Mary Berry has taken part in two heartbreaking films for a grief charity in order to highlight the support families need when a parent or child dies.
The emotional videos are part of a new campaign by Child Bereavement UK called #OneMoreMinute, and shows Berry, footballer Rio Ferdinand, W1A actor Jason Watkins, TV presenter Ben Fogle and others discussing what they would say to the person they lost if they had one more minute with them.
Berry’s son William passed away at the age of 19 in a car accident. She has spoken of the tragedy previously, in a BBC documentary about her life.
In the Child Bereavement UK video, the beloved former GBBO judge tells the camera, “I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”
Actor Watkins says of his toddler daughter Maude, who passed away in 2011 from undiagnosed sepsis, “I’d remind her of all the wonderful things that she’d given us, and we’ll never forget her.”
Ferdinand, who has spoken frankly of the pain of losing his wife Rebecca to breast cancer in 2015, says simply: “If I had one more minute… there’s loads.”
In another video for the charity, which you can watch below, he elaborates: “I’d definitely ask her about what she wanted for the children growing up at different stages, poignant moments in their development. Tell her I love her.”
Fogle also takes part with his wife Marina. The couple’s third child, a son, was stillborn in 2014: “I suppose the sad thing with us is that we didn’t even have the first minute to say anything to him.”
Joey Essex, of The Only Way is Essex, lost his mum Tina to suicide when he was 10 years old: “Obviously I know Mum’s still here in spirit, she knows exactly what I’d say. It’s a personal thing.”
The videos, created for the charity by Clare Beavis and Una Hill of Pearl Films, are endorsed by Prince William, who describes the death of a parent or child as “one of the most painful experiences anyone can endure.”
Recently, he and brother Harry have discussed the devastating effect the death of their mother, Princess Diana, had on them as children, with William saying it had taken “almost 20 years” to be able to talk about it openly. Harry has previously said he had been “very close” to a breakdown, and wanted to share his experiences in order to open up the conversation about mental health.
As The Guardian reports, a recent YouGov survey carried out for Child Bereavement UK found that one in five British adults who were grieving for a close family member wished they had more support. A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK, equating to around 111 children being bereaved of a parent every day, while in 2015, 28 babies, children and young people under 25 died every day. Almost one in four British adults going through bereavement report feeling lonely and that they wished friends would visit in person or call to talk.
The charity is urging others to join the conversation and share their experiences in order to help those grieving feel less isolated.
If you need support, call the helpline on 0800 02 888 40 or visit the website, childbereavementuk.org.
Image: Child Bereavement UK