Michelle Moriarty hopes to honour her partner’s death by helping others in a new service called Grief Connect.
In 2018, Ms Moriarty’s life was turned upside down when she unexpectedly lost her partner Nathan.
“I found that there were many unexpected death related processes and tasks that I had to undertake,” she said.
“I had to access a large range of supports and specialist services to ensure my life and the life of my children was kept as secure and stable as possible.
“I was not prepared for the complexity of services that I needed to access and it took me a lot of time researching death specific services and help from my family and social work collogues.”
While Ms Moriarty was lucky with the support she had, she couldn’t help but notice the gap of knowledge around wrap-around services once the funeral had finished.
“Grief Connect WA was created to address this gap,” she said.
“We had to find our ‘new normal’ and there were many challenges and stressors that I had to face that I was unprepared for.
Ms Moriarty’s website allows people to access grief and bereavement counselling, whether that is in a formal or in-formal setting.
She said a home visit could be especially useful to someone who was deep in grief, disabled or elderly.
The other main offering Ms Moriarty will provide is a referral package where people can have three sessions where Ms Moriarty will gather information to then find the services needed to move forward.
“Grief can bring with it a sense of confusion, and leave people feeling overwhelmed with what to do next,” she said.
“The plan is inclusive of government services, non-government services, experts and other professionals who can offer specialist advice on post death processes and tasks.”
Ms Moriarty has been a social worker for more than 15 years and said she was registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers, which means she cannot have financial gain from who she refers the client to.
As well as helping people through their grief, Ms Moriarty also hopes her work will help normalise the topic of death and grief.
“Hopefully by normalising grief to the community and getting people to talk about it so its not such a shock when it happens,” she said.
“And when it does, we know there is support out there.”
For more information, visit griefconnect.com.au