Even though a range of grief reactions can be common between bereaved people what we experience and how is completely unique to each individual. We often admit to keeping our grief to ourselves and expressing it only in private.
We have recently run a series of three creative workshops about grief and all it's complexities. Each two-hour session was centred around a main activity devised by Zoe Papadopoulou. We have used these workshops as a unique opportunity to contribute our own individual experience of grief to a special event open to the general public at the Southbank Centre.
Our aim with these workshops is to complement traditional bereavement groups, with participants using alternative ways to communicate their experiences in a creative and unconventional way. If you would like to take part in the next series of workshops please get in touch for further details.
Dr. Kirsten Smith: Our society does not encourage open expressions of grief and can further isolate us when bereavement is already a very lonely place to be. Zoe’s grief workshops directly tackled the social isolation often felt in bereavement by bringing people together in a space where grief was the ‘norm.’ Everyone knew that they had permission to say whatever they needed to. The exercises devised by Zoe managed to give structure and helped initiate the exchange of difficult and painful stories of loss, and memories that feel haunting when losing a loved one. In being brave enough to articulate these thoughts and memories group members turned towards, rather than away from their grief. This process fostered a tolerance of difficult feelings, encouraged emotional processing of traumatic memories, and connected group members with their innate humanness. After all, to live is to feel pain and to grieve intensely is to have loved intensely.