Kev Lawson is a marketing executive based in the north of England. Having worked across a couple of sometimes high-pressured industries, Kev’s no stranger to the stresses of the working week. But the qualities anyone who knows him will notice, are his cheerful disposition, calming presence and ability to see the bright side.
Suffering a bereavement is something all of us will experience in one way or another throughout our lives. It’s something that if you get to your twenties without having come into contact with, you can consider yourself well placed in a fortunate minority. It’s the type of life experience that no matter how hard people try, nothing or nobody can really prepare you for how it feels.
Sadly, after losing his father at the age of 20, while still coping with the loss of his sister not long before, it’s fair to say that Kev knows the feeling of losing a loved one all too well, having experienced the type of loss most of us will only experience just a handful of times throughout our entire lives at such a young age.
Not only this, but the emotional impact of caring for unwell family members is something Kev also has the guts to talk openly about. Below, he opens up about how his experiences of bereavement and family illness has impacted his mental health.
“Things have been tough recently” he starts, “about a year ago my mother suffered a major stroke and is still recovering. While she’s receiving physio, she’s still not able to walk again. She’s getting there, but it’s a slow process that frustrates and upsets everyone. Alongside this has been the deterioration of my nephew’s condition; he has Niemann Pick Type C, which is a terminal genetic disease. His quality of life is really very low at the moment – his brain can no longer process sound and vision properly and this is hugely upsetting.”
On top of this, Kev explained how at the time, his work had often provided a sense of respite for his personal circumstances, but unfortunately this wasn’t always the case. “I had been incredibly unhappy with the majority of the work I’d been doing, so much so that I sought a new role.”
However, bringing in that disposition those that know him well will recognise, Kev still always manages to find time for those that need him.
“Needless to say, things are less than mega at the moment, but as part of that I'm always happy to sit and chat with anyone that might need to.”
Since submitting his story, Kev’s moved on to pastures new, and offers the following reflection on finding happiness both at work and in his personal life; “My new role sits closer to my own personal interests and it’s far more rewarding. The move away from agency life to something in-house has been a hugely positive change for me and my partner.
"After suffering so much loss in my late teens and early twenties, when possible, I've always made a point in prioritising happiness over money-driven moves and my choices in general.
“It’s not a foolproof method, I make mistakes and at times have to accept that events outside of your control will hold sway. When that happens, I remind myself that life never stays the same for too long and that, if you keep trying to create positive change in your life, then by the law of averages something will eventually to go your way.”