Creating meaningful responses to loss

Dawn Picken will share her own experience of loss and how writing played a part in her creative response. Photo: Supplied.

A strong desire for people in the community to be empowered to create meaningful responses to loss is a driving force behind a planned workshop in Tauranga to acknowledge Loss and Grief Awareness Week 2022.

Launched in 2014 by Skylight Trust, the week aims to help New Zealanders respond to the impact of loss and grief.

The last year has seen many situations where people have had to grieve differently or have experienced different layers of complexity when coping with their grief and loss, according to Jeanette Jones from Grief Support Services.

She says we often simply ‘react’ to loss. “Depending on our patterns and habits of reacting, this may be helpful or unhelpful to our wellbeing.

“Creating meaningful responses to loss contributes to our wellbeing and resilience and there are various ways of doing that – culturally, creatively and in community,” says Jeanette.

The Tauranga workshop runs from 9am-11.30am, next Saturday, August 6, at Elliotts’ Chapel and includes morning tea.

Participants will hear about Tikanga Māori practices of responding to loss, including the practice of tangihanga, from local cultural advisor Reweti Te Mete.

Self-employed writer and trainer Dawn Picken will present her experience of loss and the role writing has played in her own creative response to that experience.

Tauranga art teacher Leanna Buxton will explore the use of mandala as another creative way of working through loss. The workshop is open to all, with any donations to Grief Support Services gratefully received.

Spaces are strictly limited, so registration is required. For details, visit: www.griefsupport.org.nz or phone 07 578 4480.

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