Northamptonshire author's experiences of grief and bereavement lead to charity therapy sessions

Her dad, brother and the father of her children all died within months of each other

By Alison Bagley
Monday, 7th March 2022, 3:32 pm
Ilze with her children 
Photo credit - Elena Brown
Ilze with her children Photo credit - Elena Brown

After going through the worst times of their life, a Little Addington author and her children have their turned their pain into a positive way to help others going though bereavement.

When Ilze Lee's father and brother died only nine days apart, she thought that life couldn’t get worse - her dad, a South African miner, died of occupational health issues and her brother of cancer.

But while the family was still processing this devastating loss, her children’s father also unexpectedly died a few months later in 2017.

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She said: “We were desperate for support whilst dealing with multiple bereavements but realised that there wasn’t much available at all.

"Even though the people around us cared deeply, most were ill-equipped and too time-poor to provide the help my children needed. I vowed at the time that I will make a difference, which is why I am so proud that we are now able to offer this support to the community.”

Son Bradley, 16, and 12-year-old daughter Leah were only 11 and eight-years-old at the time of their dad's death. To help other children deal with grief they collaborated on a book with their mum Ilze.

She said: "Upside Down, Downside Up, beautifully illustrated by Antony Wootten, is a great communication tool for children going through this experience. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from teachers and even those in the medical profession. Rob Moore, multi-millionaire author and property investor, kindly gifted £3,030 to help me with this."

As well as the book 46-year-old Ilze, who moved to the UK 22 years ago, has now also launched a small charity, ‘The Never Alone Project’ to help bereaved children and their parents and or carers.

The Never Alone Project offers therapeutic group sessions, social events, and one-to-one support using the Grief Recovery Method - an evidence based, action-oriented grief program that helps people move through the pain of loss.

The next session will be for parents/carers, and will be held at Irthlingborough library on the Friday, March 25, at 10.30am. Places will need to be booked beforehand, due to limited space.

To get in touch with The Never Alone Project email [email protected], or message https://www.facebook.com/neveraloneproject.