Revisiting the places where we feel connected to those we’ve lost can offer profound healing. Going back can be a powerful way of ultimately moving forwards, as this exploration of pilgrimage in relation to grief shows.
These panellists experienced their own very personal form of pilgrimage, or have explored the healing potential of pilgrimage through their writing and their art.
Ian Ridley lost his wife, trailblazing sports’ journalist Vikki Orvice, in 2019. His book, The Breath of Sadness: On love, grief and cricket (2020), is a poignant account of how he coped with her death by revisiting the county cricket grounds and places that he and Vikki had visited together.
Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds’ son, Josh, died in a road traffic incident while he was travelling in Vietnam. The couple went on to set up The Good Grief Project and to make the feature-length documentary, A Love That Never Dies. We welcome Jane and Jimmy to the panel.
Aisling Mustan took time from a busy life to revisit Australia, the country in which her father died when she was just three. The trip brought a new sense of acceptance, healing and connection with the life she never lived with her dad.
We also welcome Simon Bray, the photographer behind the Loved&Lost project. Through his imagery and photo stories, Simon invites participants to consider their experiences of grief by re-staging a family photograph to reveal how photos and our connection to place can help us better understand grief.
Image (c) Jimmy Edmonds, The Good Grief Project