About , our why and who we are.
My name is Gabrielle, although most people call me Gabby. I am the founder of Adam Blue Official.
When Adam died it completely destroyed every aspect and facet of my previous life. I was rendered barely able to do a thing, except to focus on basic survival. It was completely cataclysmic and I was similar to a toddler, requiring assistance with everything.
I soon recognised our society wasn’t and still isn’t equipped to provide the assistance or support that I desperately needed. Grief, pain and trauma contain multiple and complex layers.
We basically have little awareness and/or understanding of those complexities, as well as not allowing for the nuances in the human condition, reactions, responses, behaviour, experiences and extenuating circumstances. The systems in place were inadequate in assisting me to rebuild my life. Victim blaming is still a major problem.
I felt I was drowning and that feeling was compounded by extreme feelings of isolation and loneliness. The depths of my struggles kept getting deeper and very soon it became apparent that our systems and beliefs regarding grief were outdated, archaic and were contributing to my despair. Soon the seeds for Adam Blue started to be sown.
My pain motivated me to want to create an organisation which would help others walking a similar path as mine. I felt a compulsion to make Adam Blue a reality. Consequently, everything I personally share is from a place of lived in experience.
Hi, I'm Gabrielle.
I have over twenty years working as an Early Childhood Educator. I am now studying a Diploma of Counselling. Once qualified, I aim to work with bereaved parents and their families. At this point I am unable to personally provide advice. What I can do is mentor. But, what I can do is connect bereaved parents with others, providing resources as we build a network together.
I choose to call myself a grief researcher and advocate , collecting and collating information about grief, loss and trauma. I want to collaborate with others, motivated by the wish to dismantle the outdated opinions of grief and educate society about how grief impacts lives, which will subsequently assist those who are grieving. In many instances, it is about unlearning everything we have previously been told about grief and trauma. Currently I don't know what Adam Blue will grow into. I do know, I am receptive to whatever it will or won't become.
It is time to have those many uncomfortable conversations, creating a society that is better equipped to help those who need it. Kindness, respect, compassion and empathy are always my default setting. I ask that everyone always practise the same, treating others as you, yourself would want to be treated.
I am a firm believer we can all learn from each other. By sharing our lived in experiences, we will grow, developing and building our resilience levels. By the sharing of our own truth, we bring the reality into the light, educating others about grief as we do so.
Any unkind , thoughtless or insensitive comments and/or behaviour will not be tolerated.
I choose to identify as she/her.
Hi, I'm Bri.
Hi there, my name is Bri, I’m Gabby’s daughter and Adam's sister.
When Ads fell sick I was studying nursing, I deferred due to my mental health deteriorating from the stress. After he died I returned to studying and completed my course. I began working in hospitals and initially struggled with the gaps in societal understanding of grief, ceasing life sustaining treatments and palliative care discussions at work. My personal experiences of sister then as a healthcare professional implicated the area of nursing I would work in.
I began nursing palliative care patients whilst watching my family attempt to fill the gaps in our lives. I threw myself into others worst days to try and heal mine, some may see that as unhealthy, for me it was the right kind of medicine, pun intended. It helped me realise the true extent of minimal professional support and what was available for families often had time constraints and limits.
Adam Blue and my mother are exactly what Australia needs concerning the death of a child. I acknowledge my bias, but that will never change how proud of my mother I am, as would Adam be for fighting for what she knew was right, supporting the parents and families experiencing the death and grief of a child or sibling.
The launch of her foundation is now a third child, her proud family living, and deceased are right beside her with ginormous cheeky grins.
I choose to identify as she/her.
Who is Adam Blue named after?
Adam Blue is named after my son Adam, who died from a Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour. It is a form of extremely aggressive Cancer, collectively known as Sarcoma's. Sarcoma's are tumours which grow from or are attached to soft tissue or in bones. Adam died on the 25th February 2014, at the age of twenty two. We had six months from when Adam was first diagnosed, until he died.
Adam was born in January 1992. He was a gentle, sensitive, thoughtful and kind person. He was practical, reliable, loyal, protective and family oriented.
Adam grew up living by the Victorian coast, on the beautiful Phillip Island. It was just Adam, his sister Bri and myself and despite our family being a small one, we shared a strong and loving family unit. Adam's and Bri's affection for the beach and its idyllic surroundings is reflected in the theme of Adam Blue's website.
He loved music and was musical himself, able to pick up an instrument and play anything by ear. He loved all genres of music, but possessed a real affinity for older music, with The Beatles being his favourite band.
His favourite colour was blue and he was a passionate Geelong football club supporter. He loved Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and playing video games.
Adam was introverted, but enjoyed dressing up in costumes of any description. He was born with an innate sense of self, he knew who he was and he was completely comfortable in his own skin. He was very much an individual, with an endearing and slightly quirky authenticity to his personality.
Adam was studying horticulture when he was diagnosed and his happy place was outside in the garden.
Adam was and will always be my son, my beautiful boy and Adam Blue is now his legacy. Adam Blue is also how I will now mother my son.
Adam will be forever dearly loved, definitely never forgotten, always missed with every cell of my body and hopefully now honoured with the dignity and integrity, of which Adam possessed in abundance.