Had a really heavy but very interesting and exciting week this week. I had the opportunity to attend an international grief conference here in Melbourne (2 full days-phew exhausting) listening to speakers on the topic of grief.
Dr Colin Murray Parkes (UK).,Dr Irwin Sandler,Dr Carol Wogrin, Dr Cecilia L W Chan,
Dr Simon Shimshon Rubin, Dr Ruth Malkinson, Dr Kenneth Doka, Dr. Therese Rando.What an array of speakers and ways of speaking the message. It was held in beautiful surroundings and the topics and themes were marvellous.
These international researchers and speakers on the issue of grief and management, of mourning, meaning of bereavement help us to understand better the grief in our society, that is all manner of grief, and help us with ideas on how to bring some help to sufferers.
It was marvellously attended, I would have said over 300 attendees.
All the speakers were excellent each brought to listeners their style and knowledge and words, but not one word about abortion and yet there was not one speaker's lecture that could not be fitted to the abortion grief, or what I already do with my "girls"
However I think that for me the most moving moment came at the end of Dr Ruth Malkinson's presentation when she finished with the words and recording Jewish prayer sung at the time of death of a loved one. And slide showed words. This was also prayed at my Father in Laws death years ago.
"Merciful God in Heaven, grant perfect repose to the soul of.......who has passed to his eternal habitation; and in whose memory, the members of his family pledge charity. May he be under thy divine wings among the holy and pure who shine bright as the sky; may his place of rest be in paradise. Merciful one, O keep his soul forever alive under thy protective wings. The Lord being his heritage may he rest in peace; and let us say, Amen.
At the conclusion of the word Amen...there was a palpable silence, and a tear, and then applause.
Each of the speakers brought an element of religion and an appreciation of the importance of the spiritual in each human being and this really made me happy because if this starts at the "top" of the hierarchy of "grief experts" then perhaps those who study "grief"might also begin to see that grief without God is so much harder to bear.
Thank you to Fr Ray for making it possible for me to attend this conference.