Ep. 359 Unburying My Father: A Grief Project with Zander Masser

Learn how discovering his father’s old slides helped Zander heal his longstanding grief and understand his father’s story.

My guest Zander Masser is an occupational therapist, husband, father, musician and author of the newly released narrative photography book Unburying My Father. The book chronicles his 10-year project of exploring his own grief while sorting through ten thousand slides he found in his father’s basement. Today he shares how this project helped him find new perspective on his grief and how he is helping others use storytelling and creativity to heal their grief. Learn more at his website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • What Zander learned about his father through this project
  • How Zander gathered stories for the book
  • How learning his father’s hidden stories helped Zander better appreciate his photography
  • The trauma experienced by his father because of his diagnosis
  • How this book has given a voice to Zander’s father and made meaning of his entire life
  • How new layers of grief have emerged since undertaking this project
  • The shift from focusing on our loved one’s death to focusing on their life
  • How Zander was unprepared at age 14 to go through grief therapy because his family had almost never talked about his father’s illness and death
  • How to use creativity and stories to explore grief
  • How objects from the past can help us tell stories about our loved ones
  • How Zander used social media to begin putting this story out to the world
  • What medical providers can improve upon to help children deal with grief over the death of a loved one

Links mentioned in this episode:

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If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes. Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu, especially to my newest donor Elizabeth Grace Wolf! Also thank you to Jen Blalock for buying me a coffee. Your contributions make all the difference.

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 244 Creative Tools for Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Claudia Coenen

Learn how creativity can help us process our feelings of grief and sadness to become more whole during times of difficulty.

My guest Claudia Coenen is certified in grief counseling and thanatology and is also a musician, dancer, writer, and chef who utilizes creative process and somatic therapy in her work with clients. She is also the author of two books – “Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again” and “The Creative Toolkit for Working With Grief and Bereavement: A Practitioner’s Guide”. Today Claudia shares how creativity can help all of us deal with our grief and sadness as we cope with the global pandemic and some specific tools for fostering resilience and healing in a time of distress. Learn more about her work at her website:


Listen here:

Creative Tools for Grief with Claudia Coenen

This episode includes:

  • How creativity can help us deal with trauma, loss and grief
  • Why everyone is creative – even if they don’t know it
  • Creative activities for addressing fear during the pandemic
    • Fear and Action Worksheet
    • Shield Collage
    • Resilience basket
  • How various models for grief can help us get in touch with our emotions
    • Shattering of the Assumptive World
    • Meaning-making
    • Dual Process
    • Companioning Model
  • A daily ritual for acknowledging the current collective grief of humankind: Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

May we be at peace.

May we be healthy and strong.

May we be open-hearted.

May we remember we are all connected.”

from Lovingkindness Meditation for the Pandemic

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Pre-Order 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying here
  • Claudia’s Website: The Karuna Project
  • Get Claudia’s Book here: Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again
  • Pre-Order Claudia’s new book here: The Creative Toolkit for Working with Grief and Bereavement
  • View Karuna Cards here
  • Shattering of the Assumptive World grief model – Ronnie Janoff-Bulman book
  • Leave a message for me at SpeakPipe.com/eolu and I’ll include it in a future episode!
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!
  • SUBSCRIBE to the podcast here

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!