Grief is a Sneaky Bitch

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Bearing The Wait

Season 2

About This Episode



In Bearing The Wait, my guest Christina Bain and I sat down together (physically distanced of course), to hold this beautifully intimate and special conversation about the grief that comes about when you face your own mortality. Christina was so honest and vulnerable as she opened up about the journey she’s been on over the past 5 years. She is 36, married to Wes, her husband of 12 years, and she has an 8-year-old girl named Marlowe. She also has Stage 4 Colon Cancer. She is wise and kind, she offers insights and humor, and she expands our understanding of grief. She is such a gift in my life and I’m so grateful to have this chance to introduce her to you too. As mentioned in the show, you can read What to Make When You're Dying, the beautifully insightful article she published earlier this year. You can also follow her cancer journey on Christina’s blog at Bearing the Wait


About The Host



As founder of Reimagining Grief, Lisa Keefauver is on a mission to change the narratives of grief, one conversation at a time. Learn more by visiting www.reimagininggrief.com In addition to hosting this podcast, Lisa offers 1:1 Grief Support, Guided Mindfulness Meditations, Grief-Smart Workplace Consulting, and a unique line of Empathy Cards. She works as a freelance speaker and writer on the topics of grief, loss and empathy for many outlets including as a VIP contributor to Thrive Global. If you’re feeling social, follow her journey on social media @reimagininggrief. If you like this series, please make sure to leave a rating and write a review TODAY on Apple Podcasts.


More Episodes

4/13/2021

Dark Humor Helps

Season 2
About the showIf you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to 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.About the episodeGet ready y’all. This is an episode unlike any other I’ve had. My guest, Tawny Platis, is a voice actor, a comedian, host of her own podcast, and well, she uses dark humor as a tool to navigate the traumatic death of her husband George, who was just 29. We explored how Tawny uses her comedic instincts to help her navigate this tremendous loss, even just moments after she found her husband in a messy scene dead on the floor of their home. We talk about the expectations people have about how widows should behave and the discomfort and judgment some people feel when someone is grieving differently than them. We drop some truth-bombs about grief in general and young widowhood in particular. We do it all with humor, profanity AND sincerity and insight because, yes, we used all the tools at our disposal to talk about this difficult topic and you should too. I can’t wait for you to meet her.Episode Resources:Follow Tawny on Instagram, TikTok or check out her podcast Death is HilariousJump straight into:(03:25) - Tawny’s first experiences with grief - “I remember being told not to be so emotional because I was being dramatic and I was making other people uncomfortable.”(09:00) - Using comedy as a coping mechanism - “My family didn't really have a lot of love for me, but if I could make them laugh, it felt like they did. And then that extended towards everybody in my life.”(11:30) - George’s terminal illness and finding unconditional love - “He told me right off the bat what was going on with him, that he could die at any moment. I was completely in love with him, it wasn't even a second thought to break up with him or to not pursue a relationship with him.”(20:48) - Finding your own capacity to heal - “There's a black bag right there, and they're going to zip him up and take him away and I just go ‘I'm not really ready for you to take his body, but I guess if you don't, that kind of makes me liable to get into a Norman Bates situation here’. ”(30:08) - Tawny and George’s podcast and how it evolved into Death is Hilarious - “If we hadn't shared so much I wouldn't have all of that recording to go back and visit. It reminds me it was real and it happened. He was real. What we had was real.”(39:08) - Are you past it? Coping with people who don't show up for you - “So often people don't even bring it up now or they don't check on me because I'm making jokes about it, they see me getting jobs, they see me posting these episodes...”(47:08) - Secondary loss and finding the right support system - “My girlfriends were able to do that. When I was in the mood to laugh, they crack jokes right alongside me, and when I was on the ground and I couldn't even make it to the couch they crawled down on the ground and just sat with me.”(52:09) - The gift of sharing our stories and wounds - “I think one of our missions, all of us as humans, but especially when we take on the work of grief, is to figure out how to keep showing up in our integrity and authenticity.”About The HostThanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us.Our host, Lisa Keefauver, offers a variety of services and products from individual grief sessions, to guided meditations, workshops, company culture consulting and even a line of beautiful and authentic Empathy Cards. To know more visit www.reimagininggrief.com
3/31/2021

Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom

Season 2
If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, grief educator & activist, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to 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.About the episodeLisa was joined by Biological Anthropologist and author, Barbara J King, for an eye-opening and compassionate conversation about grief and love in the animal kingdom. They explored how Barbara has come to understand grief in the animal kingdom, how finding compassion for animals helps us be more compassionate to our fellow humans, and why this perspective requires us to call into question some of our most fundamental beliefs and behaviors.The author of seven books, including the new Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild, Barbara focuses on animal emotion and cognition, the ethics of our relationships with animals, and the evolutionary history of language, culture, and religion. Her book How Animals Grieve has been translated into 7 languages and her TED talk on animal love and grief has now received over 3 million views.Episode ResourcesBarbara tweets about animals, science, and books @bjkingape.Visit Barbara’s websiteHow Animals Grieve by Barbara J KingGrief and Love in the Animal Kingdom TED TalkAnimals Best Friends by Barbara J KingJump straight into:(03:38) - Barbara’s first experiences with grief - “It struck me very much how it seemed a little bit unwelcome to show that emotion and my parents didn't completely shy away from it, but yet it didn't seem completely natural either.”(08:17) - Growing stronger in conviction and the cross-cultural variations of grief - “What we do in the United States, our overarching culture and our overarching traditions of tamping down our grief expressions, physically and emotionally is not the only way.”(11:30) - Are humans exceptional? Barbara’s work with animal grief - “Animals need to see other’s bodies in order to get closure.”(22:02) - Is grieving only a mammalian behavior? - “We don't necessarily expect to see grief and spiders or frogs or trout. This does not mean we shouldn't look, because of course 20, 30 years ago, we didn't think we would be seeing it in the variety of animals we're seeing it in now. “(27:03) - The importance of having compassion for the animal experience - “If you understand how deeply important it is to be good to each other and not necessarily to know what another human being is going through, but to give them the benefit of the doubt to be there, to listen, we can do the same thing for animals.”(39:49) - From researcher to animal activist: Barbara’s journey to animal compassion - “I was doing grief research and I began to realize that animals who are considered food in our culture also grief, I needed to stop and write a book about them.”(44:36) - Climate grief: How to turn compassion into action - “Our whole earth is in crisis and there's an ecological grief that many of us feel but it also makes me think that how do we take that love-grief sort of dynamic relationship and apply it to the planetary crisis that we're in.”Thanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa @reimagininggrief on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us.Our host, Lisa Keefauver, offers a variety of services and products that will help you find language when you’re at a loss for words. To learn more visit www.reimagininggrief.com
3/17/2021

Talking About Death With Kids

Season 2
About the show:If you enjoy deep, authentic, and thought-provoking conversations, get ready to love this podcast. Welcome to Grief is a Sneaky Bitch, a space where Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, explores her deep curiosity, love of conversation and knowledge on a mission to change the narrative around grief. From CEOs and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating their very own grief journeys.About the episode:In today’s episode, I was joined by two incredible women, Rachel Carnahan-Metzger and Sierra Herbort. Rachel and Sierra are really special humans, who have both dedicated their careers to supporting children and families going through the most difficult times in their lives. Working at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Rachel serves as a pediatric palliative care social worker and Sierra as a Certified Child Life Specialist. They have made a career out of bearing witness, educating, and supporting families to be able to navigate the unimaginable, the death of a child. They do this every day with such compassion, such heart, and such wisdom. They bring that and more to today’s conversation. I can’t wait for you to meet themJump straight into:(04:05) - Where did you learn about grief? - “I remember coming home and asking my mom about it really early on. I remember her sitting at the table and crying and inviting me to share that space with her.”(09:56) - Educating families through hard times: How to have conversations about death with children - “I think it's really this balance of providing that education and acknowledging how hard it is and how scary it is to think about these things.”(17:58) - Death play: Expressive ways in which kids understand death - “I can think of a mom who told me that they were talking about the terminal illness of their kid and the sibling at home was doing a lot of bath play with putting the Barbies underwater and saying, ‘Oh, he's underwater, he's gone away.’”(25:11) - How do you do it right?: Why the perfect conversation doesn't exist - “You have to think about, what does my child need to know? What does my child want to know? And then what are they able to understand based on if they're an infant, a toddler, or a teen.”(34:13) - Talking about a bad diagnosis and why it is okay not to disclose all the information - “One of our biggest recommendations is to answer the questions that are being asked and ask for permission before you're giving kids information, checking in with them about how much they do want to know.”(42:42) - Dealing with questions: Best ways to guide and help children after a loss - “As your kid moves through those developmental stages, those conversations are going to happen again. If your kid is seven when their dad dies, that means something different when they're seven than when they're 17.”(53:32) - On the roots of guilt and shame - “There's just so much guilt that lives in holding responsibility for decisions that ultimately allow your child to die.”Episode Resources:Mustard by Charlotte GraeberHealing Your Grieving Heart by Alan D Wolfelt, PhD for Children and teensFred & Red Say Goodbye by Alan SchlichtmanEnd of Life Conversations with guest Michael HebbThe River in her Heart with guest Amber SmithSponsor:Today’s episode is sponsored by Jae Kim, Founder and CEO of Chi’lantro BBQ (who was a guest on this show last season, Life Lessons From A Little Sister. Instead of telling you about their amazing food, he invited me to share one of my favorite non-profits with you. Visit the Phoenix Stone Foundation to learn how Ben and Heather are honoring the memory of their son Phoenix by supporting families facing childhood cancer treatment and the medical team who care for them.Our host:Lisa Keefauver, MSW offers a variety of services and products from individual grief sessions, to guided meditations, workshops, company culture consulting and even a line of beautiful and authentic Empathy Cards. To know more visit www.reimagininggrief.comThanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us.