Community care offers strength through grief and loss

“That’s my brother. I’m never gonna get over it,” explained Robert, a Soloss Losstender. “I want to hold on to stories and carry him through the rest of my life, the way he’s helped me and carried me often.”

Soloss strengthens community care for grief and loss. Its purpose is to build collective capacity to be with and bear witness to loss, opening up space for connection and healing. Prototyping different models of care in different environments provides insight into how we can better care for community. Regular Edmontonians like Robert who have personal experience with grief and loss, called Losstenders, are empowered to help others.

Losstenders connect with people who are in the throes of grief, referred to as Sharers. Losstenders and Sharers learn from each other, using creative expression and embodiment to create meaningful moments of connection to honour shared human experience. The initiative places special emphasis on people subsisting in the margins whose grief and loss has gone repeatedly unrecognized, posing barriers to positive well-being.

About half of the 2023 cohort’s Losstenders came into the role following the death of a family member or partner, and expressed a desire to continue their own healing journeys.

“When I started this role, I knew that there’s no way I’m going to engage in grief and loss without addressing my own grief and loss,” said Robert.

From the three rounds of Soloss to date, REACH learned that everyday people in Edmonton have the desire to create and contribute, if only they knew how. Soloss is a small way for institutions and systems to locate the pockets of possibility that can seed and support more relational models of
practice and better support the individuals within our community.

For more information about Soloss, click here.



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