Creating a Narrative for Loss in Limerick

N4 loss 1

Narrative 4’s Limerick, Ireland, headquarters, open for under a year, is already becoming a community treasure.

Its most recent honor came from the Milford Care Centre and The Compassionate Communities, which gave N4 Limerick a grant to support Narrative 4 Loss, a six-week art and storytelling program focusing on grieving a death for 40 local college students. The project culminated with a story exchange between the students and adults from the community. Rebecca Lloyd, a project worker with Compassionate Communities, attended the story exchange, and shared these beautiful reflections:

What happened within those four walls was nothing short of extraordinary. Students were teamed up with adults and asked to exchange stories around the theme of loss.  What really struck me was how there is actually no ‘ordinary’ when it comes to loss. Every person in the room, both young and old, had their stories to tell. The comradeship between the couples was visible and extremely touching. The support of each other was tangible, the empathy was at times almost overwhelming. 

In Milford’s Compassionate Communities we are trying to promote what we call Health Promoting Palliative Care, to encourage each and every person to be able to support each other and not rely on the medical professionals to provide this support but to recognize it is within each and every one of us to be able to help each other in meaningful ways. The workshop with Narrative 4 illustrated this point beautifully, it illustrated that we indeed do have the capacity to listen, talk, discuss, laugh, cry and support each other around difficult subjects. And some of the stories discussed on that day were indeed very difficult to hear, but they showed us all the strength of the human spirit to continue even in the most difficult of situations.

Every school should benefit from this kind of workshop, as well as every adult. Here at Milford CCP we would love to partner with Narrative 4 again on these difficult subjects as they do prove that a problem shared is most definitely a problem halved, and talking always helps even in the most dire circumstance.

It was a privilege to participate in the workshop and a privilege to be for a small part a part of the solution of dealing with each other’s problems. 

It was life affirming, life altering and I will forever remember it as a positive experience. I dearly hope the relationship with Narrative4 will continue.

The feeling is mutual, Rebecca!

More from Narrative 4 around the globe:

3/28/17 – Cross-cultural Classroom Magic in Mexico and Chicago

3/21/17 – Building Resilience in North Philadelphia

3/14/17 – Empathy in Israel

3/7/17 – Student Leaders SCHout for Diversity

2/26/17 – Creating One Military and Civilian Family at West Point

2/19/17 – Middle School Scientists Embrace the Story Exchange

2/10/17 – An Intergenerational Story Exchange in Ireland, a National Magazine Award in New York

2/3/17 – Connecting at UConn

1/27/17 – Students in Mexico Open Up About Living with Violence

1/20/17 – Narrative 4 Gun Awareness Documentary Nominated for National Magazine Award

1/13/17 – Narrative 4 Limerick Rings in the New Year with Readings

1/6/17 – Young Journalists Exchange Stories with Locals in Costa Rica