Mother who lost daughter to illness encourages others to share bereavement experiences
PUBLISHED: 19:56 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:45 19 March 2018
A mother whose daughter died at the age of 31 has started a group where people can come together and share experiences of losing a loved one.
Sharee-Anne Williams, who had Down’s Syndrome, passed away in May last year after medical complications resulted in a lengthy battle with illness.
Following the loss of her daughter, Sue Williams sought counselling but found it to be ineffective in helping her to overcome grief. Although she knew there existed bereavement groups, none of them were held at a time or place that suited her.
Having written a plea on Facebook to anyone who might be interested in starting a group in Waveney, Ms Williams received a response from Deb Olley and the pair joined forces to create the Open Arms Waveney Bereavement Group.
“After Sharee-Anne died, people didn’t want to bring her up in conversation just in case they upset me, which is ridiculous really,” said Ms Williams.
“My family have offered me fantastic support over the last year, but sometimes it’s nice to share away from family with people who have been through similar sadness.
“Debs lost her father a couple of years ago and got in touch to say she’d be interested in starting a group. Like me, she was keen to share and help others.”
The group has congregated twice so far and, from hereon, the meetings will be held on the first Monday of every month at Carlton Manor in Carlton Colville from 7pm.
While Ms Williams is keen for the group to grow, she also wants it to remain a relaxed environment where attendees feel completely comfortable telling their personal stories.
She said: “The groups have been really successful so far; it’s so important for people to get together and talk about losing someone.
“For me, the group members are people for me to call when I’m having really rough day. When you’re bereaved, you have thoughts and feelings that you just need to speak to people about.
“People can come and go as they please; there’s a real mutual understanding between everyone because we’ve all experienced the same thing.”
Anyone looking to attend or find out more can visit Open Arms Waveney Bereavement Group Facebook page, or contact Debs on 07824117173.