I promise I have cheerier topics to share on the horizon, but today, I’m going to focus on grief, so buckle up!
When my father died suddenly, eight years ago, I googled “how to grieve,” hoping that I might find some good answers. Instead, I found a lot of cliches, and felt even more alone. It turned out that a solid rotation of overworking, eating ice cream out of the pint in my pajamas, and screaming in my car was the best I could do, and the passage of time and some solid therapy was ultimately what provided the most relief.
Now that we’re living through a global pandemic together, (not to mention the police killing of George Floyd, and many others, which has triggered anti-racism protests around the world), the topic of grief has been on my mind again. We’re all experiencing a collective grief right now as we confront a world full of huge unknowns and new challenges. At the same time, I know people all over the world who are facing their own personal grief and loss – everything from sadness over missed milestones and events, to isolation, illness, and loss. If you’re grieving right now on any level, I promise you’re in good company.
In the years since my father died, I’ve learned about some passionate, and purposeful, new leaders who have created platforms where people who have experienced loss can find support, community, and in some cases, even a healing laugh. I thought I would pull together my favorites (can we say that in this context?) to share with you. Here they are in no particular order:
What’s Your Grief is a platform dedicated to promoting grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways. I especially appreciated their recent post on Grief as a Social Justice Issue.
Nora McInerny has a candid and refreshing approach to grief and loss. Her highly acclaimed Ted talk had me laughing and crying within a two-minute time span. She hosts a podcast, Terrible, Thanks For Asking, and is also the author of several books on grief and loss.
Therapy for Black Girls is an online space and resource focusing on de-stigmatizing mental health, and making mental health topics more relevant and accessible for black women and girls. Don’t miss the podcast which covers topics like loneliness, friendship, grief, and mindfulness.
Modern Loss features candid essays and conversations, and it is organized by topics (parenting, cancer, suicide, etc.), and also by types of loss (mother, sibling, etc.), so you can hone in on what resonates most for you. The writing is sharp, poignant, and often refreshingly funny, and the founders now have a book out composed of an irreverent collection of essays, insight, and support for those navigating grief in the modern world. I’ve now published two articles on the site, What to Keep When Someone Dies, and Your Kids Don’t Want to Inherit Your Clutter.
Flowt was created by a dynamic team of therapists, comedy writers, DJ’s and coaches who have all experienced loss. It’s a place to connect to community, content, and group and individual coaching.
Krista St Germain is one of my colleagues from The Life Coach School. She was forty when her husband died, and she now hosts a podcast and runs a coaching program specifically for widowed moms. Her work focuses on post-traumatic growth, and creating a future you can look forward to after loss.
The Mindfulness and Grief Institute was founded by speaker and author, Heather Stang, whose work is inspired by her own journey of love, loss and posttraumatic growth. She is best known for teaching leaders and caregivers how to use mindfulness-based techniques to reduce stress, cope with grief, and cultivate personal growth. The institute features an extensive array of resources, including a virtual community, 1-1 coaching, and The Mindfulness and Grief Podcast.
The Grief Coach Podcast, hosted by Brooke James, explores a variety of topics related to grief, death, and loss, including misguided things other people say, social media, logistics, finances, caretaking, wellness and resilience. I recently opened up and talked about my own grieving process with Brooke, and also broke down my thoughts on what to keep when someone you love dies. You can listen to the episode RIGHT HERE..
There’s no playbook for any of this, so whether you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or just eating an impressive amount of ice cream, I hope you take it one spoon at a time.
Image Credit: Vivian Johnson Photo