• Jason Haines, SJC Programs Manager

Supporting clients through grief and loss

Last Friday we opened the doors at 9:30 am as usual. The first lady to come in was in tears.

One of our volunteers met her and asked her what had happened? Lorraine (not her real name) said she felt isolated and alone and didn’t know what to do.

The volunteer sat down with her and gave her a cup of coffee, a biscuit and asked Lorraine how St John’s Care could help. At this point I went across to help the volunteer as I could see that Lorraine was very distressed.

After a long discussion we found out that Lorraine’s daughter was killed in a car accident last month and her father had died last week. She didn’t know what to do as the grief of losing two people she loved was so overwhelming that she felt stuck.

Lorraine had no money. She had just finished paying for her daughter‘s funeral and then, when her father died, she used the rest of the money she had on saying good-bye to him.

Lorraine hadn’t eaten for a few days so was feeling very unwell. Our Community Worker, Steph, came over and had a chat with her. While the volunteers were getting her food, Steph and I helped her fill some scripts and discussed with her how to get some of her daughter’s belongings back from her partner as memories of her.

Steph told Lorraine about a future group that she will be facilitating about grief and loss, called Seasons for Growth. Steph is in the process of finishing her studies on the impact of change, loss and grief in everyday life. When she has finished this, we will be running a 6-week program (2-hour sessions for small interactive groups).

When Lorraine left, she told us that she had a plan, food and scripts to keep her going and will look forward to attending Steph’s course on grief and loss within the coming months.

We are launching our Annual St John’s Care Winter Appeal this Sunday 12 May. Please pop into the Centre or ring us today with your credit card details on 6248 7771, if you are able to donate.

You can also Direct Debit your donation to our St John's Care account BSB: 702 389 Account No: 05209490. Please send an email with your details to admin@stjohnscare.org.au so we can send you a tax-deductible receipt.

Or you can donate online by going to www.stjohnscare.org.au

We value your support which enables us to help our clients during the winter months. All donated funds remain in Canberra.

If you are in a position to volunteer give us a ring.

Items Requested: Pasta sauce, tins of tomatoes, sultanas for school lunches and 1 litre long life milk.

#grief #loss

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