The story of how a woman coped with the loss of one of her sons in action in Afghanistan is the latest offering from Firestep Publishing, a division of Tommies Guides.
Chin up, Head Down by Helena Tym has the sub title A mother’s journey of madness and grief. Helena explains, “On June 2 2009 two men knocked on the door bringing with them the news that our 19-year-old son Cyrus had been killed that morning by an IED whilst serving with 2 Rifles in Afghanistan, instantly destroying our family as we knew it. I had three sons, a job as a manager in a day centre for people with acquired brain injuries and in an instant that changed forever.
Rob, Helena and Zac in Hyde Park after the launch of "Chin Up, Head Down".
“People ask me how I’ve coped. My answer is that I wrote it all down for fear of losing that too and also to try and make sense of what had happened. The process of madness continues to be part of my new normal.
“I now have a new life which I’m trying desperately to come to terms with and follow Cyrus’s words in his last letter to us, ‘chin up, head down’.”
Ryan Gearing, Managing Director of Tommies Guides and Fire Step Publishing commented, “We are honoured to have the opportunity to publish Helena’s moving account of her reaction to the terrible event which overtook her.”
The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help ensures that military families touched by tragedy are supported in their grief. Public Relations Manager Michael Ivatt added, “Helena’s story offers a very personal insight into the wide ranging epercussions of such a loss. SSAFA are honoured to be receiving a donation from the sale of each book which will be used to help other service families coping with bereavement or serious disability.”
For every book sold, FireStep will make a £1 donation to the UK’s oldest military charity, SSAFA. Chin Up, Head Down is to be launched in London on 25th May with a reception at the Victory Services Club.
About the Victory Services Club
The Victory Services Club (VSC), is an All Ranks Members’ Club for retired and serving members of the Armed Forces. In 1907, it was created by Major Arthur Haggard who formed the Club and charity to look after those who were demobilised from the Army after the Boer War in which he took part. Since then the Club continues to be a thriving tri-service Club for the benefit of military families both serving and retired. As well as providing affordable accommodation it also provides and funds “respite and welfare breaks” for the needy and infirm. www.vsc.co.uk
About SSAFA Forces Help
SSAFA is the UK’s oldest Armed Forces charity. It provides financial, practical and emotional assistance to anyone who is currently serving in the Army, Navy or RAF or has ever served, even if it was only for a single day. Each year, SSAFA supports more than 50,000 people in the Armed Forces community. www.ssafa.org.uk