Grief is a Sneaky Bitch

4/28/2022

Cecilie Surasky|Discovering Aliveness

Season 3
About this episodeCecilie Surasky is my guest in this special episode of GSB. Her stories of love and loss and ritual and divine connections with her 18 year old son Teo, who passed accidentally by unknowingly ingesting a lethal substance, will move you, sometimes make you laugh, and honestly might just inspire you to think differently about we can stay connected with our loved ones even after they’re physically gone from this earth. Cecilie is a longtime movement-builder who is currently the Director of Communications at the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, and she reached out to me last year to share a sweet note of praise after her colleague john a powell was a guest on my show. We soon entered a beautiful back and forth series of emails about the nature of grief and howImmediately following the sudden loss of their 18 year old son Teo, Cecilie and her spouse Carolyn Hunt reached out to their son's friends and their extended family and friend network so they could all grieve and heal together.The result, still in progress, is anentire community that has been forever changed through storytelling, ritual, and deep listening...and also regular Zoom calls.Episode ResourcesA recent article Cecilie wrote about Teo in the BerkleysideEpisode SponsorThanks to our sponsor Vida Health. Visit www.vida.com to learn more.Jump straight into(06:04) - Cecilie’s earliest memories of grief (and how her family addressed it)(18:18) - A blended family: Cecilie shares stories about the life and personality of her son Teo(26:55) - Teo’s passing event: Why is anxiety among adolescents so normalized?(30:30) – Cecilie’s observations about the fact that this loss happened in an uncertain moment in history?(35:07) - The lack of farewell rituals due to the pandemic and Teo’s garden ceremony(47:59) - The magic of building a supporting community of humans around grief(55”42) - The afterlife: Recent spiritual experiences that have connected Cecilie and TeoAbout the showIf you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!Learn more about becoming a GSB Podcast Supporter here
4/14/2022

Rachel Rusch | Improv Lessons

Season 3
About this episode:My friends, what can I say about today’s guest. The minute we were introduced last year, we fell into deep and ongoing discussions about the importance of narrative and storytelling in healing spaces. Rachel Rusch is a social worker, educator and researcher specializing in pediatric palliative care in Los Angeles, California. Her work centers on the intersection of narrative and storytelling in healthcare the relationship between patient, family and clinician perseverance. We explore all of these subjects in today’s episode including her personal experiences of loss and the insights she’s gleaned from some of the incredible narrative medicine and improv projects she’s involved in today.Episode ResourcesFollow Rachel on Twitter to learn more about her incredible work with support of the Cambia Health FoundationHarnessing the Power of Improv During Uncertain TimesEpisode SponsorThanks to our sponsor Vida Health. Vida – healthcare designed for the body and mind! Visit www.vida.com to learn more.Jump straight into:(03:36) - Rachel’s earliest memory of grief(10:21) - Rachel’s time as an artist performing in New York City(18:04) - Becoming a social worker: Rachel’s experience as a volunteer for the 52nd street project(24:46) - The Perseverance Project: Behind Rachel’s awarded storytelling project(34:25) - The relationship between palliative care and storytelling(39:05) - ‘Lift of personhood’: The art of addressing vulnerability in the medical field(48:43) - How are we walking into forever shifted unprecedented times after experiencing so much loss?About the show:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!Learn more about becoming a GSB Podcast Supporter here
4/4/2022

J'aime Morrison | Upwell of Grief

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:My guest J’aime Morrison and I dove right in to such a rich and beautiful conversation about grief and loss and the way our bodies hold and can be used to express our grief. She is a former professional dancer and now a professor of theater and movement at California State University at Northridge. She's also a woman who fell in love with surfing later in life, which turned out to be a profoundly important passion that has helped her navigate the waters of deep grief after the death of her husband to a brain tumor. In fact, she's created a Cannes Film Festival award-winning short experimental called Upwell, that is such a beautiful and powerful reminder, really capturing the experience of grief so beautifully through dance, and surf, and community. Her ability to interweave story and metaphor and movement into this episode was such a gift in this conversation.Episode ResourcesDr. J’aime Morrison is a Professor of Theatre Movement at California State University, Northridge and she holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University. Learn more about her Cannes Film Festival Award winning film and the incredible retreat she is a part of by clicking the links below.Upwellhttps://vimeo.com/manage/videos/370342378/914bfb68c9Retreat informationhttps://www.twocanretreats.com/mourning-surf-grief-retreat-santa-teresa-costa-ricaInstagram@mourningsurfJump straight into:(10:20) - A language beyond words: J’aime’s journey to recognize the therapeutic value within movement(16:06) - Building a family: The day J’aime met her husband, his illness and the anticipatory grief experience(35:53) - Surfing is like grief(46:53) – The experience of community working on the filmEpisode SponsorThanks to our episode sponsor Eterneva. Eterneva is helping you remember your loved ones remarkably. Visit www.eterneva.com today to learn more. Don’t forget to check them out on Tik Tok too.About the ShowIf you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today
3/17/2022

BJ Miller | Unnecessary Suffering

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:I’ve been a fan of today’s guest for a long time so I’m thrilled to share my conversation with Dr. BJ Miller with you today. BJ is a longtime hospice and palliative medicine physician and educator. He has worked in all settings of care: hospital, clinic, residential facility, and home.Led by his own experiences as a patient, BJ advocates for the roles of our senses, community, and presence in designing a better ending.We began our conversation with the story of how he came to be a patient after a catastrophic injury in his 20’s. Together we explored the challenges of acknowledging grief and humanity in traditional systems of care and why it’s important to grapple with the truth that suffering, illness, and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life. His warmth and wisdom and insight taught me so much throughout our conversation and I know you’re going to learn so much too.EPISODE RESOURCES:Mettle HealthBJ's Ted TalkJUMP STRAIGHT INTO:(03:52) - BJ’s earliest memory of loss (11:07) - BJ’s injury and loss: How it lead him into palliative medicine(17:46) - What did palliative care look like when BJ entered that field (and how is it different from hospice)(25:44) - Notions of enthusiasm and resistance among patient population and fellow doctors(36:26) - Primary palliative care: How is the pandemic changing the perception around the palliative field? (40:06) - How BJ explores suffering to his patients(49:23) - How did Mettle Health come into existence and how is it helping people? EPISODE SPONSOR:Thanks to our sponsor Vida Health. Vida – healthcare designed for the body and mind! Visit Vida.com/bcbsil to learn more.ABOUT THE SHOW:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!
3/3/2022

Lizzie Cleary | (Un)Expected Grief

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:In today’s episode, my guest Dr. Lizzie Cleary is bright and warm and engaging and her training in psychology and work in the fields of oncology meant we spent some time exploring the professional borne wisdom on the topics of grief and loss and post traumatic growth. She currently serves as a Senior Psychologist and Clinical supervisor at the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. But our conversation begins with a much more personal experience of loss that happened at the time Lizzie was studying to be a psychologist.Lizzie’s Mom Sylvia sounds like she was a trailblazer! And just as Lizzie was launching her own career, in psychology, Sylvia died while out on her kayak in one of her favorite places to be. That was 2005. Lizzie and her family began grieving this as an accidental death only to discover nearly 4 years later, based on the finally completed autopsy report, that she had died by suicide. While Lizzie doesn’t go into details about her death, I appreciated the way she illuminated the unique aspects of grieving this type of death and the added layer of complexity this new information brought forth. Lizzie’s warmth and wisdom and insight taught me so much throughout our conversation and I know you’re going to learn so much too.Episode ResourcesDr. Lizzie Cleary is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in oncology, grief, and making meaning out of life’s most challenging experiences. She is a senior psychologist at the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, where she teaches and supervises graduate students in psychology, social work, medicine, and chaplaincy. She can be found at drlizziecleary.com and on IG @drlizzieclearyGrowth After Trauma by Richard G. TedeschiEpisode SponsorThanks to our sponsor Vida Health. Vida – healthcare designed for the body and mind! Visit Vida.com/bcbsil to learn more.About The ShowIf you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!
2/22/2022

Wesley Bain | Improvising Love & Loss

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:My conversation with widower Wesley Bain is truly one of the most profound and important conversations I've had on this show, and in my life. In October 2020 I had the honor of interviewing his late wife, Christina Bain who at the time had been experiencing chronic Stage 4 Colon Cancer at age 36. On February 8, 2021Christina died. Eight months later I got a note from Wesley. Wesley’s note began a conversation that blossomed into the interview we recorded on February 9, 2022. In this episode, we explored their love, what it was like to be by her side as the cancer wreaked havoc on her, how inspired he was by her commitment to helping other cancer patients, the conversations he had and continues to have with their daughter Marlowe, the complexity of navigating her death amid the pandemic and so much more. All I can tell you is that I felt Christina in the room with us.EPISODE RESOURCES:What to Make When You’re Dying by Christina BainGSB Podcast Episode: Bearing the Wait with Christina BainEPISODE SPONSOR:Today’s episode is brought to you by Eterneva. Eterneva created a way to help you remember your loved ones remarkably, by turning their ashes into diamonds. Visit www.eterneva.com to learn more. You can also check them out on Tik Tok too.JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:(08:38) - United by improv: How did Wesley andChristina meet(12:33) - Making sense of incomprehensible news: What did Wesley experience whenChristina got diagnosed? (17:46) - ‘Get back to normal’: Wesley’s process of recognizing anticipatory grief andhaving time for himself(26:19) - On Christina’s legacy and the gifts she crafted before passingaway (33:43) - Christina’s work as a patient advocate for the Livestrong Cancer Institutes(38:36) - How did Wesley spend his last days with Christina? (46:40) - On Christina’s farewell ceremony and the snowstorm that followed(01:00:16) What has Wesley learned about himself through all of this? ABOUT THE SHOW:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how host Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!
2/3/2022

Ashlee Cunsolo | Exploring Ecological Grief

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:I’ve been desperately wanting to include climate and ecological grief in this show for such a long time and I’m thrilled to begin it with today’s guest, Ashlee Cunsolo. Ashlee is the Founding Dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies at Labrador Institute of Memorial University. She is a Researcher, Educator, and Environmental AdvocateAshlee offers so much wisdom today born of her lifelong personal passion for the environment and because of the deep and extensive qualitative and quantitative research she has been doing in Northern Labrador in Canada with indigenous Inuit people. She shares the wisdom she has learned from Elders, explores the deep grief scientists are facing as the the populations they love, and study are disappearing before their eyes, and helps us connect to the need for a kind of gritty hope necessary to stay active in saving this ecosystem that we are a part of, that we are in relationship with. She invites us to see more fully that we are part of a collective that is a much bigger WE than we often imagine.EPISODE RESOURCES:You can learn more about Ashlee Cunsolo and her research by visiting www.ashleecunsolo.caEPISODE SPONSOR:Today’s episode is brought to you by Vida Health. Vida Health, now in-network with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, lets people get the mental healthcare they need when, where, and how they need it. Visit Vida.com to learn more. Vida – healthcare designed for the body and mind!JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:(04:10) - Ashlee Cunsolo, a health Geographer. What is her first grief memory(15:26) - Understanding ecological and climate grief(27:53) - How is intergenerational storytelling around ecological grief being expressed in this current era(33:39) - How to handle ecological grief from the scientific perspective(44:41) - How has the relationship between emotional intelligence and science progressed in the academic field?(52:43) - Monuments, memorials and other manifestations for people to honor their ecological griefABOUT THE SHOW:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Host Lisa Keefauver, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow. From CEOs, scientists and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!
1/20/2022

Marisa Renee Lee | Grief is Love

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:I’m so thrilled to bring you a conversation with my new friend, Marisa Renee Lee. Marisa shares what it was like to be a teenager and young woman caring for her mother who was ill with MS and breast cancer in the most formative years of her young life, with her mother dying just a few years after she graduated from Harvard. Marisa and I explore how her CEO personality was helpful in keeping her family together and getting things done and yet likely delayed her inevitable need to face her grief.Marisa also shares some of the surprising experiences she had with workplace culture around grief from Wall Street to the 4 years she spent in the Obama White House.EPISODE RESOURCES:You can learn more about Marisa Renee Lee and her forthcoming book, Grief is Love by visiting www.marisareneelee.com SPONSORThe team at Eterneva is on a mission to help you remember your loved one remarkably. They’ve created a way for us to celebrate our remarkable loved ones by turning their ashes into a diamond.You can learn more about them by visiting www.eterneva.com. Oh, and don’t forget to check them out @eterneva on TikTok too.JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:(04:49) - Marisa’s first childhood encounter with grief(12:07) - Marisa’s journey being a caretaker for her mom(18:40) - Anticipatory grief: Conversations on how to spend the last moments with someone with a terminal disease(27:05) - What Marisa learned about herself when founding The Pink Agenda(30:38) - Lisa reads a passage from an article about a museum exhibition on grief(36:22) - The experience of grief in the workplace when working on Wall Street and then in Obama’s administration(42:43) - On perinatal losses, trauma, and support circlesABOUT THE SHOW:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Host Lisa Keefauver, is a grief and empathy activist who holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow.From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!
1/6/2022

Beth Erlander | Accidental Grief

Season 3
ABOUT THIS EPISODE:In 2012, Beth’s partner went mountain biking and that was the day their lives changed forever. In Accidental Grief, guest Beth Erlander explores what it was like to process the news that her life partner was quadriplegic, the grief that accompanied that news, how her personal, professional, and spiritual practices helped her healing process and how she’s using all that she’s learned to tend to those of us who tend for others. I really can’t wait for you to meet her.EPISODE RESOURCES:Beth Erlander, MA, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor (in the state of Colorado), an Art Therapist, a Creative Grief Support Practitioner, and an EMDR practitioner. She recently became a Cowry Shell Diviner taught by blessed memory Elder Malidoma Patrice Somé. She’s also an unofficial nurse or CNA for her partner with quadriplegia. She’s passionate about helping others navigate loss from having apprenticed to her own grief process when her partner broke his neck in 2012.Beth is currently writing her memoir about the trauma and grief of losing her able bodied partner to quadriplegia. She currently runs an online support group for therapists calledTending the Tenderswhere she provides grief support and teaches about how to do grief better. She strives to live in a world where grief is as normal as eating, peeing and sleeping. Learn more athttps://betherlander.com/JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:(01:48) - Beth’s first encounter with grief: Wearing Great Aunt Abba's hat(06:21) - Life upside down: Dealing with her partner’s life-changing moment(14:18) - Assumptions and first steps when seeking help after a tragic event(19:07) - Beth’s findings doing a grief ritual from the Dagara African tribe(24:53) - On guilt associated with feeling anger during grief and how to handle it(31:49) Why is EMDR so helpful for processing trauma?(36:40) - Grief is forever: How have those different practices evolved and melted togetherABOUT THE SHOW:If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations, get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Host Lisa Keefauver, is a grief and empathy activist who holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow.From CEOs and social workers to best-selling authors, educators, filmmakers, and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own. To learn more about the show and how Lisa Keefauver is reimagining grief, sign up for her not-so-regular newsletter follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or visit www.lisakeefauver.com today!