In my grief I’m so much more acutely feeling things. It’s as if a sensory dial on the world has been turned up to its highest- where I see beauty in things I never fully noticed before – I listen differently – I hold my breath more often because I feel like there’s something very quiet that needs to be heard.

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Photograph by Meg Price, model Olivia Ross, Art Direction by Cassie Robinson

But what I feel most is the pain of others. It’s like I’ve become more attuned to think of and remember others that I know are in pain too. A friend left devastated after her partner has walked out on her, my step-mum adjusting daily to having dementia, a friend surviving a third miscarriage, another friend dealing with the unimaginable shock and heart wrench of her best friends son committing suicide.

Every day I keep in touch- a short SMS, an emoji, a call, a visit if I can – when people are in pain it’s very rare that you can take that pain away but what you can do is be present, or be witness to their pain or at the very least let them know you’re thinking of them. In a strange way I’m grateful for my own pain connecting me to the pain of others, because it takes me outside of myself and to a place of compassion.

Run UK Portfolio at National Lottery Community Fund, Co-founder of the Point People, Policy Fellow IIPP, Founder Stewarding Loss, International Futures Forum.

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