What's Your Grief Podcast: Grief Support for Those Who Like to Listen

Terms like delayed grief and absent grief get thrown around a lot. Recently, people have been suggesting that distancing may be putting people's grief 'on hold'. In this episode, we talk about whether grief is ever 'on hold', how external circumstances can have a very real impact on grieving, and why delayed grief can sometimes happen. Oh, and we do some musing about our own grief. 

Direct download: WYG-Grief-On-Hold_Mixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48pm EDT

In this episode we ramble and reflect out loud a bit, so don't say we didn't warn you.  Thinking about the ways grief has us doing mental math calculations up, down, and sideways. How old would he be now? She's been gone longer than we were married . . . How many more years until I am the age he was when he died? And on and on. Talking about grief math and the what-ifs and doing some personal processing of our own grieving as we go. 

Direct download: WYG-E08-MIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

Though positive psychology may sound like a field that is all about just thinking happy thoughts, nothing could be further from the truth. This well-researched, practical approach to boosting well-being is a WYG when it comes to grief and coping. In this episode we're talking about PERMA and challenging you to some momentum from the school of positive psychology. 

Direct download: WYG-E7-MIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46am EDT

When the world changes, the way we operate in the world has to change. Grief forces us to make new decisions about the things we do, the things we don't do, and how we cope. Today we talk about how so many of those decisions may feel good in the short term, but often don't serve us in the long-run. Avoidance sounds like it is obvious, but sometimes it hides in corners we don't even recognize. 

Direct download: A-Lesson-In-Avoidance-Final-Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38pm EDT

When a lot of time has passed after a loss, we hear all sorts of questions - is it too late for counseling? Is it too late to reconnect with people I lost touch with? Is it too late to ask for stories and memories? We're pretty strong believers that, in grief, it is never too late. 

Direct download: WYG-In-Grief-Is-It-Ever-Too-Late-MIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EDT

There is a lot of discussion right now about the many ways people are experiencing grief - the grief of death related losses, but also many other types of grief that are coming up in the world. Today we're sorting through 7 types of grief we think may be relevant and impacting you right now. 

Direct download: WYG-E5-MIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:03am EDT

We received a question recently about talking to children about people who have died, especially those people the child never met. We get questions like this a lot. Is it normal? Is it okay? Will it screw up my kids? The quick answers: yes! yes! no! For the long answers, tune in. 

Direct download: WYG-E4-MIXED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12pm EDT

Seeing as a lot of us are spending more time at home than usual, we asked our readers/listeners for some of the best depictions of grief in movies and television. In this episode, we share your responses and our thoughts. 

Direct download: Whats_Your_Grief_E3_MIXED.mp3
Category:grief in the media -- posted at: 11:21am EDT

We did an "Ask Us Anything" on Instagram and turns out your grief questions were a little too big to answer on Instagram. So today we are answering some of your pressing questions about grief - from widow dating to friends disappearing after a death, we're covering some tough topics in less than 35 minutes. Have a question you would like to see us cover? Email us at whatsyourgrief@gmail.com

Direct download: WYG_E2_MIXED_with_music.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:26pm EDT

Whether you were grieving before the coronavirus crisis or you've just lost a loved one and are navigating through the dark days of early grief, the current crisis is changing the way we grieve. We have heard from people all over the world and we've been touched personally, so it seemed about time to end our long hiatus to offer some observations, thoughts, and hopefully even support for everyone coping with grief right now (which just so happens to be a lot of us).  

Direct download: Whats_Your_Grief_NDP_EP_1_MIXED.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 12:33am EDT

With over 150 million social media users in the US alone, we can no longer conceptualize grief support and support systems without considering online social interaction.

As the co-founders of multiple online spaces, we believe online platforms provide grieving people with powerful tools for connecting and coping in the wake of loss. However, just like in real life, online spaces and interactions can, at times, be difficult to navigate.

Intro by tom_luft (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/tom_luft/34080

Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/wygpodcast

Direct download: Utilizing_Social_Media_While_Grieving.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EDT

Pixar must have a secret deal with Kleenex. They seemed determined to bring audiences to tears with every movie they make. This is fine by us, though, because these tender and relatable films make great teachable moments for children and adults alike.

In this episode of the WYG podcast, we take a look at themes related to grief and death in Pixar's latest movie, Coco.


Intro by tom_luft (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/tom_luft/34080

Direct download: Pixar_and_Coco.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

We're back after a brief hiatus with an update on WYG and our plans for the future of this podcast. We're especially interested in talking about grief in current events, pop-culture, and the world around us and the ways these depictions help us and hurt.

Intro by tom_luft (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/tom_luft/34080

Direct download: podcast_1_-_31318_1.23_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

A loss of any kind can lead to difficult identity changes. Shifts in one's sense-of-self, roles that no longer need to be fulfilled, and added responsibilities culminate to create overwhelming stress and confusion as a person has to figure out who they are in the context of life after loss.

In this podcast, we discuss the many ways that loss leads to identity changes. We also discuss ways to stay focused on the pieces of you that will stay the same and how to remain flexible towards the elements of your life that will have to change.

 

Direct download: Coping_with_Identity_Changes.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

Sigmund Freud first proposed the concept of ‘defense mechanisms’ as an element of his influential theory of personality. For those of you who took Psych 101, think back to the Id, Ego, and Superego in which all elements, with the exception of the ego, reside in the unconscious. Since their introduction, the concept of defense mechanisms has been expanded quite a bit, and they are still used today to try to understand certain behavioral patterns. In this episode of the What’s Your Grief Podcast, we discuss how people sometimes use defense mechanisms to cope with grief.

 

0:00 - 4:30: Introductions

Ongoing and Upcoming eCourses

Upcoming events

4:30 - 29:00: Using Defense Mechanisms in Grief

Denial

Regression

Projection

Displacement

Intellectualization

Undoing

Humor

Sublimation

Altruism

Post: Using Defense Mechanisms in Grief

Post: 31 Psychological Defense Mechanisms via Psychologist World

 

Direct download: defense_mechanims.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am EDT

Many people have to return to work within days after experiencing the death of a loved one. Others have a little more flexibility, but must eventually take the step to return to the workplace and workforce.

In this podcast the girls of What's Your Grief discuss returning to work after the death of a loved one. They address some of the common barriers and offer suggestions for reducing stress during this transition.

0:00 - 5:40: Announcements

5:40 - 15:00: Things we've watched and read about grief

15:00 - 35:00: Returning to work after the death of a loved one

What's Your Grief

Direct download: back_to_work.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

One emotional experience that many grieving people find particularly confusing is the realization that their thoughts, emotions, and needs occasionally seem to conflict with one another. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss the sometimes conflicting emotions of grief.  We also answer a reader questions about seeking therapy after a loss.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/forty-eight

Direct download: conflicting.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT

People give up homes for various reasons. Sometimes the circumstances are in their control (such as making the choice to sell a house and move to a new one) and sometimes they aren’t (like in the case of foreclosure, house fire, natural disaster, or death of the primary resident). Leaving a home can be very sad and emotional regardless of the reason. In today's podcast, we discuss the emotional experience of saying goodbye to a home and grieving places from the past.

 

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/forty-seven

Direct download: saying_goodbye_to_home.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT

We've been telling you for weeks to get caught up on NBC's 'This is Us' because we're going to talk about it.  Well, today is the day.  If you've been watching This is Us, then you've probably noticed the many grief themes that have played out in episodes 1-11.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss four of the main grief themes that we've observed in this critically acclaimed television show.

Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/forty-six

Direct download: January_11th.mp3
Category:grief in the media -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

By far one of the hardest outcomes to accept about the holidays after the death of a loved one is that tradition needs to be changed or skipped. Traditions your loved one used to be involved with have to change and even those they weren’t a part of may seem entirely too difficult to manage. The worst thing you can do is set your holidays on autopilot and hope things work themselves out. Not only does this put you at risk of being majorly blindsided by your grief, but it also takes away from your traditions. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss how to handle holiday tradition after the death of a loved one.

Direct download: Season_2-_Episode_5.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

People tend to have a lot of expectations about the holiday season.  This is true during times of peace and during times of turmoil. After the death of a loved one, grieving people continue to have expectations about the holiday season. Sometimes these expectations are based on past ideals that have become impossible to replicate since someone integral to existing ritual and tradition has died.  Sometimes these expectations are based on anxiety and worst-case-scenarios.  And sometimes they are based on pressures put upon us by ourselves and by others.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we will discuss the way our holiday expectations are shaped after the death of a loved one, how rigid expectations can set us up for failure, and offer tips for managing expectations at the holidays.

P.S. - we are aware that the sound quality in the last few (forty-five?) episodes has been less than wonderful.  We've recently ordered new (and improved!) recording equipment so next time you hear from us it will be much more pleasant to listen to (fingers crossed).  We appreciate you sticking with us through our podcasting growing pains.

Direct download: Managing_Holiday_Expectation.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

In this special edition of the What's Your Grief Podcast Litsa and Eleanor discuss the recent Gilmore Girls revival. Not your typical gossip session, this discussion focuses specifically on the grief themes the hosts observed throughout the four episode season.

'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' meets up with the Gilmore women a decade after the original series ended and four months after the death of spouse, father, and grandfather Richard Gilmore. True to life, each character handles grief in their own unique way.

P.S. There will be a few spoilers.

Direct download: gilmore_girls_podcast.mp3
Category:grief in the media -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

Season 2: Episode 3: Dating a Widower and Other Topics

0:00 - 5:00 : NFDA Conference Impressions

The intersection between grief support and funeral homes

5:00 - 13:45: Talk of a Lifetime

Have the Talk of a Lifetime: Conversations around family history, legacy, and how people want to be remembered 

Talk of a Lifetime cards and conversation starters

13:45 - 15:50: National Alliance for Grieving Children

New book: When Someone Dies: A Child-Caregiver Activity Book

Child Grief Awareness Month: November is Child Grief Awareness Month

15:50 - 19: 15: Grief in the Media

This is Us

19:15 - 32:00: Reader Question - Dating a widower

Direct download: Season_2_episode_3.1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

In this episode of the What's Your Grief podcast we discuss the new grief website, Grief in Six Words, adjusting to the school year after a death, answer a reader's question about grief counseling and discuss a few times that grief has made us feel like mean and ugly people.

  • Minute 0:00 - 3:00: Introduction
  • Minute 3:00 - 10:00: Grief in Six Words Website
  • Minute 10:00 - 15:30: Update on the WYG Bookclub
  • Minute 15:30 - 21:30: Adjusting to the school year after a death
  • Minute 21:30 - 26:30: Reader Question
  • Minute 26:30 - 33:00: A few of the times grief has made us feel like ugly or mean people

If you have a grief question that you would like to hear answered on the podcast, or a recommendation for a resource, book, song, movie, etc, please email us at whatsyourgrief@gmail.com

Direct download: podcast_season_2_episode_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT

Loneliness in Grief and Other Topics

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 1 of the What's Your Grief Podcast. This season we're going to shake up our format a little and cover several different topics during each 30 minute episode. In this episode we talk about some of the new resources WYG has to offer; grief reading and movies; and we discuss the concept of loneliness in grief.

  • Minute 0:00 - 5:00: Introductions
  • Minute 5:00 - What's new with WYG
  • Minute 10:30 - Resource shout out
  • Minute 12:15 - Grief books and movies
  • Minute 16:00 - The unique loneliness of grief

If you have a grief question that you would like to hear answered on the podcast, or a recommendation for a resource, book, song, movie, etc, please email us at whatsyourgrief@gmail.com

 

Notes Page: http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/forty-one/

Direct download: WYG_Podcast_Season_2_Episode_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:49pm EDT

It stands to reason that how a person feels about life and death, in many ways, will impact the way they grieve.  Perhaps they hold on tightly to their pain for fear that if they let go their loved one’s life will be forgotten or meaningless.  Perhaps they refuse to fully face their grief because it makes them uncomfortable to think about death. Perhaps they find comfort in their beliefs, or perhaps they question their faith when they don’t feel comfort.

We should really talk more about how attitudes about death impact grief. Perhaps it feels selfish turning the lens on one's own life and mortality, when they feel they should only be thinking about their loved ones life and death.  However it’s logical that these two things would be interconnected and that thoughts and feeling around one's life and mortality would arise at the time of a loved one’s death and as a part of grief in the future.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/forty/

Direct download: attitudes_toward_death.mp3
Category:Attitudes About Death -- posted at: 2:15pm EDT

When something sad, bad, or anxiety producing happens in the life of someone we care about, our immediate instinct is to comfort.  Of course it is – we’re good people!  And often this instinct is useful because comforting is exactly what the situation calls for; for example a child’s bruised knee or a nervous first day on the job are both situations where a “there, there, you’ll be okay” goes a long way.

However, in the early days of grief, there is very little anyone can say to take away a griever’s pain and there is very little value in summing up the situation with a positive or inspiring platitude. So, we suggest people hoping to providing support.  In this video podcast, we outline what this new conceptualization means.

Direct download: video_podcast_.mp4
Category:Supporting a Griever -- posted at: 11:47am EDT

What have you stopped doing since experiencing the death of your loved one?  More specifically, what do you no longer do that you used to previously enjoy or find fulfilling? These may be things that you stopped doing them because you don't have the time, they require too much effort, they remind you of your loved one, or they seem less fun.  These are things like walking your dog in the evening, going to church on Sunday, getting a hair cut, cooking dinner a few times a week, art, listening to music, coffee with a friend, journaling, finding daily gratitudes, new hobbies, 20 minutes of exercise, going to the movies, reading, going on a vacation, scrapbooking, building something, volunteering.

Now what if I told you that by deliberately deciding to do these things again, or by choosing new things to try, that you might start to feel a little bit better? Or that by doing these things you were actually, in many ways, coping with your grief?

Direct download: march_20.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

As if parenting we’re hard enough, you’ve recently experienced the death of someone you love. You’ve done your best to shelter your children from death, loss, and grief for their entire lives, and now it seems you have no choice but to allow these frightening realities into your family home.  Even if your child is not directly impacted by the loss, the pain of one family member often affects the family as a whole. In order for you, the parent or guardian, to be an engaged, patient, consistent, and loving presence, you have to deal with the intense emotional, mental, and physical impact of grief.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief podcast, we discuss the reasons why grieving parents and guardians tend to put their own grief on the back burner and we provide a rationale for why and how you should find time to cope with your grief related thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-five

Direct download: March_4.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 11:44am EDT

Although Litsa and I have never been big on Valentine's Day, we realize many of you may have warm, fond memories of Valentine's Days past.  Regardless of where you typically fall of the Valentine's Day love-hate spectrum, a day focused on romance and love can be hard on those who are feeling sad.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss some very specific ways to spend Valentine's Day when you're grieving.  We discuss options for staying in alone or with a small group of people and, for those of you who hate sitting around the house, we discuss constructive ways to get out and make the most of the day.

 

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-four

Direct download: February_2.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

There is a common misconception that death is the only loss that results in grief.  Although the loss of a loved one is one of the most devastating types of loss, there are many other circumstances - such as addiction, mental illness, infertility and/or the loss of a relationship, home, job, pet, health, hopes and dreams, faith, identity. etc - that might cause a person to grieve.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we encourage people to expand their understanding of grief and loss so they can better understand their own relationship with loss and so they are better able to recognize grief and loss in others.

 

Show Notes: http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-three

Direct download: Loss.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

With New Years just a few days away, you may be tempted to make a resolution for 2016; especially if 2015 has been a tough year.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss the positives, pitfalls, and practicalities of making a New Year's resolution when you're grieving.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-two

Direct download: new_years.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

In this episode of the What’s Your Grief podcast, we answer your questions about coping with holiday grief.

  • I’m worried the holidays will be very sad and glum. How can I be strong for everyone?
  • My loved one just died and now the holidays are here, what do I do?
  • The anniversary of my loved one’s death is right around the holidays, what do I do?
  • Is it okay if I skip the holidays altogether?
  • How do I politely respond to people who ask why I don’t like/celebrate the holidays?
  • How do I deal with feeling like a third wheel at holiday celebrations?
  • How do I support my grieving children at the holidays?

Show notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-one

Direct download: holiday_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

After the death of a loved one, things like feeling better, letting go of belongings, making changes, and just generally living life after the loss can be complicated. Things like when to remove your wedding ring, give away your loved one's belonging, and even when it's okay to laugh again are very personal and often difficult decisions to make.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss the guilt and hesitancy many people feel when taking steps forward (or even laterally) and making changes after the death of a loved one.

 

Show notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty

Direct download: letting_go.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:11am EDT

After the death of a loved one, it is easy to find yourself engaged in negative coping.  These types of coping allow for people to avoid grief triggers, difficult emotions, and tough situations. Ultimately, though, they can be part of a cycle that prevents you from truly processing your experiences and from learning how to live now that your loved one is gone.

Many people don't realize that negative coping exists on a continuum, where 'normal' behaviors become maladaptive. It is easy to recognize some of these behaviors - like substance use and negative coping- while others - like staying busy and prioritizing the needs of others - can be a bit more difficult to identify.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we break down the concept of negative coping and help listeners to identity the types of behaviors that could present a barrier in coping with grief.

Show Notes: http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-nine/

Direct download: negative_coping.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

It is normal to be nervous about sending your child back to school after a death.  As a parent, it's in your nature to want to protect your child after a death.  If your family experienced the death of someone special this summer, there is a good chance you've been watching your child to see if they're coping and adapting well.  If possible, you may have spent extra time over the summer coping together as a family.  Maybe you've even been spoiling them a bit, trying to make the pain in their life just a little bit more tolerable.

As much as you may want it to, the extra time and coddling can't (and shouldn't) last forever,  so the back to school transition may provide an opportunity to ease back into regular patters of interaction with friends, teachers, and school counselors.  For many children, a return to "normal" life will be helpful and uncomplicated, while other might need a little extra help readjusting to the school environment.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss a few ways you can help to prepare your children for returning to school and to work with their teachers to ensure they have the support they need both at home and in school.

Direct download: back_to_school.mp3
Category:Supporting a Griever -- posted at: 12:22pm EDT

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, Litsa and Eleanor discuss their grief favorites - favorite movies, favorite songs, favorite books, and even favorite grief cliche they love to hate.  Listen to this episode to hear their recommendations and then share your own favorites with the WYG community in the page comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #GriefFavorites.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-seven/

 

Direct download: favs.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Although your wedding is a happy and joyous occasion, it can be a bittersweet when someone important has died and isn't there for your special day.  There are lots of little ways to bring yourself comfort and honor and remember the person you who has died on your wedding day. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we invite our grief friend Jana DeCristofaro of the Dougy Center to help us discuss planning and navigating your wedding day after a loss.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-six

Direct download: dougy2.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

When someone dies, those they leave behind not only grieve for the present but they also grieve for their loved one's absence in the future. For children and teens, complicated feelings and emotions around future milestones like weddings, starting a family, and graduations can be expected.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we invite Jana DeCristofaro from the Dougy Center to talk with us about the many ways that grief can impact children, teens and families when it comes to marriage and weddings.  We also share a few tips and tricks for attending weddings after a death.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-five

Direct download: dougy_1.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 7:51pm EDT

After a death, finding grief support in your community can be a confusing task.  Although great resources often exist, many people have limited awareness of them until they're actually needed.  Sadly, there are also times when formal grief support does not exist locally, in these cases people must find help and healing in other places.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we detail the types of resources that exist, how to find them, and what to do when formal support can not be found in your own community.

Show Notes: whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-four

Direct download: community_resources.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

When times are hard, the support of friends and family members can go a long way.  Yet unfortunately after the death of a loved one relationships can sometimes become changed and strained.  If people don't make an effort to maintain relationships they often lose touch, which can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and secondary loss.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss some of the common reasons why people fall out of touch after experiencing the death of a loved one and simple ways to ensure important relationships aren't lost forever.

Direct download: maintining_relationships.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

Feelings of guilt and regret are common after the death of a loved one. These two complicated emotions often go hand in hand and, for the person experiencing them, can cause quite a bit of confusion, shame, and distress when left unresolved. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss the differences between guilt and regret; the ways in which society, our internalized biases, and our support systems can cause us to minimize and avoid these feelings; and we discuss constructive ways to acknowledge, understand, and cope with our own individual guilts and regrets no matter how big or small they are.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-two/

Direct download: guilt_and_regret.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

Supporting a grieving teenager or young adult can be a pretty big head scratcher for parents and professionals. Although teens are a lot like adults when it comes to grief, there are a few key differences due to personal history, social support, and stage of life. In this episode of the What’s Your Grief Podcast we talk about specific considerations for supporting a grieving teen.

Show Notes:  www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-one/

Direct download: teens.mp3
Category:Supporting a Griever -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

How to approach the daunting task of sorting through a loved one's belongings can be a complicated and personal decision.  Objects big and small can trigger a wide range of emotions, from nostalgia and laughter to tears and longing.  Decisions about what to keep, donate and throwaway can also present a range of challenges.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief podcast, we address some of the many questions we receive on this topic and offer some thoughts to get you started.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty

Direct download: Dealing_With_Loved_Ones_Belongings.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

Simply put, grief can make you feel like you're going crazy.  Anyone who's experienced a loss knows how disorienting grief emotions and the demands of adjustment can be.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss a few of the ways in which grief makes you feel crazy and explain how they can actually be pretty normal.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/nineteen

Direct download: April_28.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:58am EDT

Grief re-writes your address book. Sometimes the people you think will be there for you aren’t. It can be easy to just hole-up in your house feeling angry and bitter that your friends aren’t there for you the way you thought they’d be. It can be even easier to feel like you will never connect with people in the same way again, no one will ever understand your loss, and you will live on your own little grief island forever.

When you lose a loved one you become part of this tragic little club that you never wanted to be a part of. But, if you can open yourself up to talking to some other members of this club you may just find yourself a grief friend – someone you can connect with, who can support you, who you can support, all without judgement.  It may be someone at work, church, school, online, in a grief support group, or at the dog park; grief friends turn up where you least expect them.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, Litsa and Eleanor discuss the awesomeness of having grief friends.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/seventeen

Direct download: grief_friends.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 8:38pm EDT

With decades of grief theory that focused on closure, acceptance, and moving on, it is no wonder that so many grievers feel self-conscious about maintaining ties with their deceased loved one after a certain period of time.  Fortunately, the landscape is changing as theories like the continuing bonds theory have begun to emerge and many now believe that healthy grief involves finding a new and different relationship with the person who died.  In episode #16 of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss continuing bonds and discuss the many different ways people can continue bonds with deceased loved ones.

Direct download: continuing_bonds.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 2:02pm EDT

Every day can feel tough after the death of a loved one, but there are certain days such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that can evoke even more magnified and intense feelings of grief.  It's common for people to feel worry and anxiety over the expected wave of emotion that these special days will bring.  Although there are many different ways to cope with grief and special days, we generally believe the best thing a person can do is to think ahead and plan how they will spend the day.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss different types of days and events that might cause a person experiencing grief to feel anxiety and worry; the decision whether or not to recognize and participate in the day or event; and proactive ways to plan and cope with the expected and unexpected grief triggers experienced on these days.  

Show Notes:  www.whatsyourgrief.com/fifteen

Direct download: special_days.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

The practice of finding gratitude is a simple and accessible coping tool that can help to shift your attitude and perspective.  Yet, when you feel like life is awful and unfair, it can seem impossible to find anything to be grateful for.

In this episode the What's Your Grief girls discuss their realistic approach to using gratitude.  They acknowledge there are days when looking for gratitude seems like an obnoxious and futile practice, but encourage you to try and offer concrete ways to search for gratitude that suit different personality types and mindsets.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/fourteen

Direct download: gratitude.mp3
Category:Coping -- posted at: 10:22am EDT

The death of someone you love can create a ripple effect of losses or secondary losses.  From loss of faith to loss of financial security, secondary losses are profound and require coping and adjustment on the part of the bereaved.  When conceptualizing grief, many people don't take secondary loss into consideration resulting in confusion and struggle when these losses occur days, weeks and months after the death of a loved one.

In this episode the mental health professionals behind the grief website What's Your Grief attempt to define secondary loss and explain common examples.  Additionally, they shed light on the ways in which secondary loss can cause confusion for grievers and those who seek to support them and explain why these losses can be taxing for all involved.

Show Notes:  www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirteen

Direct download: secondary_loss.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:46am EDT

Although most of us feel we have a good understanding of our support system, during times of grief or other hardship we're often surprised to discover who is there for us and in what ways.  Disappointment often occurs when we feel members of our support system don't step up and meet our expectations.  Although it's easy to blame friends and family when they don't know what to say or how to help us after a loss, it's also necessary to look at ourselves to determine how we're contributing to the problem.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss common pitfalls that lead to misunderstandings between grievers and their family and friends; the importance of identifying your own needs; keeping and open mind and accepting help; and thoughtfully and effectively using your support system.

Show Notes:  http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/twelve

 

Direct download: Support_System.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:06am EDT

A grief trigger is anything that brings up memories related to a loss. Triggers may be obvious and easy to anticipate – like a birthday or a holiday – or they may be surprising – like spotting someone who looks like your loved one in a crowd. A grief trigger might tie to an obvious memory or emotion or it may be something that flashes into consciousness and merely leaves you with a sense of sadness and yearning.

For those who’ve recently lost a loved one, knowing these triggers are out there can cause a fair amount of anxiety. You might fear being blindsided by reminders of your loved one, their death and their absence, especially right after a loss when your emotions are raw and labile. Some grievers will respond by trying to eliminate and avoid reminders such as objects, people and places; others will try and battle their way through, growing less and less embarrassed by each public outburst of emotion. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we get specific about grief triggers; discussing their origins, why they are tough to face, and how to handle both expected and unexpected triggers when they arise.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/eleven

Direct download: Grief_Triggers.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 4:43pm EDT

The theory behind the 'five stages of grief', laid out in Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's book On Death and Dying, seems to be the grief model for the masses.  On first glance this model appears intuitive, easy to grasp and easy to prescribe, but in reality this theory is far more complicated than people realize.

One really needs to dig deeper before they can apply the 'five stages of grief' to their own experience or to the experience of anyone else. In this podcast the girls behind the grief website What's Your Grief discuss the five things people should know about the five stages of grief.  We strongly recommend grievers listen before deciding their grief is abnormal simply because it doesn't follow a specific pattern or timeline.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/ten

Direct download: The_5_Stages_of_Grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:27am EDT

The type of grief one experiences after a death or other loss has a profound impact on the kinds of grief related emotions felt and their intensity and duration. Type of grief also influences how grief is processed and understood and may have an impact on one’s interpersonal relationships and interactions with the outside world.

Although there are many different types of grief, most people think there are only two categories, normal or abnormal Lack of knowledge about the different types of grief sometimes leaves grievers feeling confused when their emotions and experiences don’t follow an expected course.

In this podcast the girls the girls behind What Your Grief set out to explain the ten most common types of grief in ten minutes (because any longer would probably be boring). Their aim being to introduce listeners to the different types of grief and to help grievers find understanding for their own experiences.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/nine

Direct download: types_of_grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? Although many aren’t sure what these terms really mean or where they naturally fall on the introvert-extrovert continuum, this element of your personality has a large impact on how you view and interact with the world.

People tend to think extroverts have it easy in a world that favors the outgoing and gregarious, but after a death your natural tendencies can make things both easier and, at times, more difficult.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast Litsa and Eleanor discuss the many ways extroversion can impact the grief experience.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/eight

Direct download: Extroverts_and_Grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?  Although many aren't sure what these terms really mean or where they naturally fall on the introvert-extrovert continuum, this element of your personality has a large impact on how you view and interact with the world.

Introverts face their own set of unique challenges when coping with a death.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast the What's Your Grief girls break down what it means to be an introvert and discuss how one's nature might affect how they grieve and how they wish to be supported.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/seven

Direct download: Introverts_and_Grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

Grievers are often challenged to find effective coping tools to help explore, understand and process the complicated experience of grief.  The tools that prove most helpful are those that fit with the grievers personality, strengths, weaknesses and preferences; so in order to address a diverse range of needs a braod understanding of what is considered "coping" is necessary.  

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast Litsa and Eleanor discuss the wide spectrum of what should be considered coping.  They also disucss their unique approach to coping which requires grievers to recognize their predispostiions and preferences and to choose coping skills that compliment their rational, creative and emotional leanings.  

Show Notes:  www.whatsyourgrief.com/six

Direct download: Coping_With_Grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 5:07pm EDT

The death of a loved one is always devastating.  When that loss is the result of an overdose, there can be emotions that bring unique challenges in addition to the typical symptoms of grief.

In episode 5 of the What's Your Grief Podcast the girls behind whatsyourgrief.com discuss grieving a death from accidental or intentional overdose including terminology, common complications, typical emotions and tips for coping.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/five

Direct download: overdose_podcast.mp3
Category:Overdose -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT

Grief themes are common in books, television and movies.  The memoir Wild by Cheryl Strayed resonates so strongly with the grief experience that it's become widely embraced by countless grievers.  Its 2014 film adaptation was long anticipated by those who loved the book, including show host's Litsa and Eleanor.  

In episode #4 of the What's Your Grief Podcast the girls behind the website What's Your Grief discuss their take of this popular grief movie.  

Show notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/four

Direct download: A_Grief_Review_of_the_Movie_Wild.mp3
Category:Grief Movies -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

It's hard to imagine what grieving the death of a loved one is like until you've experienced it first hand.  Many grievers find themselves suprised by the physical, emotional and logistical toll grief has on their lives and misconceptions about grief and coping often have them wondering if they're doing something wrong.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast Litsa and Eleanor address how common misconceptions about grief have an impact on our understanding of the grief experience.  They discuss the wide range of what is considered a normal grief response and provide their listeners with reassurance that they are not going crazy.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/three

Direct download: Misconceptions_About_Grief.mp3
Category:Understanding Grief -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

After a death supportive family and friends often struggle to find the right words to say to their grieving loved one.  Unfortunately, in an effort to provide comfort to the griever, well intentioned family and friends often find themselves saying the wrong thing.

 

In this episode What's Your Grief's Litsa and Eleanor discuss some of the more commonly used yet cringe worthy statements said to grievers.  They explain why these sentiments often fall on agitated ears and offer an alternative approach for supporting those grieving the loss of a loved one.

 

Outline and show notes can be found at www.whatsyourgrief.com/two

Direct download: The_Things_You_Should_Never_Say_to_a_Griever.mp3
Category:Supporting a Griever -- posted at: 8:51pm EDT

Grief and the Holidays

This time of year can be particularly difficult for people grieving the loss of a loved one.  Spouses, parents, children and siblings muddle through parties, presents and merriment to finally confront the gut wrenching presence of an empty chair at their holiday table.

In their very first podcast the girls behind the What's Your Grief website discuss the top ten reasons why the holidays can be hard for those grieving a loss and share their top 5 suggestions for coping with the holidays after a death.

 

Outline and show notes can be found at www.whatsyourgrief.com/one

Direct download: Grief_and_the_Holidays.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT

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