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Vote for WAY's Charity Film Award entry!

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We are delighted that the beautiful film Island of Grief – made by talented WAY Widowed and Young member Rupert Murrell from West Sussex – has been nominated as an entry in the 2019 Charity Film Awards. But we need your vote to help Rupert’s film win!

Read Rupert’s story and cast your vote following the link at the bottom of the page to help WAY reach out to more widows & widowers marooned on the Island of Grief…

 “I was told there was no map for grief, so I decided I would draw my own.”

"I was married to Lucy Lyons. I loved her name, it sounded like a great character from a book. She lived up to that name – bold, adventurous, strong and caring, a great mother and my brilliant friend and wife.

In 2011 we discovered that Lucy had breast cancer. Our son, Noah, was just 15 months old and our daughter, Millicent, just 3. All of our lives changed forever.

We went through all the procedures, and for a while it appeared that Lucy was free of the cancer. However, in 2013 it returned with a speed and aggression that even our oncologist was surprised at.

Two months after the cancer returned we found ourselves (my children then 3 and 6 years old) grieving for Lucy – the amazing woman who was the centre of our family.

I tried to return to work running a design studio but found it unfulfilling and the commute into London was no longer compatible with my life as a single parent.

I managed to swap my role to a part-time job and was able to enrol on a part-time master’s degree in Sequential Design at Brighton University. It was life changing! I would really recommend trying to find a course, to help give some meaning to your life again and help to redefine who you are.

I used the course as ‘art therapy’ to process my own grief, but in the process started to work on a project that I hoped would one day help other families too.

There seem to be so few good resources for young families that directly discuss the loss of a parent at an early age, so I decided we would have to make one!

We would make a film about a family finding their way back to happiness after a bereavement. At the start of the film I don’t think we had really got to this ‘happy place’ as a family. I hoped by making the film that it would be self-fulfilling, and the happiness would return for us.

Two years on and with the film complete, I think I can say we are in a happier and better place as a family and that the film has helped get us there!

I have also received support from the charity WAY Widowed and Young along the way."

 How WAY helped…

"I approached WAY – which supports young widows and widowers – to see if I could get their help to get the film out to a wider audience. Having a charity backing behind the film helped me get the music licensed. We managed to persuade Van Morrison to license the music track ‘Astral Weeks’, something that I was told was almost impossible. I’m so pleased that the film has been released in its complete form, thanks to WAY!"

Vote for Rupert’s film

We are delighted that Rupert’s film has been selected for the 2019 Charity Film Awards.

Please vote for Rupert’s film and help us to get through to the next round as well as getting the word out about WAY – a charity that offers support to so many young widowed parents like Rupert.

You can watch Rupert’s film and cast your vote here from 1 November 2018 to 14 December 2018.  

Rupert’s film has also been chosen to be screened at the prestigious Aldburgh DocFest in Suffolk at 11am on Saturday, 3 November.

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