Jane Harris: When Language Fails – Grieving Creatively

Jane Harris is a psychotherapist and filmmaker. With her husband and fellow filmmaker, Jimmy Edmonds, Jane co-founded and runs The Good Grief Project. It was created following the death of their son, Josh, to share their experience of grief and to help others find a creative expression of grief through photography, film and creative writing.

Jane joins Good Grief’s Dr Lesel Dawson, a lecturer at the University of Bristol, for this conversation about creative grieving.

They talk about the fear surrounding death, and about how Josh’s funeral allowed his peer group to think about death and mortality. Jane elaborates on the role that creativity plays in processing grief and meaning making, and how we don’t ‘get over’ someone’s death, but instead find ways of continuing our relationship with the person who has died.

Jane describes how, as parents, they aren’t looking for ‘closure’ but rather for openings, and how important it is for grievers to come together, to share stories and to build community.

Dr Lesel Dawson is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol, specialising in grief, Renaissance literature and the history of the emotions. She’s leading a research project on Creative Grieving and writing a book that explores how art and the imagination can enable the bereaved to express and process their loss.


Facilitator Jane Harris

Jane Harris

Dr Lesel Dawson