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Understanding the complexities of grief, tragedies of loss

November 18, 2006

Arizona State University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presents “Grief and Loss from Different Faith Perspectives” on Dec. 13 at the Lakeview Center Social Hall in Sun City. The presentation explores the many expressions of grief from a variety of faith traditions and examines the influence of community responses to grief and loss on the grieving process.

The lecture is presented by Suzanne Bushfield, a clinical associate professor in the department of Social Work, College of Human Services at ASU’s West campus. Bushfield has more than 25 years experience working with children and families adapting to difficulties across the life cycle. Her research focuses on hope and spirituality as aspects of resilience for families facing difficult life events.

According to Bushfield, cultures tend to sanitize the process of grief and loss and expect people to “get over” their loss quickly.

“As we are accustomed to a 30 or 60 minute resolution on a television show, we also tend to expect people to pick up and move on after a loss,” said Bushfield. “This can contribute to the individual’s sense of isolation. When people experience loss, they tend to feel apart from their community.”

Participants will take from this lecture an understanding of the complexity and diversity of loss, as well as an appreciation for the variety of responses to loss. “The goal is creating more caring and compassionate communities for those facing experiencing grief and loss,” Bushfield said

This lecture is one of more than 90 classes and lectures being offered in the Sun City communities this fall. For registration and class information, call the local ASU Lifelong Learning Academy office — Sun City (602) 377-8390 or visit online at:

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University provides stimulating, university-quality learning experiences for older adults with a wide variety of educational backgrounds and interests who are interested in learning for the joy of learning. Noncredit short courses, lectures, travel opportunities, and workshops taught by ASU faculty, emeritus faculty and talented community volunteers are offered at ASU campuses and community sites throughout the Phoenix metro area.