Woman’s plea over grief after brother’s death

Daniel and Jade Phipps. PHOTO: Jade Phipps

Daniel and Jade Phipps. PHOTO: Jade Phipps - Credit: Archant

A woman has spoken out about her battle with grief after the death of her brother, and urged others to do the same.

Jade Phipps says her life changed when her 32-year-old brother Daniel took his own life in August last year.

Miss Phipps, from Bradwell, was in daily contact with her older brother, who had been living in Brighton and working as an art teacher in Crawley when he died.

She said: "Due to his mental health, Daniel sadly took his own life and it sent shock waves through our family and his wealth of friends and colleagues.

"Daniel was more than a big brother, he was my best friend. We spoke daily through messages or facetime.

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"He was outgoing, fun and very creative with art and community events, and he treated everyone he met with equal respect.

"He was the oldest of four children so we all very much looked up to him and admired him for all he achieved.

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"He always dreamed of becoming a teacher and he achieved that in July 2018."

The self-employed hairstylist has now urged others struggling with grief to reach out, with the launch of a new support group meeting monthly in Lowestoft.

Miss Phipps said: "The impact of losing Daniel has been tremendous and life changing. I've had times of struggling with my own mental health due to the grief.

"Life since then has been very different, quiet and hard at times. I stumbled upon Hope one evening online and thought it would be nice to speak to people who may be feeling the same as me, having all lost someone in the same way.

"One evening a month is a massive help to offload my thoughts and questions.

"They are a friendly group of people with no pressure to talk or share at all, but to be within other's company is a help to know you're not alone in such a complicated grief."

Hope After Suicide Loss hold meetings at 7pm in Lowestoft on the first Tuesday of every month. To find out more, visit hopeaftersuicideloss.org.uk.

At regular group meetings survivors are encouraged to develop coping srategies, relieve isolation and bring hope to others.

Founder Suzy Clifford started the charity following her husband's death.

The Samaritans can be called anytime on 116123, or visit www.samaritans.org

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