Roundtable Discusses ‘The Gift of Grief’


Megan Sprance reads her essay about profound grief and trauma.

Speakers addressed the challenging and emotional topics of defining loss and dealing with and learning from grief at a roundtable conversation on April 7 in the Roxboro House.

Megan Sprance’s reading of her essay “03.07.12” became the centerpiece of this freeform discussion, “The Gift of Grief,” sponsored by Philadelphia University’s Arlen Specter Center for Public Service.

A sophomore law and society major, Sprance won the Daniel Gerstein Award for her essay about profound grief and trauma resulting from her father’s tragic, life-changing accident in 2012. “I will grieve my dad forever, but I will not let that grief define me,” she wrote. “I have come to appreciate the different parts of my dad as he is now and even though he may have no past memory of me, I will never stop making new memories with him.”

The contest and $350 award were established by Community and Trauma Counseling (CTC) faculty member, Fran Gerstein, and her husband, Stuart Gerstein, Specter Center graduate assistant and master’s candidate in the CTC program. Their son, Daniel, died suddenly in 2014.

The full roundtable can be viewed here.

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