We’re thrilled to introduce podcaster Mark Lemon to the Festival, to host our series of intimate Grief Chats. Listen in as Mark brings two people together for these special conversations, each of which reveals two people’s different experiences of a particular type of grief, loss or bereavement.
One of the threads that links Alexa and Jen is that they’ve both turned to comedy to help process their grief since losing their fathers. Alexa was inspired to write her one-woman show, Alexa, Tell Us a Dad Joke. Since moving into comedy, Jen has co-founded her own comedy night and been nominated for a Funny Women comedy award.
Suicide can affect those left behind in ways that differ to other types of grief. Here to talk about that are our guests Karen and Kim. Karen lost her brother to suicide in 2019 and Kim (who lost her father when she was seven) is a mental health coach and founder of the London-based mindfulness service, Happy Heads.
Olivia and Ann each lost people to cancer at different stages in their lives. Both are now active on Instagram (The Big Grief and Grief Kid), to get their stories out there and to help others experiencing the same type of loss and bereavement. Olivia is now more aware of the support that’s out there, while Ann’s cartoons visually explore different themes of grief.
Nearly 50,000 people die from sepsis in the UK every year yet people don’t know much about the symptoms. Two people who do, for all the wrong reasons, are guests Gary and David. Gary was abroad for a short period when his wife, Joy, contracted and very quickly died of the disease, while David’s son, Oliver, died of sepsis in January aged just 13. Discover how Gary has used art to cope with his grief and how David now campaigns to raise sepsis awareness.
The lifelong grief parents experience after the death of a child is deep and profound. In this chat, two bereaved mothers share their stories. Filmmaker Jane’s son, Josh, died at the age of 22 in a road accident in Vietnam. Jane and her partner Jimmy have since created the film, A Love That Never Dies. Therapist Gill wrote a memoir, A Song Inside, about her life since her 22-year-old son, Sam, died in 2014.
Two fathers join our host, Mark Lemon, to discuss what it feels like to lose a baby during pregnancy. Mike is a bereaved father and player-manager at Sands United FC (Sands is the UK’s stillbirth and neonatal death charity). The men will discuss their experiences and how Sands FC offers a friendly support network, allowing everyone to talk about their grief when they’re ready, in company they’re comfortable with.
Mothers Alison and Rachel talk to Mark about their young sons, both of whom were victims of knife crime. Alison’s son, Joshua, was murdered in 2013, which has led to her sharing her son’s story to help educate young people about the consequences of youth violence. Rachel’s son, Kyron, was murdered in 2017. She has since authored the book Kyron: Hello Madness, Goodbye Joy.
If you think talking about death might be morbid, dark and sad, think again. It’s often helpful and useful, and podcasts about grief can provide help and hope. Kathryn found support hard to find when her mum died, so she created the The Dead Parent Club podcast to help other young people. Amber co-founded The Grief Safe Space, a podcast whose strapline is, ‘Welcome to the gang…the one you never asked to be a part of.’
You can register to listen for free on each event’s page. So, don’t feel alone, join us. If you want virtual company, uplifting advice, or to understand more about a certain type of grief and its support organisations, register for a Grief Chat today (approx 30 mins each). Each Grief School session is free to view during the Festival and available to those who have signed up for our on-demand package for three years after Good Grief 2020.