Counsellor offers group therapy for fellow parents grieving loss of child

Counsellor Dee Shaw is holding free group therapy sessions for fellow parents who are grieving the death of a child.

Dee Shaw is holding free group therapy sessions over Zoom for fellow parents who are grieving the death of a child. - Credit: Dee Shaw

A counsellor from Redbridge is calling on fellow parents who have lost a child to join a virtual group therapy session for those grieving and feeling isolated during the pandemic.

Dee Shaw, 71, who is also an author, lost her only child, David, in 2017 when he died of a heart attack.

At the time Dee had just started working on a memoir, recounting her life growing up in Serbia and moving to England at the age of 20, when she received the news that her 39-year-old son was no longer alive.

She told the Recorder: "I was abroad visiting family at the time when my husband Skyped me and said David is no longer with us.

"I couldn't understand it and said 'What do you mean?'

"It was like someone ripped my heart out and I was bleeding everywhere."

Dee's son, David Shaw died suddenly of a heart attack in 2017.

Dee's son, David Shaw died suddenly of a heart attack in 2017. - Credit: Dee Shaw


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Nearly four years later and she has never gotten over the loss but has learned to live with it.

To help other parents in the same situation as her, Dee is setting up a free, group therapy session over Zoom for anyone struggling with feelings of anger, despair or depression.

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She said: "Whenever I hear reports of children stabbed I can feel what their parents must be going through.

"I know what it's like to be fuelled with these emotions not wanting to live my life.

"Part of me died when David died and emotions of grief took over my life."

Author Dee Shaw with her book 'Life is a Gamble'

In 2018 Dee published her memoir 'Life is a Gamble' which David had encouraged her to write but never got to see the final product. - Credit: Dee Shaw

She felt the hardest thing to accept was that there was no return and David would never come back and she needed to find a new way to live with the grief which would never go away.

"You never move on but you create a new road in your life next to the one you already have to go forward."

She wants to create an open, safe space where parents can feel comfortable talking through their experience alongside others who can relate.

The sessions will start over Zoom and Dee will move them in-person to an available venue when Covid restrictions allow.

To join the Zoom group sessions or email dee.clough.dc@gmail.com for more information.

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