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A Refuge of Words: Writing our Way to Growth After Loss

April 2024

Reimagine Events > A Refuge of Words: Writing our Way to Growth After Loss

Sometimes, there are no words. And sometimes words need to be expressed. Grief changes us after we lose a friend, companion, or relative, regardless if that relationship was loving, complicated, or abusive. There’s no going back to our older selves. In order to stay connected to peaceful memories or to cope with traumatic ones, we can allow grief to enter our lives, to feel all the feels, and at the same time find strategies to contain it. Writing is one tool to integrate our grief. In this three-part series, artists, therapists, and health care providers share insights into the written word: a form of creative and spiritual expression, a modality to process the loss of those who have passed, and a pathway towards growth, transformation, and self-knowledge.

Guest speakers and teachers include grief experts, best-selling authors, artists, specialists in narrative medicine, and palliative care physicians. With fresh and unconventional perspectives, they will share experiences of grief and loss in their lives and their work that developed into generative pathways for healing, creativity, service, and advocacy.

Register now to secure your spot.

Upcoming Events

Let’s Take Action: Transforming with Intention

Writers Marisa Renee Lee and Claire Bidwell Smith will inspire you to take small, sweet steps towards growth after loss.

Two leading grief experts and authors – Marisa Renee Lee and Claire Bidwell Smith – offer steps we can take to move from grief avoidance towards grief acceptance. In addition, they will share insights into how the process of writing was a tool to process their own losses.

Following their discussion, we invite you to join small peer-led breakout room sessions guided by the following prompts:

  • How are you staying present and taking care of yourself as you navigate the shock and upheaval of a new loss?⁣
  • What steps can you take to carry your grief with intention in order to continue to grow, heal, and thrive?

[These prompts relate to two stages in the Conscious Grieving framework developed by Claire Bidwell Smith.]

Marisa Renee Lee is a called-upon grief advocate, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Grief is Love. Deemed "the friend we all wish we had in times of need" by Elaine Welteroth, Marisa is able to utilize research-based advice and wisdom to help others navigate the complicated and dark emotions we face when experiencing loss, offering unique insights for women and Black communities.

In addition to her work in the grief space, Lee is a former appointee in the Obama White House and CEO of Beacon Advisors, a mission-driven consulting firm primarily focused on racial equity. She is a rabble-rouser of social healing: former managing director of My Brother's Keeper Alliance; co-founder of the digital platform Supportal; and founder of The Pink Agenda, a national organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer care, research, and awareness.

Lee also regularly contributes to Glamour, Vogue, the Atlantic, MSNBC, and CNN and serves as an expert for Ritual's well-being app. She is a Harvard graduate and an avid home cook. Marisa lives in upstate New York with her husband, Matt, their son Bennett, and their dog, Sadie.

https://www.marisareneelee.com/

@marisareneelee

Recognized as one of today’s foremost experts on grief, Claire Bidwell Smith is a licensed therapist, international speaker, and the author of five books published in 22 countries. Led by her own experience in grief and fueled by her work in hospice and private practice, Claire strives to provide support for all kinds of people experiencing all kinds of loss. Claire has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, Scientific American, Goop, Oprah and many more outlets. Her most recent books Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief and Conscious Grieving have provided groundbreaking and transformative approaches to the process of grief. 

www.clairebidwellsmith.com

@clairebidwellsmith

From April 12 - June 1, 2024, event registrants receive a 20% discount when ordering Claire's new book Conscious Grieving by entering the promo code CONSCIOUS20.

About Reimagine and the Series "A Refuge of Words: Writing our Way to Growth After Loss”

Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth. www.letsreimagine.org

Sometimes there are no words. And sometimes words need to be expressed. Grief changes us after we lose a friend, companion, or relative, regardless if that relationship was loving, complicated, or abusive. There’s no going back to our older selves. In order to stay connected to peaceful memories or to cope with traumatic ones, we can allow grief to enter our lives, to feel all the feels, and at the same time find strategies to contain it. Writing is one tool to integrate our grief. In this three-part series, artists, therapists, and health care providers share insights into the written word: a form of creative and spiritual expression, a modality to process the loss of those who have passed, and a pathway towards growth, transformation, and self-knowledge.

Guest speakers and teachers include grief experts, best-selling authors, artists, specialists in narrative medicine, and palliative care physicians. With fresh and unconventional perspectives, they will share experiences of grief and loss in their lives and their work that developed into generative pathways for healing, creativity, service, and advocacy.

Talk, Panel, & Conversation, Writing & Literature, Community Gathering,

Track:

Wellness, Caregiving, Arts & Entertainment, Grief, Living Fully,
Add to Calendar:

Zoom

$0 - $30

Past Events

Let’s Experience: Letters to Life

April 17, 2024

Hosted by Reimagine
Intended for those grieving the loss of a person or being, this experiential workshop uses letter-writing, somatic practices, and gentle movement to appreciate the beauty of the day-to-day.

Artist Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful Espejo Ovalles invites participants to use old-fashioned letter-writing as a channel to heal, re-member, and gather parts of ourselves that may have been relegated to oblivion. As individuals and as a group, we will touch on themes such as forgiveness, impermanence, and love. As part of our engagement with pen, paper, and other materials, we will write letters (choosing to deliver or not) to people we admire and perhaps have never met face-to-face, to a child with whom we would like to share key moments in our path, or to a person we would like to forgive or to thank. We also send ourselves a kind written reminder of what brings us joy in life, stamp it, and forward this in the mail to our physical address.

Together with writing prompts, shares, and reflections, Letters to Life will include somatic practices such as breathwork and very gentle movements. Be ready to engage with items and mundane objects from home as we laugh, cry, reminisce, and co-create a space in the community, even if virtually.

Nicolás treads an elusive path that manifests itself performatively through creative experiences that he helps unfold within the quotidian. He is the founding director of The Interior Beauty Salon, an organism living at the intersection of creativity and healing. He has recently taught healing, meditation, and somatic movement related workshops at Copper Beech Institute, The Creative Center, Hispanic Society of America, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation, Healing Circles Global, and the In My Mind conference at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in New York. Nicolás is a Senior Lecturer and Social Practice Artist in Residence in the Art and Art History Department at The University of Texas, Austin; and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow. He holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where he studied with Coco Fusco; and an MA from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. In 2021 he received a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher certification from the Interdependence Project in New York City. Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, he was baptized as a Bronxite in 2011.

http://www.interiorbeautysalon.com/

@interiorbeautysalon

About Reimagine and the Series "A Refuge of Words: Writing our Way to Growth After Loss”

Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth. www.letsreimagine.org

Sometimes there are no words. And sometimes words need to be expressed. Grief changes us after we lose a friend, companion, or relative, regardless if that relationship was loving, complicated, or abusive. There’s no going back to our older selves. In order to stay connected to peaceful memories or to cope with traumatic ones, we can allow grief to enter our lives, to feel all the feels, and at the same time find strategies to contain it. Writing is one tool to integrate our grief. In this three-part series, artists, therapists, and health care providers share insights into the written word: a form of creative and spiritual expression, a modality to process the loss of those who have passed, and a pathway towards growth, transformation, and self-knowledge.

Guest speakers and teachers include grief experts, best-selling authors, artists, specialists in narrative medicine, and palliative care physicians. With fresh and unconventional perspectives, they will share experiences of grief and loss in their lives and their work that developed into generative pathways for healing, creativity, service, and advocacy.

Workshop, Writing & Literature,

Track:

Spirituality, LGBTQ+, Arts & Entertainment, Grief, Healthcare,

Zoom

Let’s Learn: Writing, Grieving, and Growing

April 10, 2024

Hosted by Reimagine
Celebrated authors share their insights on grief, growth, and the power of writing as we struggle with the loss of spouses, children, siblings, and other loved ones.

In this discussion, a group of diverse and celebrated writers explore how reading and writing help us navigate and metabolize the loss of loved ones. Speakers include: Amy Lin, whose debut memoir considers how her husband’s death shattered any set ideas she ever held about grief, strength, and memory; Emily Rapp Black, who chronicles how she regained her footing after losing her son to Tay-Sachs disease; and Nico Slate, who recalls his relationship to his late brother in his memoir of love, loss, and race. Moderator and author Dr. Sunita Puri reflects on her spiritual and professional journey to palliative medicine and the tension between the impulse to preserve life at all costs and the embrace of life’s impermanence. Reimagine Board Member Susan Moldaw will offer an introduction.

Emily Rapp Black is the New York Times bestselling author of five books of creative nonfiction. A former Fulbright scholar and Guggenheim fellow, she is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside. In her third memoir Sanctuary, Emily Rapp Black writes of tentatively, painfully regaining her footing after losing her son to Tay-Sachs disease. With brutal honesty, she ushers readers into the mourner's sanctuary, where life and death, love and loss, rage and happiness, pleasure and pain can tolerably intermingle.

https://www.emilyrappblack.com/

@emilyrappblack

Amy Lin is a writer and educator who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A recipient of residencies from Yaddo and Casa Comala, her work has been published in Ploughshares. Here After is her debut memoir.

https://amydawnlin.com/

@literaryamy

Dr. Sunita Puri (moderator) is the Program Director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the UMass Chan School of Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, where she is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine. She completed medical school and residency training in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco followed by a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Stanford. She is the author of That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour, a critically acclaimed literary memoir examining her journey to the practice of palliative medicine, and her quest to help patients and families redefine what it means to live and die well in the face of serious illness. A graduate of Yale University and the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, among other places. She and her work have been featured in the Atlantic, People Magazine, PBS’ Christian Amanpour Show, NPR, the Guardian, BBC, India Today, and Literary Hub. She is passionate about the ways that the precise and compassionate use of language can empower patients and physicians to have the right conversations about living and dying.

Nico Slate is Professor in the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of six books, including Brothers: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Race (Temple University Press, 2023), a book about the life and death of his older brother, a mixed-race hip-hop artist who was the victim of a racially-charged assault in Santa Monica, California in 1994. Nico is also the co-founder of LEAP, a program for low-income high school students interested in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

https://nicoslate.com/

Susan Moldaw is a writer, chaplain, spiritual director, and Reimagine Board Member. She trained and worked as a chaplain intern at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where she received the ACE award for excellence in service. Susan worked as Congregation Emanu-El’s first lay Jewish chaplain. She volunteered at the Jewish Home as a spiritual care partner, and with the Covid Grief Network. She served on the board of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, chairing the major gifts program. Susan has a master’s in Gerontology, with a focus on spiritual issues at the end of life. She completed leadership programs at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and the Wexner Heritage Foundation. Most recently, Susan completed a program in spiritual direction at the Mercy Center. Her writing has been published in literary journals and anthologies, and other publications.

About Reimagine and the Series "A Refuge of Words: Writing our Way to Growth After Loss”

Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth. www.letsreimagine.org

Sometimes there are no words. And sometimes words need to be expressed. Grief changes us after we lose a friend, companion, or relative, regardless if that relationship was loving, complicated, or abusive. There’s no going back to our older selves. In order to stay connected to peaceful memories or to cope with traumatic ones, we can allow grief to enter our lives, to feel all the feels, and at the same time find strategies to contain it. Writing is one tool to integrate our grief. In this three-part series, artists, therapists, and health care providers share insights into the written word: a form of creative and spiritual expression, a modality to process the loss of those who have passed, and a pathway towards growth, transformation, and self-knowledge.

Guest speakers and teachers include grief experts, best-selling authors, artists, specialists in narrative medicine, and palliative care physicians. With fresh and unconventional perspectives, they will share experiences of grief and loss in their lives and their work that developed into generative pathways for healing, creativity, service, and advocacy.

Type:

Talk, Panel, & Conversation, Writing & Literature,
Spirituality, Caregiving, Arts & Entertainment, Grief, Healthcare,

Zoom