Dawn received support from Child Bereavement UK with her husband Mark following the death of their four-year-old son Henry from cancer.

We’ve had the most amazing support; if it wasn’t for Child Bereavement UK I don’t think I would be here today. They saved my life because they made me realise I have the strength and courage to carry on every day, but I can still take Henry with me.

Henry was my little superhero and he was my world.  He was the most cheeky, happy chappy you could ever meet, he was just mischievous.   He had a normal childhood and developed normally up until he was two and a half.  I kept going backwards and forwards to the doctors because, although he was full of life, his temperature would spike in the most horrendous way at night.  But then in the morning, when I took him to the doctors, he would be fine, running around like a headless chicken and making it look like there was nothing wrong with him.

But things got progressively worse and eventually, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.   Henry was diagnosed at Christmas and he started his first chemotherapy session in February.

When Henry was four, we were told by the consultant that he had relapsed badly and there was nothing else we could do. After Henry died, life was absolutely horrific. All I ever wanted was to be a mummy and my world had gone. Everything I ever knew had just gone like that. I didn’t know what I believed anymore, what was I supposed to do. I had no one to look after. I felt so lonely, lost and isolated.

It was my employers who recommended I contact Child Bereavement UK.   I made contact and immediately felt at ease talking to our bereavement support practitioner. We realised that Mark and I were grieving differently but that there is no right or wrong.   I’d get really cross with Mark because he wasn’t crying while I was. He was quiet and wouldn’t talk about Henry and I thought he didn’t care and had forgotten about him. But in fact he was hurting as much as me but because he didn’t show it, I didn’t understand that.

We’ve had the most amazing support; if it wasn’t for Child Bereavement UK I don’t think I would be here today. They saved my life because they made me realise I have the strength and courage to carry on every day, but I can still take Henry with me.   I still go through days where I feel there’s no way out, but I know that I can pick up the phone and there will always be somebody on the end of the line to talk to.  

The couples’ counselling with Mark saved our marriage. I never ever throughout that Mark would go to counselling. How very wrong was I. Don’t judge, give it a try and you never know, it would save your life just like it saved mine, and saved our marriage.