Get Together - Bereaved Families Discovering is a community of families who have experienced the death of a parent or child. One 11-year-old boy described it as “an interesting chance to meet new people like us, who know how we feel and what we’ve been through. It helps you overcome your shadow.”
With support from the Big Lottery Fund, Get Together was established in 2014 as a partnership project between Cruse Bereavement Care and Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland. It offers bereaved families an opportunity to connect with each other and with other families through activity days and residentials.
Andrea, a mother of five whose husband died a couple years ago comments:
“Get Together is a place where you can relax and sit back and talk to others, knowing that everyone here holds the same pain. This weekend is a chance for you and your family to be one unit and smile together are family. Take a walk on this weekend with an open heart.”
This space has been designed as an online community for bereaved families and those who want to walk alongside them on their grief journey. We have learned so much from the 55 families who have so far participated in Get Together, and we’ve created this space to help them share their learning with you.
For families experiencing grief, this is a place that might help you feel little less alone, where you can take courage from others who might be a few steps ahead of you on the journey. Perhaps you’ll identify with some of the stories told here by families who are dealing every day with the tasks of grief. And maybe something you see or hear on this page will allow you to take up Andrea’s invitation to once again “smile together as a family”, even in the midst of tears.
For professionals seeking to learn how to better support bereaved families, this is a place to gain deeper insights into grief as a whole family experience, to understand people’s grief journey from the inside out, to see beyond the headlines into hearts and hopes, fears and tears. And in so doing, to accept Andrea’s invitation to “take a walk with an open heart” alongside bereaved families, who can teach us more than any academic journals ever could.
In the words of a professional participating in a Get Together Road Show:
“It was so powerful and thought-provoking to hear directly from a family about their experience of formal input with regards to grief work. It helped me understand better the theories which underpin grief work.”