Marking International Friendship Day - Emma's Story

July 2023

To mark International Friendship Day, we are sharing the stories of WAY Ambassadors Emma Charlesworth and Emma Gray – and how their friendship has helped them to navigate life after loss.

Emma Charlesworth’s story

Two WAY members pictured for International Friendship Day

Emma G (left) Emma C (right)

“I first met fellow WAY Ambassador Emma Gray in 2021. She happened to see a post I’d put on Instagram about how much I was struggling about going to CarFest – an annual music and motoring festival – for the first time without my late husband. She sent me some private messages about it and told me that she’d done it when her husband was alive and had subsequently done it without him. It gave me hope. It made me feel that, if someone who had gone through a similar experience and emotions could do it, so could I.

To this day, I’m utterly convinced that without these messages, I wouldn’t have gone. I wouldn’t have felt that I’d have the strength to do it. But she made me feel it was possible, no matter how hard it was going to be.

Despite there being over 20,000 people at CarFest, Emma and I managed to meet and chat. As soon I started talking to her, I knew she was going to be someone who was going to continue to be in my life. We’ve continued to message and keep in touch since then. She was the person I turned to and messaged when I was having a wobble at the first wedding I went to after my late husband died. I know she’ll always be at the end of the phone if I need her, which is a godsend. 

Going to WAY events where she is the only other person I know is like having my very own comfort blanket! She makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she gives me comfort and I wouldn’t have got through some very dark days without her. Her being further along in the widowhood journey is so helpful when it comes to trying to understand my feelings and make sense of emotions.

Earlier this year, my daughter and I went to stay with Emma and her daughters. It was so relaxed. We all laughed lots, watched our children be children and have the support of another bereaved child and just settled into a routine of helping each other wash and dry up or unload the dishwasher! 

I hate what we’ve both gone through to bring us together, but I’m so very glad to have her as part of my life.”

Read more in Emma's blog 'Life is a rollercoaster'. 

Read Emma Gray's story

Joining WAY

When you join WAY you’ll have access to a community of other widowed people who understand what you are going through. 

We are sorry you or a loved one needs to be here, but we all understand how difficult these times can be and we’re here for when you are ready.

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