A STUDENT hopes to open up a conversation about grief among young people after losing her father during the first lockdown.

Gabrielle Williamson, who studies at Glasgow Caledonian University, started Let's Blether on Instagram as a way to be more honest about her emotions.

"It is always going to be an upsetting conversation, but by not talking about it it just adds more of this stigma and more of these negative connotations towards grief," she said.

The 20-year-old lost her father, Kevin Williamson, 49, to cancer in June.

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She explained she felt "so alone" and added: "I felt like I couldn’t find anyone else that related to me."

"I kind of think as the first lockdown as a blessing in disguise because we spent so much time together as a family. But the second lockdown really highlighted the fact that he wasn't there."

Through her Instagram platform she began to create a community where grief is openly talked about.

"I am just being real. I got so many other brave young people coming forward who also lost someone and wanted to talk about it," Gabrielle said.

Her page has also given her "positive focus" in life, she said: "I think had I not had that, maybe I would have been in a really completely different place.

"I don't know a lot of people around me who I can relate to, but through the power of social media there is a lot of other people out there."

The politics student has now set up a virtual grieving support group which has given young people across the UK an opportunity to talk to others who are in the same position.

After her dad died, her mum was also diagnosed with cancer. The group has helped her "remain positive" for "another battle".

She said: "Having other people who are going through the same thing makes me think ‘you know what I can do this’.

"You just have to keep going, keep your head up and to use the support around you.

"I just want to normalise grief. That my biggest goal."

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Gabrielle added: "I am not going to let this grief stop me, I need to live my life."