Mark Lemon

“I want to open up the difficult conversation around grief and death”

We’re delighted to announce award-winning author, podcaster, husband and father Mark Lemon as our newest Winston’s Wish Ambassador. Mark has first-hand experience of the devastation of losing a parent at a young age and is determined to help us offer support and hope to other grieving children.

Throughout my life, the word ‘grief’ has never been something that I’ve felt comfortable with talking about; it made me feel different and reminded me of my pain as a child. In 2017, I made the important decision to open up and share my experience with the world. After writing my article for The Guardian newspaper, My Dad’s Murder Didn’t Break Me, it instilled in me a passion to want to continue the conversation to help young people and adults suffering with their own grief.

My story…

On Tuesday 12th May 1992, my father was murdered and my world changed forever. At 3pm, a teacher came to my classroom to tell me my mother had requested that I go home urgently. I will never forget that heart-sinking feeling at the thought that something terrible had happened. I arrived home to be greeted by police cars and the sound of my sister crying in the living room – a sound that will stay with me forever. My mother took me upstairs and told me my father had died that morning. I have never held her so tightly. I would never see my dad again, I thought. I would never play football with him again and I would never hold his hand again. I was 12.

At the beginning of 2018, I made the important decision to publish my fifth children’s book, The Magical Wood, written to help bereaved children. The devastation of grief at an early age can stay with a child for the rest of their lives, but it doesn’t have to affect their mental health. The Magical Wood was written to help open up the difficult conversation around grief and death. I wanted to write a book that would’ve helped me after my dad was killed.

In July 2019, I made the decision to create my new podcast, Grief Is My Superpower. The podcast was created to help young people & adults through grief. For each episode, I speak with inspirational people that get open and honest about their own experience with grief. I want all young people and adults struggling with grief to know that, although you will always miss that special person, you can go on to live a positive life after the death of a loved one. I’m over the moon with how many people the podcast has reached, and how much awareness we have raised for Winston’s Wish.

When I heard about Winston’s Wish, I simply had to work with them. The work that Winston’s Wish carries out to help bereaved children across the UK is wonderful, and it reminded me of how much I would’ve loved to have been supported by such a charity as a child. When Winston’s Wish got in touch with me to ask if I would like to be an ambassador for the charity, I was delighted and jumped at the chance.

I am very much looking forward to working with the charity going forward.