10 Good Grief Festival Highlights


Over 3,000 of you have already registered to join us at Good Grief Festival this October! With event tickets available next week, we’ve rounded up 10 festival highlights for you to choose from: from The Dead Parent Club with GriefCast’s Cariad Lloyd to Julia Samuel’s talk on Coping with Grief + Crisis; Valentine Warner’s panel on Grief at the Kitchen Table to Peep Show’s Robert Webb talking about his new novel Come Again. Make sure you register through our website ASAP and we’ll let you know when tickets are available.

Dead Parent Club

Cariad Lloyd is the genius and voice behind Griefcast, the podcast in which funny people talk about death. Cariad and her guests are all united by one thing: the devastating loss of a parent. In this session, Cariad and co will delve into this often silenced topic, considering how grief can affect people at different stages of life, and how this unimaginable loss can become a positive driver for those left behind.

Full information: The Dead Parent Club

Robert Webb 

Robert Webb is an actor and comedian best known for Mitchell and Webb and his portrayal of permanent man-boy Jeremy in the sitcom, Peep Show. He’s also a successful broadsheet columnist and a stock-shifting author. Join us in conversation with Robert, who’ll speak about  his bestselling memoir, How Not To Be a Boy, and his first novel, Come Again. Robert will also share his personal experience of losing a parent.

Full information: Robert Webb

Coping with Grief and Crisis 

Facilitator Julia Samuel

When you’re affected by grief, the world can feel like a lonely, cruel place. Grief expert and psychotherapist, Julia Samuel MBE, joins us to consider how grief can impact everyone in the family, including children. In this free online session, you’ll learn how to cope with grief and will gain insights into how you can help the bereaved. Julia, whose books include Grief Works and This Too Shall Pass, will also talk about grief’s healing and transformative potential.

Full information: Coping with Grief and Crisis

The Healing Power of Nature in Grief

Nature has an incredible ability to comfort and heal in times of grief, and our three authors each reconnected with the world in their own way following the loss of loved ones. Long Litt Woon, author of The Way Through the Woods, went mushroom hunting to honour her husband after he’d died. Sarah Jane Douglas lost herself in the Scottish munros following the loss of her mother, writing the uplifting Just Another Mountain. And Christopher Somerville wrote The January Man to document a year of walks, sensing his father at his shoulder at every turn.

Full information: The Healing Power of Nature in Grief

Over my Dead Body 

Alice Roberts, Chair, Good Grief Bristol

Many of us have a deeply uncomfortable relationship with dead bodies – both our own and those of others – join this enlightening event with the BBC’s Professor Alice Roberts, Dr John Troyer (Director of the Centre for Death and Society) and progressive funeral director, Louise Winter. They’ll look at the increase in cremations in the 20th Century, the need for more eco-friendly solutions, and the separation between the need to dispose of a dead body and the desire to grieve and memorialise a life.

Full information: Over My Dead Body

Grief at the Kitchen Table 

The humble kitchen table is often the epicentre of the grieving process. It’s a backdrop for sadness, laughter and night-long conversations about loved ones who’ve died. It’s where chairs remain empty at mealtimes – a poignant reminder of those who are no longer with us.

In Grief at the Kitchen Table, we learn from grief experts and writers including Nikesh Shukla, Valentine Warner and Olivia Potts. We’ll dine on their stories, chew the fat of their personal experiences of death and bereavement, and consider how food can be a uniting factor in facing and moving through grief.

Full information: Grief at the Kitchen Table

Making Friends with your Afterlife

Societal taboos mean that people don’t often talk about death. This lack of shared stories around potential afterlives can contribute to feelings of fear and anxiety. In this 90-minute long workshop by Henrietta Lang, you’ll be encouraged to imagine life after death in a creative way, connecting to a deeper sense of what this might mean to you. No-one can ‘know’ what it’s like, so why not imagine your own afterlife, as our ancestors did?

Full information: Making Friends with your Afterlife

Writing Memoir to Heal

Nikesh Shukla (c) Jon Aitken

Join this free online workshop on memoir writing with Nikesh Shukla, best-selling author and editor of the acclaimed essay collection, The Good Immigrant. This session is open to keen non-fiction writers at any level and is a great opportunity to work with one of the UK’s outstanding contributors to literature. Come prepared with something to write on and with any special photographs, objects or memories that might help get your words flowing.

Full information: Writing Memoir to Heal

The Grief School 

Join one (or many, or all!) of our free Grief School online sessions, as we delve into the different ways we experience loss, to better understand the nature of grief. The sessions will feature speakers from bereavement organisations as well as academics, experts and people who’ve experienced grief. Topics include grief following childhood bereavement, suicide, stillbirth, infertility, substance misuse, losing a child, dementia, pet loss and grieving during Covid-19.

Full information: The Grief School

Finding Joy – An Illustrated Talk 

Doodle a Day image

Finding Joy is the story of how one family learned to live again after tragedy. Gary Andrews (A.K.A. @GaryScribbler) is an artist, cartoonist and animator who was widowed when his wife Joy died suddenly of sepsis in late 2017. His Doodle-A-Day drawings began as a way for Gary to deal with his grief and make sense of family life without Joy – sharing these snapshots with complete candour as he and his children came to terms with their loss. Gary’s raw, honest, and sometimes hilarious, daily sketches resonated with thousands of people all over the world and Doodle-A-Day became an overnight phenomenon. Join Gary as he celebrates the publication of his book Finding Joy – a remarkable book that charts the journey of grief with warmth, compassion and humour.

Full information: Doodle-a-Day Illustrated Talk

Register now to attend 

Good Grief’s full programme will be announced in mid September. To receive alerts when bookings open for these free online events click HERE.