate somebody's pain. Expressing your story in this way can help lift the burden off your own shoulders, and also make other people feel less isolated in their own grief. Please send us your story, as it can help so many others find hope again.
-Victoria at Hope Again
Sibling loss is sadly a very common occurrence, as you can see from Lauren's story, amongst many others. Mel Maxwell's book, 'The Coat I Wear', tells the story of a grieving child following the bereavement of their sibling. This powerful book conveys the pain a child or young person can go through after a loss, but in a comforting manner. Take a look at it here: www.thecoatiwear.com
In May of 2016, a tragedy struck unlike any I ever thought I'd experience in my 24 years of existence. I was 22, he was 21. Just a small town girl that got to know a city boy. We took our time getting to know one another and 6 months later found ourselves hopelessly in love. The day he told me he loved me, I was on cloud 9. It was the first time and I felt like I could conquer the world, like life was complete. I knew I wanted to be with him from the moment he first strummed a guitar in my room. He wrote me a song that he timidly and ever so sweetly played facing away from me. We both were humble about our talents. He would have jam sessions with his friends that I would hear would send people's souls soaring. He made such an impact in every single person he ever came across. He never wronged another human being. He loved batman, a majority of the things he owned were of batman origin including his wardrobe. He could make your heart melt with just the smile and light in his light blue eyes. He had little yellow islands in the middle of them. He was the one I would marry. He continued to stay in while I got out and went to off to college for a degree in Archaeology. We were in a 7 month long-distance relationship while he was out on deployment. Finals are finally over and I am enthralled that I get to see the love of my life. The man of my dreams. He flew into Illinois where we hit up Shlafleys brewery and enjoyed live bands. We took a 3 day camping trip in Missouri and made a raccoon friend we named Rocky. Then we went to Vegas, his hometown, where we rented a fancy hotel room that overlooked the cityscape. His dad took time off work and he was talking up the Valley of Fire and telling me how he had gone as a kid. We set out with his dad and his brother. He was telling me how the rocks were easy to climb and how as a kid he would climb to the very top of these weebly wobbly almost Tao tower looking rock formations. We split off from his dad and Tom while they continued to walk the trail. We told them we'd see them at the end. There wasn't an end. He fell 40' and died on impact. I will never be the same and there are days I don't want to go on. I took time trying to confront the truth face on. I went to Guam where we met and tried to get closure as much as I could there. Next I went to spend time with his lifelong friends and thought it would help me in my grieving process if we could all be going through the same thing. It was what I needed at the time but after a while I put aside my grief. I made a highly regrettable mistake in trying to do so. My intentions were pure and I wasn't in the wrong. My grandma, whom I consider my soulmate, had to have quadruple bypass surgery. I lost all sight of myself and lost my mind making myself a victim, becoming weak and powerless. Now I am ready to move on and learn from my past mistakes but not let them define me. Building a strong backbone. A quote he told me was the more time you dwell on the past, the less time you have to work on the future. Holding true to yourself is really the only thing you can do. The thing I struggle with the most is taking things to heart. I got accepted into an archaeological field school for the summer and will finish my degree in the Fall. I have since that day aupaired in Mainz, Germany for 4 brilliant kids; went to Iceland for 2 weeks by myself and camped a majority of the time; dove between the North American and Eurasian plates; skydived in Guam; canoed in Palau for 2 days on my own; swam with a whale shark; hiked at Redrock while also becoming a volunteer; took an online class and am working towards a fitness trainer cert. I am and will probably be on autopilot for years to come but I find comfort in chaos and whatever one has to do that is healthy to maintain your happiness then do it. Don't worry about what anyone thinks about you or fit into their expectations of how messed up you should be. Don't let their sympathy hold you back from your own mental strength and fortitude. The only thing you have left to fear is fear itself. Anyone can do anything you put your mind to. Letting your past cripple you and define you are not the answer. Watch We Built a Zoo. Matt Damon does a wonderful job explaining how to move on. I am trying to get back into the dating scene and I know, one date at a time, that it will get easier. Trying not to compare but yet holding the same standards are a balance of equilibrium I will have to accept. Yet, I know the love will be different and I can't expect more. Years to come from now I hope and know I will have a family of my own. Let this not make you pity me but give you the inner strength in your sense of self and help you find peace within as well as externally. Love is the only answer in life. You can travel and do as much soul searching as you like but you will always find yourself coming back to love.
My mum passed away just after my 14th birthday. This week I am approaching my 17th birthday and I am hopeful for the future. I used to dread birthdays, as it always reminded me of the one person who was not there to celebrate it with me. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my mum. However, I am determined to succeed in my upcoming a-levels and become a Doctor like my mother. Whilst birthdays have always compounded my sense of loss, being hopeful has enabled me to enshrine a positive mental attitude that will see me through to the future. My advice to anyone facing the loss of a loved one is to train yourself to think positively. Celebrate their life and make sure you do them proud.
At the end of February 2016, I suddenly lost my mum to pneumonia after a long history of health problems. As a result, I was left with memories that are hard to come to terms with and felt completely powerless to stop her declining physical and mental health. I suffer from Asperger's Syndrome and was in my last year at school when she suddenly left us. I felt so guilty and powerless having not being able to do something for all the time she had been unwell. Initially I was in complete denial that her death would change my everyday life. However, things began to change. Our house was redecorated, the cars on out drive changed and I was treated differently in school. Yet one of the hardest aspects of my grief to deal with was (and still is) how my relationships with my friends have changed. People who meant a lot to me began to see and treat me differently and as a result, I became very estranged from them. At my lowest point, I was involved in a fight at school and someone I once considered a friend implied that I was using my mum's death as an excuse to get what I wanted. In that moment, I remember feeling like I couldn't go on and had suicidal thoughts, overwhelmed with the guilt of losing my mum and hurting my family and friends with my grief at the same time. But with a bit of time and space, I have begun to realise which friends are truly there for me and begun to let go of the people who where causing me unjustified upset. I understand now with the help of others who have been through the pain of losing parents at a young age that feelings such as resentment, anger, loneliness, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts are perfectly normal and that I could look forward to loving life again. I will always miss my mum. She was a wonderful, dedicated and compassionate woman who lived for helping others and I am so blessed she was my mother. It's only natural that losing such a presence is having such a monumental effect on my life. But as long as you have hope, even when you feel like you have none and as long as you have someone to say "I love you" to, you have every reason to feel proud of the fact that you CAN and you WILL get through your loss and almost any trial that life can send your way. Stay strong, love, keep faith and don't ever lose sight of yourself or what's important to you.
My dad was a house husband and raised myself and my brother whilst my mum worked. He was so reliable - if I needed him he would be there without question. We had the same sense of humour and strong moral outlook on life. Whilst I was away on holiday with my boyfriend 6 months ago my dad suffered a huge unexpected heart attack and there was nothing that paramedics could do to save him. My mum was by his side when it happened and she has taught me that you have just got to focus on all of the great things in your life and all you have to be thankful for. I had 22 years of unconditional love and friendship with my amazing, caring dad (and it doesn't just end now he's gone)- some people can't even say that. It is still raw and I don't think I have fully accepted that this has happened, but I can say that the initial few weeks and months after you lose someone do ease gently and you will be able to function again. Remember that you were lucky enough to know and love the person you have lost and they will always be with you.
In early 2016, at 70 years old my Grandfather passed away. My whole life was influenced by him, my music, food, hobbies, interests and even personality is due to him. He taught me to read, write, tell the time and more recently fix a car, drive a tractor, use a jackhammer and even how to shear sheep and milk cattle and many other things. He was the most significant member, and therefore the most significant death, in my whole entire life! He has another 3 grandchildren, but always said I was the favourite because I spent more time with him and was therefore more interested in his work and so on. He was diagnosed with bowel, liver and prostate cancer and each day for him (as he said himself) was a, "last grasp for life." He said that just simply knowing that one day his heart will stop worried him immensely, and that although he'd said all along that he will only live until 70, he never wanted to leave "his people." Everyone admired him, and when it all became too much for him he was sent to hospital where he spent I believe a month. I visited the day before he passed away, and although he had no energy to do anything else he said that he has saved just enough to hold my hand all the time throughout that day, which is what he did. he never once let go during my 5 hours spent with him. The day later, he committed suicide and although the hospital should have been keeping an eye on him, as he had attempted before, I understood that he had seen me and decided that was the last thing on earth he wanted to see before he passed, so that he could remember my smile. I imagine his corpse in the bed with a bag on its head, and it pains me so much to know that so many other people have to go through the same thing. Just know you're not alone.
My mum died in August 2016. She suffered with breast cancer for about 1 and a half years. When I found out she had cancer I was really upset. I didn't know how I would cope. She had chemotherapy and an operation to remove the lump and she was told that the cancer had gone. She went back to the hospital a few months later after feeling another lump in her breast. She was told the cancer had come back and they couldn't save her. She died in hospital a few months later. When she died I was really upset and I had no idea how I would cope with it. I am now currently seeing a Cruse bereavement counsellor and it is really helping me cope better with the loss. At first I wouldn't talk to anyone and i was bottling things up and I feel much better now I am able to speak about how I feel.
13.05.15 the day heaven gained a piece of my heart 💔 My granddad was a true gentleman.. He was my best friend, just 13 days before he died he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and we were told there was nothing the doctors could do.. so we brought him home and made him comfortable. Me, my mum and my nana looked after him 24/7 for his last days.. which completely broke my heart in to a million pieces. I miss and love him each and every day. People say it gets easier.. It doesn't!! You just learn how to live with it. Fly high gromps xxx
In March 2015, my brother got into a serious accident, involving him on a motorcycle and a woman in a car, who was carelessly driving. They had a collision and my brother suffered severe injuries, including damage to his liver from the handle bars of the motorcycle, broken ribs, fractured wrists, a broken arm and serious brain bleeds. He was rushed to hospital from the scene, where he went into surgery for his liver. When he came out of surgery he was put in a critical care unit for 2 days. He had loads of machines that kept him breathing, which doctors said would give him strength if he was still alive. They performed Brain Death Stem tests, which confirmed that he was no longer with us and was taken off the machines. The pain is still very raw, he was my best friend- the only person I have and would ever confide in. However, I know now, he is in a much better place. Everyone says the pain will fade, but it doesn't we just learn to cope with the pain in the best way possible. If anyone has ever lost their brother, I know we all deal with things differently but I know your pain, and one day we will be able to look back on our memories and smile instead of crying helplessly.
My grandpa was called Bob, he was a really lovely old man u would of liked to meet and see him right now. I just would love if he was with me, I just would love it so much if I could just see him. When I was a little girl I was his little girl while he was living and one Christmas I would always help him with unwrapping his gifts from the family and every time I look back I just remember him just sitting there and me just standing with him and his gift on his lap. I would do anything for him to be with me right now.
I am so sorry for the people who have lost loved ones in their family and I wish I was someone with magic powers so I could bring all of their loved ones back to life. I am just sitting here thinking about all of us and just thinking " I wish I could just see his or her face one more time".
My big brother Ben passed away in June 2015 from cancer. Our house feels empty without him because now I am an only child. But I am starting to do things like gymnastics that my brother loved watching me do. I am starting to train a lot harder to make him proud.
Three years go on 22nd April 2012, my dad committed suicide. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't miss him and think about him. Still to this day I do not understand why he did it, I know how it feels to lose your dad. So anyone out there that is struggling and thinks they are alone. You are not. I know things seem hard to start with but things will start to change and I don't like the thought of you suffering alone, so please don't. There is people out there to help. ❤