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Our TV Debut!!

Thank you to Channel W and Amanda Holden for allowing us to talk about our beautiful children, our life after their death and our journey through grief on tonight's "I've Got Something To Tell You"

Amanda, one of brightest stars mums made this all possible. With her courage and bravery, she allowed us to spread the word on child loss.
Bethany will be the proudest daughter shining in the sky tonight 14720476 1149598738465409 3231967747400041048 n

Thank You Liam & Elaine

When your child dies, “You are part of a club that you never wanted to be part of”

Tonight two of the most caring parents that I know, Liam and Elaine share the story of their beautiful healthy daughter Lucy who died from myocarditis. They are part of a club that no parent ever wants to be part of but a club, that they want people to be aware of. Liam and Elaine made this very moving video to raise awareness of myocarditis and the lack of support available to parents after t...he death of their child.

Men are often told to be strong for their family, not to cry, not to talk about their feelings and to keep their feelings to themselves. Liam talks about the stigma that dads face after the loss of their child and hopefully this video will let dads know that they are not alone, its ok to talk, its ok to cry and its ok to grieve for their child. It is also ok to ask for support and Brightest Star is here to provide this.

We are very lucky to have Liam and Elaine as part of Brightest Star and I cannot thank them enough for making this video for us. Liam and Elaine have been a great support to me personally and at times when I felt I couldn’t live another day without Jack, I looked at them and knew there was hope. It takes such courage to put yourself out there to help others and I know this video will help so many people in Lucy’s memory.

Please share, like and comment on this video so it reaches as many people as possible. Together we can raise awareness of myocarditis, child loss and support the families that are left behind to live without them.

Child Loss Awareness Week

This video is my life, a life I never thought would be mine but a life that could just as easily be your life tomorrow. Tonight I am going to share Jacks Journey as he is what led us to this place and he will forever drive me to raise awareness of child bereavement and grief.

When Jack died aged 5, I was very naïve and thought that children didn’t die, I really did think I was the only person in the world to lose child. Sadly that is not the case, in 2015, 3181 children from ages 0-4 died in England and Wales and 211 in Scotland. At the other end of the scale, 4096 children aged between 25-34 died in England and Wales and 588 died in Scotland. It doesn’t matter what your child is, they will always be your child. I am 32 but I am still my mum and dads child and if I died tomorrow, they would experience the same pain that I did when I lost my son Jack aged 5. I can tell you from my own heart that there is no greater pain than burying your own child and living the rest of your life without them.

Brightest Star supports families who have lost children in pregnancy, as babies, infants, toddlers, teenagers and adults so this year, I have decided to make baby loss week as Son/Daughter Loss week so every parent is included. Brightest Star’s Son/Daughter Loss Week is a chance to remember every baby, infant, teenager and adult that has died. To me, it does not matter if you child was 1 or 41 when they died, you are still their parent and no parent should see their child die before them.

Brightest Star’s Son/Daughter Loss Week goes alongside Baby Loss Week which takes place from 9 to 15 October each year. This week is an opportunity for parents, their families and friends to acknowledge and remember children who have died.

It is a chance for us to raise awareness of the fact that sadly, children of all ages die and what life can be like for a parent after the loss of a child. This week you will see videos of some very brave parents talking about the loss of their children. This took great courage but they have done this is in their childs memory to help raise much needed awareness. Please post pictures and stories of your children on our page, do not be afraid to talk about them. If we are afraid to talk about our children, how can we expect others to say our child’s name?

Many people may not know what to say or how to offer support to someone who has lost a child. People don’t like to talk about grieving and children dying, society has made these a taboo subject. Son or daughter loss week is an opportunity to help banish the taboo of talking about children dying and grief and help educate people on how to support families suffering every parent’s worst nightmare. Please post your experiences of this and any advice you would give to those who don’t know what to say. Together, we really can make a difference.

On Sunday, there is international ‘Wave of Light’ 15 October and we ask each of you across the world to light a candle in memory of a son or daughter that you know has died. We would love to see photos of your candle and the name of the person that you are remembering.

Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xxxx

Nowhere to Turn?

When Jack died, I didn’t know where to turn, I found I very hard to find help anywhere and in a moment of sheer despair, I called a helpline. The horrific experience you hear on this video is exactly why I started Brightest Star, that experience will live with me until the day that I die. Sadly, my experience of telephone helplines was not unique, only today I heard another story almost identical to mine. Due to my own experience, Brightest Star does not have a helpline numbe...r for bereaved families and why I would never turn anyone any who has lost a child, at any age, from any cause of death. I will telephone families personally, meet with them, arrange peer support or one to one counselling sessions if they ask me to but I would never take the chance of any parent having the same experience that I did.

Brightest Star offers support groups to parents that have lost a child at any age, from any cause of death. The meetings are very informal and there to provide a space for people to talk about their child and their grief. They allow people the chance to meet others who are sharing similar experiences, thoughts and feelings to them. There are there to let people know that they are not alone.

In Glasgow, our next support meeting is:
Monday 5th December 2016 - Level 3, Glasgow Hilton, William Street, 1800-2000

In Edinburgh, our next support meeting is:
Wednesday 12th October , Radisson Blue, The Royal Mile, 1800-2000

I am starting a new support group for parents that have bereaved within the last 12-24 months, this will take place on Thursday 13th October and start at 6pm

Brightest Star Office
Pavillion 3 - St James Business Park
2nd Floor
81 Linwood Road

If you know anyone who has lost a child, it doesn’t matter how long ago they lost a son or daughter, what age they were or what they died from, please share this post with them and all your friends. If people don’t know about Brightest Star then we can’t support them. If anyone would like more information on Brightest Stars support meetings, then please feel free to get it touch.