Grieving after Cancer: a families different kind of coping mechanism

A family united against cancer showed that they aren’t only surviving, but thriving.

The Wainwright clan got together in December of last year to celebrate three lives they had recently lost just the Christmas before.

Valerie Wainwright passed away aged 75 after fighting lung cancer, her son Richard, 49, co-organised the event with Antony Wainwright who had lost Michael Wainwright at the same time, also after battling cancer. Also, Phillip Wainwright, who was added last minute by Richard Wainwright – not the Richard already mentioned, but another one. Amazingly their was three Richard Wainwright’s at the party!

Worfield Village Hall, Bridgnorth.
A chance meeting on New Year’s Eve 2015, just weeks after the deaths, brought together Richard and Antony in a pub where they admitted that Christmas had been without the usual holiday spirit.

Together they agreed to organise a party to celebrate the lives they had lost and: “bring the families together”.

Valerie’s sons had formed a band over three decades before known as ‘Blueblade’ so it seemed only fitting that the bash would be a mini music festival featuring bands formed by family members.

Her son, Dave Wainwright, 52, said it was:

“Marvellous to see all the old friends there to celebrate the life of my mum. What made it even more special was that it wasn’t a one off. We have regular parties and people always make the effort to travel.”

The party was held at Worfield Village Hall in Bridgnorth, all five bands that preformed on the day included a Wainwright; Blueblade, Drought on Mars who are close friends of Luke Wainwright who also did a solo performance, Clear Vinyl and Main Street.

Luke Wainwright, 17 during his solo performance.
150 family members and close friends joined to celebrate from across the country as far as Saddleworth, London and Portsmouth.

Together they filled both the hall and the wish to: “recapture the Christmas spirit even after the losses”.

Bringing together three generations of Wainwright’s who, as a family, take a very different approach to grieving.


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