Family Relationships

#888 Finding the Words with Colin Campbell

Published: 13 Nov 2023
Podcast Cover photo

*Content warning: mature themes - listener discretion advised*

When someone is grieving the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to know what to say. How do you convey your compassion, your awareness of their enormous loss? What words and actions are helpful to the person grieving, and what is unhelpful or perhaps even harmful?

Colin Campbell, author of 'Finding the words', shares a practical and helpful approach to supporting someone in their grief, how to move through sorrow and profound loss with hope and purpose, and why community and traditions are vital for the grieving process.

This episode covers:

  • The loss of a child
  • Suicide
  • How to traverse the days, weeks, months after profound loss
  • How to support someone in their deep sorrow - what to say, what not to say
  • "I have no words" ends any chance of a dialogue about grief. Find the words.
  • The evolution of grief, and of the grieving person's identity within that sorrow
  • Acuteness of grief lessens not with time, but with how you have engaged with your grief. 
  • The importance of engaging with and accepting grief, rather than avoiding it
  • Grief as a sensitive, taboo subject further isolates those in mourning
  • Why trying to comfort a grieving person isn't always helpful
  • Different societal/religious responses to grief, traditional mourning processes, and cultural tools and rules for managing grief in community. Of particular note:  
  • What Losing My Two Children Taught Me About Grief - The Atlantic 
  • Viktor Frankl 'Mans Search for Meaning'
  • Adoption (and the trauma and grief that can accompany it)
  • Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ― Helen Keller
  • In Memory of Logan


For help:


Find us on Facebook at Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families

Email us your questions and comments at podcasts@happyfamilies.com.au



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