Our Helen Bailey Blog Award nominees 2023

May 2023

The Helen Bailey Award

Congratulations to all of our wonderful nominees, who have been put forward for our 2023 Helen Bailey blog award for best WAY blogger.

We set up the award in memory of late WAY member Helen Bailey, who helped so many young widows and widowers through her blog Planet Grief and her book When Bad Things Happen in Good Bikinis.

We will now be asking our members to vote for their favourite blog and the winner will be revealed at our AGM in September.

Here’s a little bit about our brilliant nominees and the blog they have been nominated for: 

Emma C

Emma C

Blog nominated for: https://lifeisarollercoaster.co.uk

Emma was widowed in April 2020, at the age of 39. Her late husband died of Covid-19 and sadly lost his life after being ill at home for a week followed by three weeks in intensive care. After he walked to the ambulance (in the early hours of Emma’s 39th birthday), Emma and her 10-year-old daughter never physically saw him again. 

“Being widowed young would be a surreal enough experience at the best of times but experiencing this in a pandemic added another layer of complexity,” Emma said. “Nobody came into our house. Nobody hugged us. We only had 10 people at his funeral. Surreal doesn’t really begin to cover it.” 

“I found that so many people simply didn’t know what to say to me,” she added. “Considering bereavement is something we will all experience, it seemed that talking about it and the impact of grief is still very much a taboo subject. But I knew I couldn’t go through this alone and pretend that everything was easy. I’ve always been fairly open on social media, and this was one thing I knew I couldn’t gloss over. One thing led to another and just under a year after he fell ill, I launched my blog “Life is a rollercoaster” on 7 March 2021.” 

“I’ve found writing to be so cathartic and am always so humbled that people read my blog and take the time to get in touch with me about it. I was honoured to be nominated for the Helen Bailey Award in 2022, and I feel exactly the same this year. It means the absolute world to me that people who ‘get it’ take the time to do this. I feel indebted to everyone who has been a part of this journey with me.” 

Sarah H

Sarah H

Blog nominated for: http://www.thenextrightthings.wordpress.com 

Sarah was widowed in May 2019, just over four months after her husband Steve was diagnosed with cancer, when her children were 10, 8 and 5. Not knowing any other young widows and needing to feel less alone, she joined WAY within days of his death and found a place where nobody wants to be, but everyone gets it. She quickly realised how important it is when your world falls apart to share with other people who are also sitting in the rubble of what once was and know that some things cannot be fixed.

Having found journalling helpful during Steve’s illness and the early days of grief, Sarah started The Next Right Things on the first anniversary of his death, in lockdown, inspired by the lyrics from the song in Frozen 2. Writing about a next right thing in every post was a way to be intentional about taking small steps forward in a new life she hadn’t asked for as a new version of herself she was still discovering.  

“Putting words in order has helped me to process big emotions and gain perspective, through the good, the bad and the ugly,” she said. “Knowing that my words connect with other people in the same situation and make even one person feel seen, understood and less alone, means the world.”

Nimisha S


Blog nominated for: https://medium.com/@nimishasharma86

Nimisha is a blogger/writer with a vision to change the narrative around grief and being a very young widow in today’s world, one word at a time. 

Her writing offers a candid, honest and thought-provoking perspective of life through the lived experiences of a young widow who is also navigating motherhood for the first time. She writes about how love transforms you, as does loss, but how there is always the brightest rainbow after the wildest of storms.

She began writing the blog in early 2022 as it was the last wish her husband asked of her: “Keep writing, you need to share our story to the world.”

Using his words as inspiration, her blogs became an everlasting legacy of their love story. Whilst Nimisha only intended for the blogs to serve as a time capsule for her daughter to read one day, she realised that there were thousands of people who identified with her journey. 

Nimisha now continues to write openly about her life, hoping that gives someone else courage to also keep going.