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Episode Info:

I had such a great discussion with Mary Robinson for this episode. Mary is the founder of Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss, which is in Mountainside and Newark, New Jersey. Mary lost her dad when she was 14 years old, and she struggled for many years after. She got into children’s grief work, she says, “to make sure other kids don't lose years of their life to unresolved grief." Mary was honored as a 2019 CNN Top 10 Hero for her work in the field of children’s grief.

Some topics Mary and I discuss include:

  • Stepping up around the house while her dad was ill and after he died;
  • Misunderstanding when her mom told her it would take a miracle for her dad to come home from the hospital;
  • The importance of using plain language when talking with kids about illness and death;
  • How she started skipping school and quitting activities after her dad died;
  • How she was in her 40s the first time someone said “tell me about your dad;”
  • Starting to get involved in children’s grief work through volunteering;
  • All about Imagine’s programs at their centers in New Jersey;
  • How grief is different from mourning;
  • Why every room at Imagine has an elephant somewhere in the décor or artwork;
  • Why she believes the world is driven by unresolved grief;
  • Why she says that the saying “time heals all wounds” is a myth;
  • Why telling your story is so important for the mourning process;
  • Her tips for widowed parents regarding Father’s Day;
  • Messages that grieving kids need to hear from the adults around them; and
  • Receiving the CNN Top 10 Hero Award from Anderson Cooper, who lost his own dad when he was just 10.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Mary Robinson.

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