Growing Through Grief


Gang Raped: Healing From the Pitch Black Closet

Ep. 9

Losing the love of his life 11 days after their 42nd wedding anniversary left Jay without ground under him. And although it wasn't an unexpected death, they did a lot of healing together and lived intensely in love all those years; Jay was saved by the tools he acquired from dealing with the grief of traumatic experiences in his childhood and early adult life. 

Jay Westbrook is a Clinical Director at Compassionate Journey, an End-of-Life Clinical and Education Service. Jay is a multiple-award winner Clinician and Speaker, Visiting Faculty Scholar at Harvard Medical School, and a specialist in End-of-Life care & education. He holds an M.S in Gerontology and a Nursing diploma from the University of Southern California. In addition, he is an advanced Grief Recovery Specialist, and he works with mature adults alcoholic/addicts to find and maintain sobriety and recovery.

In this episode, Jay shared countless nuggets of wisdom from his grief recovery journey, from victim to survivor, to thriver. We talked about the traumatic experiences that marked him and what he got from them, and how he recovered from the massive scars they left. Jay also talked about compassion, forgiveness, the allegedly healing properties of time, and the importance of learning to lose things. 

Tune in and listen to episode 9 of Growing Through Grief, buckle up, and get ready to capture some of Jay's massive and kind wisdom.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • You say there is no separation between the loss we experience as a child versus the loss we experience as an adult. Does it sort of activate the pain from the past? (4:46)
  • You mentioned that you had to do some massive work to heal the pain of gang rape and being beaten. Can you share with us what that work looks like for you? (26:06)
  • What do you mean when you talk about self-compassion? (35:18)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Two of Jay's most significant grief experiences (3:24)
  • The role of time in our healing process and in grief recovery (5:36)
  • A small price to pay for a long life love affair (8:29)
  • The intangible losses that people don't associate with grief (14:23)
  • The different paths of healing from rape (25:49)
  • Three steps of Jay's massive work on healing himself (26:21)


Connect with Jay:

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More Episodes


Diana Curtis | Learn How to Grieve, You Will Grieve Less

Ep. 40
Since we all will have to go through grief sooner or later, we should learn how to make our grieving processes easier. Learning how to grieve to suffer less is possible; it requires a reasonable effort, and the reward is enormous.In today's episode, we will effectively go through the process that will help us deal with our grief in a less painful and growth-promoting way. We start our journey by identifying the different parts of ourselves, what parts of our behavior are under their control, how they interact between them, and what we should focus on to get the best out of them.We discuss the need to include a divine element into our grieving process, whether we call it God, essence, or spirit. We analyze the attacks suffered by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings. We look at the darkness, the unresolved pain coming from the Senators, and the light, the humanness glowing from Judge Jackson. In the end, we practice a five minutes meditation that will help you meet with yourself and receive the power of being anchored to the power of spirit.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Grief is a holistic experience (1:57)Self-awareness is a must if we want to learn how to grieve (3:47)The importance of acknowledging our logical and divine self (7:25)How to invite our divinity into our grieving process (12:27)Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's story (13:43)A meditation session to meet with ourselves (21:32)Let's Connect!FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsiteFacebook Group - Growing Through Grief TogetherEmail:

Stop Holding Back | Allow the Nature of Who You Are to Grow

Ep. 39
Inspired by the renewal Spring brings to life, I decided to take a pause, reflect, and celebrate the growth and progress I've made over the last months. One of the things I've been committed to during the previous year was being very intentional about my self-awareness, and I've noticed some changes I would like to share today.In this episode, we delve into the three main areas of my self-awareness journey that I've noticed a fantastic evolution in, and I'm sure you will find it very useful in your own growth journey. We explore the importance (and the difficulty) of being present, experiencing a deeper connection with our feelings, and preventing our hearts from traveling back to painful memories or the future into the fields of uncertainty. We touch on the relieving sensation of experiencing more acceptance and surrendering than resisting and the peace of letting our true self reach the surface.In addition, we highlight the importance of actively practicing gratitude to keep us centered and aware of our efforts and their results.In This Episode, You Will Learn:What I've learned about the relationship between my tendency to resist and the importance of acceptance (2:01)The importance of being aware of our two parts, the one that wants to heal and the part that is afraid to heal (4:42)About the importance of letting our true self reach the surface and take control (7:36)The vital importance of being present (despite how hard it might look) (10:53)We must create space to appreciate how far we've come (14:38)We are unstoppable when our mind is quiet (18:32)Resources:Growing Through Grief System - Book NowLet's Connect!FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsiteFacebook Group - Growing Through Grief TogetherEmail:

Shawn Costley | How to Be Number One in Your Life

Ep. 38
Today, we delve into the second part of my conversation with Shawn Costley.This time, we touch on the need to create and honor a season to mourn and weep in our lives, the importance of taking the time to look inside of ourselves introspectively, aftercare, and the limitations the Black community imposes itself to deal with grief.Shawn, kindly and generously, shared some painful personal experiences, and he described vividly how the power of community helped him navigate the excruciating pain of losing a child. We also talk about the familiar sensation of knowing something is not alright inside us and what we can do to change it. Shawn talked about the solo getaways he makes from time to time to examine himself, check on his thoughts and the stories in his head, and pivot as needed to achieve the goals he committed to.Some Questions I Ask:What does dealing with the living look like for you, Shawn? (4:07)As a minister and a leader in your community, what have you noticed about people that you interact with? (11:08)What would be some examples for you when we know things are not right inside? (24:17)In This Episode, You Will Learn:What does aftercare require, according to Shawn (5:08)About Shawn's grief story and the loss of his son (13:33)How the programming we bring from our childhood affects our grieving abilities (22:34)We have to study ourselves to discover what triggers our pain (26:15)Social media opened the possibility to reconnect with lots of people, and that could not necessarily be a good thing (33:51)The importance of honoring our elders today before it is too late (37:12)Resources:Growing Through Grief System - Book NowMadison's Mighty Men of Valor FacebookConnect with Shawn:FacebookLet's Connect!FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsiteFacebook Group - Growing Through Grief Together