Who does your organization serve?
The aim of Loved&Lost is to reach out to anyone who has been impacted, or will be impacted by loss, which is probably everyone really, but the idea of loss isn't something that everyone wants to engage with, so primarily, it's reaching those who have recently experienced loss and their friends and family.
Loss is such a significant and formative experience, yet most of us just don't know how to talk about it. There aren't many public forums to talk about it and culture doesn't seem to engage with it on a scale and level that is helpful to most people, so the greatest thing that I wanted to do was to encourage engagement with loss and stimulate conversation.
What is their biggest challenge?
Engaging with loss can be very difficult. Having lost my father a number of years ago, I have my own experiences of loss, but that's not to say that I can understand totally what someone else is going through. I have to use my discernment to build up relationship with each participant and know how far to dig with my questions. I want to lead people through a positive process, and even though it can be extremely draining and emotionally tiring, I always come away feeling privileged to have had the opportunity to be let into someone else’s story.
How Do You Help Them?
By allowing individuals to share their personal experiences of loss, it lets the reader into a story which may otherwise might not have been told and allows us to begin to understand the complexities and emotions that get tangled up in loss.
For the participant, I hope that through giving them a voice, it is a healthy process to go through, a chance to remember and celebrate the person they have lost. For the reader, it's an insight that allows them to empathize with those experiencing loss or if they've lost someone themselves, to know that they're not the only one experiencing those emotions or difficulties.
Everyone has a different experience of loss, but to share it and talk about it in my opinion, is the best way to process it. However, I'm certainly not the best person to help them long term, it's up to the friends and family to support the individuals over time, to let them engage with what's happened, experienced the confusion, anger, regret, and be there for them at each stage.
It can be easy to just leave people to process things in their own time, but often prompting someone, starting a conversation, maybe finding them a counsellor (something I would encourage everyone who has experienced loss to helping them to do), eat healthily, get lots of exercise and fresh air can be really helpful things to do. They may decline, but often leaving it all up to the individual will make them feel alone.
Where Can We Find Out More?
There is a selection of personal stories up at www.lovedandlostproject.co.uk, each with a series of photographs, a long form interview and also a photofilm, containing visuals as well as audio from the participants, which in my opinion is the best way to engage with their stories. I'm very conscious that it may feel like a difficult project to engage with, but I'm always looking for participants to take part in the project. If that is of interest, there's a contact form on the website. You can also follow us on the following networks:
What's Your Favorite Music To Listen To When You're Feeling Down?
Music has always been an integral part of my life, having studied and performed as a musician for many years. Being able to go and play music has always been a very cathartic thing for me, either simply sitting at a piano, or going to smash something out on the drums and relieve some stress!
In terms of what I might listen to, instrumental music is what I turn to, anything with words commands too much of my attention and doesn't give my mind space to process and think.
There are lots of records on a label called Erased Tapes that I turn to, by artists like Nils Frahm and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, and I'll also turn to records by Sigur Ros, Riceboy Sleeps and composers such as Arvo Part.
Music to Grieve toListening to sad music after losing a loved one, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, or finalizing a divorce might seem counterintuitive, but this somber sounding activity has been proven to help.
Nothing can prepare you for grief, nor is there a right or wrong way to deal with it, but sad music is an easily accessible and highly effective tool that can help you begin to heal.Learn How Sad Music Can Help You