Unmasking Grief

Unmasking Grief illuminates the story of four bereaved mothers who came together over a series of months as they carefully removed their mask and shared with each other the truth of their grief. 

In these stories you will meet: 

  • Angela: Rosa was born 11yrs ago in 2012. Unexpectedly, the day after her birth she was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and her parents were told she’d die, likely that day. Rosa died at home 7 weeks later. 
  • Bec: Bec’s son Marc was born in 2012 and was diagnosed at 5 and a half months old with a rare brain malformation called Lissencephaly – “smooth brain”.  His journey was a roller coaster, with many highs and lows, where he taught us all many lessons, including how love truly knows no bounds. Marc passed away peacefully at home in his sleep in October 2018, aged 6 years, and 9 months. 
  • Rachel: Rachel’s daughter Evie was born in 2008 and was diagnosed almost immediately afterwards with Partial Trisomy 9 and Partial Monosomy 6.  Evie died suddenly yet peacefully in her sleep in October 2010, aged 2 and a half years. 
  • Yvonne: Fourteen years ago in 2009, Yvonne’s youngest daughter Dainere was diagnosed at aged eleven with a cancerous brain tumour called Medulloblastoma. Despite undergoing surgery and aggressive treatments, the disease spread, and she died at home four years later in 2013 aged just fifteen.

We share our story through six chapters. Our story unfolds in response to prompt questions carefully crafted through a series of co-design workshops. Each prompt question is time stamped (eg. 09:30) allowing you to move to or avoid different question responses. See chapters listed below.

Prelude: You may like to begin this journey by viewing this short six-minute overview of the Unmasking Grief story. This prelude shares themes that arise within the six chapter story.

Viewing these stories and confronting suffering may not be easy. When feeling vulnerable, some people find it helpful to lean into the comfort of trusted family and friends, a family doctor or counsellor.  If you are seeking urgent support we encourage you to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

We came together in loving memory of Evie, Dainere, Marc and Rosa who will always envelope us in a blanket of love. 

We honour Rachel, Yvonne, Bec and Angela as they unmask their grief and share the gift of their story to enable others to walk tenderly with their grief.

We recognise the diversity of experiences in grief within gender, culture, faith and spirituality. These videos may not be representative of your experience yet honour the universal experience of loss and grief.

These videos been funded as part of the Paediatric Palliative Care National Action Plan Project. This Project received grant funding from the Australian Government.

  • Chapter 1: ‘We were broken but we didn’t show it’ : Grieving in anticipation of my child dying

    Chapter 1 (26:04 minutes) shares the grief experiences of 4 mothers as they each confronted the reality of their child dying. They discuss the enigma…

  • Chapter 2: 'This is your child and you want to get it right’: Approaching end of life and planning for my child’s funeral

    Chapter 2 (14:31 minutes) 4 mothers reflect on how they allowed the process of planning for their child’s funeral to unfold, and learnings they feel…

  • Chapter 3: Waking up to the ‘angry raging monster’ of grief: grieving beyond the death of my child

    Chapter 3 (34:32 minutes) shares 4 mothers reflecting on the unfathomable experience of learning to live in the world following the death of their child. …

  • Chapter 4: 'Living a backward treasure hunt': Trying to put myself back together again

    Chapter 4 (29:13 minutes) we hear from 4 mothers as they reflect on the years that have passed since their child died and what they…

  • Chapter 5 'Enveloping myself in a blanket of love’: Rituals, metaphor and symbols

    Chapter 5 (22:43 minutes) we hear 4 mothers speaking of the loving connection they continue with their child through rituals that have evolved over the…

  • Chapter 6: ‘Balancing joy and sorrow’ Finding a place of comfort and solace in grief

    Chapter 6 (24:41 minutes) four mothers share what they have learned to find comfort and solace in their grief.