Just Be Big and Brave — An Interview with Kate | Talking About Grief with Friends

Just Be Big and Brave — An Interview with Kate | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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For this interview I spoke with one of my besties, Kate, and (so far) it’s the only interview I’ve done in-person. Like actually in the same room, not staring across an internet screen. 

The difference is obvious to me. You can really hear how much emotion is tied to the subject, and how difficult it can be to hold on to a friend’s emotions in-the-moment. I feel like you can hear how awkward I am — much more so than over the phone and especially in later episodes and interviews once I’ve learned that it’s okay to talk about dead people. 

Which leads me to a confession of sorts: These conversations still *not* easy! And I don’t think they ever will be. 

Part of what I am learning is that during these tough conversations where you have to be real, and you don’t get to be all sunshiney about it. 

My podcasts guests (who are my close friends and relatives) have all come to terms with their grief, but even decades later there are very real emotions tied to these stories. And let’s be honest, our society doesn’t really excel at staying real when emotions run high. 

What Kate’s interview showed me exactly HOW hard it is to really listen and be present. My gut reaction was to want to make it okay, or to lighten the mood, make her laugh. But take a step back from that conversation for a second: if my friend is telling me serious news of any kind, if I’m really listening and participating in the conversation, I shouldn’t make light of it. I should be asking questions to follow-up and learn more. Eventually they will know what kind of support they need from me, but step one is showing up and then step two is listening completely. 

Don’t listen for your opportunity to relate your story. Don’t open the conversation with how hard it is for YOU to talk about THEIR grief. This is the time in your life when you should completely and utterly focus on the person across the table from you. And that’s not intuitive.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, the act of offering support is simple. But it is definitely not easy. 

A couple things to note about this episode: it’s recorded on my phone which leads to some questionable audio quality at times. (There’s also one point I hop up to get tissues, so you’ll hear the door opening and closing and all kinds of kerfuffle.)

And there’s a bit of swearing so cover any tiny ears that may be closeby. It’s wonderful British swearing though, which is just more fun than American swearing. 

This Is Hard Because You Loved Them – An Interview with Christy, a Grief Counselor | Talking About Grief with Friends

This Is Hard Because You Loved Them – An Interview with Christy, a Grief Counselor | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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This episode is a break from the normal peer-to-peer interviews I’ve done previously. Today I’m talking with Christy Hansen, a grief counsellor at KC Hospice in Kansas City, Missouri. She sees people who are grieving literally every day, and graciously agreed to talk with me about grief! 

I think this interview is especially helpful to hear if you feel like you’re floundering a bit. I mean, Christy’s career is based around understanding how to react to people’s grief — so it makes sense she would have some really excellent suggestions on what to do or say. 

Her words left me feeling a lot more confident in how to reach out? A bit less awkward with admitting that I may not know what the right thing to say is. She really reiterates a point that I’ve heard over and over in these interviews — it’s the being there that counts. And if you really listen to the person across from you, you will be doing the right thing. 

Christy references a few resources if you’re looking to support someone in their grief, or if you are grieving yourself. Those resources are linked on our website, www. sorryforyourlosspod .com 

Thanks a million to Christy!

What we mentioned in this episode of Sorry For Your Loss Podcast:

I’m Sorry, and I’m Here For You — An Interview with Greg | Talking About Grief with Friends

I’m Sorry, and I’m Here For You — An Interview with Greg | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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I sat down with my friend Greg, who I may or may not have coerced into being on this podcast after may or may not have had one or two or several pints between us.

The topic came up at all because I had made a “YOUR MOM!” joke. Greg’s response was perfect, he effortlessly and emphatically yelled back, “MY MOM’S DEAD!” 

I was momentarily caught off guard, and then replied, “YOU SHOULD BE ON MY PODCAST!” 

Which is maybe not the best response?

But as I’m learning about grief, and how to talk to people about their grief, I’ve learned it’s not actually a terrible response either! However it may rank on the appropriate-ness scale, Greg kindly agreed to be one of my first interviews.

Greg has some really great things to say about his experience with grief — his mother and father both died before he was 40 — and how it’s affected him since. And, he has insight about how you can support friends and coworkers in their moments of grief and beyond. 

You Grieve All The Time, Every Day – An Interview with Kelly | Talking About Grief with Friends

You Grieve All The Time, Every Day – An Interview with Kelly | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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Hi again listeners, here is EPISODE TWO! of Sorry For Your Loss the podcast.

I hope that you have in your life friends who are as good to you as the two women in this podcast have been to me. Kelly, Holly, and I have been friends since I was a freshman in college which is … plenty … of years ago by now. So, we’re close. At the beginning you’ll hear them teasing me about my British vocab in a way only long-standing friends can. And it’s been amazing to have their friendship over these years of drama and mundanity that life throws at you in your 20s and 30s!

I also want to shout out to both of them because this entire podcast would most likely not have come to fruition without both of them. We heard from Holly in Episode One, she was the original catalyst. And when I told Kelly about the idea, she was immediately supportive and enthusiastic. She wholeheartedly agreed to be interviewed, really jumped at the idea. Thanks, Kelly!!

The three of us are talking in this episode about Kelly’s mom, Nancy, who died right at the end of college. Nancy had colon cancer, and it was a long process, with bouts of health and decline, so Kelly was able to reflect about what was happening when it was happening, and even more in the years since. We discuss how she’s felt as she moved through milestones – getting married, having kids, birthdays, etc – without her mom, and how simple it is to offer support.

We’re a bit of a mess at the beginning because I hadn’t worked out how to introduce a podcast with more than two people! So please forgive a few giggles and false starts. The content gets really good, just stick with us!

What we mentioned in this episode of Sorry For Your Loss:

What Would Ernie Do? – An Interview with Holly | Talking About Grief with Friends

What Would Ernie Do? – An Interview with Holly | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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Hello and welcome to the first episode of Sorry For Your Loss podcast. Thanks for listening!

As mentioned in the previous post, this podcast idea came out of Holly and my’s shared experience with not understanding what to do after her dad died. So I’m really proud for this first episode to be an interview with her about her dad, Ernie.

We cover a whole range of topics, including how suicide changed her grieving process, how she handles conversations differently after losing a parent, how to listen when someone is grieving, and how you can’t get wrapped up in the “could haves” following the death of a loved one.

What we mentioned in this episode of Sorry For Your Loss:

Grief comes in waves, a comment from Reddit user u/GSnow on the thread, “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.

Grief Dinners – find a table or start a dinner in a city near you via The Dinner Party

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255

Introduction to Sorry For Your Loss | Talking About Grief with Friends

Introduction to Sorry For Your Loss | Talking About Grief with Friends
Sorry For Your Loss

 
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We have all been in a situation where we clam up after a friend tells us someone they love has died. Many of us realize that’s the wrong reaction, but how do you know what to say to someone who is grieving?

Meet Ellen and Holly, two friends whose shared experiences illustrate both sides to this story. When Holly’s dad died, and Ellen didn’t know what to say, they both realized… that’s kinda weird.

This podcast was created out of several conversations they shared since that realization.

Sorry For Your Loss podcast hosts Ellen (left) and Holly