Episode 127 - Finding Patience In Grief

I often have to remind myself that when implementing new strategies in my grief recovery process, I am actually making an investment that I must give time to work and produce results.

I must be patient and give these processes time to work. I must also realize that I may not always get the desired result. That's OK because I can always devise new strategies to help me get though the rough times when old processes stop working.

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

Episode 126 - When It Comes To Grief, You Don't Need Permission

I received an email that stated that this podcast felt it gave them permission to go to the space that they needed to grieve.

Permission is something that you need to go on field trips in school. When it comes to things that nourish your body... food, water, or in this case confronting you emotions, there is no need to seek permission. You do what you need to in the moment or as soon as possible to processes those feelings and confront them before things get out of hand and become too overpowering.

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

Episode 125 - The Hypocrisy of Grief

I've seen a number of posts in social media that deal with the lack of support that people feel they should be getting from their loved ones, friends and colleagues.

I personally am a people watcher. I'm in a way fascinated by what people do and how they act in certain situations.

After the death's of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain every one I know had some type of suicide prevention hotline number posted on their social media feeds/timelines. After two weeks, this stopped!

Did people all of a sudden just stopped committing suicide? No, something else happened in the 24 hour news cycle - I don't know what is was, but whatever it was it rendered suicide prevention non news worthy. Those people who posted about these tragedies move on to the next new thing.

People who are grieving are treated differently, however. We are expected to to not have anything to say about or pain - or if we do, just keep it to ourselves while others have the right to opt into and out of the grief space at their leisure...

Thus is called "the hypocrisy of grief."

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Episode 124 - The Self Fulfilling Prophecy of Grief

 I've got a lot of things going on in my life and have barely had time to breathe. I'm trying to help my mother take car of some things and I've got work and life related things of my own that I'm dealing with.

I don't know how I'll manage everything... sometimes it seems overwhelming. It is in those moments that I have to tell myself that everything is going to be okay. I may not know when or how, but if I say it, and believe it, then everything will work out for the best. I don't know when or how - but I know that everything in the end will be just fine.

If you think negative thoughts, then you are already defeated.

Stay positive in the midst of the storm you are going through.

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Episode 123 - Grief and Journaling

Often my thoughts get jumbled in my head. I can't seem to keep things straight sometimes, because my mind is a cluttered mess.

A few months a go, I decided to to start writing - journaling if you will - about things I've been thinking about. Mostly grief related topics that I'd like to discuss on the podcast. The idea was to get things down on paper, someplace where all my thoughts would be in one place... a place whre I could come back and process everything that was going on in my mind a particular place and time in life. A spce would be created that was for me and only me where I could write exactly what I'd want and not be judged by others - a place where I could be completely honest.

The process has helped. I have been able to release things that I need to get out in the moment and come back, process my writings and amend my thoughts (maybe). But in the end , it helps me shape my thoughts for the things I should be doing in my life and it allows me to release some stress and give better focus and attention to other areas of my life.

I have designed a journal that fits perfectly in a handback or backpack... details on pricing will be available soon.

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Episode 122 - Grief and the Cemetery

Jefferson Barracks

 

I needed to visit the St. Louis at the last minute last week and I had the opportunity to visit my dad's grave... but I didn't go alone.

I decided to take my mother with me, because I knew that she hadn't been in a while and I was unsure of what would happen. As it turned out, we ended up having a family meeting.

My mother talked abaout how I was taking over some of the things that she had been doing for years, and I talked about my son's upcoming birthday.

I wish he was closer to town so we could see him often, but in the end it's rewarding to know that I have to carve out a slice of time just to visit him!

How often do you get to the cemetery and how does it make you feel?

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

Episode 121 - Grief and the Pursuit of Happiness

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I have been asked on several occasions if there is ever truly be happy after loss.

The answer to that question is a simple - YES! Getting there however, may not be as simple as it sounds.

Still looking for responses to this mont's question: What do you do with you wedding ring once your spouse dies? send me an email at darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com

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

Episode 120 - Our Genes and Grief

A few weeks ago I asked for listener feedback on how you felt when people say you look like your deceased loved ones - and here is what you said!

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Episode 119 - Grief and My Two Front Teeth

This episode in dedicated to the memory of my cousin, Chris.

Last week Facebook brought up a memory in the form of a picture of me with chipped teeth when I was about 12 or 13. I had chipped my teeth playing a game with my friends.

The pain of the fall I took didn't last long but eating or drinking was difficult to say the least as I would get a crazy sensation that would run through my mouth.

Dealing with this grief is much like that pain I felt. Much like I had to endure some pain in order to eat, I could develop some strategies to make it hurt less. I had to do the same thing with my grief... develop strategies to help the loss hurt less while realizing it wouldn't completely go away.

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

Episode 118 - The Bare Essentials of Grief

No into/outro music today... Just the bare bone basics to produce this podcast.

Why?... Because a listener wanted to know how to get back to "normal" after grief. What is the new structure of life or their day going to look like.

Sometimes we don't need to put on the window dressing to mask how we feel in our grief. It's not essential to who we are and how we really feel. So I used no music in the podcast today to illustrate that point. While the structure of the podcast is different. the overall message is the same. In grief we feel pain regardless of what face we wear in public our how bubbly we attempt to sound when dealing with others.

We don't always need to fit into some one else's expectation of who we should become after our grief.

Just be you... whomever, you are in your grief. Just remember to take time to take care of yourself. Even if you take care of other's physical needs, work on your emotional needs first before reaching out to others... you can't help others if you dont't help yourself first.

Question... How do you feel whem people tell you you look like your deceased loved one. I often want to tell people this but I don't know how it would make them feel. Send me an email at darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com or leave me a voicemail at http://www.dealingwithmygrief.com/voicemail

Finally, the podcast as been listed as one of 6 podcasts to help you cope with grief by AK Lander. You can check out the entire list here: https://www.aklander.co.uk/news/6-grief-podcasts-to-help-you-cope-with-loss

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

Episode 117 - Grief and Gumbo, A Conversation with Ellen Threatts

Ellen Threatts is the author of Four Seasons of Love and Grief. A native of Youngsville, LA Ms. Threatts works, volunteers, plays and writes about community, life, loss, healing and loving those around. While working with those who suffer from mental health issues compassion and servitude cemented the idea of her creating a non-profit for grieving adults and children. While still in its early stages pairing the soles of the feet, the soul of healing hearts surrounded by nature’s landscape will keep Ms. Threatts active and engaged.

In our conversation, Ellen speaks about using writing, hiking, church, and memories oh her husband Troy as the ingredients to her grief recovery "gumbo".

Question... How do you feel whem people tell you you look like your deceased loved one. I often want to tell people this but I don't know how it would make them feel. Send me an email at darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com or leave me a voicemail at http://www.dealingwithmygrief.com/voicemail

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

Episode 116 - Religion and Finding Lessons/Meaning in Grief

Special Announcement:

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Dealing With My Grief  is now an Amazon associate and as an associate I earn from purchases you make on Amazon. You pay nothing extra ... just shop on Amazon by using the above link. The small commission I receive will help fund the show! Thank you!!!

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Please follow me for inspirational quotes and thoughts. Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

I have noticed a theme in a lot of the spaces that I visit where denying a belief in God is rooted in the fact that the god you believe in wouldn't allow your loved one to die when and/or how they did.

Our parents attenpt to teach us things that we may not understand until later in life. We don't understand it at the time or we may me confused in term of what we are to receive from the lesson, but at some point we understand the value in the lesson itself. We at this point have an "Ah ha" moment of clarity in its understanding.

Why can we not do the same thing when it comes to God an our religious/spiritual beliefs? After all there are a lot of us that only turn to God when we need/want something and will only appreciate it if it is manifested in the manner that we see fit. But where are we when we need to show gratitude for the things that we have?

R.E.M. - Losing My Religion video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwtdhWltSIg

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

Episode 115 - Permission to Grieve, A Conversation with Bri Seeley

Bri Seeley Headshot.png

Special Announcement:

You can now support the show by shopping on Amazon with this link:

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Dealing With My Grief  is now an Amazon associate and as an associate I earn from purchases you make on Amazon. You pay nothing extra ... just shop on Amazon by using the above link. The small commission I receive will help fund the show! Thank you!!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:

Bri Seeley is a born catalyst and natural truth-teller with a history in counseling, psychology and entrepreneurship. Despite her two degree’s in fashion design, she was unknowingly taken down the path of healing and transforming lives through a series of “accidents,” “coincidences” and divine guidance. She combines personal experience, psychological concepts, hypnotherapy and Universal Laws with over a decade of coaching and counseling expertise to support people in turning their lives of ‘should’ into the lives they’ve always dreamed of. Her specialty is truly helping people accelerate their destiny and become their future selves today.

Bri talks candidly about the trauma caused by the actions of her father in her life and his suicide. The fact that they had become estranged led her to believe she didn't have to grieve his loss.

She later realized she needed to confront his loss in order to carry on in other aspects of her life

Connect with Bri here: https://www.briseeley.com/

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

Episode 114 - Relections of Dad: Past, Present, and Future - With Joshua Black and Shawn Ram

Special Announcement:

You can now support the show by shopping on Amazon with this link:

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Dealing With My Grief  is now an Amazon associate and as an associate I earn from purchases you make on Amazon. You pay nothing extra ... just shop on Amazon by using the above link. The small commission I receive will help fund the show! Thank you!!!

Now back to our regular program:

Sometimes it's nice to reflect on the milestones we reach with grief. Today I sit down and discuss memories of my dad with the guys from the Grief Dreams podcast.

Last year I did a special Father's Day episode with Joshua Black and Shawn Ram of the Grief Dreams podcast (griefdreams.ca) and it turned out so nice that I wanted to do it again.

Joshua is researching grief dreams as a PhD. student at Brock University in Ontario, Canada his co-host Shawn walks us through the deaths of our fathers and how we've handled, or plan to handle our losses in the future.

It was nice to chat and get a different perspective on how people deal with their grief journey and maybe store some of their techniques in coping with grief away just in case you need to try something new along your grief journey.

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

Episode 113 - Grief Is Like a Fine Wine

My grandfather loved 3 things; dying eggs at Easter, making ice cream, and making wine. A few years ago I decided I would stasrt making wine using some of his recipes.

While my mother was here, I decided I'd start a batch of wine using one of his recipes with her help. It was a great time together. We shared fond memories of him while doing something that he loved to do!

Then as I often do, I started to ask myself. "How, if at all, does this relate to grief?"

Greif is like the empty bucked that we start out with in the wine making process. It's empty... lile we might be when we first lose someone, EMPTY inside. But we know that from that we'd like to end up with something that is as close to a "normal" life as possible. From that bucket we want to turn that emptiness into wine!

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

Episode 112 - Grief, Triage, and Life

I didn't get an opportunity to record an episode last weekend... After going through a week where I lost my ATM card and went through hell to get home from a simple surprise trip on Mother's Day, I had a tree branch fall through - yes through the roof of my house! Trying to get that fixed and prepare for my mother's visit - coupled with the loss of electricity for several hours just didn't afford me the time th get the podcast done.

While I strive to get an episode out every week this week for my own sanity I need to triage my life, and the podcast was the casualty. I needed to take care of ME first last week and I had to decide on the one thing wouldn't get done... I'm okay with that choice, after all, family comes first!

Thanks also to everyone who sent in feedback on the question about leaving deceased people in your contacts! I'll have to ask thought provoking questions more often!

Here is a George Carlin standup routine on the subject: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=miY0QSgtfq4

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

Episode 111 - Grief is Exhausting

This past weekend, I surprised my mother for Mother's Day on what was supposed to be a very short mainly uneventful weekend.

However, trying to get back to DC turned out to be nightmarish:

  1. I had to fix a lock I inadvertently broke
  2. My debit card got eaten by an ATM machine
  3. My flight got cancelled - TWICE - and delayed TWICE!

After finally getting on a plane 28 hours after I was originally scheduled I was exhausted to say the least... Then I realized life, like grief can sometimes be exhausting! How you deal with it makes all the difference in the world.

Also please continue to send feedback on what you do with the contact information of your decesed loved ones... do you delete them from you phone, email, social media - or do you keep them? Why do you d what you do? I'll share my finding on the May 23 episode of the show. Send me an email at darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com.

Here is a link to last weeks episode: http://www.dealingwithmygrief.com/podcast/episode-110

Finally, congratulations to fellow podcaster and previous guest Shelby Forsythia, host of the 'Coming Back' podcast. Her podcast is now officially on year old!You can check out her podcast at http://www.shelbyforsythia.com/comingback/

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

Episode 110 - Grief and My Cell Phone

As I look through my phone, I have come across the names of 3 individuals who've died... one as long as 10 years ago! But no matter how hard I've tried, I can't bring it upon myself to delete their contact information from my phone.

I know they aren't coming back... I've watched them be burried. I'v been to their homes and kne that they aren't on this earth any longer!

I just don't know why there is a certain finality to removing theme from my contact list, especially when I have other things to remember them by!

Do you have contacts of you deceased loved ones still on your phone? If so, why? Send me an email at darwyn@dealingwithmygrief.com and let me know who they are and why you keep them on the list.

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

Episode 109 - Basketball, Grief, and a Lost Bet

Sometimes I have to pay what I owe... I lost a bet to my Canadian friends from the Grief Dreams podcast (griefdreams.ca) and now I have to pay up!

We had a bet on the first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors. Whoever's team lost team lost would have to congratulate the other team on their victory in their podcast. And now I must do just that...

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors!

Now there, I've done it and it's over.

I had a chat with the guys from that podcast and they wanted to know if I could come up with an episode about grief and basketball. I was hesitant at first - and them I realized that I could probably relate any topic to grief. So here is my comparison between grief and basketball...

Sometimes things don't always go you your way. In those instances you have to find a way to go other thing (sometimes what people call the little things) to help yourself win. If you can seem to make shots, play better defense. In grief, if you can't seem to get out of the funk that is brought by grief. Try to do something different than you're doing already to try to take care of your self. It may take some time but eventually you'll find a winning combination.

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

Episode 108 - 40 Years of Grief... Not Quite What I Expected

April 24, 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of my dad's death... April 25 would have been my parents 54th wedding anniversary.

I thought today would be a very painful one for me. But the words of a priest honoring someone else's loved one would touch me in ways that I couldn't imagine. His words took the sting out of the pain.

I decided to homer my dad by hosting a Facebook live event in the Grief Resilience group where people could talk on and speak about their loved one if only for a minute to honor them and keep there memories alive! It was a great time and an amazing space. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be.

While I do hurt, the sting from his loss  hurts a little less this year, all because of the king words of a pastor and the community of others who are grieving!

Dad, I love you and I miss you everyday.

Thanks to all those who reached out to me to checkl on my this month... it is greatly appreciated. And a special thanks to those who choose to share their own stories as a means of fighting through their grief and in some small way helping others.

I love you all.

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