Committee Member Nadine has set up a bereavement support group. (S)HE stands for Support Help Empathy and is planned to provide a safe space for LGBT people who have lost their partners.
Nadine’s comments on the (S)HE Group:
The idea of the SHE group came to my mind following the death of my partner Shelia after a relationship of 25 years.
At the time of her death I felt my life had ended and the anguish I felt could not be extinguished. I had so many close friends who were there to support me as well as family, however what I felt I wanted was someone to talk to who KNEW how I was feeling. Unfortunately there was nothing at all in Hastings, Brighton or even London and all I was offered was counselling.
Because of this I felt that maybe a befriending network was needed so I decided with the support of my friends and fellow trustees from HRRA to develop the above group.
At first I needed a venue, however I found that this was too formal, so now it is a more informal and flexible service. It’s a mixture of advice, phone support and social interaction. When your partner dies in whatever circumstances the shock is immense and deciding on basic arrangements can leave you numb, particularly within the Gay Community as not everyone is OUT and members of the deceased family can suddenly emerge making life and decision making beyond the bereaved capabilities.
The SHE members are there to support in whatever way is helpful, be it funeral arrangements, probate or just being someone to cry with.
My view is that I do not want SHE to grow because by doing so it means that your loved one has died, however the fact of life is that one of you will go first. With this in mind, SHE can be there to help through a terrible time in someones life.
I will conclude be adding that some members have been bereaved for many years so there is no limit on how long ago your partner has passed as the pain and triggers can continue to make you sad and at those times it is good to talk to someone.
Should you feel that SHE can support, help or just have a coffee sometimes please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.