Hello wonderful reader! Whether you’re on the bus, sorting through your inbox or having a quiet moment whilst you read this, it’s great to have you! I’m Kate, the Chair of Trustees for Let’s Talk About Loss, and I’ve been ‘voluntold’ by Beth, the Founding Director, to say hello and a bit about myself. Really, I’m not that interesting and would rather talk about the charity itself… it all starts with one of my favourite activities… cycling!
The Trustees, with Beth, recently came together in London for our first ever in-person meeting! It was magical. We used an amazing office space that was generously gifted to us for the day and discussed our values, unique roles and how the charity can include more and more people. I cycled there and, as usually happens on my bike rides, I did some deep thinking about life (and death).
Like all charities, one of our focuses is on growth. We want to increase how many people benefit from our work, we want to go deeper with the community we already have, we want to raise more funds to enable our work, and we want to spread our mission further around the UK. The problem is, our mission centres around grief. Simply put, someone is bereaved and then that someone seeks support and finds us.
The problem with grief and growth
I imagine that many people reading this have experienced grief and you’ll be the first person to say how far away from growth grief feels. I actually find that grief shrinks things. Being in such emotional pain has made me feel small in the world which is big with opportunity. My own grief has made me feel isolated when I’ve looked around me at the YOLO-lifestyle my peers are living. Grief steals from us – we lose sleep, maybe become financially unstable, our self esteem diminishes, we’re lost for words. So, how can this charity expect growth in times of grief?
I shared this with the Trustees in the opening of our Trustee day – but don’t worry, it didn’t end on that note. I went on to share more of what I’d been considering whilst whilst cycling along the Thames to get into central London. Let’s Talk About Loss (LTAL) is actually incredibly subversive. We’re cutting through culture by making a statement that there can be growth during seasons of grief. In running Meet Ups across the UK, and online, we are creating safe spaces for grieving young adults to talk through the taboo of loss. Where they might feel small at parties, not be sure how to contribute to office banter, struggle to bring their children up as a widowed parent or tell their friends and family what really goes through their head at 2am in the morning, LTAL is offering soil in which they can plant themselves and find something of a nurturing environment to begin to grow again.
“Do you guys ever think about dying?”
A lot of the cultural messages in the UK around grief are that it’s more comfortable for general society to not hear about it. For those of us grieving to not talk about it in case we dare make someone else feel uncomfortable or consider their own mortality, or that of their loved ones. Barbie herself reaffirms this theory as we see her bring a party to a stop when she asks if anyone else ever thinks about dying. But, one thing we hear time and time again within our grief community is that talking about loss helps.
87% of people who attended a Meet Up in 2021 said that it had positively impacted their grief journey, and 100% said they wanted to attend another. Whether it’s attending a Meet Up, joining in with our book club, watching some of our helpful videos or reading a blog, we are confident that talking about your loss will help with grow. It might not look like growth day to day, you will still feel the deep pain that comes from a bereavement and you may still not know how to crack a joke at the water cooler, but we believe, and have experience, that growth and grief are not mutually exclusive. They can, and do, go together. Thank you for already being part of smashing the taboo of talking about loss – our hope for you is that you grow even as you grieve.
How you can support Let’s Talk About Loss
In order for Let’s Talk About Loss to flourish and make a deeper and wider impact we need funds. We are so thankful for the generous donations that individuals and grant-giving funders are already providing, especially during a really challenging financial climate. If you don’t already help fund Let’s Talk About Loss but would like to, our new Sponsor a Host initiative gives you the opportunity to set up a regular monthly donation of whatever amount you choose, and this will directly fund the work our amazing volunteers do in running meet up groups all across the UK.
We are facilitating hundreds of safe, supportive, open and empowering conversations about grief every month and we’d be so grateful for your help to continue that work. If you want to help us grow in times of grief then please consider any of the following – we’d be so grateful:
- Join a Meet Up near you
- Become a regular giver of our work
- Make a one off donation
- Follow us on socials
- Talk about loss in your contexts
Kate Moreton, Chair of Trustees