BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo has spoken about the death her father in an emotional documentary on the turmoil and chaos of losing a parent.
The ‘Live Lounge’ presenter received the devastating news that her dad had died as she prepared to run the Paris marathon last year.
She recalls: “I was standing on the platform at the metro in Paris and I got a phone call from my sister to say that my dad had passed away.”
Having returned to the UK to begin to cope with her sudden loss, Clara was also beginning a new role as the voice of millions of Radio 1 mornings.
She took over the station’s coveted 10am until 1pm slot in May 2015.
Yet guiding her new documentary is the knowledge that thousands of young people are forced to handle bereavement each year.
“I am definitely not the only person who’s felt loss. Two young people under the age of 16 loses either their mum or dad every hour, every day,” Clara says.
And it’s not only the death of parents which can affect young people.
According to charity Winston’s Wish, 537,450 5 to 16-year-olds have experienced the death of a close friend of the family.
Despite the sheer number of young people suffering bereavement, everyone handles things differently.
Joan, a bereavement counsellor, told Clara: “Everyone’s different. I’ve worked with children and six weeks is enough, and I’ve worked with young people for just over a year.
“There might be stages of grief, but you don’t come in at stage one and then two and then three.
“The thing not to do is say ‘This is where you are’. Everybody’s different.”
Listen to ‘Running with Grief’ on the BBC website for the next 30 days, here.
Useful helplines and websites:
Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com
Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123(UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41
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