Navigating Profound Grief

Vikki Blundell lost her youngest son to liver cancer when he was just 23 years old. In Vikki’s own words, it “deconstructed life as I had known it, including not only navigating profound grief, but also the country I live in, the skills I use for income generation and what inspires me.” 

Vikki has kindly shared her story...

“It’s bad mum. I have terminal liver cancer.”

Vikki was in Peru when she got the call from her youngest son, Ryan Grieve, telling her he had terminal liver cancer. 

Ryan was only 22 years old when he was diagnosed. When he called his mum to tell her, he didn’t know how long he had left. Vikki remembers her first reaction was denial. She thought perhaps the doctors didn’t know what they were talking about. They must be wrong.

It was a long, difficult journey for Vikki to get home from South America to Hamilton. Not only was she terrified of not making it home in time, but she was travelling across the world in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has since written a memoir called Collateral Love about her journey home and supporting Ryan for the final months of his life. 

It didn’t take Vikki long to decide that she wanted to help other people navigate through loss, using what she had learned on her own journey. She wrote and designed the Grief Journal for the Bereaved, and published it in 2023. 

Vikki created the journal with the aim of gently supporting people who are experiencing loss to express their own grief journey. Inside the journal is a mixture of inspirational quotes and space to express thoughts and feelings through writing or drawing. There are prompts on many of the pages with questions to support expression, and scattered through the journal you will find helpful and insightful information about grief and the grieving process. 

Hospice Waikato supported Vikki to help Ryan and played an instrumental role in his care until he passed away soon after his 23rd birthday. For every Grief Journal sold, Vikki makes a donation to Hospice New Zealand. 

“With the support we received from them, we were able to help him live life on his terms right up until he took his last breath.”

Go With Grace is selling the Grief Journal online on Vikki’s behalf. We are proud to support Vikki and the incredible resource that she has created to help New Zealanders navigate loss. 

“I have never said to myself, or out loud, that I am heartbroken that my son had died. My heart is not broken. My heart is strong and leads me forward in the direction of my love.” Vikki Blundell 

View Vikki's Grief Journal
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