One day while driving between visiting her mom who just had knee surgery and caring for her dad who had a progressive illness, Priya Soni wondered, "Where are the others?" By others, she meant the other adult children caregiving for parents and family members. Years later, this question would lead her to start The Caregiving Effect, an organization dedicated to bringing adult children caregivers together through stories, support, and mentoring.
Breeshia Wade's new book, Grieving While Black: An Anti-Racist Take on Oppression and Sorrow, puts grief into a wider context. The context of our relationships and the larger systems that shape who has access to resources like time, power, and the space to grieve. Breeshia is an author, end-of-life caregiver, and grief coach.
How do we live with grief over the course of our lives? Hope Edelman, author of the groundbreaking book, Motherless Daughters, joins us again to talk about her newest book, The AfterGrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss. The AfterGrief is what happens as we move out of the initial acute distress when someone dies and into a lifetime of learning to live with what that loss means for us.
The AfterGrief Facebook Group
Motherless Daughters Facebook Group.
What is collective grief and how does it affect members of communities with marginalized identities? Dr. Amber Nelson, PsyD talks about both her professional and personal experiences with recognizing and supporting collective grief. Specifically the collective grief of bearing witness to the highly publicized murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and the others who were killed this past year, many at the hands of the police.
Dr. Nelson’s S.A.F.E.T.Y. Acronym for attending to the effects of collective grief:
Ask for help
Engage in social justice work
Tend to your whole essence
Yank the plug (engage in mindful isolation)
Mariyam was six when her father, Nurtay, died just before his 34th birthday. Over the next 14 years, she would experience the deaths of four more family members, including her mother, Bagitgul, and maternal grandmother, who both died this past summer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mariyam's home city in Kazakhstan. Now 20, Mariyam is figuring out how to live without both of her parents. We talk about how COVID complicated everything about grieving these two new deaths. We also cover how well-intentioned phrases like "I can't imagine what you're going through," "You're so strong," and "I could never survive" can be painful to hear.
The poem Mariyam reads at the beginning of the episode is "The Mountain" by Laura Ding-Edwards.
Follow Mariyam on Instagram @marikoyes