(If you missed the first class, it doesn’t matter, you are welcome to join us for this one. Come one come all!)


Press Release 1/5/20

(Kent, Connecticut) – The Kent Memorial Library is pleased to announce a two-part series called A Class About Grief. The series will be held on two consecutive Wednesdays beginning February 26 and March 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Reading Room. (snowdate for the first night is March 4). The two-part lecture will be taught by Kent resident Ron Marasco, Ph.D.

Ron was a professor for 27 years in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount. In 2009 he created an unusual course that explore the difficult subject of grief to undergraduates. The class became so popular he was approached by a publisher to do a book about his usual approach to a topic that touches so many people. The resulting book About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos is used today by countless hospices and grief groups, and has was translated into Spanish and Korean and published in Latin America and Asia.

“This is not a study of sadness; it’s a study of love. There can be no grief where there hasn’t been strong love. In this increasingly selfish world, look to people in grief for lessons on how to love someone. Plus, humor is big part of grief. We miss the most the sort of person worth telling stories about. That’s why for at least half of most good eulogies, the listeners are laughing,” Marasco states. “People of all backgrounds and ages are welcome to attend. Grief is one thing that touches people from every walk of life and, often, binds them together,” he continues.

When asked why is it called a class? He responds “A class is a very non-threatening way to learn about a frightening subject. It’s not a clinical setting, where you feel ‘put on the spot,’ or a support group setting where you’re expected to “share” or be patient while other sharers monopolize. A “class” is simply gathering of people with a common curiosity about a subject who come to listen and learn. It’s nice environment to be in when dealing with a tough subject.”

Come and gather for what promises to be a unique and communal way to explore one of life’s deepest experiences. The lectures are free & open to public. Please register. For more information, call 860-927-3761 or go to kentmemoriallibrary.org.

The Kent Memorial Library’s mission is to enrich the lives of individuals and the community by providing materials, programs, and services to encourage reading, learning and imagination. The Kent Memorial Library is located at 32 North Main Street, Kent, Connecticut. Visit www.kentmemoriallibrary.org for more information.

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Reviews from Ron’s book: About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos:

Finally! A book about grief that combines gutsy and honest language with depth, humor, and truth. If you’re grieving the death of a loved one, read this book. If you want to support someone who’s grieving, read this book. About Grief is number one on my ‘recommended reading’ list for anyone who wants a better sense of the real journey of grief. (Donna Schuurman, Executive Director, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families, Portland, Oregon)

“A wonderful, down-to-earth and reader friendly book that discusses an almost universal human experience in a unique and helpful way.” (Clifford N. Lazarus, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist; co-founder & director of The Lazarus Institute)


“There is no other book I know of that comes close to illuminating grief and all that surrounds it with such a clear and honest humanity. Marasco and Shuff embark on a rare exploration of the bone deep truths and unexpected consolations that lie within the mysteries of loss and healing.” (Beth Henley, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright)

“After reading this book I felt like I had landed on a planet with my own species!” (Lenore Rogers, Founder of Amy’s Treat at Seacoast Cancer Center in New Hampshire)

“This is a helpful book for those in the helping professions who work with people deep in grief. But it is also useful for friends who need guidance in talking to the bereaved. And finally it is a comfort for those experiencing the loss of a loved one. I especially liked the use of poetry and literary quotations. These are often the language of tears, words that speak more deeply and compassionately than any other.” (Arthur Dobrin, D.S.W., Professor Emeritus of University Studies, Hofstra University)

“A brave approach to the subject of grief. Truthful, practical, down-to-earth. This book will help a lot of people.” (Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., former President of the American Psychological Association, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University

“About Grief creates a safe haven for the suffering and their family, friends, and co -workers. Placing the book in context, Ron Marasco and Brian Shuff write, ‘All the stories and information in this book are here for one reason: to help you realize that you are not the only one.’ Their language is contemporary, driving the message home without sugar coating: ‘Our aim is to make you feel less lonely, and frankly, less nuts.’ The authors discovered that ‘If you talk about grief openly and honestly, people will talk back.’ This sentence sets the stage for a book-long conversation about compassionate and insightful thinking. ‘We don’t do grief,’ writes Joan Didion. ‘Yet grief still does us,’ state the authors. The cultural imperative to put on a happy face resonates with readers. The implied imperative is to ‘act as if,’ to pretend that sadness is not part of each minute of each day. About Grief is a love letter and a sympathy note validating the pain of those coping with loss. For family, friends, and acquaintances of the bereaved the book is a gentle instruction guide. (Foreword Reviews)