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How To Talk About What Happened - Adam Sawyer

Grief Out Loud

Release Date: 12/13/2023

Conscious Grieving - Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC show art Conscious Grieving - Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC

Grief Out Loud

Maybe you're familiar with the phrase, "You can't go around grief, you have to go through it." Or, "You have to feel your feelings." If you're like a lot of people, you might cringe and also wonder, "What does that actually mean?" Grief isn't linear, and it's not something to get through - and yet, a lot of people appreciate having some sense of what to expect and what to do with it all. That's where  new book, Conscious Grieving, comes in. Offered as a framework, not a formula, Claire suggests four ways to orient towards grief: entering, engaging, surrendering, and transforming. Claire...

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Caring For Young Widows In Nigeria - Diane Kalu show art Caring For Young Widows In Nigeria - Diane Kalu

Grief Out Loud

In 2015, Diane Kalu was living in Nigeria with her husband and their three young children. One day, about eight weeks after the birth of their third child, Diane’s husband went to work and never returned. A few days later she got the news that he dad died. She was suddenly a widow, responsible for raising three children under the age of five, in a country with several widowhood customs and traditions that are harmful to women. Thankfully, Diane had her mother to help her survive those early days of widowhood. Then, about five years after her husband's death, Diane's mother also died....

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It's A Loss That's Hard To Talk About - Grieving A Friend show art It's A Loss That's Hard To Talk About - Grieving A Friend

Grief Out Loud

Whenever Annette & Mel connect, there's always a third person in the mix. That third person is Amy, their friend and chosen family member who died in 2012 of pulmonary fibrosis. While they each had a unique friendship with her, both connections were formative and deep. When Amy died, Annette and Mel's friendship grew stronger, because of their shared grief.  This episode is part of a series focused on grieving the death of a friend. As much as we decry there being a hierarchy of grief, most people still assume the death of a family member is harder than the death of a friend. In...

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Creating A Home For Grief - Laura Green show art Creating A Home For Grief - Laura Green

Grief Out Loud

What if there was a place you could go in your grief and be both perfect and broken? That's the kind of place dreamed up with her friend and co-founder, Sascha Demerjian. Together they created , a community space for people to explore grief through movement, conversation, creativity, and care. Since she was very young, Laura can remember being afraid of death. Afraid of losing everyone and everything she cared about, especially her mother. Three years after starting The Grief House, Laura had to face that biggest fear when her mother, Grace, died in the summer of 2023.   We...

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“I Felt Like Half A Person”  – On Becoming A Widow show art “I Felt Like Half A Person” – On Becoming A Widow

Grief Out Loud

In an instant, Leslie went from sharing every aspect of life with her husband Ryan to feeling like half a person. Leslie, Ryan, their two young children, and their extended family were on vacation in California when Ryan told Leslie that something didn't feel right. He was rushed to the hospital where he died of a stroke and an aneurysym, leaving Leslie to figure out how to live their life without him. The people Leslie most wanted to talk to in her grief were other widows. This inspired her to start  - a project to capture the stories of widows in the hopes of helping others feel less...

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Putting Grief On Hold - Channing Frye show art Putting Grief On Hold - Channing Frye

Grief Out Loud

What happens when you put your grief on hold? In the summer of 2016,  was riding high. After over a decade in the NBA, his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, had won the Championship. Then, in the fall, he hit one of the lowest lows. His mother Karen died of cancer. Just a month later his father, Thomas, also died. Channing put his grief on hold to deal with the logistics of planning two funerals, supporting his family, and going back to work as a professional athlete. Eventually, with the help of his wife, his friends, and a therapist, Channing started to talk about and explore...

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The Dangers Of Pathologizing Grief - Dr. Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT show art The Dangers Of Pathologizing Grief - Dr. Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT

Grief Out Loud

Dr. Donna Schuurman is back - this time talking about the dangers of pathologizing grief. While the term "complicated grief" has been used in various grief settings for years, it wasn't until March of 2022 that made it into the DSM-5-TR - the Diagnostical & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - as an official diagnosis. This conversation explores the concerns Donna and others in the field share about the move to pathologize grief. We discuss: What Donna’s learned about grief working in the field for over 30 years  How that work experience shapes her personal grief  ...

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Can They Even Understand? - Preschoolers & Grief show art Can They Even Understand? - Preschoolers & Grief

Grief Out Loud

When Sat Kaur Khalsa, MSW, was three, her older brother died in a drowning accident. After his death, he continued to disappear - his photos were taken down and no one talked about him. As she grew up, she learned the implicit lesson to be a good kid because her parents were already dealing with enough. She also learned that grief wasn't something you talked about or shared with others. Now, as an adult, she's working to make sure kids her age get to have a different experience. Sat Kaur is the Family Services Coordinator at where she supports children of all ages and their families after a...

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Becoming Grief-Informed- Dr. Donna Schuurman & Dr. Monique Mitchell show art Becoming Grief-Informed- Dr. Donna Schuurman & Dr. Monique Mitchell

Grief Out Loud

What does it mean to be grief-informed? In 2020, Dr. Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT, and Dr. Monique Mitchell, PhD, FT, authored the paper, ," which outlines: what it means to be grief-informed, why it's so important, and Dougy Center's . This paper is based on the foundational understanding of grief as a natural and normal response to loss that is interwoven into a sociocultural context. It recognizes grief not as an experience that needs to be fixed, treated, or pathologized, but one that deserves understanding, support, and community.  , is the Senior Director of Advocacy & Education at...

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The Realities of Black Grief – Doneila McIntosh, M.Div., M.A. show art The Realities of Black Grief – Doneila McIntosh, M.Div., M.A.

Grief Out Loud

The reality for Black individuals and families living in the U.S. is that death happens more often and earlier on than for their white counterparts. In the last two decades, these higher rates of mortality resulted in 1.63 million excess deaths for Black Americans compared to white Americans. Doneila McIntosh brings her personal and professional experiences with this reality to her work as a researcher studying the intersections of disenfranchised grief among African American families. Disenfranchised grief occurs when a loss isn't recognized or seen as valid, often the result of stigma. The...

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More Episodes

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 recovery from heroin addiction
  • Adam's first glimmers of hope
  • Finding a new home, a new purpose, and a new romantic connection
  • What it's been like to go public with his story through writing and presentations
  • How Adam stays connected to his grief

Find Adam on Substack and Facebook