'There is a stigma about talking about death. When I was younger I do wish we’d spoke about it more'.
Raveena Nandra was just 12 years old when her father died suddenly. She now wants to encourage people to talk about bereavement, grief and loss.
Her story was broadcast on ITV News Central on Thursday, August 9.
Raveena, 22, from Kenilworth wants to show other young people it is ok to feel upset when you have lost a loved one.
Her father died suddenly from a heart attack when he was 43 years old. Raveena describes herself as a ‘daddy’s girl’ and admits she would not allow herself to believe he was gone.
‘I would make up stories to convince myself he was still alive,’ she said. ‘I would go to bed early, pretending he was coming home late, or that he had left early before I went to school.
‘As a family we found it too painful to talk about him and I felt I had to be strong for my mother. I just focused on my school work, determined to do well, to please my father and make him proud.’
The young woman admits this approach to grief was not good for her mental health. ‘I know it would have been healthier to share and talk with the family,’ she said.
John Bernath, Psychotherapist and Grief Counsellor, said there are roughly 5,000 children in the west midlands currently grieving for a relative.
‘I think the film is raising awareness of embracing our grief instead of pushing it away,’ he said.
‘It shows the transition people go through with bereavement from feeling the grief really deeply and working through that.
‘I hope this will help other young people who have suffered through grief and loss to talk about those experiences. The more we can be open about our grief the better we will feel.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.