Mormons and Grief: Can We Do It Better?

This week's Mormon Matters podcast asks: "What are the emotional tasks that grief calls us to? What are the best ways to mourn and to 'mourn with those who mourn'? The discussion also touches on LDS ideas and practices: where are they strong and where do they perhaps fail to encourage some important kinds of expression or healing kinds of involvement by the larger community?"

Can Mormons express grief better? This week's Mormon Matters podcast aims to find out. (Shutterstock, http://tinyurl.com/ogtr5et)

Can Mormons express grief better? This week’s Mormon Matters podcast aims to find out. (Shutterstock, http://tinyurl.com/ogtr5et)

I’m a guest in this week’s Mormon Matters podcast, the topic being grief, loss, and mourning. You know, the cheery stuff:

In this episode, Jana Riess, Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen, Cindy Jones, and Connie Ericksen join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a broad as well as personal discussion of grief and grieving in general and within Mormon culture, especially focusing on death but with wider applications, as well. The panel examines key framing ideas found in anthropology and psychology/counseling, as well as sharing personal experiences of loss and grieving processes. What are the emotional tasks that grief calls us to? What are the best ways to mourn and to “mourn with those who mourn”? The discussion also touches on LDS ideas and practices: where are they strong and where do they perhaps fail to encourage some important kinds of expression or healing kinds of involvement by the larger community?

You can listen to or download the podcast here. In the discussion, I am mostly sharing from my personal experience of grief this year and also my sense that other cultures and religions (such as Judaism) allow for — even plan for — grief so much better than Mormons do. The other panelists offer both professional and personal experience, with at least one being a therapist and another being an anthropologist who studies death rituals.

It’s probably not appropriate to say “Enjoy the podcast,” given the subject matter, but I hope you find it helpful.