Within Issue 94

In this issue we want to shine a positive light on Loss, a subject that is often avoided. The generosity of individuals to openly share their lived experiences in this edition allows us to consciously contemplate the inevitability of endings and death. It enables us to consider how best we can respond and support each other through the inescapable process of grief and remembrance.

Everyone experiences the natural and inevitable loss that accompanies change from life events, some of these more significant than others. As we finalise this edition in the run up to Christmas we recognise this, and other annual events, bring a mix of sadness and joy. They are a time to celebrate with those we love yet equally create markers in time for lament, remembrance for those who are no longer with us, for whatever reason.

This issue is filled with heartfelt contributions offering valuable reflections from families and professionals from every perspective. The articles actively demonstrate the courage and efforts of people to put as much thought into every phase of someone’s entire life, with equal planning for a good death as that assumed in planning for a good life. Articles encourage us to be less protective, to be brave and include people with profound and multiple learning disabilities more in the processes of end of life or of experiencing loss and grief, in ways that can be meaningful and supportive. We offer insights, practical ideas and resources that can enable us to support others in tangible ways, to remember people who were important to us and those who we no longer have in our lives.

Loss is as much about acknowledging individuals for who they were and what they meant to us when they were part of our lives. In this edition we also celebrate the lives of some individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities whose contributions to others has been acknowledged in this year’s Leaders List.

Finally we dedicate this special edition to all those who have loved and lost and, to those living without them. In particular, we mark the life of Liam Daly, who had such a positive influence on the work of PMLD LINK. He lived and loved life in equal measure.

With good wishes from everyone at PMLD LINK for a happy and healthy 2020.