Initiative offers ‘safe space’ to talk about loss of loved ones

The Rev David Oxtoby has joined forces with a bereavement support counsellor to set up a new group in Sutton Bridge.
The Rev David Oxtoby has joined forces with a bereavement support counsellor to set up a new group in Sutton Bridge.

A “safe space” has opened in Sutton Bridge for people coping with the loss of loved ones.

The Bereavement Support Group was formed by the Rev David Oxtoby and a professional bereavement counsellor, Theresa Gallacher, but it is the people who go along who shape discussions.

David said anyone who has lost a loved one can attend the monthly meetings to find friendship, a safe space to share their memories and journey, as well as gain practical advice.

The group is there as an outlet for people to talk openly about their feelings, something they may find difficult to do elsewhere.

David said: “Loss and death seem to be a real taboo subject in our culture, which only makes the sense of isolation and coping alone even more challenging.”

The group is open to people of all faiths and none. David’s Christian faith gives him a real sense of the eternal, which helped him cope with losing his brother and mother.

He says: “The narrative of the Christian faith doesn’t end at death – it starts at resurrection.”

Theresa says they want people to know it’s okay for them to talk about their feelings and it’s okay for them to feel the way they do.

The group’s next meeting is 7pm-8.30pm on November 13 in the Trinity Room at St Matthew’s Church in Bridge Road.