5 TEDx talks on coping with grief

Peta Murchison @TEDxSydney (photo: JJ Halans)

Peta Murchison at TEDxSydney (photo: JJ Halans)

Grief is an inevitable part of the human experience. It’s something we often avoid talking about, which, in turn, can make the grieving process a deeply disorienting experience. In light of the recent Orlando shootings, we are called to mourn together, to share our stories of loss, and to support one another.

Here are five uplifting stories of loss, grief, and restoring hope:

Finding Hope in Hopelessness | Peta Murchinson | TEDxSydney
“When you’re a parent with a dying child … you’re facing your worst fears every day.” As a toddler, Peta Murchinson’s daughter, Mia, was diagnosed with Batten disease, a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Since Mia’s diagnosis, Murchinson has discovered the vividness of living in the present and the power of community to transform lives. In her talk, Murchinson discusses acceptance, connection and the human capacity for hope.

The Beautiful Awful | Alyssa Monks | TEDxIndianaUniversity
As the youngest of eight children, artist Alyssa Monks had to learn a few survival skills. After her mother’s death, Monk took to expressing her grief through art that incorporates nature and people to create moody, turbulent surfaces — exploring space, chaos and imperfections. At TEDxIndianaUniversity, Monks beautifully explains that through art, she found her deepest intention: human connection. “We’re all going to have big losses in our lives … fall to your knees, be humbled, let go of trying to change it or even wanting it to be different.”

What Forty Steps Taught Me About Love and Grief | Tembi Locke | TEDxPasadenaWomen
It took ten years for actress Tembi Locke to take forty steps from her bedroom to the room where her husband lay dying of rare soft tissue bone cancer. While acting as her husband’s caregiver for a decade, Locke learned what it means to truly love and the importance of “showing up” in grief.

The Cure for Grief | Norah Casey | TEDxGalway
Broadcaster and publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Following the death of her husband, Richard, Casey was stuck in “incredible allure of the past” and knew she had to find a way to move on. At TEDxBrixton, Casey takes her audience through an energized account of her experience with loss and how, through running towards her pain, she found her cure for grief.

Why we should share our stories of loss and disappointment | Rebecca Peyton | TEDxBrixton
Rebecca Peyton doesn’t get invited to a lot of dinner parties. After her sister’s murder nearly a decade ago, Peyton says she “can’t shut up” about it, and even wrote a one-woman show called, “Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister,” which she has performed over 103 times. In this empowering talk, Peyton envisions a world where we can communicate freely about death and suffering: “Tell your stories, your stories of loss, your stories of disappointment, your stories of fear, and ask the childlike question with kindness and be open for the answer.”


  1. Another good resource to help people in their times of grief is the book On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Naturally, everyone will work through the grieving process in their own time, but it can help to read about the process too.

  2. For more on this topic, including miscarriage, stillbirth, fetomaternal microchimerism, and the dreaded question for bereaved parents everywhere, “How many children do you have?”, please have a look at my new TEDx talk, Why We Should Share Our Stories, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1oA3w7JcTg. I hope it helps and would truly appreciate a TED or TEDx Innovations recommendation so it reaches as many bereaved parents as possible!

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