The People Behind Grief Beyond Belief
Rebecca Hensler, Founder
Following the death of her infant son, Rebecca Hensler discovered that most online grief support groups are dominated by religion and spiritualism. Alienated by talk of angels, heaven and signs, she conceived an alternative free of mythology and mysticism. In 2011, Rebecca founded Grief Beyond Belief, a Facebook page devoted to faith-free grief support.Rebecca is a school counselor with a BA in political activism and a MS in counseling. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her wife, and works at a public middle school in San Francisco.Rebecca runs Grief Beyond Belief with the support of a handful of volunteers and speaks to freethought organizations on grieving as a nonbeliever, secular grief support and related topics. She has spoken at Skepticon, the American Atheists Convention, the American Humanist Association Convention, and Sacramento Freethought Day, as well as to numerous local freethought organizations. She has been interviewed on Living After Faith, Culture Wars Radio, and The Thinking Atheist podcasts. If you are interested in scheduling Rebecca to speak or hiring her as a consultant, please contact her here.
Nicola Ginzler, Web Designer
Nicola Ginzler is a designer based in San Francisco, CA. She has many years of experience with design in web and print, including websites, logos, business collateral, packaging and more. Her clients range from corporations to small businesses to individuals; she specializes in work for writers and artists. Her portfolio is at www.nicolaginzler.com. She is proud to collaborate with Rebecca Hensler in creating the website for Grief Beyond Belief.
Nita-Jane Grigson, Co-Moderator
Nita-Jane was raised agnostic and now identifies as both atheist and agnostic. Following the suicide of her son, Nita found Grief Beyond Belief through The Thinking Atheist’s page. She volunteered to share moderation duties on the Facebook page in the summer of 2012 when Rebecca took her first vacation since founding it, and has been an important part of the team ever since, co-moderating both the public page and the closed Facebook group. She lives in Melbourne and has extensive experience moderating online discussion groups.
Mark Hulings, Forum Design
Mark started doubting his faith in the late 80’s and has been a full-blown non-believer since the early 90’s. Though not recently bereaved, he has experienced losses like his first niece (at the age of 15 months) in 1992, his mother in 1999, and his mother-in-law in 2004. He did not have a resource like Grief Beyond Belief to turn to when those losses were fresh, but he was touched by the support and compassion of the GBB community when he discovered it, and happy to contribute a few technical skills here and there in support of it.
Cliff Schrauger, Photographer
In the wake of the deaths of two teenage sons in a tragic accident, Cliff Schrauger found catharsis — if not healing — in long motorcycle rides, photography, and study of the nagging biblical questions that had caused such disapproval in his Christian college years before. Since then he has lost all religious beliefs and become alienated from his religious family and community; his closest friends are other nonbelievers with whom he connects through the internet. Of his photography, Cliff says, “I don’t really understand why I am so taken by certain things that I see and desperately try to capture in pictures. Sometimes I think I’m seeing something that is resonating inside me, or expressing something I either need to hear or want to say… but it is only a scene. And sometimes it is a scene I’m able to capture with my camera.” The beautiful calla lily photo used for the Library link is by photographer Michael Shriver. The Grief Beyond Belief logo is by graphic designer Lisa Roth, who can be found at lisarothgrafix.com.