Our virtual festivals are the foundation that Good Grief was built on. When our founding director Lucy Selman first floated the idea of a festival all about grief, there were some who thought, ‘will people actually want to go to that?’! The resounding answer was ‘yes’ so we ended up running three festivals over a period of 12 months, an intense but deeply rewarding experience. 

Based on your feedback, and what we feel will best serve our community, Good Grief events will now take place more regularly, with a programme of one-day mini-festivals spread out over the coming year. Each mini-festival will have its own theme with speakers and events built around that theme.

On October 28th and 29th, our first mini-festival will take place on the theme of ‘Grief + Memory’.

When Words Are Not Enough: Book Launch

We are delighted to formally launch Words Are Not Enough

Everyone grieves for someone at some point in their lives. But how do we deal with the silence that often
surrounds grief? How do we find ways to express painful feelings when words are not enough? In this
deeply personal and beautiful reflection on grief Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds draw on their own
experience of loss, and how the death of their son Josh has led to a creative response that is more than
word bound.

Friday, October 28th. 18:30-19:30

Grief + Memory with Julia Samuel

Memory plays a powerful role in grief. When someone we love dies, our memories of them can bring both comfort and deep pain as we adjust to a new reality of life without that person. And yet, our memories are also the place where our lost loved ones reside and we often experience profound fear that those memories will fade or be lost altogether. Memory is an omnipresent, bittersweet companion to grief.

In this talk with Julia Samuel, we will explore the myriad ways that memory plays a part in grief: from memory loss and the ‘fog of grief’ to memorialising loved ones and coping with anniversaries.

Saturday, October 29th. 09:00-09:45

My Endless Love: Continuing Bonds + Relationships That Endure

Much like the Victorians, we now understand that relationships endure – and even evolve – beyond death. The theory of continuing bonds explores our ongoing relationships with loved ones who have died and how the strength of these relationships can impact our experience of grief.

In this panel session with Julia Samuel, we will hear from people who have integrated their lost loved ones into the lives of the living, and how these continuing bonds have provided comfort and continuity during times of pain and upheaval.

Saturday, October 29th. 11:00-12:00

Theatre: The Guy in the Luggage Rack

The Guy In The Luggage Rack is an aerial comedy about grief, memory and relationship. Suitable for adults and young people alike, the show combines physical comedy with striking aerial acrobatics and an original, constantly moving aerial set, and is the debut live show from She Said Jump. Drawing on theatre clown, circus and puppetry, this accessible show tackles the themes of grief and bereavement with a light and playful touch.

Saturday, October 29th. On-Demand

Meaningful Funerals (That Won’t Cost The Earth)

Being able to have a ‘good send off’ for the people we love is an important aspect of healthy grieving. Organising and paying for a funeral, however, can be a daunting and distressing process.

As the UK’s cost of living crisis deepens, more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. Funerals can be a huge financial pressure so what happens when we can’t afford the cost?

In this practical session, our panel of experts and celebrants will offer their invaluable advice on creating a meaningful funeral on a budget, including unique and innovative ways to celebrate the life of a loved one, and navigating the pitfalls of a poorly regulated industry.

Saturday, October 29th. 15:00-15:45

Grief: A Ghost Story

Since time began, human beings have grappled with one big question – where do we go after we die? From ancient folklore to movies like Ghost and Truly, Madly Deeply, cultural representations of ghosts and spirits offer fascinating insights into our relationship with death and grief over the centuries.

In this panel session we will explore the cultural history of ghosts and the stories we build around them, as well as the neuroscience of grief hallucinations and the ways in which we experience the dead after they have gone.

Saturday, October 29th. 16:00-16:45

Continuing Bonds with Dr Edith Steffan

The introduction of the Continuing Bonds model of grief near the end of the 20th century revolutionised the way researchers and practitioners understand bereavement.

Continuing Bonds Theory says that when someone dies our relationship with them does not end, but it slowly changes over time.  The bond can remain just as strong and some activities and rituals may help to establish and maintain the development of these bonds.

We are delighted to welcome one of the leading experts on Continuing Bonds Theory – Dr Edith Steffan – to Good Grief. Dr Steffan will discuss the origins of Continuing Bonds Theory, what the research uncovered and ways in which continuing bonds can be encouraged or hampered.

Saturday, October 29th. 17:00-18:00