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Ep. 110: Mindful Photography & Grief - Dr. Jessica Thomas, PhD, LMFT

Grief Out Loud

Release Date: 04/17/2019

Widowish - Melissa Gould show art Widowish - Melissa Gould

Grief Out Loud

When you think of the word "widow" what image comes to mind? When author Melissa Gould's husband Joel died, she didn't fit what she imagined widows looked and acted like, even if she felt like one. This dissonance led her to come up with the term "Widowish" which is also the title of her new memoir. Widowish is the story of her husband Joel, their love, and how she and their daughter Sophie found ways to grieve the heartbreak of his death. 

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The Indigenous Death Doula Mentorship Program - Chrystal Wàban Toop show art The Indigenous Death Doula Mentorship Program - Chrystal Wàban Toop

Grief Out Loud

What does it mean to train to be a death doula for your community? Chrystal Wàban Toop is the founder of Blackbird Medicines and she joined us to talk about how her early experiences with grief grounded her in the the work she does as a life spectrum doula and her commitment to helping people reconnect with traditional knowledge and cultural practices to guide individual, family, and community transitions throughout the life span. 

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Love Stories - A Griefy Valentine's Special show art Love Stories - A Griefy Valentine's Special

Grief Out Loud

Even if you don't really celebrate it, Valentine's Day can be rough when you're grieving. This year, we decided to bring you a compilation of love stories from listeners. Even though Valentine's Day is usually marketed as only about romantic love, this episode is about the love that exists in any connection. The idea for this episode came out of our conversation in episode 162 with Alesia Alexander, LCSW.

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Ep. 182: Healing Trauma, Attending To Grief - Native Wellness Institute & Jillene Joseph show art Ep. 182: Healing Trauma, Attending To Grief - Native Wellness Institute & Jillene Joseph

Grief Out Loud

Jillene Joseph, Executive Director of the Native Wellness Institute, joined us to discuss how settler colonial policies outlawing Native funeral rights purposefully cut people off from traditional practices and how that trauma reverberates today. We also talk about what it means to take a healthy risk in grief, the importance of attending to grief emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally, and how Native Wellness Institute is continuing to promote health and wellness with their Native Power Hours.

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Ep. 181: Ep. 181: "She's Always With Me" - Finding Peace In The Permanence Of Grief

Grief Out Loud

Molly loves her life, but she didn't always feel that way. 18 years ago, Molly's life changed in an instant when her mom died of a heart attack while driving Molly to school. Since that day, Molly's worked hard to figure out what helps her feel healthy and grounded. This includes recognizing that grief is permanent and will always be part of who she is in this world.

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Ep. 180: More Than Just A Number - Grieving When Someone Dies Of COVID-19 show art Ep. 180: More Than Just A Number - Grieving When Someone Dies Of COVID-19

Grief Out Loud

As of January 21st, 2021, over 400,000 people in the U.S. have been killed by the coronavirus. Globally, the number is over 2 million. Despite attempts by journalists and public health officials to put these numbers into context, what gets lost in tracking case counts are the stories of the people who died and their family members left behind. This is one of those stories. The story of Maria, beloved mother of four, who died this summer of COVID-19, told by Mariana, her youngest daughter.  

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Ep. 179: Sons Of Suicide - 50 Years Of Friendship & Grief show art Ep. 179: Sons Of Suicide - 50 Years Of Friendship & Grief

Grief Out Loud

This is the story of how a random encounter led to a transformative friendship that's lasted for more than 50 years. A friendship rooted in the shared experience of grieving a parent who died of suicide. David Pincus and Rick Knapp met as high school seniors. They had a lot in common, including a part of their lives that they rarely talked about. Both of their mothers had died by suicide. Their book, Sons of Suicide: A Memoir of Friendship, chronicles how these early losses shaped so much of their lives. 

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Ep. 178: Survivor's Guilt - Julia Mallory show art Ep. 178: Survivor's Guilt - Julia Mallory

Grief Out Loud

After her oldest son was killed in 2017, Julia Mallory had a sense that creativity was a place she could go in her grief. In that place, she wrote Survivor's Guilt, a collection of essays and poems about grief, joy, and the moments when they intersect.

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Ep. 177: The Relentless Nature Of Grief - Carmel Breathnach show art Ep. 177: The Relentless Nature Of Grief - Carmel Breathnach

Grief Out Loud

When Carmel Breathnach was 11, her mother died of cancer. While she felt supported at home by her father, she didn't feel that way at school. Now as an adult, Carmel’s carried this grief though graduations, moving from Ireland to the U.S.. getting married, and now through a pandemic.  We talk about the role anger played in her grief, what she needed from her teachers, how she honored her mom at her wedding, and how working on her forthcoming memoir, "Briefly I Knew My Mother," has affected her grief.  

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Ep. 176: Grief In Your Twenties - Amber Jeffrey/The Grief Gang show art Ep. 176: Grief In Your Twenties - Amber Jeffrey/The Grief Gang

Grief Out Loud

Amber Jeffrey is the creator and host of The Grief Gang, a podcast by and for young adults who want to normalize the conversation about loss. Amber was 19 when her mom died suddenly, throwing her into a period of questioning and reworking so much in her life. We talk about what inspired her to start The Grief Gang, the solace she finds in the online grief community, navigating the winter holidays & grief, and what to do when a grief activating song comes on during a manicure.

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More Episodes

There’s nothing like grief to take us completely out of the moment. We get pulled into the past where we try to remember everything we can while also ruminating over what we wish we had said or done differently. At the same time, we leap to the future, anticipating what events will be like without the person we are grieving.

Dr. Jessica Thomas, PhD, LMFT, who focused her dissertation research on using mindful photography with anticipatory grief, now helps people in grief explore this process of creating images as a way to ground themselves in the actual moment. Dr. Thomas is the president of the board of the NW Association for Death Education and Bereavement Support. She is also a professor at Lewis & Clark College and has a private psychotherapy practice supporting clients in grief, life transitions, and other challenges.

Join the Mindful Photography Facebook Group and find Jessica on Instagram @drjessicathomas