Hosted by: Justine Willis Toms. Everyone has their own unique way of grieving loss. Klein says, “I believe loss is a gift; from every loss we learn. We learn, if nothing else, how precious life is. We need to appreciate what we have right now.” He speaks from the experience of losing his 34 year old wife, Ellen, to a rare terminal illness leaving him with a 12 year old daughter. Ellen’s death triggered a deeply personal inquiry. He asked himself such questions as: What is death? Why do people die? Why did this happen to me? Even after her death, Klein felt Ellen’s guidance in finding his “true work.” Her humor survives and continues to encourage him in the work he does today, therapeutic humor. Klein says, “Grieving is very important, but also, I don’t think we give enough credit to finding the humor.” He also points out how deep listening is important in being with those who are in bereavement. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
Allen Klein is the former Director of Life and Death Transitions in San Francisco. He’s a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
He’s the author of many books including:
- The Healing Power of Humor (Tarcher/Putnam 1989)
- The Courage to Laugh (Tarcher 1998)
- Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life After Loss (Goodman Beck Publishing 2011)
To learn more about the work of Allen Klein go to www.allenklein.com.
Topics explored in this dialogue include:
- How humor gives us reprieve from difficult situations
- What is the secret of long term relationship
- What is the best thing you can do in being with someone who is in grief
- How loss can teach us about the preciousness of life
- Why forgiveness can be one of the greatest things one can do after a loss
- Why is smiling such a magical thing to do
Program Number: 3422 Host: Justine Willis Toms Interview Date: 12/17/11