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Ep. 143: A Full-Time Other Mother - Step-Parenting Grieving Children

Grief Out Loud

Release Date: 04/17/2020

Titrating Grief show art Titrating Grief

Grief Out Loud

When Jonna's mom, Anita, died just a few days after Jonna's 26th birthday, she prepared herself to completely fall apart. She imagined not getting out of bed for days, never laughing again, and for life to come to a standstill. When grief didn't look like that, it was confusing and left her worried she was doing something wrong. Jonna talks about her mom, their relationship, what it's like for grief to show up over time, and reckoning with how grief is changing her hopes and goals.

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Grief Wanted My Attention - Nnenna Freelon show art Grief Wanted My Attention - Nnenna Freelon

Grief Out Loud

Nnenna Freelon's beloved husband Phil died in July of 2019. Six months later her sister, Dr. Debbie Pierce, also died. Then, COVID hit the United States. During this dark winter, Nnenna was exhausted, but she also couldn't rest. She tried everything and nothing worked. Eventually, she realized she needed to listen. To listen to what grief had to say. In the listening she found her voice. With that voice, Nnenna recently released her latest album, Time Traveler, and started a podcast, Great Grief. 

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End Of Life Care With A Death Doula - Oceana Sawyer show art End Of Life Care With A Death Doula - Oceana Sawyer

Grief Out Loud

Oceana Saywer is a death doula who supports people at the end of life. She came to this work through being with her father during his last days. An experience she describes as transformative and revelatory. In our conversation we travel from Oceana's earliest exposure to grief when she was a young child to more recent losses, personal and communal, over the past 18 months of the pandemic. 

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When Your Pillar Parent Dies - Grief As A Young Adult With Monday Mourning show art When Your Pillar Parent Dies - Grief As A Young Adult With Monday Mourning

Grief Out Loud

It's our 200th episode! To celebrate we talked with Harry, Gabby, and Madison, the crew behind the Monday Mourning Podcast and the Dead Parents Club. Gabby and Madison's mom died of cancer in 2016 and Harry's father died, also of cancer, the next year. As friends and members of the Dead Parents Club, the three of them talk openly and irreverently about grief in a way that makes it more comfortable for others to talk about something no one really knows how to talk about. 

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Living Brave In Grief - Shannon Dingle show art Living Brave In Grief - Shannon Dingle

Grief Out Loud

This is a love story. And, because it's on this podcast, it's also a grief story. Shannon and Lee Dingle met when they were 18. As Shannon describes it, their relationship was the kind she would roll her eyes at if she wasn't living it. In July, 2019, they were on vacation at the beach when a wave hit Lee just the wrong way and he died. We talk about how Shannon and her kids are making their way in this new world without Lee, with lots of honesty, dark humor, and permission to feel every and anything. 

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Interviewing Grief - Caitlin Garvey & The Mourning Report show art Interviewing Grief - Caitlin Garvey & The Mourning Report

Grief Out Loud

Caitlin Garvey's mother died in June of 2008, the summer after Caitlin's freshman year of college. Many years later, Caitlin decided to interview a series of people closely tied to her mother's illness and end of life. Those interviews, interspersed with Caitlin's memories and reflections, were recently published as The Mourning Report.

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Grief Doesn't Stop When You Clock In - Supporting Employees In Grief show art Grief Doesn't Stop When You Clock In - Supporting Employees In Grief

Grief Out Loud

Leslie Barber is back for another episode! When Leslie's husband Steve died of cancer, she had a lot to figure out. How to live without the love of her life, how to raise their daughter on her own, and how to manage working while grieving. Leslie's company, Grief Warrior, trains business leaders, managers, and human resource departments to become more grief inclusive.

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Anger & Grief  show art Anger & Grief

Grief Out Loud

Keyana was 9 when her dad died. He died of suicide, but at the time her mom just told her he was gone. Eventually Keyana learned the truth and wrestled with all the emotions that come with having a parent die - confusion, overwhelm, sadness, and most of all for Keyana - anger. Anger at her dad, her mom, and the circumstances. As an adult, Keyana realized she needed to learn more about this anger and find ways to express it that didn't cause harm to herself and her relationships. 

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When Grief Goes To Camp - Brie Overton show art When Grief Goes To Camp - Brie Overton

Grief Out Loud

Grief might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to summer camp, but there are thousands of children and teens who take their grief with them as they get to know bunkmates, play soccer, and make crafts. We talk with Brie Overton, Chief Clinical Officer for Experience Camps, about how she and her staff work to create connection and understanding for the children and teens who attend their camps across the country.

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Widowed By COVID-19 show art Widowed By COVID-19

Grief Out Loud

Sandra McGowan-Watts is a mother, a physician, and a widow. Her husband Steven died of COVID-19 on May 8th, 2020. She and their daughter have spent the past year trying to figure out how to live without a husband and father who did so much to support them. As of April 29th, 2021 over 575,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19. What gets lost in these numbers are the actual people who died and the family and friends left behind. 

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More Episodes

Being a step-parent is complicated under the best of circumstances, but what happens when your children's other parent dies? Paige Smith was just settling into her new family with her husband and his two children that he co-parented with his ex-wife, Danielle, when they got the news that Danielle had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. When Danielle died and the girls moved in Paige and her husband, Paige found herself entering the new role of full-time mother, but without the support and guidance of Danielle. We talk about how Paige and her husband, together with their girls, are working to honor Danielle's memory and navigate grief individually, and as a family.