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Grief Transformations: Exploring the Spectrum and Rainbow of Grief

NovemberNov 21 2023 14:00 - 15:30

Discussion Group - St. George

Grief is a complex emotional experience. We grieve losses resulting from death. We also grieve non-death losses such as relationship endings, drifts away from friends, the disappointment of families, the person we hoped we would be and what we hoped life would look like. Some of us turn to religion, faith and/or spirituality to cope with grief while many others struggle with the compounding experience of grieving religious teachings and communities that once held a central space in our lives but no longer serve us. Rahim Thawer, social worker and therapist, will begin this workshop with an exploration of his own queer grief supplemented by anecdotes from his clinical practice. Participants will then consider the types and sources of grief in their own lives and share perspectives on the role of spirituality, if any, in supporting grief processing. This session is open to folks who identify as agnostic, atheist, or of-faith.

This workshop offering is in collaboration with the Multi-Faith Centre and Sexual & Gender Diversity Office.

Grief comes in many forms. Over the past few years, we have collectively experienced a range of intense, heavy and complicated events. We recognize that these experiences on both an individual and collective scale have created complex and often unaddressed experiences of grief. These complicated experiences can be collective, anticipatory and often abstract for many of us living in a rapidly changing and unstable world. Transformations: Grief Work programming aims to create spaces where these nuanced and multi-faceted experiences of grief can be addressed, acknowledged and held.

Rahim Thawer works as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, facilitator and public speaker, sessional lecturer, writer, and community organizer. He began working in the HIV/AIDS sector in 2008 and dedicated over a decade to LGBTQ Muslim community organizing. He was welcomed as an International Visiting Scholar with the South African College for Applied Psychology (SACAP) for the 2021-2022 academic year and has taught as a lecturer at multiple universities in Canada. He's an appointed Fellow at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto for his contributions to the field of sexuality. He was also a co-editor and contributor for an anthology entitled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer (shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards).

  • Sexual & Gender Diversity Office
    Organizer of Grief Transformations: Exploring the Spectrum and Rainbow of Grief

  • Multi-Faith Centre
    Organizer of Grief Transformations: Exploring the Spectrum and Rainbow of Grief
    Our team supports the spiritual well-being of students, staff and faculty in order to increase our understanding of and respect for religious beliefs and practices. It does so by providing opportunities for members of the community to engage in questions of meaning, purpose and identity and to reflect, worship, contemplate, teach and learn, read and study, celebrate, mourn, engage in dialogue and interact on a daily basis.

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