Center for Grief and Death Education

Grief and COVID-19: COVID-19 has had a major impact on the way we're able to care for the dying and the deceased and the way we're able to participate in rituals around grief. If you are grieving and were unable to attend a memorial service or celebration of life and unable to participate in shared grieving rituals, remember, there are ways you can still work with your grief. Physical distancing does not mean that people need to keep emotional distance. Connecting to others is still possible. Consider gathering with loved ones virtually or over the phone. Start a letter or email chain with family members, sharing memories of your loved one. Pick a set time where family members who may be apart from one another can participate in a ritual together. This can be done even without a computer or video applications. For example, everyone in a family can decide that at the same time each day, each family member will light a candle in their respective homes and think about each other and the loved one who died. This can be for any amount of time-a full hour to two minutes. Small coping approaches or rituals can still have a powerful impact on healing and grief processing. 

Here are some other resources to consider: 

https://www.vitaltalk.org/guides/covid-19-communication-skills/

https://complicatedgrief.columbia.edu/for-the-public/complicated-grief-public/overview/

https://www.dougy.org

_____________________________________________

Welcome to the website for the Center for Grief and Death Education. We all die, yet death remains a taboo topic. Through education, research and community events, we strive to increase awareness about end-of-life issues and encourage conversation around death, loss and grief. Please explore our community resources, educational opportunities, and current research projects. 

 COMMUNITY EVENTS

Interested in death education? UWL offers a course on death and dying (PSY 422), and there are also several other opportunities for for courses and workshops.  See below for local community events as well as formal opportunities for death education!

1. Interested in submitting a proposal or attending the International Death, Grief and Bereavement Conference? Click on the link to submit a proposal (proposals due Nov.8) or to learn more about the conference, held June 1-3, 2020. The theme of the conference is Ambiguous Loss. 

2.  The Threshold Care Circle in Viroqua will be hosting a "Death cafe" at The Ark, in Viroqua (401 Jefferson St.) on Nov 2, starting at 7. A Death cafe is an event where strangers gather together to share tea, treats and conversations about death. It is not a support group. It is a space to hold conversation about any topic related to death, creating awareness and working against stigma around this taboo topic. The event is free and open to all. For more information, contact The Threshold Care Circle at info@thresholdcarecircle.org 608-632-9741

3.  Did you know UW-Madison offers a grief support specialist certificate through their continuing education program? Learn more here: https://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/classes/grief-support-specialist-certificate-in-person/  and https://news.continuingstudies.wisc.edu/grief-support-specialist-program-instructor-normalizes-grieving-process-with-compassionate-conversation/

  IN THE NEWS

1. Read more about the Center for Grief and Death Education, Our annual conference on death, grief and bereavement, and a local student's passion for death education, leading her to win a scholarship to attend the conference! http://news.uwlax.edu/getting-equipped-to-help-the-grieving/

2. This article highlights the research on loss and early-onset dementia, conducted by the Center for Grief and Death Education and local aging specialist Amy Brezinkahttps://www.wpr.org/grief-struggle-those-who-develop-dementia-early-life

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS:

1. Healthcare Professionals' Experiences With Assisted Death and Voluntary Euthanasia: This cross-cultural qualitative study explored healthcare professionals' training, experiences and grief responses with assisted death and voluntary euthanasia. If interested in participating, please contact Erica G. Srinivasan at esrinivasan@uwlax.edu

2. Assisted Death and Grief: This qualitative study explores the family bereavement experiences following an assisted death under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. 

 3. The Illness Experience and Motivation to Die and Assisted Death: This qualitative study explores illness narratives to understand the motivation behind choosing assisted death

4. The Experience of Living and Coping with Early-Onset Dementia: This qualitative study explores the subjective experience of living and coping with early onset dementia, with a focus on aspects of grief and loss.  If interested in participating, please contact Erica G. Srinivasan, at esrinivasan@uwlax.edu

5. Learning through Loss: This mixed methods study explores the use of a "lossography" assignment in death education. The assignment involves exploring and sharing about one's losses. Click on the following link to learn more about the study. Learning outcomes of the assignment are highlighted as well as instruction for how to implement the lossography assignment: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24884824