Tobin Brothers Loss and Grief Program

Tobin Brothers Funeral Directors has offered education, training and information programs to the Melbourne community for nearly 30 years. Professionals, volunteers and members of the wider community have a growing awareness of how loss impacts on the lives of individuals of all ages. These programs have been designed to meet the many requests received by Tobin Brothers. Some of these programs are listed here. Additional program content can also be prepared for specific needs after consultation.

Download a copy of our Loss & Grief Program.

1. These programs can be held at any time of the day or evening.

2. Each seminar can be prepared to run for one hour, one and a half hours, two hours, half day, full day or a number of days.

3. Presentations often utilize power-point data projection.

4. In some cases video segments may be used.

5. Resource notes accompany each presentation.

6. The style of presentation can be workshop, lecture, information session or seminar, depending on which is more relevant to the audience.

7. Each of the sessions is available for a fee or a donation to The Tobin Brothers Foundation. An organization may prefer an invoice for budget or administration purposes. In this case an invoice for a payment of $100 an hour can be arranged.

8. The content of these seminars can be discussed with training personnel so that issues that are relevant to local needs are incorporated.

9. Additional and alternative topics can also be negotiated.

(Seminar One) “Understanding loss and grief”:

This is a general introduction to the experience of grief as a response to loss. We talk about what grief is, how it might be expressed, and look at some introductory support responses.

(Seminar Two) “Working with the elderly and communicating with them as they deal with loss, dying and bereavement”:

We take the principles discussed in “Understanding Loss and Grief” and apply them particularly to residents within an aged care environment. What are some of the particular areas of loss common amongst the elderly, and are there appropriate response strategies?

(Seminar Three) “Caring for myself as I care for others”:

We address the issue of self-care and explore what things we can do when we are responding to a work related loss or death, or a personal experience of loss that cuts across our work environment.

(Seminar Four) “Multi-cultural and multi-faith issues surrounding loss and grief”:

Sometimes we are called upon to assist people who have a different religious and cultural background to our own. While we don’t need to understand the details, some understanding can help us to care more appropriately. We survey the different cultural and religious groups now living in Australia and consider some of their special needs when dealing with dying, death and grief.

(Seminar Five) “Communicating with those who are living the last days of their lives”:

When a person is dying through a terminal illness experience or through the ageing process, lots of things can be happening for them and for their families and friends. We look at these issues under a number of headings and explore what may be happening.

(Seminar Six) “Practical issues related to Funeral Planning”:

Either in the context of a death that has occurred, or one that is expected, information about procedures, options, legal requirements, costs, and alternative ways of processing the death and funeral can be useful for families and for care-givers. For care givers this can help to demystify some of the concerns staff and volunteers may have about funeral practices. Information about pre-arranging a funeral is included.

(Seminar Seven) “When young children are contemplating or responding to a death or significant loss”:

Children may encounter loss at many different levels, and for some a personal death encounter will be particularly difficult to process. We look at the grief behaviour expressed by children at their various developmental stages and outline ways by which adults can respond appropriately and give valid support.

(Seminar Eight) “When adolescents are contemplating or responding to a death or significant loss”:

Adolescents may encounter loss at many different levels, and for some a personal death encounter will be particularly difficult to process. This will need to be processed within the context of all the other things that are happening for a typical adolescent. We look at the grief behaviour expressed by adolescents and consider various support strategies, particularly those that may be more appropriate for teenagers.

(Seminar Nine) “When adults are responding to a traumatic death”:

Personal and community disasters are difficult for individuals and groups to process. We consider a number of difficult deaths such as a suicide, road accident, a sudden and unexpected death, or deaths through war and terrorism, and all those other deaths where there are complicating factors. This then develops into group discussion about the issues for those who grieve and some understanding of the particular component parts of responding to a difficult death scenario.

(Seminar Ten) "Responding to a suicide death":

A suicide death raises a range of extra grief issues for those who remain to respond to the death.  In the complexity of suicide stories in our modern society there are some particular ways in which support for such people can be made more appropriate and there are resources that can facilitate the resolution of such grief.

(Seminar Eleven) “Does gender have an impact on grief behaviour?”

Do males respond differently to females when dealing with a significant loss? It may not so much be gender, as it is roles and expectations and personality traits and the modelling that confuses the response. Some would say that feminine styles of grief behaviour are changing as much as those expressed by males. Whatever the reasons may be changes are being observed.

(Seminar Twelve) “Coping with Christmas, holidays and other special occasions when we are bereaved”:

A seminar that looks at some of the special personal and public events bereaved people have to go through as part of the journey to recovery. For many, these times are particularly stressful and difficult. This can impact on work capacity and general functioning. There are things we can do to help ourselves and to help each other.

(Seminar Thirteen) “Understanding the loss and grief experiences, and responses, of those who are living with a disability”.

Often when we speak of the loss and grief arising from the issue of disability we tend to focus on the needs of the parents and/or siblings of the individual who is living with the disability. This seminar addresses the many changes and transitions (including loss and grief) experienced by the individual themselves. Practical strategies, both proactive and reactive, are examined, with a view to enhancing the support and understanding offered to those who live with a disability – intellectual and/or physical.