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BY SUE SUTTON, Bereaved Carer Support and Development Worker at Carers Leeds.

Video Stories help with validating carers stories, their emotions and their thoughts

People who have been bereaved will often wonder how bereavement support can help. It is true when they say ‘well it won’t bring him/her back will it?’ What can make it a bit more bearable is talking. In bereavement work we encourage people to talk – to talk about how they are feeling, to talk about what it feels like not to have the person who has died in their lives any more, and to talk about the person has died.

Using photographs can be an extremely useful tool in this work. It allows the bereaved person to reminisce about earlier memories. This is particularly relevant if they have been a carer it enables them to remember perhaps happier times.

Working with Lippy People on the Life, Loss, Learning Legacy Project has enabled the bereaved carers to talk freely and openly and for it to be recorded. The use of photographs has been a key part of this process and it has enabled them to talk about some memories that had previously been lost. Often, in a caring role you only remember the most recent past. It has helped the bereaved carers to process what has happens and to be asked the question ‘what have you learnt from being a carer?’ For some of the bereaved carers this has been the first time they have been able to talk so openly and publicly about what happened. Their story has now been recorded and it will become part of their family archive, preserved forever for future generations to view

Undoubtedly it will enable more conversations about death, dying and caring Carers often feel like they are looked over/ignored. This firmly brings them into centre stage and gives them the space to tell their story.

Lippy People worked sensitively with each of the participants, enabling and encouraging each of them to tell their unique story in their own way.

Published: 21st November, 2019

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