Film reaches out to bereaved parents

4 July 2013
A new film in which grieving parents talk candidly about the death of a child is said to be the first UK release of its kind.

'Say Their Name' was commissioned by The Compassionate Friends, a charity which supports families following a child's death. It was made by the Beyond Goodbye, a new video production company started by film makers Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris whose own son, Joshua, died in 2011 at the age of 22.

Beyond Goodbye's Jimmy said: " 'Say Their Name' is, we believe, the only film available in this country in which grieving parents and siblings have been able to speak openly, candidly and in public about the devastating experience of the death of their child. It provides an invaluable insight into what many have described as any parent's worst nightmare and will give comfort to the newly bereaved, and understanding to their friends and family.”

The world premiere of 'Say Their Name' will be at the House of Lords on Tuesday 9 July. It is being screened there following an invitation of Baroness de Souza and Baroness Sue Miller.

Watch: Say Their Name (16 minutes)

Producing 'Say Their Name' has marked a new beginning for the film's makers Jimmy and Jane, of Chalford, Gloucestershire, following Joshua’s death in a road accident in Vietnam. Jane explains: “When Josh died our lives fell apart, and while families and friends did their best to help, they couldn’t really understand what we were going through. We then discovered that whenever we talked about Josh it seemed like we were breaking some kind of a taboo. There were awkward silences whenever we mentioned his name and it really did feel like we should be more private in our grief.

"Meeting and talking with other bereaved parents changed all that.”

Central to the video’s message is the idea that no one ever really moves on from the death of a child and that to avoid mentioning the child’s name for fear of causing upset can be very hurtful for bereaved relatives.

After viewing the film, Claudia Hammond, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind, said: "A lot of bereaved parents will relate to this and for the rest of us it gives us some clues as to what not to say to someone who’s just lost a child, such as 'We've decided you should have another baby'. Such a moving film. Very sad, but very powerful."

More

The Compassionate Friends

Watch Beyond Goodbye, Jane and Jimmy's moving film about their son Josh's funeral

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