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Help with bereavement

Simon Thomas will be familiar to one generation as a Blue Peter presenter, taking on challenges like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and running the 60m against Darren Campbell, to another as one of the main football presenters on Sky, presenting live games alongside big name pundits. But in November last year Simon's world was, in his own words, 'turned upside down and inside out'. His wife of twelve years, Gemma, died suddenly only three days after being diagnosed with leukaemia, leaving him with their eight year-old son.
Simon recently shared his experience of bereavement. 'As I write now, it's just after three thirty in the morning. I'm into the tenth week of severe sleep deprivation... My body is weak. My mind is frazzled... Most of the time now I do feel useless. Physically I feel the weakest I've ever felt, I couldn't be strong even if I tried... When people ask me how I'm doing, I long for the day I can say with authenticity that I am OK; but right now I can't say anything other than I'm not OK, I'm really struggling.'
In the same piece he quotes something written by the Christian author Pete Grieg: "When life is tough they tell you to be strong. Don't be strong. Be weak. Unclench your fists. Dare to vulnerable. Honest weakness takes courage. It affirms our common humanity, deepens friendship and elicits grace." God speaks through the Bible to us, through Paul's experience: "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness."

We all try to be strong, yet loss and heartache can hit any of us at any time, revealing to us our own weakness. At St Peter's we have a small group for anyone who has been bereaved called 'The Arches' because an arch is a hugely strong construction which consists of two piles of stones which would each fall down if it weren't for the other: two weaknesses make a strength. Whether your experience of loss is similar to Simon's or feels completely different, you're welcome to come and find support and God's loving strength. Do contact me for details.


St Peter's Church

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