“Let’s talk about grieving?” is a movement that intends to improve the life of someone who has been going through the grieving process. It came from real experiences from 7 people who joined, aiming to go beyond suffering and longing. A group of women who joined in order to build something that would honor our beloved ones who passed away and that we miss so much. But the intention is also to help people who get the difficult task to reinvent their lives after the loss of a significant beloved one.
All of us work with communication and decided to use our skills in order to create something together that would bring a greater meaning to our grieving experience and eventually to other people’s processes also.
The starting point was our own feeling that talking about grieving was difficult. Most of the time someone who goes through this is encouraged to speak as little as possible about the subject because among other things, it may “spoil the moment”. Besides our personal experiences, nowadays we know that this is really a taboo and our goal has been to fight against it, and make grieving possible.
It is common, especially for the ones who go through traumatic losses, to hear things like “ I cannot possibly imagine what you are feeling”. It is understandable. However this made us think… if it is hard to imagine for the ones who didn’t go through the experience; for the ones who have been through this experience, it would be important to exchange impressions and feelings, to speak and be heard, in a net of understanding about life, death and the grieving process. A space that would be used to talk about the subject so it would be part of people’s lives. A space for sharing experiences so the ones who have been through the experience could share it with others. Pains and affection would connect. But how could we make it all happen?
HOW WE STARTED
“Let’s talk about grieving?” started from a research, another expertise in our group. We believe that nothing would be more valuable than our own experiences and the essence in each one of them. So, in November 2014 we created an Internet website where people who were going through the GRIEVING process could write, telling their story, their journey. When we analyzed them, we understood the biggest and most common difficulties and perceptions of the grieving process. We received around 200 testimonials. This has called our attention already: 200 people who have discovered – through sharings – such a small space on the Internet to tell their grieving experience. Most of these people talked about the importance of that practice and each voice reinforced the idea that free thinking and understanding about their own grieving process was already a big step and that perhaps, sharing and learning together could help even more.
With the analysis of the statements in hands, we could have the understanding of the process and when helping would be so important. We have realized that the grieving experience (in case of very close people) invites us to make a big review of life values and their continuity. Almost as a reinvention of life (so it is possible to move on without the presence of the person who is gone). We have made a presentation that told the beginning of this process. We invited our friends, the specialists’ community and some close journalists in order to know the project and our first mini-documentary thanks to Dea Levy’s and Raoni Rodrigue’s generosity (our gratitude).
THE WEBSITE LAUNCH
The launch was in June 2015 in Estudio Gloria, a great venue for events in São Paulo.This day was a thrill and an energy boost to everyone; thanks to all who were there and, generously, shared stories of love and pain. The presence of specialists who joined our movement and the report presented by Thais Heredia in Globo News, a Globo Network show, gave us even more energy and confidence. We have opened a crowd funding in Benfeitoria platform and we got – also with the precious help of our friends, thank you all – the amount we needed in order to plan and create the “Let’s Talk About Grieving?” In the process, Maria Beatriz Gonçalves, a journalist joined us; a very competent “guardian angel” in order to carry on the project on a daily basis. Now she is a mom and has been taking good care of Santiago. She will be back soon. The “love movement” is having babies…
The site and the competence of Carla Gullo and Bizuka Correa – who also joined us – have given scope to the project. We debuted on January 12, earlier this year, shortly after the holidays, in the middle of summer vacations. In 2016, a complicated year of economic crisis and hassles, each of us, having before us many personal and professional challenges. And for our surprise, it all worked out! The site was very beautiful, Marina Pappi and Gra Mattar illustrations were beautiful, the designer Valtinho Bicudo, Dani the programmer and Bia, the publisher did a great job. On day 1, the beautiful story of Paulo Camossa and his Amanda (a unique text written by Laura Capanema) lifted our readers to a higher ground. The browser could not stand so many accesses and the website crashed. We were all out of breath, watching, stunned and touched, Camossa’s testimony going viral and the media reproducing the story as of it was a scoop! But it’s true: talking that way about death and grief was really a scoop! We recognized then the impact of losses stories about people who needed help to deal with their own pain; in a gentle, loving, generous and beautiful language. We try to borrow the words and aesthetics, the sensitivity required to approach the most mysterious and painful subject of life: death. And this connection (death is life and life is death) was never again apart from our minds and hearts.
We celebrated the first 1,000 people on Facebook (and now we have 11,000, followers which allows us to reach tens of thousands of people because there are so many sharings). On the site, we reached the first million views. It is common people marking friends in our post’s comments. It may be a moment of care and affection in the middle of the day, someone who decides to connect people they love to our website (www.letstalkaboutgrieving.com) or Facebook so that your pain get a love hug.
WHAT WE ARE BUILDING
Every child at some time gets independent and we who created “Let’s Talk About Grieving?” realized that our project is also getting emancipated and generating a network of love and affection. Each new story feeds the collective desire to build a truer and more generous perception about life, death and grieving. A love movement that can gain strength even in a historical moment marked by intolerance.
We also imagine that we are building a movement of support and demystification of death. So that we can look at this part of life with respect, serenity and the belief that we all can grow in moments of pain. This is the feeling that pervades all the stories.
And this is “Let’s Talk About Grieving?” a project that became the project of our lives, above our career plans and it will go on no matter if we want it or not because it belongs to everyone already.
WE LEARN EVERYDAY
Grief as a learning process, letting go and understanding, is always under construction. We learn with every post and every conversation. The more we go on, all together, and the more we realize that we feel the same. This way, grief experience naturally generates a brotherhood feeling we want to turn into strength, understanding and comfort. May the network built by “Let’s Talk About Grieving?” grow even more and help us to carry this movement forward.
We talk every day. Many times a day. We have a deep appreciation of ourselves by the collaborative dedication and the ability to live this experience. We discussed the next steps of the construction of our movement: what are the issues, what are the people, what help would be of greatest value? We still get touched with all this. We learned that crying washes the pain away and talking helps cleaning of the hardest sufferings. We honor our children, fathers, mothers, brothers, nephews, cousins, loves and friends with our dedication to feed this network of love and help.
Finally, we have learned to respect even more the mysteries of life and put ourselves in the right position, knowing that any attempt to control will be a waste time. Time also becomes more valuable when we think of life and death. Make every day count alone and seek a life full of meanings has become for us an exercise of great value.
In these nearly two years of journey, we understand that it is possible to transform a relationship and find a unique place for those who are no longer physically by our side but are still part of our lives every day. And mainly, behind a grieving process there is always a love story. Our respect and honor for each of them.
Amanda, Bia, Cynthia, Fernanda, Gisela, Mariane, Rita e Sandra.