When someone is bereaved they often report feeling isolated and that it’s as if they have landed in an alien land. Finding information on grief and agencies specialising in, for instance, the cause of the death, can be a great help, even a life-line to those who are confused and not knowing where to turn. It is also common in the early weeks and months of grief to be unable to see a way forward, and hearing from people in groups or through websites who have been in a similar situation who have ‘survived’ the trauma can sometimes be the only way a person can have hope. Problems surrounding bereavement can also be varied and accessing several support services can prove helpful.
There are many bereavement organisations but only a few of them are generally known about. Whilst it is useful for those supporting the bereaved to have a basic knowledge of the main ones, smaller or local charities can be just as helpful, especially if their work closely relates to the circumstances of those who are grieving or they are on hand.
Churches should therefore find the AtaLoss.org website helpful in their support of the bereaved. AtaLoss.org specialises in providing a signposting service for the bereaved. By using the website’s simple filter system, national support services, as well as local initiatives, can be found for the particular relationship, cause of death, age of the bereaved and where the person lives. This enables the bereaved and those who are seeking to support them, to find the services that can best help.
The website also has lots of useful resources and general information for helping the bereaved in addition to what is provided here for churches. See www.ataloss.org.
Churches might find it helpful to display AtaLoss.org A5 posters on their notice boards or to hand out cards about the website to mourners at funerals. These can be ordered through the website or by emailing email@example.com.
In return AtaLoss.org would appreciate hearing of local services not yet listed on their website (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and that might include any new services which churches develop.