Skip to main contentSkip to footer

My mum's shock death inspired me to change my life

Sam Grice shares how the death of his mum inspired him help others plan for what happens after

Man and woman smiling in formal wear
By: Sam Grice
Share this:

My mum died in a car crash two months after her 60th birthday. Trying to process everything that happened was overwhelming enough, but what I couldn’t have anticipated was everything that came with losing somebody - planning a funeral, closing down accounts and hours of legal work. Anyone who’s been through it will say the same - it’s the last thing you need when you’re grieving. 

The grief of losing my mum made sense, it’s part of the deal of loving someone, but all the admin stress you go through doesn’t make sense. Losing mum in the way we did exposed me to a problem that I and too many other people face - the unnecessary stresses that come with loss. The entrepreneur in me wanted to fix it and make an already tough time that little bit easier.

I took some time off work, which gave me the space to come up with the idea for Octopus Legacy, a service that helps others plan for what happens after someone dies when there is no plan in place, as with my mum, and helps to educate people on the best way to start a conversation about will preparation. I wanted to create something to make an overwhelming time a little bit easier. 

Woman with kids cuddling
Sam with his mum in childhood

Out of my comfort zone

Despite knowing I wanted to help people, starting a new business in a sector I had no professional experience in, centred around death (which no one wants to think or talk about), was a daunting prospect. But knowing we were making a real difference at such an important time kept me going.

So much has changed since I started the business. The distance from that initial grief has shifted, allowing me to remember some of the things that happened in the days and weeks after mum died.

For a while that was all just a blur, but having that distance helped me think about new ways we can help and support people through this experience.

READ: What therapists want you to know about grief 

Despite my initial nerves about starting something new, I realised that life is short. We spend so much of our time at work, so doing something I’m really passionate about allows me to push through the hard days. Knowing that what I’m doing is changing the way people experience loss - even if only a little - is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Man and woman smiling in formal wear
Sam with his mum

Life without mum 

My partner and I have just had our first child and doing this without mum has been hard, but it’s also connected me to her in new ways that I’m so grateful for. It has also reminded me that even as someone who talks about planning for death day in, day out, it's a lot harder when it comes to thinking about it in the context of your own child. It's so important though - and we all need to do it.

Visit HELLO!'s Take a Leap hub

More Parenting

See more