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Children's Grief Awareness Week: How counselling helped me after my grandad died

Ely is 11-years-old and when his grandad died in March last year he was devastated and struggled to come to terms with his loss. 
Ely with his grandad Terry and nan Beverley (cropped)
Eli started receiving support from Stella Christou, who is a Child and Family Therapist with our Family Support Services team, before his grandad died and although Eli no longer feels the need to see Stella very often, it reassures him to know he can come back to see her if he needs to.  

Here Eli shares his experience of how counselling enabled him to cope with his overwhelming grief so that he could continue to progress at school.....  
Ely FB blog
I have lived with my grandparents since I was born and to me, my grandad was dad and my nan was my mum.

When he died it broke my heart and I cried my eyes out for weeks. 

I used to see him every day and he taught me how to fix bikes. 

He left me his tools and I have a work space and when I grow up I want to be a handy man like he was.   

My friends came over to support me but it is Stella who supported me the most - she has helped me to get through it.   

I used to get very angry if someone wound me up and hit out but Stella visited me at school and she helped me to control my feelings and to walk away from situations that used to get me into trouble.   

We talk and sometimes we do activities. 

At the hospice we made love hearts. I made one for my nan and Stella made one for me. 
Ely FB blog
We've also made keyrings and posters.   I still like coming to the hospice and seeing where my grandad was and I really like the gardens.   

When I am older and in secondary school I'd like to come back and help in the gardens.   

I felt scared when I was first told about counselling as I didn't know how it would be but now I love coming here.   

I feel confident sharing my feelings with Stella because she is warm and caring.  

I would have been a lot more stressed if I did not have Stella and although I am not over my grandad dying, I don't cry as much now.  

Photos: Top right: Ely with his grandad Terry and nan Beverley and bottom left: Ely sitting in the hospice gardens during a visit to see his grandad.