How does a family go on after the death of a child?
IT’S been six years since Brendon and Justine Schulz have had to carry on after their fun-loving 18 month old daughter, Sophie was tragically killed in a freak accident.
During that time they have had to deal with the grief of losing a child, intense media scrutiny and an agonising Coroner’s inquest into Sophie’s death.
But now, ahead of a documentary about their loss being launched on Friday 26 June, the couple has reached out with this message for any grieving family: “You can smile again.”
Remembering Sophie is a documentary that has been made in Sophie’s memory and to help people understand more about grief. “Grief is an individual journey,” says Sophie’s mother Justine. “You can get help for sure, and ask for advice, but ultimately, it’s your journey.”
Justine said they agreed to do the documentary to give people who had also lost a child some hope.
“We want to show people that you can be in a dark place, but you can get through it. It will be slow, but it will happen.”
The journey through that dark tunnel was made easier because they had to keep going for their son Regan, now 10, and then Lucas, now 4, who came into the world just over a year after Sophie died.
Released to coincide with Red Nose Day on Friday 26th June, SIDS and Kids Australia CEO Associate Professor Leanne Raven says there are still too many Australians who go through the heartbreak of losing a baby or child;
“Since 1988, we have helped thousands of Australians through the unimaginable grief of the death of a baby or child. For every one baby or child that dies, more than 60 people may be impacted and require counselling and support,” Associate Professor Raven said.