Drop into the Grief School


Some experts believe there are as many as 44 different types of grief. Grief has many faces, and how you lose someone can affect the way you grieve. Tune in to a free Grief School panel discussion to hear our guests share their stories and insights, gained from experiencing or studying these different type of grief.

The Death of Child

Finding a Language for Grief, image of Josh

The death of a child is unimaginable. This discussion unites bereaved parents, academics and experts to discuss how it feels, how life must ultimately continue and what positive things can somehow come out of such a loss. Guest Jane Harris will talk about the Trust she’s since set up as well as the film about her son, Josh: A Love That Never Dies.
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Grief after suicide

Suicide can affect those left behind in different ways than losing someone to old age or an illness. We somehow feel complicit. Could we have done more? Should we have known? Could we have helped or prevented it? This panel unites research experts plus those who have lost someone to suicide to discuss this unique type of bereavement.
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Delayed or complicated grief

Sometimes, grief manifests at the time. Other times, it’s hidden, or denied, or not ready to be processed. Our experts will discuss ways in which the phenomenon known as complicated, delayed or prolonged grief can affect those who experience it. We’ll also speak to those who’ve lived through and continue to live with such grief.
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Grieving during Covid-19

During the pandemic and resultant lockdown (with social distancing and restrictions on gatherings, funerals, travel and in-person contact), grieving has become harder than ever. Experts including Andy Langford from Cruse Bereavement Care will discuss grief during Covid, from not being able to console people to the grief of knowing that people died alone.   
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Traumatic Loss

When someone dies in a particularly sudden, shocking or traumatic way, it can be hard to come to terms with. Academics and experts from specialist bereavement organisation Samm will join panellists who’ve been bereaved by murder and other traumatic events, to discuss how life has unfolded since their loss. 
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Life-threatening Illness Diagnosis

How does it feel to receive a very serious or life-limiting illness diagnosis, and to view one’s own life through this new lens? In this panel, we talk to experts from counselling and support organisations including The Harbour and Marie Curie, and welcome someone living with a life-limiting condition, to discuss the different facets of this unwanted new reality.   
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Childhood Bereavement

Many organisations exist to support children and young people who have been bereaved through losing parents or other important figures in their lives. We’ll be joined by experts and Youth Ambassadors from the child bereavement charity, Winton’s Wish, as well as academics and award-winning authors with special interest in this topic.
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Dementia and Loss

There are two parts to the grief of dementia. There’s the loss that is felt as sufferers succumb to the condition, as well as the bereavement that occurs once they’re gone. We welcome a diverse panel, led by Brunel Care, to discuss the anticipatory and real nature of grief in dementia, and the reality of supporting those who care for dementia sufferers.
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The Death of a Pet

Grieving for a lost pet is often belittled, with many bereaved owners of companion animals shutting their sadness away for fear of being ridiculed. Yet, for most pet owners, their furry friends are very much a part of the family, and sometimes their closest companions. Blue Cross Pet Bereavement leads this panel of academics, experts and pet lovers who share their own stories and highlight the help that’s out there.
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Substance Misuse

Losing someone to substance misuse has its own unique challenges. Perhaps the departed’s relationship with medication, alcohol or other substances was not common knowledge, or perhaps those left behind feel judged due to the nature of their loved one’s death. We’re joined by the Anyone’s Child initiative plus an academic, filmmaker and expert to discuss the unique nature of this type of loss.
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Muslim Grief and Bereavement

Muslim perspectives on grief and bereavement

We welcome the University of Bristol’s Chaplain, Rizwan Ahmed, and an expert from the Muslim Bereavement Support Service to discuss grief in Islam, and the challenges it poses in general and due to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions, which have impacted upon traditional ways of grieving for Muslims.
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Fourteen babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. The loss of a baby can have profound effects on parents, families and subsequent pregnancies. We welcome researchers and bereaved parents to this panel which will be hosted by Dr Lucy Selman of the University of Bristol – a palliative care expert who founded the Good Grief Festival after her second daughter was stillborn in 2018. 
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Infertility and Babyloss

Fertility grief workshop

In this Grief School panel discussion, our fertility and trying-to-conceive experts will be joined by those who’ve lost a baby during pregnancy and to women and men who have themselves experienced the grief of infertility or trying to conceive. We’ll be joined by Cat from The Finally Pregnant Podcast, an academic with interest in involuntary childlessness, and an expert from Fertility Network UK. 
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The Dual Process Model of Grief

In this academic lecture-meets-Q&A interview, we talk to Prof. Margaret Stroebe, whose Dual Process Model of Grief helps us understand our reactions to the death of a loved one. Do patterns of grief work across different cultural settings? How might our own society’s concept of the meaning of loss impact on how we grieve? Tune in to find out.
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Free to Watch: Register in Advance
Each session is led by an expert from a specialist organisation and brings together researchers, authors, professionals and those who are ‘expert through personal experience’. Each Grief School session is free to view during the Festival and available to those who have signed up for our on-demand package for three years after Good Grief 2020. Register on each Event’s page to attend (approx 45 mins each).
View all Grief School sessions