What is it?
Connect, Reflect, Create is a relaxed new sharing space for adults, where you can connect through your shared experiences of grief whilst gently creating together. In this relaxed monthly gathering, we provide space to be part of an empathetic community, to connect through our shared experiences, whilst gently creating together. The space is here for you to use as you wish: there will be a mix of guided activity, shared creation projects and you are always encouraged to bring your own creations to work on during the sessions. The meeting was created by attendees who themselves have experienced the benefits of creativity in processing and expressing their own grief. The New Normal is committed to creating safe spaces for diverse communities.
Why did it start?
When experiencing grief, it can prove very difficult to find joy in being creative, in any form, due to the way our human brains process loss. We can lose the ability to create for pleasure and for self-expression, which can greatly assist in self-reflection and the processing of our trauma. This space has been created to bring together grievers who think may benefit from creative expression, of any type, to connect and create together.
What to expect?
This is a safe and comfortable space to connect with others who have also experienced grief, whilst taking part in creative activity. Connect, Reflect, Create is not a formal peer support meeting; it is one of our new 'sharing spaces' where the activity is the focus, and the peer support relaxed and unintrusive. Sessions are guided by two volunteer facilitators: peer attendees who have also been bereaved and support the running of the session. At the beginning of the session, attendees will be welcomed and asked to introduce themselves with their name, their pronouns, and who they are grieving. There is no pressure to speak again if you do not wish to do so. It is always your choice if you wish to take part in a shared activity, or to bring your own creations to work on. No artistic or creative skills are necessary: creativity is an action, not a result! We do ask that everyone treats each other, and themselves, with kindness. Each session will last around 1hr15.
Where is it?
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Meet the hosts
Here's a selection of some of our wonderful meeting hosts. / Voici certaines des hôtes qui facilitent les rencontres.
My mom died during the pandemic, lockdown and social distancing. Everything was online - including TNN’s good grief meetings. I joined a meeting, was overwhelmed and confused and sad and grateful and decided to come back. I honestly have no idea where I’d be with my grief if I hadn’t found TNN so soon after losing my mom. I feel so grateful to be a host as well as an attendee. I want to be able to pass on all the support I got (and get) from the meetings myself, to anyone and everyone who’s been struck with grief.
Good Grief and TNN have given me the space to breathe, untangle myself from the mess of grief and to feel well, mentally, whilst navigating the deaths of my loved ones and my life afterwards. It helps me ground, and grow. It has given me love and support. I will forever be grateful to Ben and Jack for their courage and strength to start TNN and to all the hosts and attendees for giving me faith in a kind, truthful and new way forwards, in grief.