10:15am - 11:30am Grief and Ritual in a Secular Age

John Robinette

John Robinette

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According to Pew nearly one quarter of Americans claim “none” as their religious affiliation with nearly a third reporting that they seldom or never attend church. Historically, religious communities and faith traditions helped the grieving with structure and ritual that provided comfort, community, compassion, and a way to seek meaning in what might otherwise seem meaningless. How then are those of us without a strong faith community able to find support after the death of a loved one? Creating meaningful ritual is one way to express one’s grief as we walk hesitantly into the future.

In 2010 John Robinette, lost his wife in a sudden pedestrian traffic accident. While his community rallied to his support, he became acutely aware that our modern world lacks many of the structures that helped comfort and support the aggrieved of prior ages. Drawing from his personal experience and from his work in his professional life as an organizational development consultant and leadership coach, John Robinette will share his story of incorporating ritual into his grief story and offer strategies for others to do the same. This session will be part presentation and part participatory.