Title of Presentation: Grief Beyond Belief: Comfort, Community and Compassion
Date & Time: Saturday, June 1 3:00 pm
Presentation Summary: Grieving humanists often cannot be comforted by prayer, faith, or promises of a heavenly reunion with our loved ones. We require comfort that is secular, rational and does not provoke the very uncomfortable state of cognitive dissonance. Founded in the summer of 2011, Grief Beyond Belief provides safe space for grieving freethinkers to share experience, advice and compassion in order to learn together how to live with their loss. Maintaining that space and growing the network—both online and off—involves unexpected challenges, but also provides previously untapped opportunities to enlarge, widen and enrich the humanist community.
Biography: Following the death of her infant son, Rebecca Hensler discovered that mainstream grief support groups are dominated by religion and spiritualism. Alienated by talk of angels and signs, she conceived an alternative: a grief support group free of mythology and mysticism. In 2011, Rebecca founded Grief Beyond Belief, an online network providing safe space for grieving freethinkers to share sorrow and compassion. Rebecca is a school counselor with a BA in political activism and a MS in counseling. She runs Grief Beyond Belief and speaks to freethought organizations on secular grief support and related topics.