Death education – really – it’s good stuff!

IMG_2855I attended the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference recently in Baltimore (funny the last time I was in Baltimore was for a suicidology conference – yep I go to all the “fun” conferences!). This was my first foray into this group of helpful people who study and research the bereaved. Very friendly attendees!

I learned so much in my 2 1/2 days there. Some tidbits I gained:

  • Mindfulness is the hot topic this year – let’s all practice it on a daily basis. Be here, now, not in the past or future. But now.
  • Giving and expecting nothing in return (Robert Wicks)
  • To those worried about what to say to the bereaved, don’t be afraid that you’ll make us cry; we’re already crying anyway.
  • Pay attention to your emotions, “go where they want you to go.”
  • Complicated grief disorder – it’s real and violent death losses are predisposed to CGD.
  • College students and grief – faculty and staff see more grieving students than college counselors
  • Widowers want different types of groups. Such as gathering for an athletic or other social event.
  • PR – do one post per day on Facebook (I better get busy!). And include an image.
  • There’s a debate surrounding prescribing anti-depressants to the bereaved. They should not be used to treat life problems (such as grief).
  • And the best one – there are actual pet hospices in the country! YEA!  Our pets are getting the attention they deserve when it’s time for them to leave us.

Wonderful information and I’m happy to share it with you. Comments and questions are always welcome. Got any?

Carolyn Zahnow
Shore Grief Center

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