Bereavement (loss of a loved one by death), grief (emotional response due to bereavement) and mourning (external, social expressions of grief) are distinct and complex human responses to death. While these responses appear universal, how they are understood, experienced and expressed varies significantly and is a product of one’s history, culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status and gender, and one’s religious, philosophical and spiritual beliefs and place in the life cycle. Other factors include whether a death is natural, anticipated, unexpected, traumatic or stigmatized.
Join us over three Saturdays as we review both historical and current approaches to bereavement, grief and mourning. In addition to a comprehensive historical review, we will engage with a wide range of issues impacting our experience of grief in the 21st century, including demographics, medical technology, social media, consumerism, the green movement and developments in end-of-life care such as palliative care, hospice and assisted dying.
We will explore these topics through lectures, assigned readings, film and video, group discussions and guest speakers. Upon completing this course, you’ll have a better understanding of the diversity of grief and mourning responses and how to put this knowledge into practice to communicate with and support people experiencing grief.
Note: Content may be difficult for students who have experienced a recent bereavement. The course will be re-offered at a later date for students who prefer to wait.