I recently watched Joey Essex’s new documentary ‘Grief and Me’ and I thought it was worth writing about because of the message that runs throughout the programme.
For those people who do not know Joey Essex, he first entered the public eye in 2011 during the second season of The Only Way is Essex. This series has shown all of the Essex family including Joey’s cousins Charlie and Chloe as well as his sister Frankie. More recently his other two cousins have featured also, Demi and Frankie. I can imagine being a family all within the public eye can be quite difficult and a lot to deal with, but many will say they are living the life of luxury and shouldn’t complain. However, this recent documentary highlighted an issue that has plagued their family for the last twenty years.
‘Grief and Me’ speaks about how Joey has always put aside his grief from his mother’s death and how she completed suicide. Joey was ten at the time so it must have been an extremely difficult thing to process for someone so young. He speaks about the fact that he has never completely grieved for his mother and how it has affected his relationships with woman even now he is 30.
To try and deal with these issues Joey attends numerous sessions with a councillor to try and speak about topics that he never has spoken about out loud. At first Joey finds it very difficult to open up and even asks the counsellor how he can trust a person he barely knows to listen to all of his troubles. But gradually as the documentary continues there is a real shift in how he is able to speak about things he never has before.
I think this is something a lot of people fear with the idea of going to have counselling as its essentially telling someone all of your problems in the hope that you will feel better. However, like Joey you could find that after some time opening up it becomes easier and easier to speak to the councillor.
The fact that the Essex family have lived out their young adult lives in front of a camera while having had this traumatic experience came as quite a big surprise to me. I have watched Towie for many years and remember Joey’s mother’s death was mentioned but not specifically how or why. It may come as a shock to fans who believe they know everything about a person they watch on the television when really it is only a small glimpse into their lives. Joey Essex comes across as a very genuine and funny person who does not take life too seriously, so seeing him open up and be vulnerable on screen was something entirely different for his followers.
The idea of being so vulnerable when you are in the public eye could be quite daunting, as such a sensitive topic may be something you may want to keep a secret, so I think it was really brave for Joey to open up like he has. This documentary may be watched by someone who has had a similar experience and is reluctant to get any help, but after watching they may see how much it helped Joey and his family to move forward with their lives.
I would really recommend watching this documentary even if you do not feel you relate to the situation because you may know someone who could benefit from some counselling and some reassurance may be just what they need.
If you are experiencing any bereavement struggles yourself, you should seek help. Cruse Bereavement Care is a ‘national charity that provides advice, information and support to anyone who has been bereaved, whenever and however the death occurred.’