20 Jun ‘This Grief Thing’
“This Grief Thing is a project that encourages people to think, talk and learn about grief.”
Their billboard caught my eye last week as I walked along Dalston Lane. They have curated a number of talks on grief themes, as well as other projects that stir people to engage with the theme.
Tony and I visited their market stall in Brick Lane where Julie, Sam and David folded T shirts and sweltered in the heat like all the other market traders. Poised for spontaneous interactions, the presence of the stall caught the eye of people walking past. As people browsed hoodies and T shirts, conversations were encouraged with the curious. I remembered my days on the Narrow Way initiating random conversations with strangers in the Hackney is Friendly project.
The market stall is full of merchandise designed to open conversations with ordinary people to normalise talking about loss. Brilliant and simple, their slogans champion a way to engage with someone who may feel ill-equipped to mourn, or to respond to someone who is grieving.
“Don’t panic if I cry,” printed on a red T-shirt particularly appealed to me. We left with “Let me be sad” badges, and some other swag. I shall wear them, ready to see what communication it provokes, hoping to spread their mission of everyday encounters that unlock the taboo around the subject of grief.