grief

  Here is what happens at a Death Cafe - people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.

To tell us more about Death Cafes in our region – we welcome: Barbara Sarah - Founder of the Circle of Friends for the Dying which has sponsored 21 Death Cafes in Ulster County and Laurie Schwartz, a Founder of Circle of Friends for the Dying.

They've been having monthly Death Cafe gatherings in Ulster County since August, 2013 and will be hosting one at the Rosendale Café in Rosendale on Sunday, May 31st.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.

  When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk.

      Where do you go and who do you talk to when someone you love dies if it feels like no one around you is willing to or able to be there for you in the way you may need? The website, Modern Loss, exists as a guide to living with grief. Contributors share their diverse tragedies and the site's founders have aggregated lists of resources beyond their personal ability to help. Here we speak with Rebecca Soffer about her experience and her reasons for founding the site with Gabrielle Birkner.

    

  In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 27-year repression of her grief and an unconscious denial of her twin’s death, which haunted her relationships and controlled her life.

In her frank and moving memoir, When Grief Calls Forth the Healing: A Memoir of Losing a Twin, Mary Rockefeller Morgan struggles to claim an individual identity, which enables her to face Michael’s death and the huge loss it engendered. In the book, she shares her healing journey and her story of moving forward into a life of new beginnings and meaning, especially in her work with others who have lost a twin.

  On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett’s life changed forever.

Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy.

**As mentioned in the interview posted here, J.T. Lewis' website is newtownhelpsrwanda.org.**

    When journalist Becky Aikman was widowed in her 40s, she felt unmoored. But she couldn’t find the kind of help that she needed, so she dug into the data and eventually created her own unique support system.

Her book, Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives, details the trials and triumphs following tragedy — and new research about what really helps the bereaved.

    To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father she knew. Her fun-loving dad, Rod Serling, would play on the floor with the dogs, had nicknames for everyone in the family.

After his unexpected death at 50, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. Gradually, she found solace for her grief by talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories.

Now she shares personal photos, eloquent, revealing letters, and beautifully rendered scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family's time together. Her new book is: As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling.

Berkshire Record

Alan is joined by Anne Banks and Ted Dobson, whose daughter, Moira Banks-Dobson of Sheffield, Mass., was killed by a drunk driver who had six previous convictions in February of 2012. Her death has led her parents to push for various reforms in the months since. There's more information about their efforts and their daughter's life at moiramemorial.org.