Work and Life with Stew Friedman
Ep 223. Larry Hirschhorn: A Father's Grief
Larry Hirschhorn is a Principal and one of the founders of the Center for Applied Research, also known as CFAR (which had its origins at the Wharton School). CFAR is a management consulting firm with offices in Philadelphia and Boston. Larry was also a founder of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO) and the founder and director of Dynamics of Consulting, a program for experienced coaches and consultants. He has published several books and many articles linking organizational functioning to psychodynamics, among them The Workplace Within and Reworking Authority, both published by MIT Press. Larry has a PhD in Economics from MIT.
In this episode, Stew talks with Larry Hirschhorn about his recently published book about the sudden death of his son, called Grieving Aaron: Poems in Response to the Death of My Adult Son. They discuss anger, despair, ambivalence, the various ways different people express grief, the changes wrought by the loss of a loved one, and what it takes to reach toward hope in the face of tragedy. While Larry’s loss is unique to him, with his background in psychology and the kind of consulting and research he has done over the course of his long, illustrious career, he has profoundly useful insights for all those who are grieving losses and dislocations due to the death of loved ones, especially in pandemic times.
Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode. Write a poem about someone you love who has died. How does the writing affect your thoughts and feelings about your loved one and about your own identity and purpose? Share your reactions and suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at email@example.com or via LinkedIn.