'In March 2018, my dad’s mum, my Grandma passed away from ovarian cancer. I had counselling for 6 months, then stopped. Then in April this year, my mum’s dad, my Grandpa died of prostate cancer. I came to see Ruth both times for some counselling. I felt really low, I had a lot of other things going on, moving house, starting a new school and things felt really stressful.
My grandma lived in New Zealand, we went to visit and within a couple of days of arriving and seeing her, she passed away. We had her funeral a couple of days before we flew back to the UK. It felt like I had hardly ever seen her, as I had only visited twice before, when I was very young. We thought she was getting better, but when we got there, she was a lot worse than we thought, she looked very different to how I remembered her.
She had to go into hospital after we arrived, but they said that she would be coming home the next day, but we got a call in the middle of the night to say she’d passed away. It was a shock, even though she had been ill for a little while.
My Grandpa in the UK had been very ill for a long time, since I was small. He just kept fighting. In some ways I felt more prepared for this as I knew what was happening. My grandad from New Zealand visited and we were going on holiday. A few days into our holiday we got a phone call to say he had died, he had gone into the hospice.
My mum and dad had come to WHY before I did, and my sister had also had some counselling I had some support through my school, but I felt very stressed and my mum and dad thought I needed some more support.
I felt the counselling helped me a lot. It felt good to do it. I stopped for a little bit as I felt better, but after my Grandpa died I came back for more sessions with Ruth.
I kind of feel like a new person. I used to get quite stressed out and worry a lot, I now find it a lot easier to deal with difficult situations.
I was quite scared coming for counselling at the start, I always feel scared meeting someone new, it gets easier after a few times. Coming to counselling has made me more confident, to be able to talk to people. I don’t get as nervous, like I would have done before.
I feel like I’ve gone from rock bottom, to feeling so much better. We have all had counselling in the family which has made things much better at home. We all feel less stressed. My dad has quite a stressful job, my sister is in her final year at GCSE’s, so it has felt like we have all been stressed. My mum is like me, she worries about stuff, she mainly had to care for my Grandpa when he was ill, and I think just being able to talk to somebody has made it easier for all of us.
Counselling can be nerve wracking, but once you get used to it, you feel like you get to know the counsellor. Ruth was really nice, Sometimes when I had a really stressful week, I used to really look forward to coming on a Thursday to talk about my week.'