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By Jennifer Hancock

The Humanist Approach to Grief and Grieving

How to grieve and maintain your sanity. A rational and compassionate approach to bereavement. Non-religious individuals who are experiencing grief need a resource that they can turn to as they process their grief. They need a resource that will help them cope, as Humanists, with the emotional trauma that is the grieving process. This is that book.


While there has been a lot written about grief, not much has been written from an explicitly Humanist perspective. The needs of a Humanist, while grieving, are slightly different from others because Humanists, being rationalists, refuse to allow themselves to be comforted by the false hope of reunion that is a staple of religious belief.



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By sharing her pragmatic Humanist approach to living life fully and intentionally, Jennifer Hancock has transformed the lives of those who have been touched by her work.  By encouraging people be the best, most ethical humans they can be, she consistently challenges people to think about and question who they are, what they are and more importantly, how they want to be.


She is one of the few individuals in America who was raised as a Humanist and she brings her delightful sense of humor, creativity, and compassion combined with a no-nonsense approach to all of her work and her coaching. She will help you focus on what really matters in your life and will teach you the practical skills you need to live your life the way you know you should be: ethically, compassionately and responsibly.

"There's no easy way to deal with grief. According to every major religion, the only way to get past grief is to imagine that those you have lost are "in a better place" in which you may one day see them again, and that the loss was part of a larger, cosmic plan for everyone's lives. Many find little consolation in this view, however, because it does not address the feeling of loss you are experiencing at the time and merely offsets the feelings with others you are supposed to embrace in the place of the grief. Still, for many such a small measure of hope can be comforting in turbulent times. Those who lack religious belief, however, have a different problem in that we cannot find comfort in what we believe to be false hopes. How, then, can the non-religious grieve, and how can they find a path through that grief to find happiness in their lives once again? That is the question Jen Hancock addresses in her short book, The Humanist Approach to Grief and Grieving.


Jen approaches the subject not as someone offering a salve to medicate you out of your worries, but as someone who knows grief personally and is now offering to pass the torch gained by her experiences on to others so that their ways may be lit. She shares a heartbreaking personal story, but refuses to take the easy path of clinging to false hopes and instead embraces reality: she will never get to watch her daughter grow up and live her own life, and will never meet up with her in any afterlife either, but she can better honor her daughter by choosing to live on and to allow happiness in her life once again than by wallowing in the loss forever. This is a crucial part of the essence of Humanism: life is for the living, so embrace it and move forward."

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