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Good Grief with Cheryl Jones
55 minutes | 3 days ago
The Remnants of Summer
What turns do our lives take after cancer? Dawn Newton wrote a memoir about the lung cancer that dropped into her life so unexpectedly. It would take nine years for the next chapter in her life as a writer to unfold- novelist. Did coming through a time full of challenge affect the book, The Remnants of Summer? How does she believe facing cancer changed her? Writing a book of fiction that confronts loss and grief could well have been informed by her experience, by the potential loss of her very life. And just maybe, she became even more deeply committed to writing it! Join us to explore how she changed in the process and what she has to share about following her own path.
46 minutes | 10 days ago
I Am With You
Of all the words that can touch our lives, you have cancer are some of the most frightening. For Nancy Novack, her diagnosis also made clear how little she knew about this new world and what she would need to face the next steps. Following her successful treatment for Stage IV ovarian cancer, she committed to offer resources to others facing a cancer diagnosis; to offer hope, information and resources to people in the same situation she had faced. As a thank you to the universe, Nancy's List, the organization she created, and I Am With You, the book she compiled, give people newly diagnosed the hand they need to hold as they navigate a new universe. And in the process, Nancy gives meaning to that terrible time and the support and love that held her through it.
55 minutes | 17 days ago
Love in Hard Times
Singer Amikaeyla has spent her career sharing musical healing with people facing challenges around the world. Out of her own deep experiences with music as a force for healing, her work is fueled by a belief in its magic powers. So what has this last year during a pandemic, when her work was altered and sometimes unrecognizable, been like? What has kept her optimism and personal healing going? What lessons she learned over many years have come to the fore this year? Join us as we talk together about the practices, perspectives and power that have supported us each in this most unprecedented time.
55 minutes | 24 days ago
Harnessing Grief: A Mother's Quest for Meaning and Miracles
In a short span of time, Maria Kefalas' husband, father and father-in-law were all diagnosed with life limiting cancer. But none of them knew that would not be the worst thing they would face. Her 2 year old daughter's diagnosis with MLD, an incurable and universally fatal illness, would take her grief to an even deeper place. And facing life with a dying child and husband would seem, at first, impossible. Over time, though, Maria found her way to her own meaning and purpose and learned what would help her to face everything that was coming. In the process, she also helped many other families she would meet facing these same unimaginable losses.
53 minutes | a month ago
How do the lives left behind when parents leave their country and culture impact their first generation children? Esther Amini's parents carried with them the fears, oppressions and traditions they left but also the grit and determination it took to create a new life. Confused as a child about what caused them to behave the way they did, Esther has spent a lifetime seeking to understand them and, ultimately, herself. In the process, she has come to admire them more deeply and also to feel the grief of what they struggled with. We will talk about her memoir and the impact on her of searching for her own identity even as she worked to maintain the family bonds that were vital to her.
55 minutes | a month ago
Poetry as Spiritual Nourishment
In the hardest of times, what moves us, inspires us and takes us that one step further? For Neil Beresin, a counselor and interfaith chaplain, it is often poetry. What he learned during his own most difficult times now serves the people he works with, offering inspiration when all seems bleak. What poems most speak to him and to them? How does he bring poetry into the room for comfort and resonance? And what can we all learn about the power of poetic expression in our own lives? When poetry captures the depth of the human experience, it has the potential of changing our lives while keeping us company along the way. Join us as we explore the impact of poetry in Neil's life and what he's learned along the way.
53 minutes | a month ago
When Keith Cormican's brother died in an attempt at a water rescue, it sparked his search for safe ways to offer families the closure of their loved ones' recovered body. Knowing how important it is to honor the person with our personal burial traditions, he became impassioned advocate for the families of drowning victims. Free of charge, he now travels wherever a family has need of his services and has become a leading expert in safe water recovery. In honor of his brother, he conducts his own recoveries and trains other to operate safely when this service is needed. In the process, he has witnessed and been invited into traditions generations old that honor and memorialize loved ones after they die. It his his honor to help the grieving family go forward.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
Like many people, Eilene Zimmerman believed drug addiction lived in another world, far from her family. That was until her ex-husband, the father of her children, died of an overdose and she discovered his body. How had everyone missed the signs of an ever increasing relationship to substances that was robbing him of his health, his career and his capacity to focus on the important relationships in his life? Eilene became intent on answering her questions about how a brilliant, high powered attorney went down this path, what prevented him from reaching out for the help he clearly needed and what education is needed so that the signs of addiction in a loved one are more easily identified. As a journalist, her search for answers accompanied her through her own (and her childrens') grief, indistinguishable from one another. Her memoir, Smacked, illuminates her own process and what she learned along the way.
56 minutes | 2 months ago
Encore: Going With Grace
Alua Arthur was an attorney working with the most difficult problems we could imagine; abuse, poverty and assault. But she had done the work with energy and joy until she suddenly found herself depressed and uninspired, lacking any joy in the work. Knowing she would have to leave the work she had loved, it took some time to find her true life's calling; helping people prepare to die and then accompanying them and their families through death. Join us to hear the fascinating way she found passion for working with death and how she finds joy in the field. How can what most people avoid bring smiles and deep satisfaction? And how does she help others find the same peace and preparation, leaving room for joy and life for as long as it's possible? A death doula, Alua dedicates her life to these questions.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Moms Don't Have Time To
COVID-19 has been challenging in different ways for different people. Some of us are experiencing more isolation and loss than we were. Some of us, especially in industries directly affected by the pandemic, are working harder. And then there are those of us who are caring for children, trying to balance relationships, parenting, jobs and social isolation. This has highlighted the differential effects of child raising on women, who still bear an outsized burden for our home lives. Zibby Owens has interviewed so many women authors for her podcast, Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books. So she was very aware, as a parent herself, of all the things moms don't have time for, especially those things that feed our souls. Her newest compilation, Moms Don't Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology, gives voice to both the struggles and the triumphs of this most unique time.
55 minutes | 2 months ago
The Artists' Grief Deck
As Nina Simone said, It is an artist's duty to reflect the time in which we live. The Artists' Grief Deck, a project that pairs visual artists with writers, offers visual and written representation of COVID's impact, especially regarding our losses. As it's creators say, COVID-19 presents a unique challenge, among natural disasters, to human culture. Loss is experienced on numerous levels, and it is ongoing. It is not geographically specific, and so there is no ‘getting out’ of the affected area to recuperate and heal. As it takes an enormous toll in human life, it also prevents us from gathering together to mourn, interrupting rituals of grieving across all cultures. Their project is a response to this global grief. Join me as I talk with Adriene Jenik, who created the deck in collaboration with Andrew Freiband, and two of its artists, Brianna L. Hernández Baurichter and William Rhodes.
54 minutes | 3 months ago
Can we ever understand the place a spouse holds in our lives? Often, that understanding comes only after the sudden and terrible loss of that person. Jeff Porter's wife, as it turned out, was the planet around which his life, in some ways, orbited. Her sudden death threw him into outer space, careening into memories, unmoored and trying to make sense of the un-sensible. His attempt to grapple with how his life would go forward without its center point led him to unexpected reaches of his own inner self. In an ongoing conversation with the brilliant, loving and solid person his wife had been, he must come face to face with what he did, didn't do and could never change about their relationship. Still in love with her, he kept the conversation going by writing Planet Claire, a memoir about his loss and the power of their life together.
55 minutes | 3 months ago
Grief Girl's Guide
Grief- what's in it for us? Katherine Ingram had to answer this question for herself when her husband died suddenly. Along with the deep pain of that loss, unresolved feelings about the death of her father when she was eight opened up as well. Her realization that she would have to go through every bad and ugly feeling she was having, avoiding nothing, led to the writing of a memoir, Washing the Bones, and a career working with grief. She comes back to Good Grief to talk about her new book, Grief Girl's Guide, and what she has learned over the years about how to navigate the reality of loss and what we may find at the end of the road. Not only does she believe we are big enough to handle all the big feelings, she also believes that the meaning we find along the way can become our most valuable resource.
55 minutes | 3 months ago
The Night Lake
When Liz Tichenor's mother killed herself, it would have been hard to imagine a loss more crushing, even though her mother had struggled with addiction for most of Liz' life. But shortly after that Liz' son, only forty days old, died inexplicably and sent Liz into a territory of loss and grief unfamiliar to her. As she struggled to carry herself through those most terrible days, she knew that her work as an Episcopal priest would be forever impacted. She also knew she had to tell the truth; to herself, her children and her parishioners. Her message would now carry the deep experience of her grief and the life she built going forward. She would never be the same- and she would offer everything she learned in this deepest time to the people she leads.
56 minutes | 3 months ago
What does it mean to hold space for another person? And how do we hold space for ourselves? When Heather Plett's mother was dying, she discovered that holding space for her, without an agenda or any idea what would happen next, launched her and her siblings into a sacred, liminal space of being. Heather received the same fro her mother's palliative care nurse; she offered support and information when needed without expectation, allowing Heather and her family to find their own way. After this most profound lesson, Heather built a career dedicated to exploring communities and relationships resting on the foundation of holding space. Join us to talk about the principles of this foundation and how to honor ourselves as we show up for those we care about. What makes for a healthy relationship of mutual holding, and how do we deal with the discomfort of saying no to things that are not right for us?
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Encore From Scratch
When Tembi Locke spent a college semester in Italy, it changed the course of her life. Meeting Saro, the man she would love and marry, filled her with joy and also challenged them both to bridge the gap between his Sicilian farm family and her Houston Texas family of civil rights activists. Over time their persistence and courage began to connect their two families. But no struggle before it could have prepared them for Saro's ten years living with cancer, his death, and Tembi's grief. Who could have predicted that Tembi would find her way forward in grief at the table of her mother-in-law, in her small home in Siciliy. Join us to talk about the road Tembi took to find her future.
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Encore Help Each Other Out
2020 has turned up the volume on our need for empathy and love! In 2018, Kelsey Crowe and I talked about how to get better at offering true empathy. How much do you know about offering empathy when someone you love is having hard times? Kelsey Crowe found that many people in her own life had a hard time being there for her through her own most difficult moments. Then she noticed that she was not great at it either! It became her mission to learn and teach the skills that lead to a sense that we are loved, supported, and trusted to find our own solutions. The book she co-authored with Emily McDowell, There is No Good Card for This, is a practical guide to support. Her organization, Help Each Other Out, offers valuable services for becoming more empathically wise and offering greater compassion to the people in we care about. Join us as we talk about her hard won lessons and how she learned them.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
Bury Me Natural: The Forest Conservation Burial Ground
In the past several years green burial options have become more and more important to those of us who want to protect the planet. Green burial, which uses no embalming, no casket and leaves the land as it was found, is a very appealing option. But there are very few green burial grounds in the U.S. Mary Ann Perry and the women at the Willow-Witt Ranch in Oregon set out to create just such a space. The use of the ranch as a burial ground gives its owners a way to conserve the land, commit to maintaining the natural environment and offer an alternative to the standard funeral industry. It also gives families a beautiful and natural way to honor the life of their loved ones. Mary Ann, the sexton for the project, will join us to talk about their first funerals, the principles of green burial, and what led her to a passion for this work.
56 minutes | 4 months ago
The Journey From Ego to Soul
After her father committed suicide, Karen Wyatt questioned everything about her life, including whether she wanted to continue practicing medicine. If she couldn't help this most important person in her life, what did it all mean? But what slowly evolved was a career she couldn't have predicted; as a hospice doctor and a support to battered women. Over time she came to trust that there was a way to follow her galaxy self- that broader view of life and its possibilities. Instead of living in the garden view in which everyday life and supplying her needs was her only focus, blending these two very different aspect of her soul brought greater peace, more perspective and surprising new adventures. Through the long path to understanding, she learned that although we all need an ego to take action in the world, it leads us astray if it is not informed by the deepest murmurs of our souls. We will talk about her newest book which guides readers towards their own explorations.
55 minutes | 4 months ago
The Language of Loss
People who have not experienced deep loss may believe that grievers like to be cheered up, distracted, told about happy things. But often, deep expressions from other mourners does more. In our shared humanity we walk together, acknowledging the pain and also the moments of beauty and poetry that come with loss. After her husband died, Barbara Abercrombie, an accomplished writer herself, found comfort in the words of expressions of those who had already been there. Her collection of these writings, The Language of Loss, allows readers to dive into the experience of their loss and find company there. More than anything, it supports our right to be where we are and feel what we feel. Join us as we talk about grief; our own and others.
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