Dead Calm: Grief
People die. When it’s those dear to us, we each carry the task of reconciling life and death – theirs and ours. Grief is the name we give to that often sad, overwhelming process.
So, how well-equipped are we to deal with grief – and what more could we learn about it? Do we have the right emotional skills and social contexts to express our own sadness, and to recognise that of others? Can loss help us grow, or should we simply try to ‘move on’? And when factors like high Indigenous mortality rates are involved, how do death and grief affect different groups in different ways?
For the second instalment of our Dead Calm series, Hilary Harper hosts an honest conversation about death and bereavement. Grief counsellor and author Eliza Henry-Jones, community health worker and ‘death talker’ Molly Carlile AM and medical anthropologist Gregory Phillips enquire after more supportive and compassionate ways for people, communities, workplaces and governments to deal with lives ending.
From humble beginnings as 774 ABC Melbourne’s traffic reporter, where she inserted occasional haiku into the breakfast show, Hilary Harper now presents the Saturdays morning show. From food and sustainability to relationships, pets and gardening, she explores how the little things in life reveal much about us.
Molly Carlile AM is an author and multi-award winning leader in the field of death and grief. She has an extensive clinical and senior management background in specialist palliative care. Molly was the General Manager of Integrated Cancer Services at the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, Austin Health before becoming the Chief Executive Officer at a large community palliative care service in the southern metropolitan area of Melbourne in 2016.
Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa. He is a medical anthropologist, with twenty-five years’ experience in leading change.
Gregory is Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, is an Associate Professor of Aboriginal Health, and serves on several boards and committees, including chairing the Cathy Freeman Foundation and AHPRA and the Australian Medical Council’s Indigenous health strategy groups.
Eliza Henry-Jones is the author of In the Quiet and Ache. Her latest novel, P is for Pearl, is her first for young adults.
Eliza worked for years with high-risk children and families in the drug and alcohol sector and has qualifications in English, psychology and grief, loss and trauma counselling. Her non-fiction has appeared in the Guardian, the Age, Daily Life and the Big Issue, among other places. She lives on a small farm in the Yarra Valley.