Grief School: Loneliness + Losing Your Sense of Connection to the World
About the event
Grief can be a profoundly existential experience, making you question your beliefs about the very nature of the world and your relationships with others. It can also be very lonely: you may feel cut-off from friends and family, as if no one understands what you are going through. Social situations and engagement in every-day life can be difficult, and even if you used to be a sociable person, you can feel like you’ve lost the ‘old’ you and that life will never be the same again.
In this event Dr Lucy Selman is joined by Dr Allan Køster, Senior Researcher at the Danish National Center for Grief and Arhus University, Denmark. Allan’s work focuses on the experience of grief – what it is actually like to be a grieving person in the world – moving our understanding beyond a purely mental health and psychiatry perspective.
Using observation and interviews, Allan describes how grief results in feeling ‘at a distance’ from the worldly: a state which protects the bereaved person from the overwhelming loss of the person who has died. His work also focuses on the existential loneliness that comes with being unable to reattach to the world.
In this fascinating session, we will discuss the implications of Allan’s work in how we understand the experience of bereavement as well as for the future conceptualisation and study of grief. We will also take questions from the audience and consider how, as bereaved people and those supporting others, we can approach the loneliness of grief.
Please note: A selection of highlights from this event will be released on our social and YouTube channels over the coming year.