Every Thursday evening Gillian Brooks runs a creative support group for local people bereaved by suicide. The following is a selection of feedback / writings from group members who tell how important the group has become for them, and their journey:
Creativity and Bereavement by Suicide
My Journey by S …
“I first came to one of the first talking groups 3 months after the death of my friend. It felt like such a sense of relief to share pain and grief amongst a group of people who understood my experiences. I have continued to come to the group over the years and felt I’d overcome most of the feelings of grief and loss.
In September last year I joined the first creative group and from the start could feel the unresolved feelings of grief loss and sadness – like a ball in my chest and a lump in my throat.
By the use of painting and writing I could physically feel these sensations in my body shift. I cried, I laughed and shared and after each session felt another layer of grief had been peeled away. I feel stronger, happier and have a new sense of peace and found the group an invaluable and safe space to share and explore feelings of grief, loss and guilt around death by suicide.”
My Journey by G …
“Two and a half years ago I lost my best friend to suicide. At the time I was living in C, but when this happened I left my home and lived in between friends and partners’ houses. I didn’t know the area or many people and I really struggled to talk with my partner, friends or family as I felt they didn’t know how to talk to me, not sure why I wasn’t angry at them and felt like people tip toed around me as suicide was seen as dark and violent therefor shall not be mentioned.
I struggled for two and a half years not being able to talk or share my thoughts and experiences of what had happened to others. It came to the point where I had given up and bottled it all up inside and it played with my emotions on levels I had never experienced. I’ve had many people die in my life ( but not suicide) and it is such a hard thing to deal with as its not spoken enough as learning disabilities, dementia or just dying. Through all of this I felt alone and had lost myself and who I was.
Then one day I saw a flyer in a center in Todmorden ‘ have you ever lost someone to suicide’ and instantly was drawn to this flyer and I couldn’t believe my luck. I contacted the group and the lady I spoke to was so friendly and invited me to a creative support group. I was very anxious about it but I told myself I need to do this for me. I went to it and it felt homely and peaceful. The creative group was eye opening to me really as I found myself being able to express myself and talk about my friend with others who had been through the same and I felt so much better for being able to do this. I’ve always been creative, but with this it lets out emotions, feeling, memories and experiences – for the first time in two and half years I feel I am me again. In a safe and warm group- to be able to help myself.”
We are very grateful to group members for sharing these important stories and reflections.
To find out more about the sessions or this work please contact: Gilly Brooks
m: 07410 986381