New club Good Mourning creates space for Queen’s students to talk about grief

Founder Cheyenne Brown sits down with The Journal 

Cheyenne was inspired to create Good Mourning after her father passed away in 2017. 

Cheyenne Brown, ArtSci '21, is the founder of a book club where young adults can connect, heal, and discuss their personal experiences with grief.

Good Mourning, founded and ratified by the AMS last September, addresses a niche of individuals who are often overlooked in conversations about grief care.

“When I was in my first year, I actually lost my father,” Brown said. “Some of my best conversations and most healing conversations happened with people who understood.”

Brown’s book club creates a space where grieving young adults can talk about loss—a topic difficult to broach in everyday conversations.

“It’s really meant to be a place where people who are grieving can meet to have discussions with people who understand,” Brown said. “The university age group gets overlooked sometimes with grief care or grief services, and Good Mourning is meant to address that gap.”

Brown described a defining feature of the club being a lack of judgment.

“It’s a place where you can really talk without being judged,” said Brown. “There’s honestly no expectation that everyone reads the books—we encourage people to just come and have a conversation.”

Good Mourning has been conducting monthly meetings over Zoom to adhere to COVID-19 regulations. The layout of meetings is fluid and adaptable to the form that each unique conversation takes.

“Typically, people show up on Zoom and we do a couple icebreakers,” Brown said. “We break out into smaller rooms and in our breakout rooms, we have smaller discussions about the novel. People usually discuss how the book made them feel and how it related to their personal grief.”

So far, Good Mourning has delved into conversations on Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, and will be discussing Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild.

“There are so many different lenses to grief,” Brown said. “The Glass Castle is a lot about forgiveness and changing relationships with grief. In Wild, it’s a lot more central throughout the story.”

Students interested in joining the club can watch out for hiring of Executive and volunteer positions in September, and are able to join monthly meetings for open discussions.

“We’re pretty new, and we just started having the actual events,” Brown said. “There’s going to be a new book each month; we’re working on a system to make books available to everyone, even if they aren’t able to buy them.”

Good Mourning does not offer grief counselling, but they have a multitude of resources available on their blog.  

“The book club is a place where you don’t have to feel like the downer of the group with no judgment,” Brown said. “It’s a place where you can talk to people who understand.”

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