“I met Nic when I was delivering a training session for Cruse Bereavement and I was touched by her kindness and compassion and also her passion to make grieving acceptable – removing any shame or taboo from it. Her campaign ‘Four Little Words’ is about getting people to be comfortable with grief – to be comfortable saying the words ‘Sorry For Your Loss’. I have experienced first-hand the awkwardness of other people who don’t know what to say or how to behave around me since my husband died and saying stupid things like ‘Time will heal’or ‘Better to have loved and lost….’. What people who are grieving want to hear is ‘Sorry for your loss – I am here to help if you need me’. I applaud Nic for taking the step to make speaking about grief and death and all that comes with it acceptable.” Shalini
Nic Dove started her campaign Four Little Words after her parents died and she experienced the jagged silence and loneliness that can sometimes surround one in grief. She talked to hundreds of people who had also experienced the hurt of people crossing the road to avoid their sadness.
Nic witnessed her beautiful, gentle mother brutalised by an aggressive brain tumour that killed her within nine weeks of diagnosis. She felt completely powerless to save her mum and stop her being taken away. This was perhaps even more devastating because Nic had always looked up to her mother as an inspirational woman, embodying maternal love and putting her family’s happiness first.
Following the death of her beloved father just a few years later, Nic found her life purpose trying to empower people emotionally during bereavement , enabling them to share their pain and remember their lost loved ones with pride. She strongly believes that there is no shame in grief and she wants to break down the awkwardness and taboos that shroud it.
“Love is the legacy I would like to leave in the hearts of my family. Everlasting love that will keep them warm and make them feel safe even though I am gone. I would like to be remembered for my honesty and for standing up for what I believe in no matter what. I would also like the words I have written still to be read when I am no longer here.”
Nic is a trained counsellor with South West Surrey Cruse providing the tools and support for people to cope with grief. In this role she had learnt the true value and power of simply listening. As a journalist she was used to asking and probing and leading someone’s story usually in a predetermined direction. As she says “Trusting in the process of listening and just being present, even through silences, has been life changing both professionally and personally”.
Three questions for Nic:
What does feminism mean to you?
It means being able to live a life unfettered by gender. A life without question. Without protest. Without restraint. A life where your gender places no ceiling on the dreams you dream even when you wake up. A level playing field where we watch just as keenly and cheer just as loudly if it’s a girl kicking England’s football.
What are you grateful for in your life?
I am grateful to have had the love and influence of my parents, to have met the love of my life, my husband at twenty years of age and to have two wonderful, bright, kind daughters who fill me with purpose and joy. And for the loyalty and companionship of my best friends – together we’ve celebrated our best days and cried through our worst. And for the wonderful life I lead in the beautiful countryside where I live.
Tell us something that would surprise us about you?
I had my first job as a newspaper reporter when I was 12. I can float in water for a very long time without sinking. I speak fluent French.
Nic’s message to other women is:
“Surround yourself with people who value you for who you are, not for how you look or for what you have. Try to be amongst people who seek out your company simply because they want to be around you, people who are loyal to you, who love and cherish you and would fight for you if they had to.”
Social Media Details
Facebook: Four Little Words
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