As of April 29th, 2021 over 3 million people across the globe have died of COVID-19, including 575,000 in the U.S. What gets lost in these numbers are the actual people who leave behind family and friends, grieving without access to the rituals and routines we've come to rely on when someone dies.
Sandra McGowan-Watts is a mother, a physician, and a widow. Her husband Steven died of COVID-19 on May 8th, 2020. She and their daughter have spent the past year trying to figure out how to live without a husband and father who did so much to support them.
Read more about Sandra's story in The New York Times, "The Other Half of My Soul - Widows of Covid-19 Bond over Sudden Loss."
Dr. Jill A. Harrington grew up surrounded by superheroes on television and in comic books and movies. As a parent and a professional, she turned to superheroes as a way to connect with her children and clients around loss, grief, and transformation.
She recently teamed up with Dr. Robert Neimeyer to publish Superhero Grief: The Transformative Power of Loss in an effort to bring superheroes into the limelight of grief support – offering a cross generational, cross-cultural way to help all of us become more grief informed.
Just weeks before Adam Mansbach's wildly popular book, Go The F**K To Sleep, was published, his brother David died of suicide. In interview after interview promoting the book and talking about its success, Adam worried that someone would ask about his brother, would catch him off guard with a question about the grief that was raw and painful. In the years after David's death, Adam found himself writing about everything but that loss. Now, almost a decade after David's death, Adam's newest book, I Had A Brother Once, is a memoir in verse about David's life, death, and the confusing aftermath when someone dies of suicide.
Note: this episode contains some strong language.
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On Valentine's Day of 2018, Fred Guttenberg rushed his two children, Jaime and Jesse, out the door to school. He had no idea it would be the last time he saw Jaime who was shot and killed later that day in the Parkland School mass shooting. Jaime was murdered just a few months after Fred's brother Michael died of as a result of being exposed to toxic substances when he ran into the World Trade Center as a first responder after the 9/11 attacks.
In his new book, Find the Helpers: What 9/11 and Parkland Taught Me About Recovery, Purpose, and Hope, Fred chronicles his grief, the people who helped him along the way, and his commitment to saving lives by fighting for gun safety.
Follow Fred on Twitter @fred_guttenberg
Orange Ribbons for Jaime
Meaningful Moments in the Aftermath of Gun Violence - Fred's TED Talk.