On February 14th, Valentine’s Day bereavement experts from the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) are unveiling a powerful and moving new book for the partners of young people who have tragically lost their lives to sudden cardiac death.
The booklet, ‘Young Sudden Cardiac Death: A Partners’ Grief’ which has been compiled by CRY’s Chief Executive and Founder, Alison Cox MBE, who was a bereavement counsellor, features 10 personal ‘essays’ from men and women who recount and talk through their personal experience of suddenly losing their husband, wife, girlfriend, fiancé, to a previously undiagnosed heart condition.
It will be officially launched to coincide with ‘Valentines Day’, a date so often synonymous with the ‘heart’ as well as positive stories about ‘love’ and ‘happiness’. However, as the bereavement support team at CRY know too well, it is also a date in the calendar that can be exceptionally hard for those who have lost someone deeply loved and may lead to them looking for specialist support and advice, particularly from those who have been through a similar experience.
Alison Cox, says; “I have supported bereaved families (including mums, dads, partners and siblings) for over 18 years and their experience of grief –whilst always raw – is individually totally different, regardless of their relationship with the person who has so suddenly died. But, there is something about this latest in our series of grief booklets that is terribly poignant and deeply moving about these young people losing their chosen ‘life partner’ at the very beginning of what should have been a long and happy union.
“Some were about to get married, others had just married. Some were planning to start a family in the near future, others had just had children. The fiancé of one of our authors, Jane Davies, died suddenly whilst on the phone to her on the eve of their wedding. The stories are all so heart-breaking in so many different ways. Some of these courageous young men and women tell how they have eventually come to terms with their sorrow and somehow managed to move on and find a new partner. Others are as yet unable to. However, and extraordinarily, their mutual message is the same – a commitment to working with CRY and trying to help others enduring the struggle of coping with the kind of tragedy that they have experienced”
Every week in the UK, 12 young (that is, aged 35 and under) people die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these young people have no signs or symptoms and so the only way to detect a potentially sinister cardiac abnormality is by having a CRY screening test.
CRY’s Bereavement Support Programme* offers telephone support through volunteers who have suffered the sudden cardiac death of a child, sibling or partner and who received two years of counselling training. CRY also holds regional and national bereavement support events across the UK for families who have been affected by young sudden cardiac death.
Next month (Saturday March 15th) CRY will hold its first Bereavement Support Day, exclusively for men and women who have lost their young partner through a sudden cardiac death. The event will give attendees the chance to listen and talk to other bereaved partners about their tragedy as well as sharing feelings and emotions from their own personal experience.
Since 1995, CRY has received thousands of calls from families wanting to speak to others who have suffered similar tragedies. CRY has found that in many cases, no matter how much professional support is offered (either medical or therapeutic), sometimes just talking to someone who has been through a similar experience, can provide the best help.
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For more information or to set up an interview with any of the authors featured in the new booklet, please call Jo Hudson or Heather Churchouse in the CRY Press Office on 020 7112 4905 / 0770 948 7959 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit: www.partnersgrief.org.uk for further information or to download a copy of the “Young Sudden Cardiac Death: A Partners’ Grief’ booklet
Or more information about CRY’s Bereavement Support Programme, please call 01737 363222 or email: bereavementsupport@c-r-y-.org.uk
*The development of CRY’s Bereavement Support Programme was initially funded by a 3 year grant funded by the Department of Health