Welcome to Healing Broken Dreams

At some point in our lives we are all affected by the serious illness or the death of somebody special:

  • a parent or grandparent
  • a child or grandchild
  • a brother or sister
  • a partner or close friend
  • a stillborn or pre-term baby

‘You might have a confusing mix of feelings over all that is happening or has happened. Perhaps your children’s behaviour has changed, and you are not sure how best to help them. Or family relationships generally have taken a dip, and you are all struggling with that: separated families or foster parents may  have particular difficulties. When you are hurting it’s not always easy to talk things through with those closest to you.’

What could help?

  • It can help you to know how you might explain things to your child, in an age-appropriate way. I can support you with this. Children and young people can cope far better with the truth than with falsehoods or their own vivid imagination.
  • It can help your children to have an opportunity to explore their more difficult thoughts and feelings and questions around the issues for them of what is happening, or has happened. It could take a weight off their shoulders.
  • Where the illness is terminal, I could support you in thinking through how you might prepare your children and other members of the family for the time around the death and/or the funeral.
  • The death of a child is particularly painful, and so very difficult for both parents and siblings. Sadly some parents find their relationship reaches breaking point. Support can make a difference, and if you would like to talk things through, then do contact me.
  • Finding ways to remember the person who has died can be such a help in the grieving process – and there are some lovely creative (and fun) ways to do this with children. I can give you some ideas, or we could do it together.
  • If you are a young adult  and feel it would help to “offload” and to talk things through, then do contact me.

Do you have a terminal illness yourself?

  • I would be pleased to help you explore your own thoughts and feelings about what is happening, and your concerns for the family.
  • It may also be helpful to look at ways in which you and your family can best support each other – and perhaps work through some difficult issues.
  • If you have children or grandchildren, this can be a very precious time for you all, even in the midst of such emotional turbulence. I can help you to think through that possibility and suggest some things you might do together.

“Will we always hurt like this?”

  • When our dreams for the future are broken by life-limiting illness or bereavement, we will hurt – and often deeply. But if we allow ourselves to hurt, rather than shut it away, and can acknowledge our pain and confusion of feelings, and grieve those broken dreams… healing can gradually begin. And then… eventually… bit by bit… we start to build new dreams… and discover the beginnings of hope for the future.
  • Grieving is not an illness, but children as well as adults may value some help and encouragement along the way.
  • I have puppets, paints, and many creative resources that can help young people express their more difficult feelings if they feel awkward about the idea of just “talking”.
  • I enjoy working with children of all ages and abilities – there is no upper or lower age limit.
  • I would be pleased to meet with you, or you could phone or email me, to talk through any questions or concerns you may have, and to look at ways in which I might support you and your children at this time. I do not charge for a first appointment.

Who am I? 

I am a fully qualified counsellor, with more than 40 years’ experience of working with families experiencing the serious illness or death of a significant person.  I have worked in a variety of settings, including both children’s and adults’ cancer care and hospices, and have supported many families where there has been a sudden or traumatic death.

I hold a current Enhanced Certificate for the Disclosure & Barring Service – the required police check for all who work with children and vulnerable adults.

I am also an experienced trainer for groups of professionals and volunteers working with families facing a life-threatening diagnosis or the death of somebody special to them.

I am based in the South Lakeland area of Cumbria, but don’t hesitate to call me if you are outside this area and we can look at support that might be possible.

Contact Claire on  07579767361 or email claire@healingbrokendreams.co.uk

Illustrations copyright Sophie Martin 2018 sophiemartinillustration.co.uk