Volume 95, Issue 37

Wednesday, November 7, 2001
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Forum discusses wonders of universe

The world at war

New program provides instant medical advice

Off-campus students' council in development

Restaurant workers: "Don't kill our jobs"

Chemicals cause farmers concern

Lecture discusses grief and trauma

News Briefs

Lecture discusses grief and trauma

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

Death may be inevitable, but not everyone knows how to cope with the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one.

"One never forgets the loss of someone they love and should never forget, but they can move through the stages of grief to peace," said Rose Marie Jaco, a social work professor at King's College and chairperson of bereavement services at London Interfaith Counselling Centre.

In a lecture entitled "Good Grief: Learning to Cope with Death," held in the main lounge of King's College on Tuesday night, Jaco explained the journey through grief many people experience.

North American society is not comfortable talking about death or grief, Jaco said. "We have a death-denying society very focused on youth," she said.

"In North America, we don't have a culture of mourning," she added, noting Mexico as a culture where open mourning among the community is accepted. Open mourning creates a comfort level between the world of the deceased and the world of the living, she said.

"Can grief ever be good? Finding the good in grief is not easy, it comes as a result of working through the task of mourning," she said.

Jaco said New Yorkers have been able to grow spiritually from grief following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, by lowering barriers such as race, wealth and social status and reaching out to strangers.

"[New Yorkers are] re-evaluating their value system – replacing it with much deeper spiritual values," she said.

Jaco's lecture was directed towards those grieving, those close to the bereaved and to people working in the counselling field, said Amanda Baird, an associate development and alumni officer at King's and the event's organizer.

Baird said she organized the lecture because she knew many people in the London community were interested in the topic.

Bev Lewis, a social worker at the London Regional Cancer Centre, said she attended the lecture and encouraged co-workers and patients to attend because of the important information present by Jaco.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001