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Forever Weekend

15th May 2024

Forever Weekends are support events for people who have lost a loved one to meningitis. They provide the opportunity for people to talk about their loved one, take part in sessions with bereavement specialists and meet others who have shared a similar experience - regardless of how many years have passed. Read about our recent Forever Weekend in Doncaster.

Forever Weekend

Forever Weekends bring together adults whose family and close friends have died as a result of meningitis. In safe and supportive surroundings, they can talk about their loved one, understand more about grief and bereavement and have time where they hopefully feel they’re not alone in what they are experiencing.

As you can imagine there is a lot of sadness and tears at this event, but there is laughter too. Those who came along ranged from people whose family members had died in the last year to those who’ve only recently acknowledged their grief several years after their bereavement.

Sometimes the people we support find that in daily life they’re not encouraged to talk about the person who still means everything to them. Yet at the Forever Weekend, when surrounded by staff from Meningitis Now and those who understood, they shared photos, stories, soft toys and memories. Some of the stories were about the things their loved ones had done or achieved. Others were about the impact on their family and the things they wished they could change.

During the weekend we had sessions where people could share their experiences and learn about everything from self-care to how to continue the connections they’d built after the weekend. We also listened to a talk about grief from bereavement counsellor and art specialist Kev Benson. Kev talked about what grief means to him, as well as theories of grief and stories from the range of people he’s supported.

The weekend was also a time to get creative and there were many smiles from those who attempted to paint a landscape in watercolour. There was some joking around about each other's wobbly suns and weirdly shaped birds. Everyone who took part in the first session loved it and talked it up so much that we were overrun for the second session.

Forever

The weekend also included an opportunity for men to come together and share their experiences. There was chair yoga and lots of free time where everyone could try out a range of creative activities while talking to someone new.

Those who die from meningitis are never forgotten and that is what the Forever Weekend is, for many, the chance to remember and express their emotions without worrying what others think or feeling judged.

As the participants shared,

“Emotional but taking away so many positives”

“I felt free to share my feelings for the first time”

"To realise it is perfectly normal to feel how we feel"

"I was really anxious about attending but felt I needed to push myself out my comfort zone - everyone was so supportive & friendly"

"It created a realisation that I was not expecting, on a long journey but yet I need to start at the beginning to address my grief."

"It was a safe space to be able to cry, laugh, talk about our lost one and know that everyone understands"

If you would like to learn more about Forever Weekends and events visit our website.

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