EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 267 Holding All the Joy and All the Sorrow

In this solo episode I share my thoughts on the fact that joy and sorrow are interwoven throughout our lives just as life and death are inextricable connected. Using stories and poetry I discuss how to carry both joy and sorrow without denying or repressing the pain of our personal and collective grief.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How current events are requiring us to learn to hold joy and sorrow at once
  • Why we need a strong spiritual core as we go through life in 2020
  • How to strengthen our spiritual core:
    • Go deep within
    • Assessment the alignment between your inner values and outer behavior
    • Practice being in the present moment
    • Gratitude
    • Lovingkindness Blessing
  • Why we need to mourn our losses (personal and collective) on a daily basis and how to do it
  • The importance of “finding the good” within our pain and sorrow
  • Poems shared:
    • “Joy and Sorrow” by Kahlil Gibran
    • “Love Sorrow” by Mary Oliver
    • “In Lieu of Flowers” by Shawna Lemay

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • View the cover of my next book (The Journey from Ego to Soul) here
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • 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!

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!

EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 266 Leave Your Light On: The Life and Afterlife of Ryder Buck with Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis

Learn about the journey of a remarkable young musician through cancer, death and the afterlife and how he continues to inspire people.

My guests Shelley Buck and Kathy Curtis are the co-authors of the book Leave Your Light On, which details the journey of Shelley’s son Ryder through cancer and his subsequent death in a terrible accident. They discuss the process of writing this book as a healing practice for grief, the spiritual transformation experienced by Ryder after his cancer diagnosis, and how people around the world have been inspired by his story both before and after his death. They have turned a tragic story into transcendence that lights the way for all of us who are feeling lost in the darkness right now. Learn more at these websites:

www.ryderbuckmusic.com and www.kathycurtisink.com

Get the book Leave Your Light On here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How writing can help us heal grief, illness and loss
  • Ryder’s story and how music became a medium for him to share his message with the world
  • How his cancer journey accelerated Ryder’s spiritual growth
  • The challenges of being a mother to a young adult facing cancer and wanting his independence
  • How Shelley negotiated being “cancer mom” and also caring for her two younger sons at the same time
  • The amazing and synchronistic ways Ryder has communicated since his death and how those experiences have helped his parents with their grief
  • Tips for using writing as a healing medium
  • Three mantras for navigating these times of darkness from songs Ryder wrote or inspired

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Register for FREE Level 1 Doula Training here
  • Register for Certified End-of-Life Doula Training here
  • Find Ryder Buck’s music here
  • Get the book Leave Your Light On here
  • Gia’s song for Ryder: Ryde This WaveListen here
  • Song from Frozen 2: The Next Right ThingListen here
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • 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!

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!

EOLPodcast

Ep. 265 Finding Hope in Difficult Times

Learn how finding the goodness of life can give you hope for our current situation.

In today’s solo episode I share some thoughts about the hopelessness many of us are feeling right now as we deal with unimaginable crisis and loss here on planet Earth. I also talk about how important hope is for our survival, how it is misused at times in medicine (though with good intention) to lure patients into futile treatments, and where terminal patients can find realistic hope. All of this can inform us how to move past our own feelings of hopelessness into a more positive state of HOPE.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Facing up to our current challenges
  • How I used a ritual to help me through my own sadness
  • How Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, represents the perfect time to let go and start with a clean slate
  • Why Autumn reminds us of the cycle of life and impermanence
  • The difference between “false hope” and “realistic hope”
  • How false hope is often used in medical settings
  • Why we need to move past our false hopes and embrace realistic hope right now
  • Where terminal patients can find realistic hope (and we can too)
  • How to find hope in the “goodness” of life

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • 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!

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 my newest Patrons: Eileen Manglass and Sandy Jane Stacy. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 264 Grief 2 Growth: Loss, Consciousness, and Overcoming Racism with Brian Smith

Learn how grief and loss can be the fuel for spiritual growth.

My guest Brian Smith is a certified life coach and grief guide who suffered his own grief experience after the tragic death of his daughter. Through his personal journey of navigating grief he discovered techniques for surviving loss that led to writing the book: Grief 2 Growth: Planted, Not Buried and creating the Grief 2 Growth Podcast. He shares the wisdom he has learned and how dealing with grief can help us grow spiritually as individuals and as a community. Learn more at his website:

www.grief2growth.com

Get Brian’s book here

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Brian overcame his severe fear of death
  • The process of grief and how it varies for everyone
  • Guilt after the death of loved one
  • How Brian works with people who are grieving
  • Why some people fear that making progress through grief will dishonor their loved one
  • How toxic religious beliefs can harm our experience of grief
  • Brian’s perception of the afterlife based on reason and evidence
  • What “planted, not buried” means
  • How grief work is an essential component for overcoming racism in society

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • 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!

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!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 260 How to be Resilient in Difficult Times with Suzanne B. O’Brien RN

Learn how the lessons learned from patients at the end of life can help us navigate the challenges confronting us right now.

This episode features a conversation with Suzanne B. O’Brien RN, founder of the International Doulagivers Institute as we discuss the many lessons we have each learned from our work with patients at the end of life and how they have helped us grow spiritually. Both of us experienced a profound transformation in our lives because of the wisdom shared by our patients and now benefit from greater resilience that helps us navigate difficult times. As we all face unprecedented challenges due to the global pandemic and economic crisis, now is the right time for everyone to learn these lessons and find greater hope and joy in the small moments of life.

Learn about our upcoming workshop

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Suzanne and I became inspired to create a workshop together
  • Why these lessons from the end of life are so important right now
  • How we each feel that our painful life experiences have been the key to spiritual growth
  • The recognition that we are all connected in consciousness
  • Life has a greater meaning than we realize
  • Why unconditional love is the only thing that really matters in life
  • How forgiveness deepens our ability to love but is not commonly taught
  • How our expanded consciousness can help us find our true purpose in life and live authentically
  • How spiritual growth inspires us to be of service to others

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Get 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying here
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • 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!

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 my newest Patrons: Stine Relsted. Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep.254 A Call for Greater Kindness in a Suffering World

Three steps for increasing your capacity for kindness in a world that is polarized, divided, and suffering right now.

In this episode I’ll share some poems, stories and philosophical musings about our polarized world, which is filled with suffering, and how we can rise above our difference and our pain to show compassion and kindness to one another.

Listen here:

Featured poem from this episode:

SMALL KINDNESSES 

by Danusha Laméris 

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk 

down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs 

to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” 

when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons 

from your grocery bag, someone else will help you 

pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other. 

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, 

and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile 

at them and for them to smile back. 

For the waitress

 to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, 

and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass. 

We have so little of each other, now. So far 

from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange. 

What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these 

fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here, 

have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.””

— from Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection by James Crews, Ted Kooser

Links from this episode:

  • Get the poetry book here: Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection
  • 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!

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!

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 15: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 15: You’re Already There

You’re Already There

Featured Poem:

Journey by David Whyte

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.

EOLPodcast

BONUS 13: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 13: These tricky roads of grief

These tricky roads of grief

Featured Poem by Meggie C. Royer

Color of Grief

As a child I was constantly sticking my fingers in sockets

and trying to figure out if grief had its own color

so my mother sat me down on the sofa and took out the Pantone book,

paged through it for an hour until we found the blues.

There, I said, that one, and pointed to cerulean.

Oh honey, my mother replied, That’s not grief. That’s just a paint swatch

and it will never amount to all the pain in your heart.

Sometimes I feel the urge to go wade out into the lake

after filling my pockets with stones,

but then I remember my father and how he wore his grief

like a too-tight sweater, something given to an awkward child

by a grandmother who doesn’t even know the right size,

so I take the stones back out of my pockets

and I place them on his grave instead. 

EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

BONUS 10: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Tims

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 10: What Life is Bringing Me Now

What Life is Bringing Me Now

Featured Quote:

Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning pp. 98-99

What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. … Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. … When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.”

Viktor Frankl
EOLPodcast, Spirituality

BONUS 8: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 8: Everything is Perfect

Everything is Perfect

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Bonus 6: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 6: Waiting for the Sun

Waiting for the Sun

Featured Verse:

by Rainer Maria Rilke

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

EOLPodcast, Spirituality, Tragedy

BONUS 2: Love Over Fear – Stories for Precarious Times

Welcome to this weekly bonus series of brief stories designed to touch your heart and offer you comfort, joy, laughter, and inspiration as we face uncertain times together! Remember always to choose LOVE over fear!

Story 2: Love is the Purpose

Love is the Purpose

Poem by Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

Yes there is fear. 
Yes there is isolation. 
Yes there is panic buying. 
Yes there is sickness. 
Yes there is even death. 
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 235 How to Surrender and Go With Life’s Flow with Gia George

Learn how to navigate life’s difficulties by letting go of expectations and attachments.

My very special guest this week is Gia George (my daughter!) who joins me in a conversation about the spiritual task of surrender and the challenges we face in life trying to let go and be in the flow, especially when things are not turning out the way we hoped. She shares her latest song Will You Fly at the end of the episode and you can also watch the video of this discussion on YouTube! Learn more about Gia’s work at her website:

www.DivinelyGia.com

Listen here:

How to Surrender – with Gia George

This episode includes:

  • What does it really mean to surrender
  • Why we need to practice surrender in our world right now
  • How surrendering to “what is” allows creativity and healing to flow
  • How to stop fighting what is happening in life and focusing energy on living the best life anyway
  • Learning that we are already on the path we seek, even when we don’t realize it
  • Tips for surrendering in each moment:
    • Recognize that you are holding on and resisting change
    • Understand what you are attached to
    • Journal about the process
    • Mantra: I’m already where I’m trying to go
    • Mantra: Right now, I’m okay

The mystery unfolds slowly. Who knows what this precious life may bring? … Will you leap beyond what’s known and take flight? 

Gia George – from “Will You Fly”

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Gia’s website
  • Episode 219: Rituals for Letting Go with Gia George
  • Lyrics to Will You Fly
  • Watch video of this episode on YouTube
  • 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!

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 my newest Patrons Maya Jones and Kimberly Wise, and thanks also to Diane Button for upping your pledge! Your contributions make all the difference!

EOLPodcast, Grief, Spirituality

Ep. 229 How to Create a Mini-Pilgrimage as a Ritual for Grief

Learn how to incorporate the ritual of pilgrimage into your daily life, especially as a tool for grief.

In this solo episode I discuss the benefits of pilgrimage for spiritual growth and for helping with grief. I’ll share with you how I’ve created “mini”-pilgrimages in my own community that have helped me on my own grief journey to shift my energy, honor my loved ones, and deepen my own transformation. You’ll learn how and why you might want to try this ritual for yourself.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why pilgrimages are beneficial
  • Characteristics of sacred spaces that inspire pilgrimages
  • How a pilgrimage can help with grief
  • How to choose a time and place for a mini-pilgrimage
  • Planning for the journey
  • Tips for getting the most from a mini-pilgrimage
  • Rituals during the journey
  • The Sacred Sites Meditation Technique from Martin Gray
  • Returning from a pilgrimage

The sacred sites, the pilgrimage places … are where people most passionately give praise and prayer to God. Go there, be present in that divinity, be in love with that love.

– Martin Gray

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Special offer on Patreon: Autographed copy of What Really Matters! (Offer lasts through 1/27/2020)
  • Sign up for the Teaching Guidelines for a Death & Dying Class
  • Martin Gray’s websiteSacred Sites
  • 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!

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 my newest Patron, Richard Schneider; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 225 How to Make Difficult Times Better as a Death-Aware Person

Learn what it takes to bring your compassionate presence more fully to others in challenging circumstances.

In this solo episode I discuss how to be a person who makes every situation better simply by being there. Scientific studies have shown that by cultivating greater coherence in the heart’s energy field we can make a positive impact on the people around us who are going through difficulties. I share some tasks to focus on to help develop your own ability to be fully present with a compassionate heart for the good of everyone in our society.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The heart’s electromagnetic field is the most powerful in the body according to the HeartMath Institute
  • Coherence occurs when there is harmony between body, mind, spirit, and emotions
  • Coherent energy from one person helps create calmer energy for other people
  • End-of-life workers can make a big difference for patients and families by increasing the coherence of their own heart energy
  • 5 tasks to make difficult times better:
    • Be willing to show up when things fall apart
    • Be a safe container
    • Be a deep listener
    • Be a truth-teller
    • Be a way-shower

Heart coherence serves as a facilitator, adding strength and effectiveness to your care, compassion, intentions and actions to help the world.

Heartmath Institute

Links mentioned in this episode:

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 my newest Patrons: Raquel Wiltbank-Mateo and Karen Coupe; your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 214 Present Through the End: Spiritual Care of the Dying with Kirsten DeLeo

Learn why being present for others is actually a perfect self-care practice.

PodcastDeLeo19

My return guest Kirsten DeLeo is an international trainer with the Spiritual Care Program and teaches about contemplative caregiving. She is the author of the newly-released book Present through the End and will discuss how and why we should strengthen our own ability to be present with others as part of our spiritual care of the dying. Learn more at Kirsten’s website:

www.kirstendeleo.com

presentthroughtheend

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This episode includes:

  • Dying is a spiritual process more than it is a medical process
  • How to prepare to become a caregiver for someone else
  • How to increase our own ability to be present with another
    • Slow down
    • Be mindful of our own breathing and physical presence
    • Be mindful of our thoughts and feeling
    • Listen without thinking of what to say next
    • Focus on heart-centeredness
  • Caring for ourselves and caring for another are not separate
  • Being present with another person for even a few moments nurtures us and helps alleviate our stress
  • Examples of questions to ask as conversation openers
  • Signs that death is drawing near

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, your contributions mean  everything to me!

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Spirituality

Ep. 212 The Dance of Life and Death – Part 4: Grace

Learn how to cultivate grace in both life and death. 

PodcastGrace

In this 4-part series of solo episodes I’m sharing wisdom about the intertwining of life and death in a perfect dance that spirals throughout eternity. Today I talk about grace, which is an essential element of any dance. Learn how the many different of meanings of grace apply to both life and death and discover a daily practice that can help us prepare for the end of life with ease and dignity.  These thoughts are derived from my book: What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.

Get the book here.

Get the handout here:

GRACE

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • The many definitions of “grace”
  • That grace is always given freely, not earned or deserved
  • How grace “finds us” during our darkest times of brokenness
  • Forgiveness as an act of grace
  • How I want to live and die with grace and gentleness
  • A daily practice to cultivate grace:
    • G – Gratitude
    • R – Release
    • A – Awareness
    • C – Compassion
    • E – Equanimity

I do not understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.

-Anne Lamott

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new supporters Hilary G. and Debi Schauss, your contributions mean  everything to me!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 205 Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One with Sarah Neustadter PhD

Listen to a personal and intimate conversation about suicide death and how to cope with the aftermath as a survivor.

PodcastNeustadter

My guest Sarah Neustadter PhD was studying psychology in graduate school when her boyfriend, a fellow student in the program, chose to end his life. Ten years later she has written a book to guide others through the complicated grief that follows suicide. In this conversation we share our own stories of grief and find insights together that we hope will be helpful to others on this path. Learn more about Sarah’s work at her website:

www.sarahneustadter.com

Neustadterbook

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • Why no amount of training can prepare you for the suicide death of a loved one
  • How grief after suicide differs from other types of grief
  • The stigmatization of suicide death in our society
  • How devastating guilt and regret follow a suicide
  • Why suicide survivors need to work on self-forgiveness
  • What might help on the journey of post-suicide grief:
    • Community
    • Physical touch or holding
    • Support with mundane tasks of daily life
    • Frequent check-ins from friends
    • Presence from others rather than words
    • Acknowledgment of the pain – even months and years later
  • Grief has its own timeline and can’t be rushed through
  • How writing can help us process grief and other difficult emotions
  • Sarah’s 3 categories of her own grief process:
    • Despair
    • Shifting
    • Beauty

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu – your contributions mean everything to me!

EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 198 Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth: Finding Wholeness After Loss with Sherry Cormier PhD

Learn about “post-traumatic growth” and how it is possible to thrive after experiencing loss and grief.

PodcastCormier

My guest Sherry Cormier is a licensed psychologist and certified bereavement trauma specialist. She will share with us her personal encounters with loss and grief and how over the years she has managed to grow through her pain. We will also learn about her latest book Sweet Sorrow: Finding Enduring Wholeness After Loss and Grief. Learn more about her work at her website:

http://sherrycormierauthor.com

sweetsorrowcormier

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • How talking about death helps with grief
  • Grief healing is not linear but cyclical
  • How grief survivors can thrive after traumatic loss
    • Find community
    • Self-care practices
    • Spiritual practices
    • Do and learn something new
  • Tips for helping a friend or loved one who is grieving
  • The outcome of  “post-traumatic growth”
    • Increased appreciation for life itself
    • New possibilities
    • Increased personal strength
    • More mindful of relationships
    • Spiritual growth
  • Who can benefit from reading her book Sweet Sorrow

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patron: Diane Roberts.

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 193 The Thorn and the Rose: Pain as a Portal for Grace

Learn how to use challenges as a tool for growth and find grace in the midst of pain.

PodcastSuffering

In Part 7 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how our greatest tragedies can ultimately lead us to growth through the gift of grace. As I prepare for the 30th anniversary of my father’s suicide death this week I share my thoughts on my own journey through grief. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Parts 1-6 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • How my father’s suicide changed the trajectory of my life
  • Why the remedy for pain is found “inside the pain” as Rumi wrote
  • There is no “other side” of the tunnel of grief
  • How our grief journey can only be viewed clearly in retrospect
  • How to “burn our pain as fuel”
  • The meaning of grace and how it arrives as a mystery
  • How sorrow prepares us for joy

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us. – Anne Lamott

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patrons, Robyn Mott and Amy Wallace; and thank you to Christina Ensminger for increasing your monthly pledge!