Religious Perspectives on Grief
From Kenneth Richman
Recorded on Thursday, October 28, 2021
In times of loss and mourning, religious traditions can offer comfort through structure, ritual, and community. Join us to hear three religious leaders discuss how their traditions approach grief, loss, and mourning. Understanding these traditions can help us with our own losses. It can also help us understand and support our friends, our students, our colleagues, and our patients during this period of great loss across the world.
Rev. Dean Shapley is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. He served churches in northern Illinois for 25 years, and currently serves as the Director of Mission and Chaplaincy for Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, MA. His daily work includes working with patients and families of all religious / spiritual persuasions at end of life, helping them manage difficult decisions and transitions, processing grief and loss, and making plans for healthy functioning through loss and afterwards. During the pandemic he served on the Massachusetts State Ethics Advisory Board, developing recommendations and policy for the state's Crisis Standards of Care.
Imam Elsir Sanousi earned a master’s degree in Islamic studies in Khartoum, Sudan, and completed training in clinical pastoral education at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He serves as an interfaith chaplain at MGH and BWH, and as Muslim chaplain for the Boston police and fire departments. He is also a funeral Imam at the Islamic Center of New England.
Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand is an author, radio broadcaster and leadership coach for clergy of all faiths. She is based in London where she serves as Director of Leadership and Learning for Pears Foundation. She broadcasts regularly on BBC radio and she is an officer of IJCIC, the global body that interfaces with the Vatican and other faith groups on behalf of World Jewry.