There’s an elephant in the living room & no one mentions it; it is called death, the subject for today’s show. I work in a pro-life vocation with people with life challenging illness, but what happens when life is not prolonged & death is inevitable? How & where do you find the tools to help you navigate your way through the process?
There are not only physical deaths that are relevant to today’s topic. There many “deaths” throughout life – the losses that occur as a a part of being human; loss of youth, loss of job, loss of identity, to name a few. But there are also overwhelming “deaths” throughout life – life’s big uninvited events that are felt so deeply that the grief seems endless and indeed may endure for life. These events are a apart of being human and shape the way we be on this planet. The person grieving a physical death will often get more support than the person grieving a divorce experiencing hidden pain or loss of a body part hidden from view by clothing. But grief, loss bereavement exists and it exists in many forms. Many patients have said to me that when their partner left them it felt worse than a death – that death was final – but it was challenging to accept the finality of an event when there was no physical death and the knowledge that every family event in future will have a “emotional stamp” on it!
Listen to my interview with Beth O’Brien:
So – the subject is huge and relevant! Following on from last week’s show, today I interview a lady who works with death every day; funeral celebrant, Beth O’Brien. Beth is a Certified Thanatologist; Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement”, an international accreditation with the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is also a qualified Facilitator of Death Café, an international movement designed to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives. Today’s discussion will be a valuable resource, bringing death to the discussion table.
After 20 years studying, researching and working with people who were experiencing loss and grief, Beth O’Brien discovered a strong connection to work with people who were experiencing grief and loss.
Recently she became a Certified Thanatologist, Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement”; an international accreditation with The Association for Death Education and Counseling. In her work as a marriage and funeral celebrant she feels privileged to work with people on the most important and memorable days of their lives. Beth became so enthralled by the stories and eulogies she heard, she decided to become a personal historian and is a member of The Association of Personal Historians. Beth is a Death Café Facilitator, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Grief Educator & an Internationally Certified Funeral Celebrant/Trainer.
Resources to deepen your understanding of this important subject:
Hopewell Hospice – Gold Coast http://hopewell.org.au/
Recommended by Beth O’Brien: Doug Manning has been one of the most prominent speakers and authors in the grief counseling field since he started work in this area in 1982.
Caleb Wilde – Confessions of a funeral director blog