Keeping Each Other Sane IN the Madness that is life with Grief

Kia ora koutou and nau mai (welcome) to The Unthinkables – a private Facebook group for parents whose taitamaiti (child) or tamariki (children) have died.

The Unthinkables was set up by Nic Russell, founder and CEO of Kenzie’s Gift. Here Nic explains why she's the driving force behind The Unthinkables and what it offers bereaved Kiwi parents. 


Visit The Unthinkables Facebook Group 


Over the 15 years since Kenzie died, I've met and spoken with so many parents that have lost their gorgeous cherubs. Life has certainly thrown us an absolute shitter; this is not how our lives were supposed to be. We’re now the group that many people cross the street to avoid and don’t want to talk to because the unthinkable has happened to us: our taitamaiti (child)(or tamariki (children)) have died.


It can actually be a really lonely place.  As that common analogy states, you can be the lone figure in the crowded room, completely disconnected from everyone and everything. They don't get it. How can life possibly be carrying on as normal as ours is falling apart in the most torturous cruel way possible?


But it does. Life keeps moving forward. The problem is, how do we navigate it ... feck ... even get out of bed some mornings? Especially when people have so many expectations and ideas around what grieving should look like and how long is acceptable to be openly grieving for our cherubs.


So, I thought, I'd start up a meeting place, where we can just be. 

About The Unthinkables group

There's no expectation 


Connect and share with others if you want, or simply sit back and garner pieces of advice or comfort in the recognition that how your life is now is not uncommon among the Unthinkables. 

This is a place where we can be among it, where other people get us. The shared experience of grief means we’re not alone, we don’t have to feel like the elephant in the room, because here, we’re in it together.

Here, we can speak our cherub’s name, say they’re dead and not ‘asleep’ or ‘lost’ (or whatever euphemisms you’ve heard people say to avoid saying the D-word… we love hearing about the crackers that have been put your way).

Here, we can talk about life in general as it grows around our grief, how we’re moving forward (but not on) with our grief. What brings us joy and happiness and keeps us sane among the madness that is this life with grief.

A little more about me

To start things off, I'd like to introduce myself and share one thing about me before grief entered my life. 

It would be lovely to meet you over on The Unthinkables too. If you feel like it, please introduce yourself: who you are parents to, and one thing about your life before grief came calling.

I’m Nic, mum to Kenzie, who died when she was 3 to childhood cancer, and also mum to Conor, now 21. (I’m also the CEO and founder of Kenzie’s Gift).

Something about my life before grief came calling that you may not know, is that I used to be scuba diving instructor! Here's a pic of me diving at the Poor Knights Islands.


Nic Russel Diving


Come and join me on The Unthinkables  - nau mai to your online community and home ❤️

Joining process and group rules

When you join, you’ll be asked to answer 3 simple questions to ensure you meet the criteria for becoming a member. You need to answer all 3 questions to be approved.

When you join, you’ll be asked to answer 3 simple questions to ensure you meet the criteria for becoming a member. You need to answer all 3 questions to be approved.

The Unthinkables is an online community for bereaved parents, which means we’re not professional counsellors or therapists. We’re parents, just like you.

Please take a moment to read our group rules and help us make this a safe, welcoming and respectful space.

  1. This is your safe space. We’re so glad you’re here. To make it safe and welcoming, please treat everyone with respect. In the words of Jacinda: be kind. Healthy discussion may happen but let’s always do it respectfully.
  2. No hate speech or bullying. Hate speech or bullying of any kind isn’t allowed. Degrading comments about things like race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender will not be tolerated and will be grounds for immediate removal.
  3. Sharing not selling. You can’t use this space for sales, fundraising, causes, surveys, petitions, free offers or more. Please don’t post links to organisations, Facebook pages, groups, websites or personal blogs.
  4. Respect everyone's privacy. We talk about personal things and share private stories. Whatever’s shared in this group stays in the group. This includes not posting information about people who aren’t members of our group.
  5. Religious and spiritual neutrality. This is a secular group, please take care when mentioning religious or philosophical ideology. Talking about ‘God’s will’ or ‘God’s plan’ may be comforting to you but maybe distressing for others.
  6. We've got your back. We monitor every comment and post and have the right to remove anything we believe goes against our rules, without notice.
  7. Share photos. We love to see your photos of your loved ones, but please only post photos of them in life.
  8. Play it safe. Due to privacy, think about what personal identifying information you share, like your loved one’s full birth or death dates.
  9. Avoid offensive content. Comment and post with respect for other members' feelings and points of view. Offensive or graphic posts /comments / photos can, and will, be removed without notice.