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Grief Out Loud

Remember the last time you tried to talk about grief and suddenly everyone left the room? Grief Out Loud is opening up this often avoided conversation because grief is hard enough without having to go through it alone. We bring you a mix of personal stories, tips for supporting children, teens, and yourself, and interviews with bereavement professionals. Platitude and cliché-free, we promise! Grief Out Loud is hosted by Jana DeCristofaro and produced by Dougy Center: The National Grief Center Children & Families in Portland, Oregon. www.dougy.org
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Now displaying: Category: grief

Remember the last time you tried to talk about grief and suddenly everyone left the room? Grief Out Loud is opening up this often avoided conversation because grief is hard enough without having to go through it alone. We bring you a mix of personal stories, tips for supporting children, teens, and yourself, and interviews with bereavement professionals. Platitude and cliché-free, we promise! Grief Out Loud is hosted by Jana DeCristofaro and produced by The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon.

Apr 6, 2021

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. 

Mar 31, 2021

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. 

The Caregiving Effect
Follow Priya and The Caregiving Effect on Instagram & Facebook

Mar 24, 2021

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. 

Get your copy of Grieving While Black.
Connect with Breeshia and her work. 
Follow Breeshia on Instagram

Mar 19, 2021

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. 

Hope's website.
The AfterGrief.
The AfterGrief Facebook Group
Motherless Daughters Facebook Group

Mar 13, 2021

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:
Self-care 
Ask for help 
Find community 
Engage in social justice work 
Tend to your whole essence 
Yank the plug (engage in mindful isolation) 

Mar 4, 2021

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

 

Feb 26, 2021

When you think of the word "widow" what image comes to mind? When author Melissa Gould's husband Joel died, she didn't fit what she imagined widows looked and acted like, even if she felt like one. This dissonance led her to come up with the term "Widowish" which is also the title of her new memoir. Widowish is the story of her husband Joel, their love, and how she and their daughter Sophie found ways to grieve the heartbreak of his death. 

Follow Melissa on Instagram @melissagould_author
Visit her website: www.widowish.com

Feb 19, 2021

What does it mean to train to be a death doula for your community? This is a question a group of Indigenous youth in Canada grappled with as part of the Death Doula Mentorship Program, created by Blackbird Medicines and the Indigenous death doula collective. Chrystal Wàban Toop, founder of Blackbird Medicines, joined us to talk about how early experiences with grief grounded her in the the work she does as a life spectrum doula and her commitment to helping people reconnect with traditional knowledge and cultural practices to guide individual, family, and community transitions throughout the life span. 
Learn more about Blackbird Medicines and follow them on Instagram & Facebook. Read more about the Indigenous Death Doula Mentorship Program. 

Feb 8, 2021

Even if you don't really celebrate it, Valentine's Day can be rough when you're grieving. This year, we decided to bring you a compilation of love stories from listeners. In their clip they answered one of these questions: How did your person love you? How did you love your person? How did you fall in love? Even though Valentine's Day is usually marketed as only about romantic love, this episode focuses on the love that exists in any connection. The idea for this episode came out of our conversation with Alesia Alexander, LCSW in Episode 162. Alesia and her daughter, Kahlo, join us to talk more about why love stories are important in grief, especially for children and teens. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this special episode!
Hear more from Alesia in When the Professional Becomes Personal

Feb 5, 2021

For the past twenty years, the Native Wellness Institute has worked to promote wellness and balance for Native people throughout North America. Their Executive Director, Jillene Joseph, joined us to discuss how settler colonial policies outlawing funeral rights purposefully cut people off from traditional knowledge and practices. This trauma reverberates today as Native communities work to reconnect with those practices. We also talk about what it means to take a healthy risk in grief, the importance of attending to grief emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally, and how Native Wellness Institute is continuing to promote health and wellness with their Power Hours.
Learn more about Native Wellness Institute.
Tune in to Native Wellness Power Hours every M-F at 12 pm (PST) on Facebook.
Watch past Power Hours on their YouTube channel

Jan 29, 2021

Molly loves her life, but she didn't always feel that way. 18 years ago, on a rainy winter morning, Molly's life changed in an instant. The instant was her mom, who was also her best friend, dying of a heart attack while driving Molly to school. In the almost two decades since that day, Molly's worked hard to figure out what helps her feel healthy and grounded. Part of that work was realizing that grief is permanent - that it will continue to be part of who she is in this world. Now in her 30's Molly is discovering some peace in that permanence and in the knowing that her mom is always with her. 

Please note, this episode contains topics that could be difficult or activating for some folks. We reference sexual assault, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide. If you decide to listen to this episode, do what you need to care for yourself – it might mean listening with a support person, or reaching out for help. If you want to skip these sections they are between 10:50-11:05 and 14:46-16:05. For additional support, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 or text Hello to 741741.  

Jan 21, 2021

As of January 21st, 2021, over 400,000 people in the U.S. have been killed by the coronavirus. Globally, the number is over 2 million. Despite attempts by journalists and public health officials to put these numbers into context, what gets lost in tracking case counts are the stories of the people who died and their family members left behind. This is one of those stories. The story of Maria, beloved mother of four, who died of COVID-19 this past summer. It's a story told by Mariana, Maria's youngest daughter. At the last minute, the hospital allowed just one family member to visit and the family chose Mariana. She was the last person to sit by her mother's side, holding her hand and kissing her goodbye through a mask and face shield. 

Resources mentioned by Mariana:

COVID-19 Loss Support Group for Young Adults
Motherless Daughters
Losing a parent at a young age support group
Motherless daughters when young (0-30)

If you are a young adult grieving someone who has died of COVID-19, the COVID Grief Network offers free one-on-one and group grief support.  

 
Jan 15, 2021

This is the story of how a random encounter led to a transformative friendship that's lasted for more than 50 years. A friendship rooted in the shared experience of grieving a parent who died of suicide. David Pincus and Rick Knapp met as high school seniors and they had a lot in common, including having a mothers who died of suicide. Prior to meeting it was something they rarely talked about, but in their friendship, they finally found someone they could confide in. Now, five decades later, they wrote a book, Sons of Suicide: A Memoir of Friendship, about how these early losses shaped so much of their lives and their ongoing friendship. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • The shame and stigma associated with a death by suicide
  • The power of friendship and connection in grief
  • Grieving as a teenager
  • The drive to answer the "Why?" question
  • How writing the book and being so public with their stories has affected David and Rick

Learn more about David, Rick and their book here. 

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 503.273-8255 or text HELLO to 741741. 

Jan 7, 2021

After her oldest son was killed in 2017, Julia Mallory had a sense that creativity was a place she could go in her grief. In that place, she wrote Survivor's Guilt, a collection of essays and poems about grief, joy, and the moments when they intersect.

In this episode we discuss:
The early days of grief.
What focusing on resilience asks us to ignore.
The concept of survivor's guilt.
The push to "get back to normal."
What it means to grieve as an individual and as part of a collective. 

To learn more about Julia Mallory visit Black Mermaids and follow her on IG (@thejuliamallory), Facebook, (@blackmermaidsbrand), and Twitter (@thejuliamallory).

Dec 23, 2020

When Carmel Breathnach was 11, her mother died of cancer. While she felt supported at home by her father, she didn't feel that way at school. Now as an adult, Carmel’s carried this grief though graduations, through moving from Ireland to the U.S., through getting married, and now through a pandemic.  We talk about the role anger played in her grief, what she needed from her teachers, how she honored her mom at her wedding, and how working on her forthcoming memoir, "Briefly I Knew My Mother," has affected her grief.  
Read more of Carmel's writing on her blog, A Lovely Woman and follow her on Facebook @CarmelBreathnachAuthor
 Instagram @carmelbreathnach and Twitter @authorCarmelB

Dec 18, 2020

Amber Jeffrey is the creator and host of The Grief Gang, a podcast by and for young adults who want to normalize the conversation about loss. Amber was 19 when her mom died suddenly, throwing Amber into a period of questioning and reworking so much in her life, including her friendships and relationship with her older brother. We talk about what inspired her to start The Grief Gang, the solace she finds in the online grief community, navigating the winter holidays, and what to do when a grief activating song comes on during a manicure.
Be sure to follow Amber @thegriefgang and don't miss an episode of The Grief Gang

Dec 13, 2020

When Dara Kurtz was in her late twenties, she was excited. Excited about being pregnant. She was also devastated. Devastated that her mother was recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer. As Dara’s baby grew, Dara’s mother grew closer to the end of her life. Two weeks after Dara’s daughter was born, her mother died – sweeping Dara into a whirlwind of diametrically opposed emotional states: the thrill of being a new mother and the heartbreak of being a grieving daughter. Decades later, Dara rediscovered a collection of letters and cards from her mother. In those letters she also rediscovered just how connected she is still is to her mother. The letters inspired her new book, I Am My Mother’s Daughter: Wisdom on Life, Loss, and Love.  

To learn more visit Crazy Perfect Life and find Dara on Facebook (@crazyperfectlife) & Instagram (@crazyperflife).

Dec 7, 2020

It's our third annual holidays & grief episode with Rebecca Hobbs-Lawrence, Pathways Program Coordinator at the Dougy Center. We share updated ideas for navigating the winter holidays while grieving, during a pandemic. 
For more ideas on holidays & grief visit our website, listen to Ep. 27 & Ep. 98, and follow us on Instagram (@thedougycenter) & Facebook (@thedougycenter) to catch all of our Dougy's (a very different) December Tips. 

Nov 30, 2020

For Allison Hite, two questions sparked a community project called Never, Ever Give Up. The first question was, “How do I be grateful in grief?” The second was, “What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?” These questions became part of Allison’s life after her mother died in a traffic accident when Allison was in her mid-twenties. Answering them, publicly, led to Never, Ever Give Up, which at its core is a conversation between those who write letters of struggle and those who respond with letters of hope.  

Learn more about Never, Ever Give Up. 
Follow them on Instagram & Facebook. 
Learn more about the National Day of Mourning 

Nov 20, 2020

How do you go on living after your child's life ends? How do you continue to find connection, beauty, and meaning when someone we can't imagine living without dies? This is the question Margo Fowkes faced when her son Jimmy died of brain cancer at the age of 21. Margo barely had a moment to grapple with this devastating loss when just a year later, her mother also died. This led Margo to search for information and connection with others who were also grieving. When she couldn't find what she was looking for, she decided to create it. Her website, Salt Water, is a collection of writings, by Margo and others, about how people are continuing to engage in life after losing the people they love most. 

We talk about:

  • Parenting when your child is living with an illness
  • Grieving together and apart with a spouse/partner
  • The power of writing
  • Answering "How many children do you have?"
  • What's helping Margo during this time
  • How she hopes the world will remember Jimmy

Visit Salt Water and connect with Margo on Facebook (@findyourharbor) & Instagram (@findyourharbor)

Nov 12, 2020

BJ Miller is a Hospice & Palliative Care Medicine physician who works with patients facing the end of their lives. When BJ's sister Lisa died of suicide over twenty years ago, he did what so many of us do, he pushed his pain aside. It was his work, supporting patients with advanced serious illnesses, that helped him realize the importance of reckoning with his own grief. 

Watch BJ's TED Talk, What Really Matters at the End of Life.
Listen to his OnBeing interview with Krista Tippet.
Check out his new organization, Mettle Health, which offers online counseling and support for both patients and caregivers. 

Nov 5, 2020
We can't separate grief from our identity. Grief is interwoven with our race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, access to economic resources, and every other part of who we are. Alica Forneret's mother died just over four years ago in 2016. Since that time Alica has advocated for those in grief to get the support they need - in the workplace and in their communities. More recently, she's started to focus on ensuring that people have access to grief resources that are specific to different aspects of their identity. In this episode we talk about moving back to her hometown, why the 4-year anniversary of her mom's death was the hardest one yet, and what's currently helping in her grief. 
 
Alica is also a Grief Out Loud alumnus who joined us in 2019 on Episode 104: Grief & Work

Learn more about Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm, a course offered by Alica Forneret, Alua Arthur, Oceana Sawyer, Lashanna Williams, and Joél Simone Anthony
Check out Alica's website.
Follow her on Facebook (@griefishardaf) and Instagram (@alica.forneret).
Oct 28, 2020

Shelby Forsythia returns to Grief Out Loud to talk about her new book, Your Grief, Your Way, a secular daily devotional for anyone dealing with grief. She pairs quotes with routines and practices that people can do in any order. We talk Your Grief, Your Way, what grief means during this time of COVID and a reckoning with police brutality and racism, the effects of cumulative grief, and what’s currently helping her (spoiler alert: cue the dance party playlist).  
Listen to Shelby’s podcast, Coming Back 
Explore her website 
Check out her new book, Your Grief, Your Way 

If you missed Shelby’s first Grief Out Loud appearance, tune into Ep. 131: Permission to Grieve. 

Oct 21, 2020

When Derrick Kirk was six years old, he and his two sisters were removed from their home and placed in the foster care system. For Derrick, growing up in the orphanage gave him a window into a different way of life. Now a successful entrepreneur, Derrick started the Derrick Kirk Foundation and his podcast, My Thoughts With Derrick Kirk, to help other youth growing up in the foster care system. 

In this episode we talk about the LYGHT program which provides peer grief support groups, based on the Dougy Center's model, for youth in the foster care system. To learn more about the program, listen to episodes 136 & 137

Oct 16, 2020

Paula Fontenelle is a journalist turned therapist who specializes in suicide prevention and supporting those who have had someone die of suicide. Paula's professional interest in this work is deeply rooted in personal experience. Her father died of suicide just over 15 years ago and his death set her on two parallel trajectories. Professionally, she studied everything she could about suicide. Personally, she spent hours interviewing friends and family, uncovering stories and details about her father's life and the pain he carried that she never knew about. 
Listen to Understand Suicide
Read Understand Suicide: Living With Loss, Paths to Prevention
Learn more about her work
Follow Paula on Facebook

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