Coping With the Death of Your Mum as a Teenager

This episode of the the Teenage Kicks podcast deals with a very sensitive issue. Helen Wills talks to Jill Hawkins about the death of Jill's mother when she was just 15 and in her GCSE year at school.

Jill's mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour just before Christmas, and died in January. She was just 57. Jill went into school the next day, because she couldn't think of anything else to do.

Jill says that in hindsight she knows she was suffering from depression, but didn't want to face up to her loss. Instead she distracted herself by staying out with friends or working. Home didn't feel like home after her mum died.

Things we discuss:

  • Talking about the person who has died is really important for recovery.
  • Whether it's harder or easier when someone dies suddenly, or if there's time for long goodbyes.
  • Missing out on an adult relationship with your parent.
  • How difficult it is to face up to your feelings following a bereavement.
  • How the death of a parent forms your own parenting when you become a mother.
  • Anything is recoverable in your life. Write your life one line at a time, and don't worry when plans need to change, because it's all part of your story.

Who is Jill Hawkins?

Jill Hawkins has 20 years’ experience handling PR and content creation for companies within the event industry.

Jill was formerly a founding partner and director of Friday’s Media Group – founded in 1999. Clients current and past include CHS Group, The Meetings Show, RefTech, International Confex, The Queen Elizabeth II Centre, De Vere Group plc, Eventia, BI, Sledge, and Warwick Conferences. 

You can connect with Jill via her website, on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also join her networking group.

More teenage parenting tips from Helen Wills:

Helen wills is a teen mental health podcaster and blogger at Actually Mummy a resource for midlife parents of teens.

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There are already stories from fabulous guests about difficult things that happened to them as teenagers - including losing a parent, becoming a young carer, and being hospitalised with mental health problems - and how they overcame things to move on with their lives.

You can find more from Helen Wills on parenting teenagers on Instagram and Twitter @iamhelenwills.

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Please note that Helen Wills is not a medical expert, and nothing in the podcast should be taken as medical advice. If you're worried about a teenager, please seek support from a medical professional.

Podcast produced by James Ede at Be Heard production.