Teenage Kicks: How Gina Coped When Her Brother Died Suddenly in Their Teens


“My brother died suddenly when I was 17”


Gina Lee Lyons had a perfectly normal childhood until her Dad left her Mum when she was 12. That started a chain of events including the family losing their home, and her older brother spending time in a category A prison. When she was 17, Gina’s brother was killed suddenly in a car accident.


How trauma shapes lives

We talk about how Gina’s mum gradually became an alcoholic, and how Gina herself “got through” those years, without really dealing with her own despair, or processing any of the ordeals she’d suffered at such a young age.

I was struck by how strong Gina was as a teenager, and actually, how strong all of us are capable of being when faced with terrible situations that just need to be dealt with. But it was clear, as Gina details in this episode, that pushing problems aside doesn’t stop them hurting us – it just means we end up addressing them later in life.


Death of a brother at 17


Using humour to get through dark moments

Gina is now a mum of two young children, but when I talked to her she was in the middle of penning a comedy screenplay about her life, as part of her job in TV production and comedy scriptwriting. We talked about how a dark sense of humour helped all her family to get through some very difficult moments, but that all of them had to deal with their emotions on a deeper level eventually.

“I didn’t go through anything, because I was still in it, and it was only having therapy that I was like – Ok, that part of my life was trauma, and you have to go through trauma to understand it.”

Listen to the podcast to hear more on how Gina put the terrible experiences of her teenage years into perspective, and was able to move forwards after therapy.


Useful links on coming to terms with severe grief


If you’d like to connect with Gina you can find her here:


Where to listen to the podcast:

You can find the episode in your usual podcast app, or if you prefer, you can listen online below.



Thank you so much for listening! Subscribe now to the Teenage Kicks podcast to hear about the new series when it begins. I’ll be talking to some fabulous guests about difficult things that happened to them as teenagers – including losing a parent, being hospitalised with mental health problems, and battling an eating disorder – and how they overcame things to move on with their lives.

I’d love it if you’d rate and review the podcast on iTunes too – it would really help other people to find it. You can also find more from me on parenting teenagers on my blog Actually Mummy, and on Instagram and Twitter @iamhelenwills.

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How it feels to lose a brother in your teenage years


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