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Singing Over Bones: Creative Responses to Grieving

October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 2023

4 Live Classes | Offered Live via Zoom

Program Description

What you will receive

  • 4 Live Webinar Sessions with Q & A
  • 4 Links to the Recordings

Course Description

“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle, everything I do is stitched with its colors.” -W.S. Merwin

A father records his dying son’s heartbeat with a stethoscope before the boy’s organs are donated and composes songs using the heartbeat as the bass. A woman smashes the colored bottles her daughter collected before she died by suicide and makes an owl out of the pieces. A man hangs his fiance’s wedding dress inside the Temple at Burning man with a note that says, “I’m sorry you couldn’t make it to our wedding.” Using depth psychology, folk tales, and unique examples Dr. Bateman discusses how the end of a material relationship can be seen as the beginning of an imaginal one. She describes the creation of imaginal integrities through Storymaking–authoring your loved one’s story and your own in relation to them; and, Symbolmaking–the process of forging a tangible means of connection between the living and the deceased. The class will illustrate creative outcomes to grieving that allow one to recognize presence in absence, reflect and release complex dynamics, and yet stay in relationship and keep loving.

This course is ideal if

  • You are in a support/facilitator role (counselor, psychologist, hospice, social worker, faith based) for people who are grieving
  • You are interested in exploring symbolic expressions of your own relationship with the deceased.
  • You are a death educator and would like to expand your repertoire of approaches to bereavement.
  • You are curious about a meaningful and hopeful framing of loss.

Course Overview

  1. Introductions/Examples of Creative Outcomes
  2. Imaginal View of Mourning: Nyctea (Pacific Northwest) and The Image that Came to Life (a Tlingit tale) Application of themes in folk tales to metaphorical tasks in bereavement
  3. Gathering Bones- Storymaking The Abyss and the power of creativity
  4. Singing Over Bones: Symbolmaking

In class activities to assist in creating personal symbols, practices

By the End of This Course You Will Be Able To

  1. Contrast western models of bereavement with folkloristic and depth psychological approaches.
  2. Develop additional tools to support bereaved people.

Get the Book

Buy the book

Program Details


October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 2023
5:00 – 6:30 PM PDT


  • $230 General Rate
  • $180 Pacifica Alumni, Full Time Students, & Senior Rate
  • $130 Pacifica Student Rate

Program link will be sent out prior to the event. For those unable to attend live, the presentation will be recorded and the link shared after the event.


About the Teacher

Kim Bateman, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist, Author, College Administrator/Professor, Workshop Facilitator, and Storyteller. Her award-winning book, “Crossing the Owl’s Bridge: A Guide for Grieving People who Still Love” offers folk tales, case stories, and examples of creative responses to bereavement. She teaches Death and Dying at the collegiate level, has a TEDx Talk- “Singing Over Bones,” and a chapter in “And Death Shall Have Dominion” on “Symbolmaking and Bereavement: The Temples at Burning Man.” Her Death Dialogues Blog and workshops explore imaginal relationships, memorial art, and creating personal narratives for crossing over. Website: http://www.kim-bateman.com

General Information


Hosted Online


Cancellations 14 days or more prior to the program start date receive a 100% refund of program registrations. After 14 days, up to 7 days prior to the program start date, a 50% refund is available. For cancellations made less than 7 days of program start date, no refund is available.

For additional information, including travel, cancellation policy, and disability services please visit our general information section.

Registration Details

October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 2023

  • Number of Classes: 4 Workshop Classes
  • Class Length: 1.5 Hours
  • Class Time: 5 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
  • Total Duration:  6 Hours