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Inverness mum-of-four leads way for grieving parents in Highlands and throughout the UK

By Louise Glen

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Terri MacDonald with photograph of her late son Ricky Wilson...Picture: Gary Anthony..
Terri MacDonald with photograph of her late son Ricky Wilson...Picture: Gary Anthony..

A grief– stricken mum of four has found her way back to happiness by building a relationship with other parents from around the world.

Terri MacDonald (55), from Slackbuie, lost her son Ricki Wilson at the age of only 23 when he took an overdose after suffering long-term depression.

Miss MacDonald, who is a carer, has taken over the helm as the UK affiliate of Helping Parents Heal, a support group for parents who have lost a child.

She said the focus of the group is to allow those who have suffered the devastating loss of a child to come together and discuss matters that will help them understand their grief.

Miss MacDonald said: “I lost my son on June 30, 2015. Ricki was 23 and it was an overdose. He had depression. When he died, my world fell apart and I did not have any purpose in my life. I did not go out for three months. I had no idea what to do with myself. I now know, in speaking to other parents, that they feel the same.

“I would describe Ricki as a loveable rouge. Everyone who knew him loved him. He had a beautiful heart, and very sadly he suffered from depression for many years which led to abuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs. He was in pain.

“When I lost Ricki I started getting signs, and they were so profound it started the journey into understanding myself and my own spiritual self.

“I was on a grief journey, it was made easier knowing that Rick was beside me, and that he was free from pain. He has been my guide and my strength through this. Because I have found a way through my own grief, I wanted to help other people.

“I came across a group called Helping Parents Heal, a group set up in America. It is a Facebook group, but it is also a safe place for parents to come together and talk, and through online talks and support it helps people set out on the journey to healing.

“The biggest thing for me is that we are a safe space for people to share. We should speak about our loved ones – they are still very much part of our lives.

“While there is a strong and important spiritual element to my healing, that is not the right thing for everyone. I recognise this and there is absolutely no need for anyone to have that dimension of things. But signs of love from those who have passed are in everything and are everywhere.”

Miss MacDonald said that due to her interest in the work of Helping Parents Heal, and the support she has offered other people, she was asked to take on the leadership of the UK affiliate group. Something she says was the “right thing at the right time”.

She can be contacted at terri.macdonald.uk@gmail.com

Read: ‘Crazy’ demand for charity help due to increased poverty during coronavirus pandemic as Inverness-based Food For Families aims to feed needy households through to the end of January

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