Death and Dying: Interview with Brian Barry MA

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At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Brian Barry, who teaches death and dying at RIT in Rochester.

Brian began to explore the field of death and dying after the passing of his mother, and he has been doing it for the past 35 years.

When Barry’s mother passed away, he started to discover things about death and dying that he hadn’t noticed before. He goes into more detail about this in the video below.

Here are some key highlights from the video:

  • In a family, people have different roles which are difficult to fill someone they love is no longer there.
  • Barry was surprised by the reactions he saw in himself and his sisters. Their father passed away 14 years earlier, which is something they hadn’t taken the time to deal with back then. The passing of their mother helped them to think about the death of their father more seriously.
  • Barry’s advice for people who have lost parents and feel like they don’t know how to go on without them is the following two points.
  • First, realize that you’re not alone in your situation. Barry gives the example that he would talk with his sisters and discuss how they were coping with the loss.
  • Don’t pretend that you’re ok and that you can get through the grieving process entirely on your own. Find someone who going through it as well and open up to them about how you’re feeling.
  • Barry lost his parents at a very young age, which is something he admits to not even realizing at the time. It wasn’t something he thought about. Instead, he accepted the way life was and didn’t dwell on how things might have been different if certain things didn’t happen.
  • Barry’s final words of advice, when dealing with the loss of a parent, is to seek support. You’ll find it if you persevere.

For more video interviews, please see the Open To Hope Youtube channel.

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