‘You’re not alone’ – this was the speedy response to my question – ‘So what is the most important thing you can say to a young person when someone close to them has just died?’ I was asking a member of the bereavement group.
Every time I work with someone who has been bereaved I learn something new. In a group it is as if the sum of the individuals seems amplified, their ability to empathise and share is astounding and I have been amazed at the impact.
Jonny was expressing how each young person has experienced a loss that is entirely unique and this can make them feel isolated and lonely. When he heard another bereaved person talking about their day he realised he was not the only one and in the group he could talk about things that other friends don’t really understand. A simple conversation about school today can start with ‘my friend was moaning about her mum! I wanted to say “at least you’ve got a mum!”‘ Immediately the group got it, they knew what he was talking about, they felt his pain and they started sharing experiences.
The Sunflower Project is starting a new bereavement group for 12-16 year olds who have had a parent or sibling die. The group will be a safe place to remember a loved one, develop ways to cope with a loss and just have some fun with others who really understand. Sessions will include creative remembering activities, like salt sculptures, watching video clips from other groups and possibly playing Jenga.
If you know of a young person who might benefit from the group please contact The HUB for more information, as soon as possible. Tel: 724421, email: firstname.lastname@example.org