Natalia Pazzaglia: “Here’s how to deal with grief”

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A degree in political science with a specialization in International Relations, a lot of experience in the world
of cooperation and social innovation and a great passion for writing: combining these skills and attitudes, Natalia Pazzagliateacher of storytelling for social change at Holden schoolhas managed to give life to an innovative project in the most difficult moment
of his life. It is about Lasaea platform that offers practical and emotional support to those facing the grief of a parent or loved one.

Her personal experience inspired her: she lost her father at just 10 years old, last year
year, following a long illness, Natalia also lost her mother. On that sad occasion, she decided to turn the pain into a new path, no longer of loneliness and uncertainty but of
collective support and change.
«My mother got sick when I was 16, she never allowed the disease to affect her daily life, but in the last period it had worsened until she was no longer self-sufficient.
Although she had to manage the complexity of the distance, because I live in Turin and she was staying
near Rome, I dedicated myself entirely to caring for the one person I have loved in life “,
he tells, focusing on the disappearance of his mother, who, in addition to the immeasurable pain, has it
made to be found in the face of bureaucratic issues that he did not recognize. «I was unprepared», she explains, «for the organization of the funeral, the management of current accounts, the transfer of utilities, the declaration of succession and many other administrative procedures. I would have paid gold for someone to make me a list, simple and clear, to make me understand what he was waiting for. But, unfortunately, people took it for granted that I could manage by myself, so much so that no one ever asked me if I needed support, be it practical or psychological. “

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At this point, trying to create a balance between the speed of the tax deadlines to be met and the
complex slowness of inner pain, Natalia rolled up her sleeves and started asking
explanations to professionals as well as to do research on how the mourning in the others
cultures. “I have found that, in America and Australia, there are organizations that are involved in providing support for those who lose a parent. In Italy, however, there are only self-help groups,
certainly useful but not enough to make up for the lack of emotional literacy e
administrative respect to the drama of mourning “he declares, tracing the roots of his project in
need to put his suffering at the disposal of those who find themselves living in the same situation,
so that no one has to experience worry, loneliness and economic, social and work uncertainty in the face of the death of a loved one.

Thus, in the year in which 700,000 Italians lost a close person and death was a topic that heavily touched and conditioned everyone’s lives, the young social entrepreneur launched Lasae, which takes its name from the Etruscan protective deities. «Always fascinated by ancient cultures, I chose this name because I would like death not to be understood as a caesura but as a passage. Therefore, I like the idea of ​​the lasae that accompany those who leave for the afterlife and support and advise those who remain », she says.

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Challenging the taboo of death and the status quo according to which mourning must not be talked about, the platform represents a guide that helps to live and to go through a loss, providing the tools to guide and inform on the bureaucratic and concrete issues that the death of a person brings with it. “At the moment, together with professionals from my network who have embraced the project, we have made video pills that provide practical information in the legal, fiscal and administrative fields, which will also be followed by advice and psychological content”: this is how Natalia illustrates the first activities of the collective project which also considers the narrative aspect to be very important. Through the newsletter, in fact, she collects stories of those who have lived or are facing the loss of a loved one to reduce loneliness and create opportunities for comparison.

Equally significant is the attention to the illustrative details of the platform because, as evidenced
Natalia, «beauty and simplicity help in times of difficulty. The hug depicted on the
site represents the network that is created around the void. We want to talk about death without having to approach it anymore to loneliness. To help us are also the vivid colors that give hope ».
Accompanying a personal transformation is, in fact, the final goal of the Lasae che project
aims to represent an opportunity for a spiritual journey for those who feel lost or alone, following a loss.
“With this project, which allowed me to make sense of my suffering, I want to show how a traumatic event can become an opportunity to reflect on the value of life and, perhaps, activate a change”, concludes Natalia, trusting the hope of being able to to make this small hub, welcoming and empathetic, grow more and more, in which to shed light on the necessary questions to ask in order to face a bereavement.

Source: Vanity Fair

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