Graham and Pauline Love – Ilkeston Group

We lost our youngest son Steve aged 30 to suicide on 4th February 2012, it’s a day we will never forget. In the early days we were just numb with grief and lived from hour to hour and day to day. We had support from our family and friends but after a while we needed to talk to people who could understand our grief. It was difficult talking to family for fear of causing further upset and friends, although well meaning, hadn’t been through the same trauma that a death by suicide creates.
This is when we started to look around to see what support was out there, after searching online we discovered SoBS. After reading the details of what they offered we took the plunge and attended our first meeting at Ilkeston which was local to us. Although we were really anxious we couldn’t have had a warmer welcome from Geoff, Eric and the other members.
We shed many tears at group meetings with the other members of the club no one wants to belong to. We found the support was wonderful, just talking to others was a huge relief that we weren’t going mad. There were people out there who were just like us and suffering the huge range of different emotions.
After a while we stopped attending regularly for a period because we felt we had reached a point where we could cope without support, we kept in touch with emails we received from the group and when a call went out for volunteers to help run the group, we talked about it and felt this was something we could do to help support others who were starting their journey of grief.
We contacted Eric who arranged for us to attend a training event in 2018, our first meeting as facilitators was quite daunting but in Eric we had a good mentor.
We have created a Facebook and Twitter account for Ilkeston SoBS and since the Coronavirus lockdown stopped us arranging physical meetings we have arranged virtual meetings over the internet. We find it very rewarding helping survivors to support each other and hope to do it for many more years.