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Gemma Powell avatar
Gemma Powell

Gemma's Giving something back

Raising money to help this service to continue for Walsall Bereavement Support Service because It is a much needed service for our community

105 %
£525.00
raised of £500 target
by 35 supporters
Donate

Walsall Bereavement Support Service

We offer caring bereavement support to adults, children/young people & families

Charity Registration No. 1152724

Story

People who know me, know how tough the past few years have been for me and my family. 

In 2012 my Dad was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. He made the decision to undergo a major operation to try to prolong his life. This operation involved his voice box being removed which meant he was then unable to talk. During my dads illness we found out that I was expecting our first baby, Jake was going to be the light at the end of our tunnel and the person that was going to get us through the pain of eventually having to say goodbye to my dad. On the 25th November 2014 at 36 weeks pregnant I didn't feel well so went to the hospital for a check up, it was on this day that we discovered the light at the end of our tunnel had gone out, our precious baby boys heart had stopped beating. I was allowed home to collect some of Jake's clothes and had to return back to hospital an hour later to be induced to enable me to go into labour and deliver our baby boy. It was the hardest most painful thing I have ever had to do. After delivering Jake, my dad came to the hospital and to this day I dont know where he found the strength to get there, he was so poorly at that time but was determined to be there for me and Luke. The days and weeks that followed still remain a blur to me but I had to be strong and be there for my dad who had been told he didn't have much longer in this world. He defied all odds and fought to stay with us for another 6 months. On the 5th June 2015 I had some exciting news, I was pregnant again and I couldn't wait to tell my dad the news. I went to the hospice and told him our news and he was the happiest I had seen him in months, he was so excited for us and couldn't wait to tell everyone. That was the last day I saw my dad awake, he finally felt able to go to sleep knowing we had another light at the end of our tunnel and that we would all be ok. On the 7th June 2015 my dad peacefully passed away surrounded by his family and friends. I wasnt able to grieve, I had a precious baby growing inside me that I needed to protect to the best of my ability and on the 15th January 2016 after a very long, uncertain 9 months our beautiful baby girl Erin came into this world and made everything right again. 13 months later along came her baby brother cian to complete our family. 

On the 23rd December 2017 there was a knock at my door, it was the police to tell me that my brother had hung himself, the crew had got output and he was on a life support machine at City hospital. We rushed there to be by his side and were given the news that he had unfortunately suffered a catastrophic brain injury and would not survive. The next few days went by in a blur, full of mixed emotions and on the 27th December the decision was made to turn off the life support machine, my big brother who had protected me for most of my life was gone. 

Grief has a funny way of affecting people, everyone deals with it in a different way, some better than others. Over the years since losing Jake, my dad and now my brother, the safety of my world became uncertain and I developed anxiety, always feeling a sense of impending doom, always expecting something bad to happen. After a while I realieed i needed to access some help and I had cognitive behavioural therapy which helped me to control the anxiety which was great but it didn't get to the bottom of why I was experiencing it. A couple of months ago I considered the option of bereavement counselling, I did a Google search and lots of private counsellors came up who charge up to and sometimes in excess of £50 per hour, i couldn't afford to pay this so put it to the back of my mind and decided it wasnt an option. I then found out about Walsall Bereavement support services and I emailed Elaine who runs the service. Elaine called me and after chatting to  her on the phone she said the words I had been waiting to hear 'we will help you' I'll never forget those words and the relief I felt after hearing them. A couple of weeks later I was booked on to a course of bereavement counselling sessions and over the past 7 weeks my life has been turned around. I have gone from feeling like my world would always be a sad one to realising that I can be happy again and although my losses will never leave me, I have learnt to put those feelings in a safe place where I can get them when I need too instead of carrying them around like a heavy bag full of bricks weighing me down. Whilst having counselling sessions I discovered that this service does not receive any funding from the government and is solely run on donations. The counsellors dedicate their time for free because they care and want to provide people with this much needed service. 

This is where my family and friends come into the equation. I knew after finding this out that i just had to raise some money for this worth while cause. So i ask if you can spare any amount of money i would appreciate it so much and this fantastic service will be able to continue helping people like me who without it may never have felt entirely happy again. 

Thanks for reading my story ❤ xxx 


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