Bereaved dad says talking about daughter helps him to cope 'better' with grief

Kevin Mcvety spoke to ITV News presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh alongside charity boss Zillah Bingley, whose organisation helped his daughter

A bereaved parent who lost his teenage daughter to cancer says anyone who is grieving must keep "talking" about their lost loved one.

Maddison Mcvety, 16 and from Partington, died in April 2022. Her dad, Kevin, says having conversations about her helps him to cope "a little bit better."

Kevin believes anyone who has lost someone needs to get the "right support" immediately.

Kevin said: "People lose people, day-to-day, and that - on its own - is hard."

"I thought it would be similar to having the news that she got the cancer.

"You know: [thinking] she's gonna get better, she's gonna get better.

"There's no getting better from this. She's not there. She's not coming back."

Maddison was "good at everything" says Kevin and did "brilliantly" in exams despite missing school because of her cancer. Credit: Family photo

Asked what advice he would give to other grieving parents, other people enduring loss, Kevin said "talking" was important.

He added: "Make sure you get the right sort of support, in place, immediately, in terms of bereavement - helping with that.

"Keep yourself surrounded by people that want to talk.

"It's learning to deal with those things. You learn how to cope a little bit better.

"And that's through meeting other people in similar situations and talking."

The head of a charity, which helped Maddison's family, says "don't change the subject" if a bereaved person talks about their loved one.

Kevin is among a number of grieving people and support experts who have spoken to ITV News for a series of special reports on how to better deal with bereavement.

A support charity, Rainbow Trust, helped Maddison during her cancer treatment. It also helped the teenager's family before and after her death.

The organisation provides dedicated support workers - to families who have children with terminal, life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses - offering "practical and emotional support."

The trust's Chief Executive, Zillah Bingley, spoke to ITV News alongside Kevin.

She said: "We support a family because they have a terminally-ill child, we don't just support the child.

"The importance of being there for siblings, and the parents, cannot be underestimated."

Maddison was from a large family, where she had six siblings. Credit: Family photo

Zillah stressed that support has to continue, from charities like hers and from a bereaved family's close circle, after a child's death.

"Let the bereaved people talk about the person who has died," she said.

"Don't force it on them but, if they want to talk about them, don't change the subject.

"And if you don't know what to say, say so: 'I'm sorry I don't know want to say but I'm here to support you. I'm here to send love.'

"Otherwise, people feel you're not talking to them because you don't want to."

If you are grieving, know someone who is, or have been affected by any of the issues raised above help is available here.