Using faith to fight loss in Newham

Peter Jackson and Dawn Aruoma helped people in Newham battle bereavement

Peter Jackson and Dawn Aruoma helped people in Newham battle bereavement - Credit: Archant

A Biblical counsellor has been battling bereavement with faith.

Dawn Aruoma, 56, teaches people to confront loss and believes the Bible provides a framework for doing so because it is the infallible word of God.

On Saturday she and her colleague Peter Jackson led a session of nine people at High Street South Methodist Church in East Ham.

She said she began by tackling popular misconceptions about bereavement, looking at a range of losses as opposed to focusing on death.

“On the course we work through grief and we looked at the definition of bereavement,” she said. “It doesn’t only apply to death, it’s when you lose something.

“We discussed loss and related Bible stories such as Joseph being sold to Egyptians to those experiences.

“Joseph lost his country, his relationship with his family and his culture and we related to that loss.”

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Dawn said it was a death in her family that made her want to reach out to people in similar situations.

“I lost my sister last year to cancer,” she said. “We were very close and I was one of her main carers.

“When you lose someone there’s often a longing for that person.

“And when you lose a sibling it makes you think about your own mortality.

“It’s important to know what to expect, most people will feel sad or in shock and some even feel a sense of guilt.”

Dawn, who is a qualified teacher with a PGCE from University of East London, also teaches people how to be happier in life and take control in difficult situations with her Living Life to the Full course.

She said training at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Indiana, USA helped her fuse her teaching skills with an academic understanding of religion, allowing her to graduate with a Masters degree in Biblical Counselling in 2015.

She hopes to reach out to more of the the borough’s bereaved.

“It’s a caring role,” she said. “It helps me feel I’m impacted someone’s life.”

You can contact Dawn for more information on 07951 636 476.

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