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Introducing 'Common Ground' web-series

Every family has different challenges to overcome, and different ways of dealing with those challenges.

Follow our Common Ground families as they tackle the big issues faced by every day kiwis, and have your say on how they could work together to get through it.

IN THIS VIDEO: 'Ep2: In Memory'

Meet Sophie, a young girl trying to cope with her loss and grief. While her family are doing their best to support her, they are also managing their own feelings and finding it hard to connect.


In this episode we meet Sophie, a young girl who is trying her best to be a normal teenager. However, her mother Jackie passed away recently after a battle with cancer, and Sophie is feeling a deep sense of loss and grief. 

Wife, mother, daughter and friend, Jackie touched the lives of many. Sophie’s Dad, Grandma and Grandpa are all trying to manage their own feelings, and connecting doesn’t seem as easy as it once did. 

As we glimpse these personal worlds, Jackie accompanies each of them; their grief carried with them just about everywhere they go.  

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The Common Ground videos cover subjects that may be of a sensitive nature, and there is some language throughout that may cause offense. Viewer discretion is advised.

How can Sophie and her family support each other better through this time of grief?

Maybe you’ve supported someone through something similar. Or you’ve gone through it yourself, and can tell us what helped you.

Share your advice, join the conversation.

*Please note, by sharing your experience, you agree for it to be used by Common Ground online and offline to help encourage a conversation about supporting young people.
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8 comments

Rowyne Yeatman 11th Jun 15

Thank you for sharing your story its through meaningful heartfelt stories such as this that help us to realise we are not alone in our grief and loss of a loving family member. Everybody grieves in their own way and we need to acknowledge the differences for each person as they take their journey in life towards well being. That is not recovery after grief and loss but to find ways of coping and managing such feelings so they don’t consume your every waking moment. There is a Maori saying “Ka Mate He Tetekura Ka Ora Hoki He Tetekura”  When one plant frond dies another rises to take its place. As a mother & wife that lost a loving husband to suicide I see my husband in our children all the time and know that his spirit lives on in them. Mauri Ora!

4 Reply
Anne Margaret Jones 18th Apr 15

I found this film extremely moving. The emotional shut-down in response to loss has always confounded me. I am someone who expresses my grief openly and as a result I have felt deeply ostracized in such situations. What you have shared here, is a very compassionate and subtly portrayed reflection of the effects of buried grief. It is a relief to watch an unsenstionalised, well acted and subtly conveyed portrayal of life after death, for those left behind. Thank you.

6 Reply
Bernice 9th Apr 15

This story is a great reflection of how our society avoids talking about death and the people who have died. This family never even mentioned the Mum once except when the Mum’s friend approached grandma and the daughter in the cafe. It must be so hard on everyone, but especially a young person.

6 Reply
Caroline Evans 30th Mar 15

I think they are in the early stages of grief and should look at pulling together as a family rather than separating they seem intent on carrying on with normal life, but they really need to take as much time as they can afford to to regroup and share memories good and bad .  I think they need to talk about anger and how to express it as safely as possible.  I think they should hug and hold each other as much as possible. Seeing a counsellor to help deal with loss and grief would be really useful too, as they may learn what to expect after the death of a loved one.

6 Reply
Maxine 24th Mar 15

They need to talk to each other so that everyone knows exactly how each is feeling.  The worst thing they could do is keep it all bottled inside and try to deal with their grief on their own. 

The more they open to each other the better support they are as a whole instead of individually.  If they can’t open up to each other, then maybe a family therapist can help guide them.

5 Reply
manda 24th Feb 15

Cry as much as you need to, then watch comedy, spend time with people who feed your soul and don’t drain you.

5 Reply
Sarah 15th Dec 14

I think what they need is to remind one other to be gentle and forgive themselves for any hasty words or actions.  Because they are all hurting at the same time, they will all spark off one another’s grief.  That leads to lashing out, which then leads to shame.  It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re feeling stink that you had a go at someone who is suffering as much as you.  Other than that, I think they’re all doing really good things: writing down thoughts/feelings, taking time away, trying to encourage one another to engage with the wider world and watching out for one another (even if it feels a bit ‘smother-y’ at times).

7 Reply
tiria stewart 10th Dec 14

Look after your energy levels be selective on who you spend your time with.

6 Reply
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Sophie Harriman

Featured character:Sophie Harriman

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