Bereavement webinar

  • by Kate Bowman
  • May 23, 2022

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement is offering an exciting new webinar in May – Transitional Objects, Affective Spaces and Continuing Bonds in Bereavement.

This webinar will explore the meaning, significance and value of objects and spaces associated with the deceased in bereavement experience. It will introduce D.W Winnicott’s concept of transitional objects and spaces, to consider their value in understanding and supporting people in bereavement. The webinar will give examples of how people negotiate the personal, digital and household objects/remains of deceased loved ones drawing on my own research and recent studies in media studies, cultural studies and philosophy. It will consider practical, emotional and ethical issues in grieving online and decision-making concerning the digital remains of deceased loved ones. In so doing, concepts such as hierarchies of grief and continuing bonds will be discussed in terms of the efficacy, potential limitations and assumptions. The webinar is contextualised by an understanding that our existential condition on a global scale now includes a profoundly digital lifeworld of interconnection and memory work that shapes how we live and die, search for or find meaning and connection with others as well experience forms of disconnection and alienation.

While this webinar will consider the role of digital technology in how bereavement is experienced in regard to the traces or legacies of the deceased, it will also reckon with the value and significance of physical places and objects in bereavement in adapting to loss and absence through ritual and embodied practices.This will enable insights into the significance of objects and places charged with memories and emotion, sometimes comforting, sometimes difficult and traumatic. This will circle back into questions of’ ‘grieving rules’ or ‘norms’ and the kinds of imagined as well as socially and culturally regulated boundaries, openings and ruptures between personal, private and more public forms of grieving in bereavement.

Learning Outcomes

What can participants expect to have learned after attending this webinar:

Increase in awareness of personal and unexamined grieving rules.
Increase awareness of the role and complexity of social media and connectivity in grief expression and bereavement experience.
Reflect upon the value and meaning of significant objects and places in bereavement to support ways of understanding how people might negotiate absence and continue bonds with the deceased.
Sensitive engagement with the nuances and diversity of bereavement experience in the everyday.
Reflect on the role of bodily or embodied practices in bereavement

Presenter Bio

Dr Margaret Gibson is a cultural sociologist and senior lecturer who has written extensively on objects of memory and mourning, public grieving in social media and on the internet, death scenes in film, the question of grieveable lives, and geographies of violence, loss, and grief. She is the author of several books and has contributed to multiple publications. She contributes extensively to public media discussions on death and bereavement on ABC radio programs and she is currently doing research on official and grassroots memorials concerning domestic and intimate partner violence in public spaces in Australia examining their negotiation in everyday spaces of encounter.

Webinar Details:
Date: Thursday, 26th May 2022
Time: 10am – 11.30am AEST
Price: $50 ACGB Members, $75 Non-Members

Click here for more information.

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