Episode 34 - Grief and Strength

That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger

When I thing about the phrase, "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger", I can apply this to my life... literally!

After seeing my father's lifeless body in the store owned by my parents after his death, and wondering if things might be different if my mother and I would have stayed at the store for an additional 30-45 minutes, I use this as a source of strength in my life. Nothing will every be as bad as it was when he died. My mother had to come up with a Plan B.

 

I have learned to face new challenges and Plans B and sometimes C head on using my grief.

This weeks call to action:

My father died without a will. This made life harder for my mother necessary. See a lawyer, and prepare a will. If you can afford to do so, purchase life insurance so the ones you leave behind won't have to initially worry about finances when you're gone.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 33 - Grief and Fear

I have become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Once my father died I lived in fear believing the men responsible for his death eventually would come for me. I let this fear permeate other aspects of my life until I learned to confront it and find ways to embrace it and move on.

This week's call to action: Link logically, sometimes emotions can cloud our judgement. Think things through before making decisions.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

 

Episode 32 - Grief and Spock

Sometimes I have to remove the emotions from the decision making process.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the television show Star Trek, I am reminded that sometimes thinking like a half Vulcan, half Human is not necessarily a bad thing.

This week's call to action: Link logically, sometimes emotions can cloud our judgement. Think things through before making decisions.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

 

Episode 31 - Chronicling My Grief Journey

I wouldn't be who I am today without going through the pain that was losing my father. Starting this podcast only make me wish I had started capturing how I felt a lot earlier in life.

This week's call to action: Start chronicling your grief journey. Start a diary, blog or even your own podcast. Make a point to rered it later and discover if and how different you may be know.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

 

Episode 30 - Grieving Celebrities

Why am I saddened when certain celebrities die

I wasn't able to get to my Aunt Wanda's funeral... I simply spent too much money getting back and forth to St. Louis spending time with family before/after my uncle passed away, I'm just financially drained.

The focus of this week's show in dealing with the death of celebrities, more specifically the lives of 3 individuals - (Click their name for information about them):

  1. Darwyn Cooke
  2. Prince
  3. Muhammad Ali

In some way, big or small,  the lives of each of these individuals touched me in some way. Somehow they were able to resonate with something I was going through at some part of my life.

This week's call to action: We all have some type of struggle. Find a way to help someone through theirs. We are all in this together.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 29 - Grief Comes In Waves

Just when I started to recover emotionally from my uncle's death, I received more bad news.

After spending some time away and getting emotionally recharged, I received news that my aunt passed away. While her health had been back and forth for some time, I really didn't think that she would be gone so soon as she passed one day shy of her 74th birthday.

This episode is dedicated to my Aunt Wanda. I love you dearly! Rest in peace.

This week's call to action: spend more time with the elderly.

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 28 - Grief and Hope

Sometimes making it through the day is difficult.

First, let me apologize for the tardiness of this post. I was on vacation with very little internet access. I pre-recorded the episode and the blog post was supposed to go up as the same time as the podcast episode but it did not.

Sometimes making it through the day is difficult. There's only one thing that gets me through.

Some days when I think about my father and most recently my uncle who passed away I think about and the many memories we shared and it's hard to imagine life without them.

Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to make it through the day, who is going to be there to give me guidance concerning whatever issues might come my way.

I'm then reminded of something my grandfather used to say to me... Any day you wake up and the sun is shining on your face is a good day!

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 27 - Grief and Cartoon Characters

What I've learned about grief from Charlie Brown and Linus

First, let me apologize for the tardiness of this post. I was on vacation with very little internet access. I pre-recorded the episode and the blog post was supposed to go up as the same time as the podcast episode but it did not.

Recently I had the opportunity to watch the 'Peanuts Movioe' and reflect on the character of Charlie Brown - a guy who never seems to give up regardless of how many times things just don't work out. 

  • He never seems to be able to muster up the courage to talk to the red haired girl. In the Peanuts Movie, he does in fact talk to her, but in his efforts to impress her, things just don't seem to work out - book report he writes for her.
  • He is the captain of a baseball team that never wins a game. Yet he never misses a game himself.
  • Every time he flies a kite, it ends up in a tree.
  • Every time he tries to kick that football that Lucy is holding, she pulls it away from him at the last minute.

    Why doesn't he just quit?

Two reasons... he has hope, and a friend named Linus!

This week's call to action - Be someone's Linus. If you know someone who needs a word of encouragement or a helping hand, give it to them without them asking

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 26 - Grief and Celebrating Life

It's important do something to honor the life of your loved one.

There was no episode last week as I'm just returning from being with family after losing an uncle a couple of weeks ago.

Rest In Peace, Uncle Luther.

In remembering the live's of my father and my uncle, I sometimes realize that I shy away from things that we used to do together, because... well we can no longer do them together!

I've changed my attitude, however. I will embrace the things we did together. My uncle like going to the race track, my father like taking long drives. I am going to attempt to do both of these things more ofteen.

This week's call to action - Do something to honor your loved one's memory. Plant a tree, start a foundation, donate to a charity. go camping... but do something!

Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 25 - Preparing for Grief

There is never enough time to prepare for someone's death.

This episode is dedicated to my Uncle Luther who passed away on July 17, 2016.

After learning my uncle had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I had the opportunity to spend a few days with him a couple of weeks ago. We took a trip down memory lane and I'll share a few memories in this episode.

Even though I knew the time would come, I wasn't mentally prepared deal with his death. It's only been 3 days, and I miss him already. His funereal will be the first time I've seen many family members in several years - too many years

This week's call to action - find someone that you haven seen or spoken to in a while and catch up. Don't make your loved one's funeral your next family reunion.

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Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 24 - Grief and Listening

Speaking about your grief is important,  but so is listening

This episode is inspired by 3 events that have occurred in the since last week's show:
 - The shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, LA
 - The shooting of Philandro Castile in Falcon Heights, MN
 - The subsequent shooting of 11 police officers in Dallas

I was reluctant to talk about my story of grief because I didn't want to listen to others talk about theirs. I would compare the two and not give any credibility to your grief if your loved one didn't meet some violent end. Simply put, your narrative wasn't the same as mine, so it couldn't be real.

I believer the same holds true for the events of the past week. There is a divide in the U.S. between people who believe police are doing their job and those who feel the police are racist or unfairly treating the very citizens they are supposed to protect.

We need to listen to each other and UNDERSTAND what the other side is saying. Only then will we begin the healing process.

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Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 23 - Suppressing Grief

If you suppress grief too much, it can well redouble.
 - Molière

Suppress grief only hinders the recovery process

The whole reason behind this podcast is the tell my story of how I deal with death, loss, grief and bereavement; specifically the loss of my father when I was still a young child.

It is my way of letting go of the things that I had bottled up for so long. But why did I wait so long to get this burden of of my chest?

1.  I felt that I would be a burden to others who were also dealing with my fathers' loss.
2. Real men don't cry!
3. I was following the lead of others
4. I didn't want professional help
5. No one would listen to me.

I encourage everyone to find someone to talk to about their grief. A priest, rabbi, or whoever the leader of your faith based community might be. A grief counselor or support group. Whatever you do, don't keep it bottled up. It only makes it worse over time.

More on the life of Molière

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Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 22 - Grief and the New Normal

If it exists, it's a moving target

When people talk about the "new normal"during the grieving process, they talk about the the person that you become after the loss of someone special in your life. But it this "new" you really ever going to be normal?

This episode is inspired by Dave Jackson of the "School of Podcasting." Dave's podcast helped me get my podcaast. One of the segment of his show is called 'Because of my Podcast', where different podcast producers share stories of how podcasting has changed their lives. This week, Dave featured my podcast on his show. Here is a link to his blog post discussing my show.

During an email conversation with Dave, he discusses getting to the "new normal" in his life.for me, I think the new normal comes in stages:

- The old normal - That which was normal before my grief
- The fractured normal - Some of the things in my life remained normal, but they
   startto feel strange .
- The new normal - The strange and weirdness are no longer strange and weird

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Contact me using any of following:

email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 21 - Grief and Anger

Sometimes dealing with my grief makes me outright furious!

As I reflect on Father's day, there are a few things that make me angry about my father's loss:

1. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.

2. I didn't get a chance to "hang out" at father-son event's during high school

3. My son will never have a relationship with his grandfather

4. I simply didn't have enough time of my own with my father.

I'm still trying to deal with these angry feelings i Have, but I haven't really discovered the best way to do so.

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email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 20 - Grief and Special Occasions

There was no episode last week.

I had an emergency eye procedure that Monday - the regular day I record the show and Tuesday was my son's high school graduation. With family in town and trying to recover health wise. I just couldn't find/make time to record the show.

Now on the this week's episode...

As mentioned earlier, my son graduated from high school this week and this Sunday is Father's Day (June 19th). I wanted to reflect on how my grief affects my ability to appreciate/celebrate holidays and life's milestones.

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email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 19 - Grief and the Things We Say

Sometimes words don't have the intended meaning.

How do we interpret things people say while grieving?

To grievers, a lot of things that people say to be comforting may not be comforting at all:

"I'm sorry for your loss"
"Your loved one is in a better place"

But as grievers, is there anything that we say, that can seem insensitive?

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email - darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com
twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 18 - The Only Cure for Grief...

... is action

The only cure for grief is action
- George Henry Lewes

This is really the third in a series of episodes that discusses this topic. I was just able to find a quote that perfectly sums it up! The other episodes are 15 and 17.

I have found that staying busy - being active, is the main way that I keep my grief from totally consuming me. I think I learned this from my mother because she had to get busy right away in making sure that she had a job so she could put food on the table and make sure she could pay the rest of the bills.

Please, please,  please rate and review the show in iTunes: they don't make it easy - you have to search for "Dealing With My Grief" in the Podcast app, then click the podcast link at the bottom of the results page - then you'll see the button to rate or review the show. Thanks, I really appreciate it!! Thanks for taking the time to listen.

More on George Henry Lewes.

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twitter - http://www.twitter.com/dealwithgrief
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Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 17 - Moving Forward vs. Getting Over Grief

Getting over grief and moving forward from grief are mutually exclusive.

Sorry this episode is a day late, but this virus that has been going around has been kicking my but... I finally found 25 minutes or so when I wasn't coughing to finish this episode...

At some point after your loss, you have to begin to move forward - this means you have to begin to re-establish some routine in your life. That could be going back to school or work, or getting back into the workforce after not working for a very long time. Maybe its getting back into a hobby.

What I have learned is that life goes on after loss. I learned this from my mother. She never once wavered from her stance that we would be OK and we would make it through our tragedy. This doesn't mean that we weren't sad or still grieving, it just meant that she had to do what she needed to do to assume becoming the head of the household.

You can still grieve, but at some point we must learn how to move forward.

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web - http:// www.dealingwithmygrief.com

Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 16 - Comforting Other Grievers

What can i do to help others that are grieving?

One of my best friends just lost his wife unexpectedly.

I often ask myself what I can do to help those who are grieving. I tend not to to the cliche things such as food and flowers. Sometimes the best thing that I can offer is a listening ear.

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Music provided by Oren Levine (oren@ohljazz.com)

Episode 15 - Games and Grief

How did a simple game help me deal with my father's death?

Shortly after my father died, I was introduced to the game of chess. Any one who knows me, knows that I am passionate about this game... but they may not know why.

It is through playing chess that I was able to connect with friends of my father and learn more about the man that he was. It also provided me some "me" time away from my friends

This brings me some sense of comfort.

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