In this Radio 4 episode of Beyond Belief, Rabbi Jonathan Romain’s speaks to Aleem Maqbool about his experience and his response to bereavement after his son, Benedict, died tragically and suddenly in January. In the grieving process his faith, community and the rituals of Judaism have all played a part. His story leads to a panel discussion, that includes Louise Blythe, whose husband George died from bowel cancer when she was only 33, leaving her with one and three year old boys; Maggie Doherty from the Centre for Dying Well at St. Mary’s University Twickenham; and Jusna Begum who supports bereaved Muslim families by washing the bodies of those they have lost, an essential part of the grieving process. The panel discuss the place of faith, religion and ritual within the grieving process, whether it is a help or a hindrance and whether belief in an afterlife makes it easier to deal with loss.
Towards the end of the programme, Maggie says:
“Even though we don’t think now that we can ever live tomorrow. We can. And it’s minute by minute, hour by hour.
And it’s just moving one step in front of the other.
We all have hope and a future, just as Louise has described.
There will be something more for us and something wonderful, something truly beautiful.
As Louise has painted, as Jusna has painted.
And if we are able to reach out and either ask someone for help or give someone help that will help with our moving forward into the next stage. It’s not going to be easy. It’s never going to be easy.
There will be light and there will be hope.”
You can listen to the programme here: