Speed grieving: A dialogue with grief

Losing a loved one can cause feelings that may seem completely unmanageable. Many people experience a surreal, almost dreamlike state trying to cope with this significant life event, trying to make sense of it all, while still facing reality and carrying on with life.

Of course, it is not an easy feat. So when actress Alysia Reiner lost her beloved father to cancer and experienced this herself, she chose to honor him and his dream to make movies by creating a film which focuses on methods to deal with grief and the importance of support. Alysia’s film, Speed Grieving shares the story of Malia, a career-oriented woman who attempts to efficiently balance her hectic work schedule with her father’s terminal illness. The film also contains a discussion guide developed in collaboration with the Cancer Support Community.

In May, the Cancer Support Community – East Tennessee presented Speed Grieving during the program “A Dialogue with Grief.” Participants who had all experienced recent losses praised the film. They connected with the characters in the film and related many themes to their own lives. Co-workers who are uncertain of how to respond or the anger and frustration Malia felt are just two examples of the connections that participants noticed. The honest but sensitive portrayal of the grief process touched the viewers.

The questions from the Discussion Guide helped participants address many aspects of the bereavement process. Being in vulnerable places in their lives, this facilitated workshop was beneficial in helping the attendees give voice to their feelings. They were able to come together with others experiencing similar circumstances, observe meaningful details and themes from the film and verbalize their emotions. All of the proceeds of Speed Grieving go to the Cancer Support Community so that others facing this journey can also benefit from CSC’s services and resources.

Learn more about Speed Grieving here.

by Shaina Azam


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