Heather Tilley is a Family Support and Bereavement Counsellor for Shooting Star Chase, a leading children’s hospice charity caring for children in London and Surrey. She has over a decade of experience helping families accept and cope with the diagnosis of a child with a life limiting condition. Shooting Star Chase recognises the impact a grandchild’s diagnosis and loss can have on grandparents and has dedicated grandparents’ days and support groups at its hospices.
To lose a grandchild is devastating. Nothing can prepare you and life will never be the same afterwards. My job is to help the families of children with life limiting conditions navigate from having to manage the news of the diagnosis through to life after loss. The impact on families can be devastating. All their plans and assumptions for the future are shattered. One thing I often hear from grandparents is that things are in ‘the wrong order’ if their grandchild dies before them. They carry a huge burden of guilt. As well as the intense loss of the grandchild, grandparents also experience the heartbreak of seeing their own child’s grief.
As time passes it can be helpful to find new ways to remember. Our Sunrise Walk is a poignant, but positive way to commemorate a child who has died, whilst making a difference. By taking part, you can help raise much-needed funds for the charity to continue providing a lifeline for other grandparents who are learning to live alongside the loss of a grandchild.
Our Sunrise Walk is a poignant, but positive way to commemorate a child who has died, whilst making a difference.
With three routes to choose from in a picturesque setting, anyone can take part – whether you’re an experienced walker or enjoy a stroll with your family and friends.
The walk takes place on Sunday 31st May 2015 at 4:30am at the beautiful Ham House near Richmond, and starts with lighting a paper lantern to remember a loved one. In its third year, the Sunrise Walk has so far attracted over 500 walkers who have raised an impressive £85,000. For 2015 we’re looking for 300 walkers and we aim to raise over £40,000.
Pick either a 10k or 20k route – both will take you past some stunning sights including Richmond Park, Richmond Hill, The Thames, Ham Common, Bushy Park and Home Park near Hampton Court Palace.
So, set your alarm and sign up now to be part of something special.