Learn how for some of us it’s possible to experience grief without being sad and why that’s okay.
My guest Jennifer Mathews is a founding member of the Ashland Death Cafe and the Living/Dying Alliance of Southern Oregon. She is on a mission to shift cultural messages that hold us back from joy and to help us rethink grief and how we respond to death. She shares with us why we need to prepare for loss by developing tools that allow us to cope better. Based on her popular TEDxTalk “Death is Inevitable – Grief is Not” she also proposes the controversial idea that grief doesn’t have to be sad and it’s okay for each of us to have our own unique experience after the death of someone close to us. Learn more about her work at her website:
This episode includes:
- What motivated Jennifer to rethink grief in her own life
- How the language of grief can impact our expectations and experiences of grief
- How some of our current models of grief may actually shame people who grieve differently for not being “sad enough”
- There are many ways to respond to death and grief is just one of them
- Adjusting to the loss of a loved one’s physical presence is not the same as grief
- Why love does not always equal grief
- Tools we can develop before a loss occurs to help us when we do encounter loss
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Jennifer’s TEDxTalk: https://youtu.be/e5mFBlybRUw
- Book: The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss by Dr. George Bonanno
- Sign up for the 2021 online reading group A Year of Reading Dangerously at this link
- Support your local bookstore by buying my books on Bookshop and Indiebound: 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying and The Journey from Ego to Soul
- Subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher Radio
- Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
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