As Prince William speaks out about losing his mother at a young age – a Shropshire woman whose father died when she was just seven-years-old has urged parents to arrange help for their children to deal with grief.
Sandra Owen, 52, of Priorslee, Telford, has been divorced twice and said if she got help when she was young then her life would have taken a different path.
She said: “When my father died we weren’t asked how we felt, we didn’t go to the funeral.
“I did not have the ability to express my emotions in words at such a young age.
“You get to the other end at 52-years-old and realise you spent your life making decisions and doing certain behaviours based on needs that weren’t met when you were seven.
“It shows the importance of children dealing with grief; I can now join the dots of my whole life which I’d never done before.
“I’m on a much healthier footing to be able to move forward in the second half of my life.”
She has made the call for other parents to take active steps for their children after hearing about Prince William’s speech at the Child Bereavement UK charity dinner on Thursday night (OCT 15).
The Prince, who was 15-years-old when his mother Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, gave a rare, emotional speech and said ‘grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure’.
Ms Owen, an experienced woodwind musician, teacher and mentor, has completed the Grief Recovery Method® with Phyl Edmonds, the only Grief Recovery Specialist in Shropshire, who also works to help children in schools across Telford experiencing grief or change, such as parent separation.
She said: “I had put it off a while as I didn’t want to rake anything up from the past. “But as I started the programme and with Phyl’s guidance I realised there were things that needed resolving.
“This helps you to set things out in a very clear and practical way.
“For adults who go through relationship break-ups it could be that there is unresolved grief that is affecting their relationships now. They are looking to solve something else.
“I never connected the two before.”
Ms Edmonds, of Wellington, set up Severn Intervention Services following the tragic loss of her husband through suicide in 2010.
She runs courses to help both adults and children find peace with emotions and move forward in life.
The 54-year-old said: “Working with parents to help children who have experienced significant change including bereavement, relationship breakdown and pet loss, is a huge part of my role.
“Children need help for what they are going through and it can make such a difference later in life.
“The Helping Children Deal with Loss programme is currently being delivered in Telford & Wrekin schools with great success, which helps children who have experienced loss, including parent separation.
“There is also a programme for adults and for those who want help with the grief of pet loss.
“We know that Prince William rarely speaks about the loss of his mother and it is incredibly encouraging to hear him speak about the importance of dealing with grief and the troubles both children and adults face in light of it.”
Meanwhile Sandra has created the Gifted Life Creative Personal Development course, a seven-week course to help people explore their thoughts and emotions in a fun, engaging and enjoyable way.
She works closely with Phyl in this line of work but was still reluctant to actually complete the course on offer.
“I was dubious because I am in my 50s now and I have dealt with a lot and been through personal development,” she said.
“I was nervous about raking up old feelings but now, having done it, I am glad.
“Yes it did churn up things but it needed to be. If I hadn’t I would have moved onto a relationship that is based on the wrong premise.
“If I had done something like this when I was a child I would have had a different life path.”
Ms Edmonds offers group or one to one sessions in therapy rooms at Optimum Joy in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury and at the Glebe Centre in Wellington, Telford.
For more information on the services she offers call (01952) 255952 or 07817 910 552 or email email@example.com