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Love Is Stronger - Interrupting Gun Violence

Grief Out Loud

Release Date: 08/11/2023

How To Talk About What Happened - Adam Sawyer show art How To Talk About What Happened - Adam Sawyer

Grief Out Loud

In January of 2022, Adam Sawyer had everything he dreamed of and more. His partner Kara was the love of his life. Their cat Lela was his all-time favorite animal. Their off the grid house, Whiskey Jane, was the best place he had ever lived. By the end of February, 2022, Adam lost all three of them. Kara and Lela died when Whiskey Jane was destroyed in a fire.  We discuss Getting "the call" about the fire Being fully immersed in grief with no responsibilities Nature's role in Adam's healing process Examining the ways he tells people about his losses The parallels between grief and his...

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Grief Out Loud

It's our fifth annual holidays & grief episode! This time of year can be grueling for anyone, but particularly for those who are grieving. So, each year we put out an episode to help you feel less alone and hopefully more equipped to traverse the next few weeks. Today's guest, Melissa Peede Thompson, M.S., is a Grief Services Coordinator at Dougy Center. While she has lots of professional knowledge in this realm, we asked her to talk about her personal experience of grieving during the holidays. Melissa was six when her sister died of gun violence. She was 13 when her father died in a...

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Tending To Trauma In Grief - Meghan Riordan Jarvis show art Tending To Trauma In Grief - Meghan Riordan Jarvis

Grief Out Loud

When Meghan Riordan Jarvis's mother died suddenly, just two years after her father died of cancer, she watched herself grieving from two perspectives. One as a daughter and the other as a trauma-informed therapist. As a daughter she was devastated and deeply impacted on all levels. As a therapist, she recognized in her grief signs of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. The therapist part of her also realized she wasn't getting better on her own and needed the next level of care. Meghan's new book, , chronicles the unresolved trauma of her early life, how it resurfaced after her parents...

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Grief Out Loud

Bridget was in high school when her dad died of a heart attack in 2020. Their relationship was complicated. She loved the way her more creative side came out when they spent time together, but she also struggled with how he kept a lot of his history from her. In grieving for him, Bridget's had to reckon with two things being true at the same time. The first is that in some ways Bridget’s life became easier and more stable after he died. The second is the reality that she still loves him, misses him, and wishes he could be there for all the milestones unfolding in her...

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It Was Such A Shock - John show art It Was Such A Shock - John

Grief Out Loud

  When John's father died of suicide in 2021 it came as a complete shock. John couldn't square the dad he knew as cool and levelheaded with the reality that he took his life. He tried to figure it out - what was going on for his dad that led him to this? Over time, John began to better understand some of the factors that contributed to his dad's death. Throughout it all, he turned to his family, friends, and himself for support in navigating this new world without his dad.  This series is a part of an ongoing collaboration between Dougy Center and . We are deeply grateful for New...

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Grief Out Loud

Sonja was 15 when we recorded in the summer of 2023, but was just 10 when her father, Matt, died in September 2018 from injuries due to a car accident. Sonja, her mom, and two younger siblings lived in NYC at the time of his death. They eventually moved across the country to Portland, Oregon where they attended peer grief support groups at Dougy Center. Sonja shares what she remembers about hearing that her dad was in an accident, how their community showed up while he was in the hospital, and how they kept showing up after he died. We also talk about her dad and what it's like to...

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When Your Spouse Dies Of Suicide - Alexandra Wyman show art When Your Spouse Dies Of Suicide - Alexandra Wyman

Grief Out Loud

and her husband Shawn had a bit of a whirlwind life. They got married in 2018, had their son in 2019, and then in 2020 Shawn died of suicide. His death created a different type of whirlwind. The kind where Alexandra had to rebuild her life as a solo parent dealing with the intense swirl of guilt, sadness, anger, and confusion. As the shock wore off, Alexandra started to write down what she was going through and learning along the way. This led to her new book, , and her podcast, .  We discuss: Who Alexandra is in addition to her grief How Shawn lived as a husband and father The day...

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Grief Out Loud

This was supposed to be an episode about going back to work with grief, but it's not. Emily did have to navigate going back to work after her partner Chantel was killed in a hit and run, but this conversation ended up being about love. And loss. And the magical powers of caring for a dog named Indie. It's also about bringing the love you had with a partner who died into a new relationship and what it's like to grow that love with someone else.  We discuss How Emily and Chantel fell in love What she remembers about the night Chantel died  The isolation and loneliness of the...

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Grief Out Loud

experienced the death of someone close to her every year between the ages of 15 and 21. The first was her father, who died of brain encephalitis. For the next five years, Katie did what so many teens do - she didn’t talk about her grief. Until she did. Now, she's the founder of and the author of new children's book, which invites children (and adults too) to find ways to make new memories with their person who died.  We discuss:  What Katie needed when her dad died and how that changed over time  Why she stopped talking about her dad and how she learned...

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How To Show Up For Others show art How To Show Up For Others

Grief Out Loud

"How do I help someone who is grieving?" This is the perennial question when it comes to showing up for people we care about after someone dies. Zack Wheat, a Board Certified Chaplain, knows more than most about what people who are grieving need - and don't need. Professionally, Zack knows about this from his work as a hospital chaplain for an inpatient palliative care team. He also knows about it from his time volunteering as a facilitator in peer grief support groups at Dougy Center. But, long before he was a hospital chaplain or a grief group facilitator, Zack learned about how to be there...

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Lionel Irving is the founder of Love is Stronger, an organization in Portland, OR dedicated to supporting gang-impacted families and communities in building healing, accountability, and safety. While Lionel and Love is Stronger focus on interrupting gun violence, this work is also rooted in grief. Lionel's uncle was shot and killed by the police in 1975. His cousin Donald was killed in 1999 by a rival gang. His mother died of a sudden illness when Lionel was 20. In the last two years, he went to over 40 funerals, many of those for young people killed by gun violence. 

We talk about:

  • Lionel's early experiences with grief and gun violence
  • How he lost his moral compass when his mother died
  • His work as a tribute to how his mother saw him
  • The role unprocessed grief played in his life, including killing another teen
  • How being in prison and learning about trauma changed his life
  • Learning there's no quick fix for grief
  • What is unique about grieving a gun violence death
  • The origin story of Love is Stronger
  • Lionel's vision for interrupting cycles of gun violence
  • What the community can do to help
  • What helps him tend his own grief

More information about Lionel & Love is Stronger.