Stroud, 25th August 2015
Scroll back four and half to five years when these pictures were taken and we would have no idea (we not even be thinking about thinking) of the fate that would befall our family. And in the weeks and months after he died we had no sense of where we would be now – about to board a plane for the Americas with a whole load of camera gear for a research and film making exercise that we would call The Good Grief Project.
But here we are and it’s with exhilaration and sadness that we embark on this journey. Emotionally I’m all over the place even if over the last few days my time has been taken up solidly with prepping and planning, packing and repacking, following up the last minute emails with our contributors. All useful distractions from what feels like a pretty huge undertaking. Even before Josh died, we had toyed with the idea of a ‘retirement gap’ year in which we would travel the world as a way of launching ourselves into the third stage of our lives. But we did not envisage it like this – to journey for and with Josh yet without him.
Still we hope that you will travel with us, follow and enjoy our reports, and feed back with your own comments. We will blog at least once a week, hopefully conveying some of the dramas from our travels- you know the kind of stuff where you do a whole interview only to find the camera wasn’t running or turning up in Salem Massachusetts when we’re supposed to be in Salem Virginia.
We must thank all our supporters who have generously contributed to our funding scheme and without which the project would not be happening. The grants from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and The Jessica Mathers Trust formed the bedrock of the projects budget but over 70 individuals have now donated via the GOGETFUNDING page and for that we are immensely grateful. As much as the cash it’s the thought that so many of you are behind us that means so much. The confidence we gain from your trust is so important and we intend to repay it in full.
Very excited now about meeting and filming the first of our contributors in Sandy Hook this coming weekend. Sandy Hook High School you will remember was the scene of a mass shooting in December 2012. On the chalkboard in his home in the days before he was murdered one of the ‘first graders’ had written (albeit phonetically) the words ‘nurturing’, ‘healing’, and ‘love’. His mother is now on a mission to get an educational programme known as ‘social and emotional learning’ rolled out in schools across the country. The debate around gun control isn’t really getting very far, she has told us and she is now putting her energies into helping teachers identify students who may feel isolated or bullied and to help them develop the social skills needed to resist a violent response.
Of all the stories we will be exploring where bereaved parents have initiated projects as a way of remembering their child, this seems to be a hopeful starting point.
For a general overview of THE GOOD GRIEF PROJECT see the ABOUT section of this blog
Thanks for reading