Amanda Drews is the founder of Buzzy’s Bees, the organization she started after her son Hudson, who was 13 months old, died of SUDC (Sudden and Unexplained Death in Childhood). Amanda started Buzzy’s Bees with a mission to provide financial support to families dealing with the unexpected loss of a child. Over time, Amanda realized what families really needed and wanted was a chance to talk about their children. So she launched the Give Grief a Voice Project where families meet with professional writers and artists who capture the essence of their child and their life in a unique piece of art.
In this episode we talk about:
The stories we tell ourselves about death & grief.
What Amanda's older son needed in his grief.
How Amanda navigates her season of grief - the time between Hudson's birthday and anniversary of the day he died.
What is it about dark humor and why are we drawn to it when wrestling with painful life events? Laughter, especially the kind that wells up from a shared understanding of heartbreak, can be a surprising aspect of grief. Harry Jensen's father died of stage 4 colon cancer in January of 2017. Harry turned to stand-up comedy as a way to put his grief into words that often spark discomfort and uncertainty, but also serve as inspiration for people in the audience to open up about their own grief.
We discuss prompting uncomfortable laughter, Father's Day, and how the intersections of identity can affect grief.
Dr. Micki Burns, Chief Clinical Officer at Judi's House and Dr. Laura Landry, Director of Evaluation & Research at the JAG Institute join us to talk numbers. They, along with the team at Judi's House/JAG Institute, created the CBEM, the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model, which estimates how many children and teens will experience the death of a parent/caregiver or sibling before they turn 18.
For years that number in the U.S. was 1 in 14. For 2022, it's increased to 1 in 13, reflecting the rise in deaths across the country due to
COVID, substance misuse, and other causes.
Laura and Micki talk about why it's important to quantify grief, the risk factors children who are grieving face, the disproportionate death rates in communities of color, and what adults can do to support these 1 in 13 children.
Visit Judi's House & the JAG Institute to learn more about their work and download information about the 2022 CBEM findings.