Grief and the Love of Life ~ RENEW Fest, Mullumbimby, AU
May 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
“Grief: It’s how you love all those things in life that end.” Stephen Jenkinson
Saturday, May 11th, 2019 (10am-12 noon)
Host: RENEW Fest, firstname.lastname@example.org
host ticket purchase link – This is Australia’s festival of ecological, economic and social renewal in the heartland of Byron Shire, fourth year on Mothers Day weekend, 10-12 May 2019.
Venue: RENEW Festival, Mullumbimby, Australia – details forthcoming – http://renewfest.org.au – RenewFest Facebook event (link here)
A good death is everyone’s right. The idea makes no sense in a culture that doesn’t believe in dying at all. Grief is the radical etiquette needed by a death phobic, grief illiterate time. Dying is the fulfillment, not the end, of life.
From a young age we see around us that grief is mostly an affliction, a misery that intrudes into the life we deserve, a rupture of the natural order of things, a trauma that we need coping and management and five stages and twelve steps to get over.
Here’s the revolution: What if grief is a skill, in the same way that love is a skill, something that must be learned and cultivated and taught? What if grief is the natural order of things, a way of loving life anyway? Though addicted to security, comfort and managing uncertainty, our culture could learn to honour, teach and live grief as a skill, as vital to our personal, community and spiritual life as the skill of loving. In a time like ours, grieving is a subversive act.
Dying can be – and must be — the fullest expression and incarnation of what you’ve learned by living. Discover what death can be with Stephen, who is revolutionizing our experiences of grief and dying.
For Stephen, how you die is the proving ground, the cradle, and the grave for every conviction you may have about justice and mercy, about the meaning of life, about what love should look like and what it should do. Stephen has worked with dying people and their families for two decades, with nurses and caregivers in and outside of the medical context.
Explore with him what he has learned about the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Discover why dying is not the end of wisdom and why wisdom is not exhausted by dying. Learn why dying well is not only a spiritual obligation, says Stephen, “but also a moral obligation….If you love somebody, if you care about the world that’s to come after you, if you want somebody to be spared the lunacy of what you’ve seen, you’ve got to ‘die wise.’” This talk begins to imagine a new way of doing so.