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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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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.

Aug 13, 2020

Children’s books transport us – sometimes to places of imagination and sometimes to places rooted in place and culture. A children's book can also be doorway to emotional understanding around complex topics. Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer and grieving mother who recently published The Shared Room, a brave and tender book for children (and adults) about a family grieving the death of their daughter. The Shared Room is at once a book about memories, sorrow, joy, and the ways grief is carried individually and collectively.  

Listen to Kao Kalia Yang & Shannon Gibney, co-editors of What God is Honored Here - Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss, By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color on Grief Out Loud, Ep. 127
To learn more about Kao Kalia Yang’s writing, teaching, and speaking, visit her website
Watch Kao Kalia and illustrator, Xee Reiter, discuss The Shared Room. 

Aug 10, 2020

This episode is a little different. Rather than an interview, we are sharing information from the Dougy Center's most recent Tip Sheet - Back to School with Grief and the COVID-19 Pandemic. With how tough it can be to focus long enough to take in a lot of text when you're grieving, we wanted to offer the information in this format. We'll be bringing you more Tip Sheet episodes over the next few months, so stay tuned!
Check out the Dougy Center's full Tip Sheet collection. It includes Tip Sheets for parents and caregivers wanting to supporting children and teens in their grief as well as ones for teens, young adults, teachers, and school administrators. 
In this episode we mention When Your World is Already Upside Down, a Tip Sheet specifically on how to support children and teens who are carrying grief into this time of COVID-19. 

Aug 2, 2020

What does it mean to grow and grow up with grief? Aliya, a recent high school graduate, spent the past three years reckoning both with her mother's death from cancer and the intricacies of their relationship. As Aliya confronted the more painful aspects of their connection, she created space for remembering the other parts -the ones that were loving and joyful. As Aliya heads off to college this fall, she does so with a new confidence in her ability to navigate the ways her grief continues to unfold. 

Sign up for BetterHelp's online counseling and support www.betterhelp.com/grief and receive 10% off your first month. 

 

Jul 27, 2020
Beth French started Let's Talk About Loss in December of 2016, eighteen months after her mother Susan died of cancer. Beth was in her early twenties and feeling very alone in her grief. She was the first in her group of friends to experience this type of loss and wanted to connect with others who understood what she was going through. She knew a traditional support group wasn't for her so she started the first Let's Talk About Loss meet-up. A gathering of other young adults ages 18-35 where people could talk, listen, and share stories. From that initial meet-up, Let's Talk About Loss has grown to host meet-ups across the UK. They also offer a pen-pal opportunity called Share My Grief that is available to anyone around the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Let's Talk About Loss is also offering ways to connect virtually.

Let's Talk About Loss website
Share My Grief program
Let's Talk About Loss YouTube Channel

Sign up for BetterHelp online counseling using the link www.betterhelp.com/grief and get 10% off your first month. 
Jul 14, 2020

How do historic and present-day death rituals and funeral practices in the Black community serve as acts of resistance? Dr. Kami Fletcher is a historian and death scholar whose research focuses on the history of African American deathways and deathwork. She is an Associate professor of American & African American History at Albright College and the President of The Collective for Radical Death Studies. We talk about a lot in this episode, including the oldest African American cemetery, Mt. Auburn, the ways the institution of slavery suppressed African American death ritualshow funeral practices in the Black community serve as acts of resistance, and how the modern-day practice of RIP t-shirts played a role in Dr. Fletcher’s personal grief after her cousin Willie died in 2017.  

Follow Dr. Fletcher on Twitter (@kamifletcher36 
ThCollective for Radical Death Studies 
Dr. Fletcher’s most recent book - Till Death Do Us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed

Jul 7, 2020

What does it mean to choose joy and gratitude when you're in the depths of grief? For Ty Alexander, joy and gratitude became her two main survival strategies after her mother died of cancer when Ty was in her 20's. Now, as a wellness blogger, podcast host (Self Care IRL), and author of the book, "Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died," Ty helps others struggling with grief (and life) find ways to make room for joy and gratitude, while still honoring the people who have died and the pain of the loss. 

Be sure to follow Ty - 
@lovetyalexander - Facebook
@tyalexander - Instagram
@loveTyAlexander - Twitter
@SelfCareIRL - Twitter
www.lovetyalexander.com

Jun 29, 2020

Have you found yourself wishing you could hear from your person one more time? Wondering what advice, wishes, or words they would share about events big and small? When Art Shaikh's father died, he was charged with delivering letters his father wrote to various family members on important days like birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. His father's legacy inspired Art to create CircleIt, a digital generational platform for creating, sharing, and preserving memories. CircleIt is a way to stay connected to family and friends, even after someone dies. 

Download CircleIt from Apple or GooglePlay

Sign up for BetterHelp online counseling at www.betterhelp.com/grief

Jun 17, 2020

Jenny Delacruz is a family therapist and author who specializes in working with children and families. Her newest book, "Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?" is about the big and overwhelming emotions that so many children are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss how Jenny sees grief show up in her clients, related to COVID-19, the media coverage of the murders of Black people, often at the hands of police, and the ongoing traumatic effects of racism and racist violence. Jenny provides some easy to implement strategies to support children in processing the grief and other emotions connected to these events.

To learn more about Jenny's work:
Writing: https://www.cobbscreekpublishing.com/ 
Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?
Counseling practice: https://www.restorativetherapy.info/ 
StoryTime with Ms. Melange on Facebook, Instagram, & YouTube



Jun 17, 2020

Jenny Delacruz is a family therapist and author who specializes in working with children and families. Her newest book, "Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?" about the big and overwhelming emotions that so many children are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss how Jenny sees grief show up in her clients, related to COVID-19, the media coverage of the murders of Black people, often at the hands of police, and the ongoing traumatic effects of racism and racist violence. Jenny provides some easy to implement strategies to support children, and adults to, in processing the grief and other emotions connected to these events.

To learn more about Jenny's work:
Writing: https://www.cobbscreekpublishing.com/ 
Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?
Counseling practice: https://www.restorativetherapy.info/ 
StoryTime with Ms. Melange on Facebook, Instagram, & YouTube



Jun 17, 2020

Jenny Delacruz is a family therapist and author who specializes in working with children and families. Her newest book, "Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?" about the big and overwhelming emotions that so many children are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss how Jenny sees grief show up in her clients, related to COVID-19, the media coverage of the murders of Black people, often at the hands of police, and the ongoing traumatic effects of racism and racist violence. Jenny provides some easy to implement strategies to support children, and adults to, in processing the grief and other emotions connected to these events.

To learn more about Jenny's work:
Writing: https://www.cobbscreekpublishing.com/ 
Momma, Can I Sleep With You Tonight?
Counseling practice: https://www.restorativetherapy.info/ 
StoryTime with Ms. Melange on Facebook, Instagram, & YouTube



Jun 11, 2020

When Natalie's dad died suddenly at the start of her freshman year of high school, she searched, but couldn't find what she most needed: a resource written for and by other grieving teens. So, she decided to create one. In March of 2020, Natalie launched the website Teenage Grief Sucks which serves as a platform for articles ranging from what it's like to go to driving school when you're grieving to tips for how teens can support their grieving friends. 

To read Natalie's work, or contribute your own, visit www.teenagegriefsucks.com

Jun 5, 2020

Maria Collins, Vice President of the New York Life Foundation, joins Grief Out Loud to discuss three new initiatives to support grieving children and their families: 1) The Golden Sweater, a children's book about grief, 2) Speaking Grief, a multi-platform public media project, produced by WPSU, and 3) The Brave of Heart Fund which provides direct monetary support to children and families of those who die working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting communities of color, especially the Black and Latinx communities, and that these communities also face economic disparities and a lack of access to services, the Brave of Heart Fund is a vital resource

Resources
Download The Golden Sweater children's book
Learn more about The Brave of Heart Fund
Watch a trailer for Speaking Grief
New York Life Foundation's Ask the Experts series
COVID-19 School & Community Resources
Grief Sensitive Schools Initiative

May 29, 2020

How would you tell your children that their father murdered their grandparents? This is the heartbreaking question Jenn, whose children were 6 and 10 at the time, faced when she got the news that her ex-husband killed his parents. This is the story behind the facts that we read in the news. The story of three people navigating grief that changed every aspect of their lives. It's also a story of love. Of anger. And of hope.

If you or someone you love is affected by abuse and needing support, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or if you’re unable to speak safely you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.  

Tips for Supporting Children & Teens Grieving a Murder or Violent Death.
After a Murder Workbook.

May 22, 2020

What does it mean to integrate grief into your life? To respond to it as something that doesn't need to be fixed or eradicated? Mari Gonzalez is the co-founder of the Grief Rites Foundation and creator of workshops and classes for those dealing with grief. We discuss how grief shaped so much of Mari's life - from her career choices to how she engages with the world. We also talk about what's coming up in her grief related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Be sure to check out the Grief Rites Foundation to learn more about their monthly reading series (now offered virtually) and Mari's website, The Grief Revolution

May 14, 2020

Paula Becker is an author and mother of three. Her memoir, A House on Stilts, Mothering in the Age of Opiod Addiction, chronicles how she and her family navigated her oldest son, Hunter's, struggles with substance use. Paula and her husband Barry braced themselves, many times, for the reality that Hunter's addiction might end his life. Then, in 2017, while riding a bus from their hometown of Seattle to the Bay Area of California, Hunter was hit and killed by the driver of the bus, as he attempted to re-board after a rest stop. Paula and Barry filed a wrongful death suit which, after two years, led to a jury declaring the bus driver and company were responsible for Hunter's death. 
Paula talks about Hunter, the grief she faced throughout his struggle with substance use, how she and her husband learned to make space for one another's grief, and what it was like to be so public with that grief during the trial. 

May 5, 2020

In Ep. 143 we talked with Paige about step-parenting grieving children and in this one, we talk with one of her children, 17-year-old Chloe. Chloe was 14 when her mother Danielle died of colon cancer. After Danielle died, Chloe and her younger sister moved in full-time with their dad and Paige. Chloe talks about honoring her mom on Mother's Day while also celebrating Paige, what it's like to help her younger sister carry on the legacy of their mom, and why sometimes talking about grief with the people we are closest to can be overwhelming. 

Listen to Ep. 143 with Paige.
For additional resources on navigating Mother's Day, visit The Dougy Center.

Want to join us on Friday, May 8th at 6 pm (PST) for Reflection, our annual Benefit? We're going virtual! Learn more here

May 4, 2020

This mini-episode shares two emails from listeners and how to participate in The Dougy Center's annual Reflection Benefit & Auction. This year, Reflection is going virtual which means everyone can participate from around the globe! Reflection funds nearly half of The Dougy Center's peer support group program and allows us to create resources like our Tip Sheets and this podcast. 

The virtual livestream program is May 8, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. PDT and the event will culminate with the drawing of the winning Porsche Boxster Raffle ticket. Join us early! The pre-cast will begin at 6 p.m. and you can make sure everything is working smoothly before the program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Step 1: Before the event, you will need to register. Here's how.

Step 2: On May 8, you will need to join the event on two devices — one for the livestream and one for the online bidding platform. Watch the livestream program on The Dougy Center’s public Facebook page. The online bidding platform can be found here.

Step 3: It’s more fun with friends! Here’s information on how to host a ZOOM party or Facebook Watch party.

 

Apr 30, 2020

How would the world be different if grief was universally understood as a natural reaction to loss and not something that needs to be fixed or taken away? Lindsey Whissel Fenton is working to create that world through Speaking Grief, a public media initiative designed to raise grief awareness. The initiative is a multi-element project that includes a one-hour documentary, Speaking Grief, that debuts on public television on May 5th, 2020. Lindsey talks about the project’s inspiration and how months spent interviewing grieving people from across the country now influences how she sees her own grief and how she shows up for those she cares about 

Speaking Grief website & trailer. 

Want to watch the full documentary? Check your local public television station listing for air dates! 

Apr 24, 2020

In May of 2015, Jayson Greene's first child, Greta, had just turned two and was spending the day with her grandmother, Susan. While she and Susan were sitting on a bench in Manhattan, a piece of masonry fell from a building, hitting them both. Susan survived, but Greta did not. From the first days of grief, Jayson turned to writing, documenting all that was unfolding. These initial writings became his stunning memoir, Once More We Saw Stars. We talk about Greta, grief, and parenting Jayson's second child, Harrison. 

 

Apr 17, 2020

Being a step-parent is complicated under the best of circumstances, but what happens when your children's other parent dies? Paige Smith was just settling into her new family with her husband and his two children that he co-parented with his ex-wife, Danielle, when they got the news that Danielle had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. When Danielle died and the girls moved in Paige and her husband, Paige found herself entering the new role of full-time mother, but without the support and guidance of Danielle. We talk about how Paige and her husband, together with their girls, are working to honor Danielle's memory and navigate grief individually, and as a family. 

Apr 10, 2020

Dr. Tashel Bordere has spent years researching the grief experience of black youth affected by homicide and gun violence. While many grieving people can relate to their grief being disregarded, for black youth and youth with marginalized identities, their grief not only goes unacknowledged, but is often penalized. Their behaviors and reactions, which are normal responses to grief, are met not with support and understanding, but with negative labels and punishment. This results in a concept Dr. Bordere has identified as suffocated grief and is rooted in systems of oppression and discrimination.

Dr. Bordere, PhD, CT is a Certified Thanatologist and Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Science at the University of Missouri. She is also a Robert Wood Johnson Forward Promise Fellow and the author of numerous research papers and publications focused on black youth affected by homicide, gun violence, and race-based trauma.

To learn more about Dr. Bordere's work:

S.H.E.D. Grief Tools  (MU Extension)
Video
Website 

Apr 2, 2020

What happens when a crisis affects everyone, including those who support others? Who is left to show up and care for those who need it the most? Grief professionals are faced with finding answers to the question, "How do we care for ourselves so we can care for others?" Megan Devine, founder of Refuge in Grief, author of It's OK That You're Not OK, and creator of Writing Your Grief online classes and communities. We delve into these questions and explore how the pandemic is affecting Megan, the people she supports, and her colleagues in the grief world. 

Mar 25, 2020
In 2010 Dr. Justin Yopp and his colleague, Don Rosenstein, piloted a support group for widowed dads that grew into being part of the Widowed Parent Project. A decade later, Dr. Yopp and his team continue to learn from widowed parents about the unique challenges of grieving their partner, raising children as a solo parent, and forming a new trajectory for their lives and their families. 
Learn more about the Widowed Parent Project.
Read The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life *all proceeds from the book go directly to the Widowed Parent Project.*
Watch Dr. Yopp's TEDx Talk
Mar 20, 2020

The COVID-19 global health crisis is an unprecedented time of uncertainty, change, and concern - three things that often accompany grief. For those who are already grieving, elements of this pandemic may feel familiar and bring us back to times when we had to readjust everything in our lives. Leslie Barber is a grieving widow, parent to a grieving child, and the founder of Grief Warrior, which creates gift boxes for grieving people. We talk all about grieving in this time of COVID-19 and how she and her daughter are navigating the disruptions to daily life while carrying their grief. 

Leslie's company - Grief Warrior
When Your World is Already Upside Down - Supporting Grieving Children & Teens During the COVID-19 Global Health Crisis - a Tip Sheet from The Dougy Center.
https://www.dougy.org/grief-resources/tip-sheets/

 
Mar 11, 2020

This is an encore episode that originally aired on February 25th, 2019. 
When grief enters our world, many of us expect to cry and feel frustrated, but we aren’t as prepared for the intense fear and worry that can also be part of loss. Someone being 10 minutes late getting home sparks visions of a car crash or getting a call from the hospital. Maybe sleep eludes us as we spin over how to do day to day life without our people. Sometimes the hardest part about anxiety is how it can catch us off-guard, either because we’ve never dealt with it before, or because the anxiety we already knew well has grown to an untenable level.

Claire Bidwell Smith, a licensed counselor, author, mother, and grieving daughter recently published her new book, Anxiety, the Missing Stage of Grief, that delves into all the ways anxiety can be part of grief. Before Claire was 25, both of her parents died of cancer. Her adolescence and young adulthood were deeply etched with their illnesses, treatment, and deaths. Out of this devastating grief grew her desire to help others facing similar situations. 

Resources:

Claire's website 
Self-Care Planning Tip Sheet 
NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) Tips on talking with children about coronavirus/COVID-19
It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine

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