Befriending seemed to be the next natural step after confronting the years of delayed grief for my twin sons.
In those early brutal days of loss the TAMBA Bereavement Support Group became my online second home.
In the non-days that came when I returned (physically, if not mentally) to work the group was my safe haven, a chance to speak to people that understood what it’s like to lose your babies.
Befriending is not about about giving advice. It’s not about counselling but it is a chance to be heard without judgement or fear
It’s a place where we can be open about all the ugly feelings of guilt, rage and despair and help others through their darkest moments.
It’s also a place where we can talk about the mixed feelings of pregnancy after loss.
The need to talk can be overwhelming and not having someone to talk to can be isolating and intensify an already unbearable pain.
I started writing to get those feelings on page to make sense of them but also to encourage other fathers to talk about their experiences.
Befreinding allows me the chance to do that directly. It doesn’t have to be a phone call, it can be by email. It’s whatever is best for the person that needs that help.
Befriending is not about about giving advice. It’s not about counselling but it is a chance to be heard without judgement or fear.
Sometimes just having someone to listen to you speak out the words that have been swirling round your head allows you that chance to hear yourself.
It can be for one call, one email or a longer term basis.
Grief is marked by its ebb and flow and even years afterwards it can hit with the force of those raw early days.
Befriending is for all those times when you need someone to hear you say the things you may not feel you can say to those closest to you.
There is no right way to grieve but I know from experience that some ways may be better than others. Putting on a brave face, feeling the need to be strong can be exhausting and damaging and unintentionally isolate us from the ones that needs us most.