Lottie Tomlinson has opened up about how she copes with the loss of her mother and sister, in order to try and help others in a similar situation.
Lottie, her brother Louis Tomlinson, and the rest of their family lost their mother, Johannah Deakin after a lengthy battle with leukaemia in December 2016, and were left devastated at the sudden death of their sister, Felicite, in March 2019.
The social media influencer broke down in tears as she spoke about her mum as part of Sue Ryder’s bereavement campaign, saying: ‘I couldn’t have ever asked for a better mum. She did everything for us, she made sure we had everything we needed.
‘She had seven kids and we were just her life. I’m so lucky, some people don’t get that.’
Lottie teamed up with Sue Ryder charity for their #JustSaySomething campaign in a bid to help others open up about grief.
She admitted the hardest part in the months following her bereavement was people avoiding speaking about her mum or sister in case it upset her.
Lottie explained: ‘I think one of the hardest parts for me is people not bringing it up. That’s even harder because you’ve lost that person and they’re kind of fading away because people are not talking about them.
‘You need to keep talking about it because otherwise you get so lost with your feelings and I think that can send you into quite a dark place.’
She admitted that losing her mother so young left her with anxiety, and she tried to hide her feelings as much as she could.
‘I definitely developed some anxiety after losing mum because the scariest thing obviously to me is losing a parent when you’re young and that’s happened,’ she explained.
‘I try and be as strong as I can all the time and that’s almost sometimes to a fault, because I am always trying to put on a brave face and I don’t always like to let myself be upset, because it’s almost as if I’m not doing well.
‘But it is okay not to be okay, and you can have bad days, you can have bad weeks, you can have bad months but nothing’s permanent and it will pass and you’ll have the good times and you will have bad times as well.’
Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, added: ‘Each of us at some point will most likely experience bereavement or want to support somebody else who is.
‘Sue Ryder’s research shows that for many people, bereavement can be a trigger for feelings of depression and anxiety, but it also points at some simple ways in which we can better support ourselves and each other.
‘We seem to have found ourselves in a perfect storm. People who have experienced a bereavement want to open up yet don’t feel like they can; and those wanting to support those coping with grief are too afraid to say the wrong thing. This leaves us with a damaging silence.
‘Whether you are somebody who is grieving and doesn’t know how to ask for help or if you are a partner, friend or colleague of somebody you think may be struggling with their grief, Sue Ryder hopes that our #JustSaySomething campaign can provide people with the confidence to begin those conversations.’
Visit sueryder.org/copingwithgrief for bereavement resources providing practical and emotional advice for both parties to help encourage conversations about grief.
Got a showbiz story?