Navigating life after death – one mum’s reflection

September 8, 2023

Interview by Pauline (Kelly’s family support practitioner)

Kelly is a bereaved parent supported by Very Special Kids.

She has worked hard to understand her grief and reach a place of acceptance in her life.  After losing a teenage daughter in tragic circumstances, and a baby daughter to illness, Kelly is now embracing a new sense of self.

She likes and respects this emerging woman of creativity and self-assuredness, and so do I!

Kelly, what have you learnt about yourself?

On my journey of grief, I have learnt to enjoy life, smile, and completely love again, without fear. It is a place I never thought I would or could reach.  To continue living and making memories for others and myself, is a blessing born from tears, fears, and a broken heart.


Who is Kelly now?

I feel proud, strong, and courageous.  I enjoy all that life still has for me to experience.  I love being with my family, my grandchildren, and my adorable dogs and their pups.  But I am also reclaiming my personal time using art, and story through art.  This is my peaceful and healing space.  Reflecting on my grief has helped me to rediscover who I am and re-connected me to my cultural family roots.


Is there a flipside to pain and vulnerability?

I have experienced unexpected moments of self-pride as well as many tearful moments of doubt.  I have allowed myself to feel what has been true to me. The pain and sadness, self-discovery and re-growth, have all been a difficult part of my grieving journey.  I have lost two daughters and have finally learnt to give myself permission to do what is right for me.  I will forever remember my angel children as a part of my living existence.  I accept this life with love, and a right to feel sadness, whilst also smiling and experiencing joy.  I can do both at the same time.


What do you want other bereaved parents to know?

I remind myself, and my family that we all deserve to be happy.  We deserve to have loving and supportive networks.  And we deserve to feel safe to express our feelings. I allowed myself to feel the deepest of pain and now allow myself to feel the deepest of love and complete happiness.  We all deserve true happiness and to live for ourselves, without fear of rediscovering or reinventing who we are.


Very Special Kids provides holistic palliative care for families at all stages of their journey – through life, death and bereavement. Counselling is an opportunity to express your feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Learn more about the counselling services we provide to Very Special Kids’ families here.