In late 2010, five women, each of whom had lost a parent, sat down to dinner in a Los Angeles backyard. Connected by one degree of separation, we found what we were looking for in one another: people who could validate the intensity and significance of an experience we otherwise shut away, who could reflect openly on "life after," and who were using their experiences to springboard into richer, more honest, and more open-hearted lives.
That first dinner led to monthly dinner parties. Soon, we five became six, and soon after that, friends and friend-of-friends were asking to join. Our table in Los Angeles grew to include Dinner Party circles in San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York City. What had begun as a casual gathering of friends became a quest to reimagine and reinvent "grief support," and the very way we conceive of and talk about loss.