What's Your Grief Podcast

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