National Facebook premiere of WPSU documentary about grief to be held July 15

July 14, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — WPSU will host the digital premiere of its documentary “Speaking Grief,” followed by a live panel discussion with grief support professionals, beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

The special screening of the “Speaking Grief” documentary will be available on the WPSU Grief Facebook page. It will be followed by a virtual Q&A session with Lindsey Whissel Fenton, the producer, writer and director of “Speaking Grief,” and members of the grief research and support community. The platform provides an opportunity to pose questions to the panelists and talk with one another in a safe, supportive environment.

“Speaking Grief” aims to explore the reality of grief and offer guidance on how people can get better at supporting those who are grieving. The documentary features candid interviews with families whose losses include stillbirth, suicide and more, and has been broadcast on public television stations throughout the country since its debut in May 2020.

Jana DeCristofaro, one of the panelists and the community response program coordinator for the Dougy Center in Portland, Oregon, said meaningful support, when provided or at least offered, helps those in grief know they do not have to confront it alone and that friends and family are not afraid of their pain.

“Providing meaningful, relevant support to those in grief doesn't lessen the pain of their loss, but it counters the additional layers of suffering,” she said. “It decreases isolation and offers reassurance that friends, family and community can withstand the intensity of what they are going through.”

Other panelists who are scheduled to participate include:

  • Kevin Carter, clinical director for The Uplift Center for Grieving Children in Philadelphia
  • Maria Collins, vice president of the New York Life Foundation
  • Megan Devine, psychotherapist, speaker, grief advocate and author of “It’s OK that You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand”
  • Zee Wolters, Los Angeles native who appears in the documentary

Following the premiere and event, the documentary will be available on the WPSU Grief Facebook page until July 30.

The one-hour documentary is part of the multi-platform Speaking Grief Project, which has been made possible through philanthropic support from the New York Life Foundation.

WPSU’s Speaking Grief Project also includes a website with resources for people who are grieving and those who want to support them and numerous community engagement events, all aimed at starting a national conversation about grief. WPSU is a service of Penn State Outreach.

Visit the Speaking Grief website for resources and more information on the initiative.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 14, 2020