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“Our grief is as individual as our lives.”
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

9 April 2024

At St Bart’s, we have the privilege of witnessing the profound journeys of those we support through some of life’s most challenging moments. In our community, grief is not just a concept—it’s a tangible, raw experience that touches us all at some point in our lives. Yet, amidst the complexity of emotions, one thing remains vital: the importance of honouring each individual’s unique process of grieving. At St Bart’s, we understand that grief knows no timetable, no rulebook, and no boundaries. It is in this understanding that we find the essence of our support—providing a space where individuals can express their grief authentically, in their own time and in their own way.

Last week, one of the team had a meeting with an old contact, old in the sense of length of time known, not age, who specialises in helping people come to terms with grief. When you get people in the room who all have innovation as one of their primary motivators, it can be a very energising and uplifting experience as the ideas flow and the possibilities and potential emerge. We talked about how our two organisations could work together to help address the grief and trauma that so many of the people we support carry with them and over the coming months, we will hopefully continue the conversation and see where the potential takes us.

A couple of weeks ago, we heard of the passing of one of our residents, someone who had recently moved on from our supported accommodation to live independently in the community. The passing of this gentleman has touched many of us at St Bart’s, both staff and residents. He was very well respected, liked and was a source of inspiration to many. We will celebrate his life shortly with a memorial service, but his passing is a stark reminder that the complex issues of homelessness don’t end when someone finds a home.

Earlier in the week, one of our residents was standing in the Lime Street yarning circle, headphones on and mobile phone raised to his mouth. He was obviously very immersed in what he was doing. “Are you rapping?” “Yeh, I write my own stuff” was the response. Music is a powerful tool for expressing emotions you may not otherwise be able to articulate. This young man said he was about to “go down south” for a close family members funeral. When he returns, we asked if he’d like to record a tribute to his relative. The look on his face spoke volumes. He was filled with joy that we could give him the opportunity to express his feelings in his art form, in his authentic way.

It is a privilege to give people the space and opportunity to tell a story in their own way and in their own time. Every step toward healing contributes to building a community slightly more stable and compassionate than before. At St Bart’s, we are humbled to play a part in this collective journey toward healing and understanding.

Help St Bart’s to help more people. A fully tax-deductible donation today will help us provide safe accommodation and support to people who need our help to get back on their feet and re-establish their place in the community.

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