Are they a myth, a legend or a fantasy?

There is no right way to grieve. The grief police will not smash through your tightly sealed door and pluck you from the sanctuary of your bed for contravening the rules of mourning. Your pain at the loss of a loved one is yours alone.

You are at liberty to share it, conceal it, wallow, sink or swim in it. There is no right way to grieve. There are no

“correct steps to resolve grief and say goodbye to pain”

as one provider of post bereavement services bizarrely states they can teach you.

You may feel isolated and lonely, but…

The garden was home, and the house sat within it

It was a two-minute walk home from primary school. We all walked, apart from the doctor’s son and the dentist’s daughter, who their mothers picked up, and those boarding the bus and travelling outside the two-mile walk zone.

We would breathe in warm, yeasty aromas as we passed the bakery and the five Leven Cottages onto Nanny Moore’s bridge. My little group walked along the river to the town square, which was actually a triangle. It was marked off by three imposing bank buildings and a grass triangle with a stone fountain and benches.

The shopping streets of this little…

Acknowledging the dark to appreciate the light

I was walking the cliffs near my home on a beautiful sun-baked afternoon. I noticed the skylarks were not singing. I chatted with my wife about the life cycle and habits of these melodious beauties. Had they fledged all their chicks and abandoned those nests in the long grass? As I searched the sky for any signs of them, I noticed two young women walking towards us.

As I rested my eyes on one of them. A wave of sadness hit me in the chest. Tears sprung from my eyes, and my knees felt a little weak. As my body…

But brings back precious memories

Photograph of John Walter, author of the article and his daughter, Holly.

I have two daughters. Holly lived life on full throttle for 28 years and then stopped. Two years after this photograph on a hot summer morning, she sent her last text to me, “Love you, daddy”, and took her own life. Like everything she did, Holly thoroughly researched and planned this final act, and it was sure to be successful.

She won’t send me a card, text, or Whatsapp message for my third Father's Day. So I sit here sifting through memories and wondering what it means to be a dad, father, daddy.

She trained me well. I had strict…

Some signposts as to what and why and where you might go for help

A women looks confused in front of a maze.

I think everyone could benefit from counselling. Everyone struggles with something, and if you think you don’t, you are probably in denial and counselling could help with that.

There is a lot of stigma and confusion around mental health and the services available. I am making a distinction and giving signposts for those wanting to take control of their own healing in the area of mental health.

A Distinction Between the Medical and Social Model

There are two models of therapy, the medical and the social model. It is easy to get them confused.

1. The Medical Model.

Psychology began as a medical model. Freud and Jung and others set up systems…

Acknowledging our family history is as important for royalty as it is for everyday people

Prince Harry has been bearing witness to the deep trauma he has held within himself since the death of his mother 24 years ago. He has discovered the key to mental health.

Nobody likes it. Least of all, his family and the UK press. Insults are hurled from all angles, and the hallowed halls of the BBC are echoing with recriminations.

He is carrying out the only known cure for mental illness — bearing witness.

He is battling for his own family’s mental health and, at the same time, championing the cause of mental health for everyone.

I feel a…

John Walter 📣

My daughter took her own life. Life changed forever. Counsellor in training. Writing about my experience. Listening to yours.

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