Sir Andrew Strauss emphasizes « enormous importance » of telling children about death | Cricket News
Sir Andrew Strauss hopes people in the UK can become more open to talking about death and put aside the UK’s ‘stiff upper lip’ approach.
Former England cricket captain Strauss lost his wife, Ruth, to non-smoker lung cancer in 2018.
On Sunday, he will run the Virgin Money London Marathon to benefit the Ruth Strauss Foundation (RSF).
One of the main goals of the association is to help parents have the most difficult conversation with their children – to tell them that one of their parents is dying.
Strauss spoke of the huge benefit of speaking out on himself, his children Sam and Luca, and even on Ruth before his death.
“For a long time for Ruth and I, (her terminal illness) was this huge elephant in the room,” he said.
“Ruth had the courage to tell me, ‘The only way I can save the time I have left on this planet is to know that you and the children are prepared for what is to come.’ «
The Ruth Strauss Foundation supports families facing the death of a parent and stimulates the need for more research into non-smoking lung cancer.
Strauss said Ruth had arranged for consultations with Jenni Thomas, whose advice on how to handle conversations around death with your children is on the RSF website.
“One of the most powerful things Jenni said to Ruth and I soon after we met her was, ‘you know Ruth, the children will miss you terribly, and especially at times during their time. life, but it’s « won’t stop them from living fantastic, positive, hugely productive lives, and they can handle that. »
“It was such a weight on Ruth’s mind to hear that, and that’s how it played out.
« They get stuck, they are in school, they grow up like children, they feel like they have good friends, family and support structures and I couldn’t be prouder of the way they are. reacted to all of this. .
“It was one of the main motivations for us to create the Ruth Strauss Foundation – we had this help and support, and unfortunately every year 40,000 children are going to experience something very similar to us, and how we ensure they have access to that kind of support too?
“It forces parents to do the unnatural – we think our role as parents is often to protect our children from difficult things and unfortunately with these horrible experiences they have to be a part of that journey.
“It is extremely important, both now and afterwards, that they do not feel that they have not been told the truth or that they have been lied to. So it helps the grieving process, they also have to go through it. «
The second test between England and India at Lord’s supports the Ruth Strauss Foundation, raising funds to support families facing grief. Here’s why…
He said it was essential that these conversations with the children also continue after the death of a parent.
“I hear a lot of things, that kind of British stuff with the stiff upper lip of ‘we just have to crack’. Culturally, we have to go beyond that, ”added Strauss.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in a lot of other areas around depression and mental health and I think that’s the next step for us to be a lot more open and expressive about death.
« We’re now two and a half years (since Ruth’s death) with the boys, but we’re still trying to find reasons to ‘go’ – it could be Ruth’s birthday or Ruth’s birthday. her death or mother’s day. We will go through some photos and we will share some memories.
“I’m not sure we’re quite right yet, but I don’t think my boys are uncomfortable talking about it, and it’s a great place to be. «
England captain Joe Root believes the Ruth Strauss Foundation gave him perspective as he scored an incredible undefeated 180 in England’s opening rounds against India at Lord’s.
RSF’s other major work revolves around coordinating research around non-smoking lung cancer – which affects, early diagnosis, treatments, and sequencing of those treatments.
Strauss said the Foundation was trying to set up an expert workshop next summer and added: “It seems to be on the increase, especially among young women. Learning more about it will hopefully help us avoid that top spot.
“Then there’s the early diagnosis, which is a struggle with all lung cancers because often times you don’t get symptoms until the cancer has spread and obviously it’s too late. Then, of course, it’s about (finding out) what the right treatments are and the right sequencing of treatments, and again there’s a lot of progress going on.
« But unfortunately it’s a difficult disease, cancer, and if you look at the five-year survival rates for lung cancers, it’s not quite the case for other cancers, so there’s still a lot of progress to be made. «