TWO central Victorian sisters are starting conversations about grief by sharing the stories of women who have lost children.
Bec Gallagher and Caitlin Epps began the Loss Mothers project in response to realising many families they knew had lost babies or children, but the subject was rarely talked about.
A photographer and a midwife respectively, they have produced a series of podcasts interviewing women who have lost children about their child and the process of grieving.
Mrs Epps said the women involved often found the process cathartic, as it gave them the chance to remember the children they loved, who they often had little opportunity to talk about.
"It's a subject people don't like to think about and don't like to talk about because of the fear involved," Mrs Epps said.
"But it does happen, and it's amazing how many people in your lifetime it does happen to. To be able to learn and hear their stories and understand more about grief, has been really important."
To produce the podcast, the sisters spend the day with the women they will interview. As they prepare, they all talk, so by the time it comes to the interview they're often running over the same ground.
To explore the women's experience, they ask about what motherhood has been like for them, their child and their favourite memories.
Mrs Epps said they touched on the way the child had died, but tried to focus on how their grief evolved, and how it changed them.
She said herself and Mrs Gallagher had learnt a lot about the process of grieving.
Mrs Epps said she hoped their listeners would come away from the podcast with a better insight into grief, so they would not be afraid to ask questions and be there for friends who were mourning.
"We accompany our friends and our families through really good times... but accompanying someone through bad times, through death and grief, is very difficult," she said.
"Another theme that's come through [is] that a few simple words - 'How are you? I'm sorry this has happened' - can make a big difference."
More at: instagram.com/thelossmothers/
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.