Grief Beyond Belief is a labor of love. It was born of the love of a grieving mother, grew through the immense kindness and compassion of the secular community, continues to thrive through the day-to-day work of a handful of volunteers, and is expanding with the help of those who contributed to its resources.
Without Nita-Jane Grigson, Grief Beyond Belief might not have survived the inevitable burnout of its founder, Rebecca. Nita defends the original Grief Beyond Belief Page at Facebook against evangelism and religious, spiritual and woo content like an atheist paladin. While secular celebrities get the attention in our community, it is people like Nita who are the unsung heroes.
The wonderful volunteers who co-moderate the Closed Grief Beyond Belief Group at Facebook — the primary space used for day-to-day grief support by our community — are Kristi Hein, Ian Hepworth and Dawn Duhon-Kosmakos who have all served as group administrators for over a year, and Melanie Riecke Hiller, Sherry Thompson and Catherine Mustico, who joined in the effort this summer. Their labor, particularly their dedication to reviewing the over 100 requests to join the group we receive every month, is what maintains GBBGroup as a safe space.
Of course, griefbeyondbelief.org went live this year. The website was designed with the support and untiring work of Nicola Ginzler and Mark Hulings. This year, we have hosted some awesome bloggers, including longtime Grief Beyond Belief member William Cain, Kate Sirls, and Humanistic Rabbi Adam Chalom. Hopefully next year the blogging will be more consistent. Turns out that it is hard to maintain a blog and earn a living at the same time. Props to all the people who do. And thank you everyone who made griefbeyondbelief.org a reality, rather than a plan.
Finally, we have been able to begin the process of expanding the support Grief Beyond Belief provides online to the real would, through piloting a Grief Beyond Belief Support Workshop at Skepticon. This could not have occurred without the support of Skepticon itself or without the many people who donated money to Grief Beyond Belief to make it possible for Rebecca to travel to the conference. A big thank you to:
Nora Miller, in memory of Rick and in honor of Myriam Coppens
The Schneebaum/Larish family, in memory of Jude Hensler
Judy Komorita in honor of Keith Komorita
A number of other anonymous donors gave as well; I tried to contact them all to ask if they could be listed, so if you don’t see your name here, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can list you on a thank you page I will be adding to the site.