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Episode 36: The Phoenix is a Poet (2 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Release Date: 07/06/2020

Episode 58: You’re Worthy Because You’re Alive (3 of 3) show art Episode 58: You’re Worthy Because You’re Alive (3 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Barry bares his heart and shares his biggest fear. Might this be your fear too? How Barry thinks he comes across on first dates. In other words—why Barry really thinks his first dates don’t usually lead to second dates. The sting of rejection. This has nothing to do with transplants. But finding love again requires taking risks—and that means facing uncertainty—the fear of rejection. We talk about this in terms of unhappy vs. uncertain. Because according to my unreferenced research, most people choose unhappiness versus uncertainty. Do you choose certain muted contentment and suffering...

Episode 57: You're Worthy Because You're Alive (2 of 3) show art Episode 57: You're Worthy Because You're Alive (2 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Barry’s face glows with promise and hope when he explains what one thing he’s working on—building the rest of his life around—where he finds meaning and beauty. You’ll also hear about Barry’s ninety-day date-cycle. How Barry landed on the roof of a barn. The frustration of six first dates (and no 2nd dates), and what Barry thinks it reveals. How much should you share on a first date—like a liver transplant? Dark humor for coping. When to go dutch--this might surprise you. How Barry manages deep dark depression with this life or death trade-off. And plenty more. Bulletasos How...

Episode 56: You're Worthy Because You're Alive (1 of 3) show art Episode 56: You're Worthy Because You're Alive (1 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Widower poet Barry Johnson returns! I first met Barry when we recorded about a year ago. Just four months before we recorded, Barry was almost dead. Three months before that recording, Barry’s life was saved by a liver transplant. In this episode, Barry makes a confession—I urge you to listen with compassion and empathy. Barry bares his heart about his depression-where it comes from-rough stuff. Is Barry still pissed at God? How work helps Barry cope. Barry reads his poem. And Barry’s personal demon: being unworthy of love. And lots more. Bullets Feeling Good, Finally New Pony Tail...

Episode 55: What I Learned (by doing the podcast) show art Episode 55: What I Learned (by doing the podcast)

My Spouse Died Too

What I’ve learned by doing more than fifty My Spouse Died Too podcast episodes. Not all-inclusive, just a taste of what I’ve discovered by talking for hours and hours with courageous widowed guest co-hosts. You’ll hear my self-accusations, personality quirks, views on life and death. How I make deeper connections with just about anybody. How to find gold in a conversation. How to listen better. And I’ll suggest a resource, if you take simple action, quickly changes your life in a profound way.  And more. Bulletos What I Learned My Spouse's Death Seems So Long Ago People Die...

Episode 54: Comedian Widow: How Dark Humor Eases The Pain show art Episode 54: Comedian Widow: How Dark Humor Eases The Pain

My Spouse Died Too

Widowed at twenty-eight, Tawny Platis is the queen of dead husband jokes. Tawny is a comedian, voice actor, and host of the podcast Death Is Hilarious. Tawny’s podcast explores how comedians and creatives use comedy and dark humor to cope with grief and trauma through storytelling and jokes. In this episode, Tawny discusses her botched suicide plan.  Why laughter is like her heroin. PSDD--Post Spousal Death Disorder. Pennsylvania Serah (she’s a lifesaver). Covid isolation perils. Bumble and honest dating profile advice. Tawny thinks something is wrong with her because the same evening...

Episode 53: The Rebellious Widow (3 of 3) show art Episode 53: The Rebellious Widow (3 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

The Rebellious Widow Jill Johnson-Young packs this final episode with personal experience and generous professional advice. What you’ll discover… Stacie the Mortician—Jill’s new (and current) love connection. The reticent minister who refused to officiate Jill’s next wedding, and the baseless reasons why. Jill has a stroke on tax day—A real one. Will you grieve forever? What I was wrong about (it has to do with grieving forever). How to be like ninety-nine-year-old actress Betty White (she was widowed 40 years ago and hasn’t remarried)—or how to be like Jill with the courage,...

Episode 52: The Rebellious Widow (2 of 3) show art Episode 52: The Rebellious Widow (2 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Part 2 of The Rebellious Widow with guest co-host, twice-widowed author, therapist, Mom, and entrepreneur Jill Johnson-Young, LCSW. Taste Part 2: How Casper comes back into the scene and what she asked Jill's Mom. How to break the widow rules so you can live life on your terms without guilt and shame. The three-page bucket List. Introducing your dead spouse. Finishing relationships—how a therapist helps you. People uncomfortable with death: which friends or family suddenly disappeared? The Snow Goose Dress—the things you’ll wear for a dying loved one. Anticipatory Grief—when your grief...

Episode 51: The Rebellious Widow (1 of 3) show art Episode 51: The Rebellious Widow (1 of 3)

My Spouse Died Too

Jill Johnson-Young guest co-hosts. Jill is an internationally known grief therapist, Mom, author, entrepreneur, and LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). While in her 40’s, Jill lost her first wife Linda. Then, Jill lost her second wife Casper. Casper was first wife Linda’s hospice nurse. And now, Jill is married to her third wife Stacie. Stacie is the mortician who cared for both Linda and Casper. Reread and wrap your mind around that! But that’s not all… Jill is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In her own trial by fire, what surprised Jill is how popular conventional grief...

Episode 50: Three and a Half Years Since (4 of 4) show art Episode 50: Three and a Half Years Since (4 of 4)

My Spouse Died Too

Got psychotherapy? Freud’s field day on the couch. Tim revisits a childhood memory. Over and over and over. The last time we made love. Tim recollects. Covid loneliness. Emeric struggles. The first thing you should do each morning, no matter what. Prescribed by a world-renowned clinical psychologist and a Navy Seal. Let’s talk codependence. Cooking for One, Eating for Two. Emeric lives alone now, and it's not so easy, yet. Tim's late spouse Donna's last written word, and more. If you haven’t listened to parts 1, 2, and 3, listen to those first. Links: Tim's prior guest host episode...

Episode 49: Three and a Half Years Since (3 of 4) show art Episode 49: Three and a Half Years Since (3 of 4)

My Spouse Died Too

Three and a Half Years Since (3 of 4). The marriage question—are you all in? I wonder why my widowed friends say they’ll never marry again. And does that mean they’ll never be 100% “all-in” on any relationship? Who was sleeping with the librarian? Three and a half years since Donna died, what’s Tim’s identity now? After your spouse died you’re invited to a wedding. But now the invitation says You and guest. Gut punch? Is Tim still pissed at God? Woo Woo? Tim explains how he senses his late spouse Donna’s presence. Tim examines why it makes more sense—he should have died...

More Episodes

Welcome to part 2 of The Phoenix is a Poet with widower Barry Johnson. If you haven’t listened to part 1, please do that first because it gives you a terrific context.

In this episode, Barry and Emeric continue their open-heart conversation. You'll discover the number one reason why you should really keep a journal. The sensuous-ethereal-sex-dream that became Barry’s first poem. Deep dark places. Dating conundrums. Finding meaning.And you won’t want to miss Barry’s mesmerizing voice as he reads his poems, and so much more.


  • Why I Really Write in My Journal
  • The Sex Dream: How I Wrote My First Poem
  • Poem Reading: A Lover Visits
  • Blood Rushes Through
  • Didn’t Answer the Phone for 72 Hours
  • Crying in Bed—3 Days Straight
  • Pretending to Be Content
  • Sweet Sweet Sweet Mourning Song
  • Poem Reading: Again
  • Grief: The Gift That Keeps on Giving?
  • Freeway of Emotions— Unlimited Lanes
  • Missing the Things Nobody Knew
  • Can You Find Meaning in The Dark?
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Thank Bob Dylan)
  • Hurricane Grief
  • Squashed Feelings 101
  • What Her Letter Said
  • First Date: Good Woman, Bad Timing
  • Relationship Expiration Date
  • Barry the Romantic Renaissance Man

Thanks for listening. I hope you join Barry Johnson and me for part 3, the grand finale of The Phoenix is a Poet, because surprises await you!

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My Spouse Died Too podcast, images, logos, artwork copyright © 2019-2020 by Emeric McCleary. Music and lyrics © 2019-2020 by Emeric McCleary and Elena McCleary