In August 2011 my Dad died, suddenly from heart failure. He was away in Sweden on a work trip and never came home. Getting ‘the call’ from my brother “Jess, Dad's dead” created such a wave of shock that I think it swept me to somewhere I’ve never come back from - a “new normal”, a phrase coined by Jack and Ben that really resonates.
Months after my father's death my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma - a cancer with no cure. It wasn’t a case of “if” the cancer would win, it was a case of “when” the cancer would win. Around 18-months later my mother died too.
At the funeral someone said to me “it’s like being unplugged, and you didn’t even realise you were plugged in”. That was exactly how I felt - lost, heart broken, unplugged with no parents.
I felt so alone. I made it my mission to heal - therapy, yoga, meditation and writing helped- but it was still a pretty isolated journey.
Finding The New Normal gave me other people to connect with, listen to, share with. Just being in a pressure-free, judgement-free room with other people who “get it” - in their own version - is overwhelmingly comforting, warm and supportive. It’s quite difficult to articulate but It felt like the missing puzzle piece to my grief and healing had been found.
I would seriously encourage anyone who has suffered a loss to come and give the group a try. Each time I start off full of nerves and end up never wanting to leave. Know that if you feel scared, sad or unsure you will be in supportive hands.