Morgan Michele Brown on Death, Grief, and Healing Part 1
Morgan Brown reminds us the topic of Death and Dying is so much of an unspoken topic, that when the time comes that someone close to you does die it’s a blurry road to navigate. Not only for you as the one who “lost” someone important, but also for the people who are genuinely trying to support you through gestures or comments, but are failing miserably and not helping at all. In part 1 of 2 of this interview, Morgan shares her individual grief process that followed the sudden death of her mom in 2012.
Interview with Morgan Michele Brown
Morgan Michele Brown is a writer, storyteller, photographer, and artist asking people to step into vulnerable spaces around connection, death, and the human experience. She’s been featured on KQED radio, the Women on the Road Podcast, and in Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild, a book by She Explores. Her work has appeared in galleries and museums up and down the west coast of California including The California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Art and History, and The Laundry. When she’s not making stuff she cares about, she’s probably covered in grease from working on her 1970 VW van, or is making photos with her medium format film camera. Either way, she thinks you should probably read her favorite book, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.
You can find more on Morgan Brown at https://www.morganmichelebrown.com/ or follow her on IG https://www.instagram.com/morganmichelebrown/
In this episode we talk about:
Death is an uncomfortable conversation for many people, but Morgan Brown believes conversations about death are actually crucial conversations to have. Morgan walks us through the months following the sudden death of her Mom in 2012. Mom was killed by a truck driver. Morgan was 22.
“When you’re 22 you know your mom can die, but you don’t really think it’s going to happen to you.” – Morgan
Morgan shares the various emotions that flooded after the death of her mom and described all of the ways people tried to be supportive, but were unable to understand that what they were offering was not what she needed. In fact, sometimes it simply added to her feelings of anger and frustration.
“Horrific things that people say to you after [someone dies]” that are “truly offensive.”
- “They’re in a better place.”
- “Don’t be mad at God.”
- “You really should just pray about it.”
- “How are you?”
“I don’t want to hear ‘how are you.’ I had a roommate at the time who is still a really close friend and she would say, ‘What are you thinking about?’ And that was always such a better intro to getting inside of my mind if I wanted to share what was in there, instead of saying, ‘How are you?’ Because I don’t know how I am.” – Morgan Brown
Morgan also discussed the professional resources that were available to her including a grief support group and professional therapy. But then, she also talks about the barriers that keep people from getting therapy and the ones that created obstacles for her as well. One barrier being how difficult it was to function “when you could barely just scrape yourself off the floor.” Another being the lack of energy to research and find a therapist in your area. Gradually, Morgan was able to overcome these obstacles and shares how therapy played a role in her healing process.
“I knew if I were to be honest with myself, I needed support. And support came from family and friends, but I needed something more than just someone to be my friend. I needed help.” – Morgan on Seeking Therapy
Morgan and the Therapists Uncut group remind listeners that the grief process is individual and what works for one person may not work for others, but it is a process that many, if not all of us, will experience. And when it happens, allow yourself to grieve in whatever way that makes sense for you, but also be open to recognizing when you may need “professional help” in your healing process.
Join us next week for part 2 of our interview with Morgan as she shares how the grief and anger that followed the sudden death of her mother in 2012 motivated a new curiosity about life and death, a desire to seek solutions and answers, and new ventures that now provide others with outlets for processing their own experiences with death and loss.
We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links:
Who we are:
Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don't worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at https://catalystcounselinginc.com/
Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene's punchlines. She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at https://smalltowncounselingca.com/ or https://alyssanajera.com/ .
Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years. She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You'll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at https://www.dalymft.com/ .
Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!
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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.
Voice Over by Alexia Gloria