Ten years ago we celebrated the New Year and a new decade in New York. This was 2009/10 and the last time we saw in the New Year as a complete family – together. The next winter our son Josh was on his travels in South East Asia. On Christmas Day he phoned us from somewhere in Laos. He was having a wonderful time but we were never to speak with him again. On 16th January 2011 two young police officers came to our house to tell us he had died in a road accident in Vietnam.
Josh, Jane and Jimmy – New York Dec 2009
How the years roll by. If only by repetition, time has helped us get used to the idea that Josh is dead … yet with each passing year we also have to acknowledge how so much of our lives have been scarred by his death. The wound may heal but it may reopen at any time bringing with it the same hurts and the same awful gut-wrenching sense of loss. A New Year (a new decade!) is one of those moments – a time for reflection, renewal and resolution it is also a reminder (should we need one) of how broken we can be, how vulnerable to life’s accidents, how compromised we are by the burden that is our grief.
Josh – Vietnam Jan 2011
Our instinct though is for survival. It’s a human thing to find strength in adversity… to find community and to look to others for support, to find a way to re-build, to re-create, even to make something new from what remains after such a loss. And so The Good Grief Project came into being, a blend of our own need to find true expression and a more comfortable language for the many conflicting, even contradictory responses to our grief and a desire to share these with others. As you will be aware, our charity has accomplished much over the last couple of years – we’ve launched our documentary, A LOVE THAT NEVER DIES and made it widely available worldwide on line, we’ve developed our Active Grief Programme as a truly viable model for supporting bereaved families find creative expression for their grief, and we’ve started delivering a number of presentations and talks to various other charities and corporations on ‘Embracing Change in the Workplace’. All this is good for us as we grieve Joshua but the hope is that the lessons we have gained from this work are useful for others experiencing similar trauma or loss and will in the end benefit a society which sadly is still uncomfortable with conversations around death, dying and bereavement.
As we start the New Year, we want to thank you for the amazing support you have shown and to invite you to join us in one of the many activities we have planned for 2020.
So far we have two weekend retreats planned for 2020 … both at an exclusive rural venue in Derbyshire. We still have two rooms available for two people sharing on the first (15th-17th May) but there’s plenty of room for the second retreat (25th-27th September). Full bursaries available for those with limited income.
To find out more and to register for our ACTIVE GRIEF WEEKENDS in 2020 CLICK on the button below.
Thanks for reading
We wish you good health and much fortitude for the year ahead
Jimmy, Jane and all at THE GOOD GRIEF PROJECT