Lottie Tomlinson breaks down in tears as she heartbreakingly opens up about her ‘anxiety’ and coping with grief following the tragic deaths of both her mum and sister.
The social media influencer, 20, who is supporting the Sue Ryder campaign to shine a light on the UK’s experiences with bereavement, admitted that it felt like her mum and sister were ‘fading away because people weren’t talking about them.’
The makeup artist’s mum Joannah Deakin tragically passed away in 2016 following a battle with leukaemia at age 42.
When Johannah died leaving behind seven children, as the eldest, Lottie’s former One Direction star brother Louis found himself head of the family.
And just two years later, their 18-year-old sister Félicité died following an accidental drug overdose.
Louis’ sister Lottie decided to join the heartfelt campaign in a bid to help others who are suffering from similar tragedies.
A shocking national research report from the campaign’s Sue Ryder highlighted that 47% of bereaved people suffer from mental health conditions including depression, anxiety and even eating disorders following their loss.
Unable to fight back her tears, Lottie cried as she reminisced about her late mother: “I couldn’t have ever asked for a better mum. She did everything for us, she made sure we had everything we needed. She had 7 kids and we were just her life. I’m so lucky.”
She went on to talk about her loss, saying: “I lost my mum three years ago and then I lost my sister about 9 months ago.
“But I just really wanted to do this because I want to try and help people because it is such a scary thing at first and I want to educate people on how they can help someone who is grieving.”
Admitting that the way people avoid talking about her mum and her sister actually makes things a lot worse, Lottie described the dreadful feeling of fearing that her loved ones are fading away.
She added: “I think one of the hardest parts for me was people not bringing them up. That’s even harder because you’ve lost that person and they fading away because people aren’t talking about them.”
Lottie confessed that grief can send you into ‘quite a dark place’, as she opened up about her ongoing battle with anxiety following the tragic death of her mum.
After feeling like the ‘scariest thing’ of losing a parent when you’re young happening to her, Lottie admitted to trying to maintain a brave face.
However she said: “But you need to keep talking about it or you get so lost in your feelings. I definitely developed some anxiety after losing mum. I always try to be as strong as I can all the time but thats sometimes to a fault because I am always trying to put on a brave face.
As she attempted to finish on a positive note, Lottie insisted ‘it is okay not to be okay.’
She said: “You can have bad days, bad weeks and can have bad months but nothings permanent and it will pass. You will have good times and you will have bad times as well.”
Lottie’s sister Félicité’s shock death in 2018 was a double heart-break for the Tomlinson family after their mum Johannah died just before Christmas in 2016 from leukemia.
And what would have been her mum’s 46th birthday, Lottie said she hoped she and Félicité – who she called Fizzy for short – were celebrating together.
Her sister’s death was the latest blow to hit the shattered family.
Midwife Johanna had seven children altogether, Louis, Lottie, Félicité, and two sets of twins, Phoebe and Daisy and Ernest and Doris.
Johanna split from Louis’ father Troy Austin when her boy was just a toddler.
Louis, who is now estranged from his real dad, went on to take on the name of his mum’s second husband Mark Tomlinson – with whom Johannah went on to have four more children.
Visit sueryder.org/copingwithgrief for bereavement resources providing practical and emotional advice for both parties to help encourage conversations about grief.
Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us direct 0207 29 33033