Joey Essex: Grief and Me


After ten years in the reality TV spotlight, it might appear that everything in Joey Essex’s life is ‘reem’. But fame and a luxury lifestyle haven’t been able to heal the grief he has kept inside for 20 years. Now, as he turns 30, Joey wants to embark on a deeply personal journey to take stock of his life, and for the sake of his future, finally confront his past.

Every year 41,000 young people lose a parent in the UK. At the age of just 10, Joey's world was ripped apart when his mum tragically took her own life. Unable to comprehend the loss, Joey has spent the next 20 years of his life burying his grief. He has kept his emotions hidden, rarely spoken about his mother, and avoided having pictures of her in his home. But now, as he leaves his 20s behind, he is ready to confront his trauma so he can move forward with his life.

With the help of a clinical psychologist, Dr Stephen Blumenthal, Joey sets out to finally face the impact his beloved mother’s death has had on him. Up until now he’s only really opened up about his childhood with his family, but even his sister Frankie and cousin Chloe recognise that he’s never truly processed his grief. Opening up to a psychologist and learning to trust Stephen will be a tough first step.

From talking about his emotions and putting more pictures of his mum around his house, to finding a way of coping with his anxiety, he’s determined to face his fears head on. After an unsure start and trust issues threaten to derail the process, Joey realises that to be able to move on with his life he has to look back at his past.

But after 20 years of living this way, can Joey really come to terms with his grief?

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