Thank you, Jessica’s Mum’ for sharing your life story with me.
If we didn’t talk in 2021 we would not not have the wonderful memories you shared and heard it all from your own experience.
Jessica now knows and will forever be grateful for engaging in Therapeutic Life Story Work.
Last week I was working away writing a report when my phone rang with a number I recognised. It was a case worker who I had worked closely with last year while delivering Therapeutic Life Story Work to a young person on her caseload.
The call started with “Oh Shannon, I have some sad news to deliver, Jessica’s * mum has died”.
Straight away I said “Oh no, how is Jessica? This is horrific- she longed to heal her relationship with her mother”.
Continuing the call, I found out the details of the death – a freak accident. This mother has been battling a life of what she described as “Hell” for so many years (since she was 7 years old). She tried so hard to live every day, waking up to fighting a drug addiction, struggling to secure housing, managing day to day to eat, battling the inner demons in her head, missing family connection and most of all, barely surviving.
The case worker has asked for me to re-engage with Jessica, to help her process the loss of her mum, deliver the facts and look at future Jessica* and how she can still remember her late mother.
When the call ended, I sat, I paused and thought “How lucky was I to of received a referral in October 2021 to work with Jessica in delivering her story?” This allowed me the opportunity to speak with her mother about her life and to ask questions about the birth father of Jessica, as this had not been spoken of prior. I was able to gather so much information about the mother’s life and her relationship with Jessica’s father before this tragic accident.
This agency provided Jessica the opportunity to know her life story this year to find out facts that had not been provided before. Imagine if this did not occur? Jessica would not have known about her mother’s constant battle for survival, her childhood, the early relationship with Jessica’s father and her mother’s future wishes for Jessica.
What a privilege it was to work with her mother. I feel so grateful to do this work and will continue to advocate that all children and young people in Out of Home Care have access to Therapeutic Life Story Work.
Jessica is grieving a loss of a mother she didn’t live with for many years; however, she now has a story about her mother and can speak about her mother to her foster family in a way everyone can remember and hold these memories with her for life.
RIP Jessica’s mum, thank you for being so honest with me and sharing the heartache and pain that was your daily juggle. Please know by doing this, you left a story for Jessica to always know.
* Name has been changed to protect the young person’s identity