Dr. Sherry Walling experienced the tragic loss of her father and brother, six months apart. This is her story and she is resilient.
Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Dr. Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author, and mental health advocate. Her company, ZenFounder, helps entrepreneurs and leaders navigate transition, rapid growth, loss, conflict, or any manner of complex human experience.
She hosts the ZenFounder podcast, which has been called a “must listen” by both Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. She is also the host of Mind Curious, a podcast exploring innovations in mental health care via psychedelics.
Her best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Shit Together, combines the insight and warmth of a therapist with the truth-telling mirth of someone who has been there. Her soon-to-be-released new book, Touching Two Worlds, explores new strategies for finding wholeness in the aftermath of loss.
Sherry and her husband, Rob, reside in Minneapolis where they spend their time driving their children to music lessons. She has also been known to occasionally perform as a circus aerialist.
About the Host:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. As a pioneer in the industry, she has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, launch their businesses, and more. Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 bestselling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur and co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “The Resilience Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.
Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/
Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info
Thanks for listening!
Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the social media buttons on this page.
Do you have some feedback or questions about this episode? Leave a comment in the section below!
Subscribe to the podcast
If you would like to get automatic updates of new podcast episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app.
Leave us an Apple Podcasts review
Ratings and reviews from our listeners are extremely valuable to us and greatly appreciated. They help our podcast rank higher on Apple Podcasts, which exposes our show to more awesome listeners like you. If you have a minute, please leave an honest review.
trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised. Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments, while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. I'm really excited about today's interview because as you have known if you've been following along, I went to Mexico. I think it's been a few months ago now. And there I met some very phenomenal souls, including Dr. Sherry Walling. I didn't know she was a doctor. I didn't know how frickin cool she was. I remember meeting her on the beach, she had a animal prints. I think she had an animal print bathing suit on. And I found right yeah, I love animal print. And I was like, Who's this cool chick. And then later that day, at dinner, she was wearing this another animal print beautiful dress. I'm like, I don't know anything about this girl, but I want to be her friend. Her vibe was amazing. And as I got to know her over the four days, I just felt a real deep soul connection. And so I am so excited that today, Dr. Sherry Walling is here with us today. She's a clinical psychologist, Speaker podcaster author, and mental health advocate. Her company Zen founder helps entrepreneurs and leaders navigate transitions, rapid growth, loss, conflict, or any manner of complex human experience. She hosts the Zen founder podcast, which has been called a must listen by both Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. And it's been downloaded over a million times. Holy smokes, that's amazing. She has a best selling book called The Entrepreneurs guide to keeping your shit together. But read the reason I want her to be here today is because she wrote a book that's not out yet. And she gave me a sneaky peeky. And to me, it was really helping me through some of the darkest shit I've ever had to navigate. Her book is called touching to worlds and explores new strategies for finding wholeness in the aftermath of loss, sharing her husband Rob reside in Minneapolis. So you know, being from Winnipeg, I have that connection. Minneapolis same way there. Yeah. I grew up with same weather. I think maybe it's flooding where you are right now. I don't know. I don't know actually what the flood situation is for you. But Manitoba is underwater. But she's also been known to occasionally performance as a circus, aerialist and she just had this really beautiful event. So I want to welcome to the mic. Sherry.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Hi, I it is so good to be with you, Blair.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, my God, I have like us, like Girl crush on you. Because, like, I just like your vibe. But then I listened to a couple of her talks, and the talker when you had nothing. I mean, it had nothing to do with loss, but everything to do with loss. And I don't we're not going to use this this time to talk too much about what that talk was about. But we'll do it at a later date. Because I don't want to take away from from the book. But when I heard her talking from the corner of the room, I was sitting there and she started talking about her profound loss, the loss of her father and the loss of her brother. And I immediately felt this this connection, this spark, where I was very intrigued to learn more, and I made it my goal the rest of that one of my goals the rest of the time in Mexico is I want to become friends with Sherry because I feel a connection. So welcome.Dr. Sherry Walling:
And what a beautiful friendship. It's just like a baby friendship, but it's so delightful. LiterallyBlair Kaplan Venables:
a baby friendship. Right, baby. And where we met.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Oh, yeah. 100 Nice.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Okay, okay. So Sherry, we usually start by talking about like, what are challenges, but you've you've been throughDr. Sherry Walling:
some stuff? Yeah. Yeah, I, you know, my challenge, as, like the big picture challenge is to figure out how to be fully alive, and also honor the depths of grief that my losses have created in me. So I do a lot of thinking about duality about how to be joyful, alive, playful, creative. And then also, like, totally show up for the shitty dark shadowy HearthstoneBlair Kaplan Venables:
Uh, yeah. And it's like it. That's the million dollar question, right? Like, how do we live in this duality. And unless you've gone through the depths of the pain of loss, it's really hard to wrap your head or head around. I would love to dive into your story a bit more if you're open to some storytelling. And sure,Dr. Sherry Walling:
yeah. So I moved from California to Minneapolis with my husband and children. And shortly after we arrived in this new city, our lives begin to unravel. Like, we got that phone call, right, that phone call that many of us will get over the course of our lives in some form or another. And our phone call came in the form of your dad's in the hospital. And it was one of those calls where it was like, you knew something was just wrong, wrong, wrong. Like, it wasn't like a casual like, he turned his ankle while mowing the lawn. It was like something's wrong and nobody can figure out what and of course, the figuring out of what was many hospitals, many journeys, he ended up coming to the Mayo Clinic, which is here know where I live, and learned that he had stage four metastasized esophageal cancer. So tumors in his lungs in his liver and his lymph nodes, and of course, a giant tumor in his esophagus. So esophageal cancer is one of these like terrible ones, because by the time you usually by the time you get a diagnosis, it's pretty far advanced, doesn't it's not necessarily very symptomatic, and those early phases. And so we had 18 months with him, watching him really pursue any form of medical intervention that anyone would give him. He was a fighter. He was like beastly in his desire to beat cancer. And of course, it was a doomed battle from the beginning. The very first day that he was diagnosed in Mayo Clinic that he asked the physician this question, how long do I need to be on chemo and the doctor said, you will be on chemo for the rest of your life. And so I knew right away, but the battle was really live for him. While that was happening, my younger brother, who was 33 at the time, in this sort of weird parallel process, began to take a deep dive into alcoholism and depression. nev kind of had some problem drinking habits for many years, he was living in Montana in a really rural place and sort of loved the mountains but like there was there was something probably not super healthy with him. But as my dad got sick, he really got disrupted. And his regain took on a whole new form. And it landed him in the hospital very, very ill a few times, started rehab went through programs did really well relapse started again, did really well relapse started again, the people who know the stories know that trajectory. And ultimately, he did not recover from my dad's death. And so six months after my dad died, we lost my brother to suicide. So the things were intertwined, and super painful to watch them unravel and to lose them that way.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I don't know the clinical term for it. But would you say that's like compound grief?Dr. Sherry Walling:
I would Yeah,Blair Kaplan Venables:
compound loss. I am so sorry for your loss. Like how shitty like it's just shitty, like losing a parent. And then losing your brother so soon without being able to recover from the first loss. Like I just, I'm so sorry.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Well, you know it, you're in it too. Right.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I'm, I'm in it.Dr. Sherry Walling:
When you're in that like, yeah, compound grief is exactly what it is. It's almost like pile on top of each other.Blair Kaplan Venables:
It's It's so crazy. Like, because with me, like, like it was over a year, but it was like the miscarriage and few weeks later, my few weeks later, my father in law three months later, my mom suddenly and then a year not even a year later, my dad and it's almost like you're so numb from the loss that like while you're down while you're so low. It's It's like what I rather fully recover and feel good and then have lost or do I want to have it all at once.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Just dive in the well and live there for a bit.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah.Dr. Sherry Walling:
We don't get those choices. But I share that that with you. You know, we actually had a third loss that I haven't I didn't write about in the book and haven't talked about very much publicly. But we had a little girl who came to live with us when she was seven and she lived with us for four years. And she went back to live with her birth mother About a year after my brother died, so there was this third edition of losing her, which is, you know, we didn't expect, we thought that she would be with us, you know, for the rest of her growing up years. So we had to say goodbye to her too. So it was three.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And that is loss like that. I think there's so many other types of loss than just like a human leaving this earth.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Right. It's called an ambiguous class, which I think is a shitty term like, I mean, I and sometimes miscarriages fall in that category too. Oddly, like, because it's, it's a real loss, right? There was this, like, glimpse of a life with this human that you loved and welcomed. And then for that to be shattered is real. You can't see me doing air quotes, real loss. It's real lies. And this little girl who lives with us, she didn't die. But she's not in our family anymore. I had to pack up all of her clothes, I had to, you know, like, do all of the things that I would have had to do if she had died. And now she lives across the country, and I never see her. So yeah, she was here and now she's not here. She didn't die. But it's so sad.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's sad. I'm sorry. And that's like, that's also like, it's a whole nother like level of mind mine mess because it wasn't like that situation was probably out of your control as well. And while you know while losing your dad and your brother you now you know you have this family because in loss, I don't know about you, Sherry But like in losses, like I really have to practice gratitude. Like what am I grateful for what's still with me? What do I stillDr. Sherry Walling:
do practice presence, right? You have to practice? What's here? What are my hands full love? What can I touch? What can I hug? What can I grab you to like really double down on those things? Because they counterbalance that sense of emptiness that loss creates.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So how long ago did you lose your brother?Dr. Sherry Walling:
He died three years ago, three years ago this week? Wow. On May 10. Yeah.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And then so that means your dad was three and a half years ago? Mm hmm. Does the pain get any easier?Dr. Sherry Walling:
I feel like I have learned new ways of interacting with the story. So one thing that's been really helpful and important to me it has been to write about it has been to talk about it has been to sort of keep those people that I love. On the tip of my tongue. Like, most weeks, I have a conversation about my brother or my dad in some fairly deep way. And that has been really helpful. At first, it hurt a lot to speak their names. And that doesn't hurt so much anymore. I still get these waves of what I call like acute grief or triggers. And I think this happens with many people who've experienced grief, especially traumatic grief. I'll be at the airport and hear some little kid's voice calling Grandpa and I just like, fall apart. I start to cry. Or I'll walk by the lake near my house that my brother loves to paddleboard on and I'll see somebody out on the lake on a paddleboard and it kind of looks like him and I'll, I'll start to cry. But my relationship with that pain is different. It's kind of like I've welcomed and I'm used to it. I'm at home in this place of frequent crying. Instead of it, it doesn't hurt in the same way.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Thank you for sharing that. Because some people listening are at the very beginning of their grief, their grief path, that's like a tongue twister. And it's it's really interesting, because three years I bet you feels like no time at all. And it just happened yesterday. And now you've done three laps around the sun. And it's interesting because we're recording this in May. We just passed Mother's Day which was for me, it wasn't really that hard this year with having lost my mum like I also had I was really sick. So that was a great distraction.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Other things to think about other things to think about, like should IBlair Kaplan Venables:
take another pill Should I have an app, but we're coming up to Father's Day and this is going to be my first Father's Day without my dad. And you know my dad, we you know, I haven't lived I didn't live in the same place as my dad either. And so Father's Day, I usually celebrated when I didn't see him but there's so many triggers like you just said and you know, the Father's Day emails come in and the commercials and then all my dad's my, my friends who are dads for the first time. And, you know, it's, it's interesting to navigate because you can do all the protecting of yourself that you can. But the world around us is set up for these triggers. And it's so like, I think I'm fine. And then like, and then something happens, and I am not fine. And I have a, you know, people in my life who've had lost, you know, 10 years ago, 10 months ago, 10 days ago, and it just seems like what we do is that we have this grief, and then we learn to layer life around it. And what I have found the most challenging is navigating the triggers. So it's interesting that you brought that up, like, we're just in the process of putting the final touches on the global Resilience Project book, and I was looking for an author picture, because my sister and I worked on it together. So it's gonna put a picture of me and my sister in it. And I came across these really beautiful photos of me, my mum and sister, because my mom used to complain that we never had any photos together. And so we went to Palm Springs, and we organized a professional photo shoot in the desert. And this was our last family trip, it was like right before the pandemic and the world is shut down. And like Little did we know, this would be like, some of the last photos we have all together. And there, it was, like a hilarious day in the desert, and like, you know, posing with statues, and I just posted some on my Instagram, but like, you know, I've been looking at these pictures over a year for over a year, my mom has died, my mum died at over a year ago. And for whatever reason, looking at these photos a couple of days ago, I just couldn't stop crying. So something that I didn't think was a trigger all of a sudden triggered me. It's like, how do we navigate this, let this world full of triggers.Dr. Sherry Walling:
I feel like part of the work is getting, like expansive enough is within oneself to make space for them. Like, they become less frequent, just as our lives filled with other things, we're making new memories and new relationships. But I think they'll always be there. And I'm kind of okay with that. Like, I've just sort of like accommodated that I am someone who holds these experiences. And because I love these people, and they're not here anymore. Therefore, it's like the the stretch marks from having babies, like, I just got some scars, and they get, they get activated sometimes. So I find that it's helpful to accept that about oneself. And know that that is kind of the price of love. I think if they become overwhelming and become such that it's hard to even, you know, feel comfortable navigating the world. And that's a different story. And I don't want to minimize when people become so uncomfortable in their own minds and in their own bodies, that it's hard to go about their lives because that that is a different situation than what I'm talking about. But there's, there's an element where it's always with us.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, I you know, that's really beautiful. And what I liked, what I've started doing is like when I'm in that deep place of sadness, I also like to think about that memory and like something have like happy and beautiful that happened around then. Yeah, because it just, it's like, yeah, I have this deep loss and pain because I have I have this deep love. And like grief is a symptom of love.Dr. Sherry Walling:
And usually the triggers are about positive memories, right? You're looking at these pictures, because it was such a cool day. Like, I can't believe we did that. So great. The photos are great. You know, I get triggered about like the word grandpa because my dad was a great grandpa. And he played this game with my kids where he he was the boat, and they would like sit on his belly and like go on adventures. And he was their boats. And it was just so every time for now and forever. When it's like grandpa Conversations. I'm like, Oh, you guys had a great grandpa. Good for you. I wish he'd been here longer. ButBlair Kaplan Venables:
yeah, and how lucky I like to think about how lucky we are to have had the time that we did have cut short or not. Because it reminds me about all the lessons and the love and the experiences I had. And I no longer take those times for granted. Yeah. You know, I'd love to talk about touching two worlds. What? What inspired you to write this book? Like, why did you write this book?Dr. Sherry Walling:
I started writing right after my dad was diagnosed. The first essay that I wrote was about his decision to like hardcore pursue chemo and other medical intervention and how I felt very differently about it. And I didn't want to like lay all of that on him like it wasn't an appropriate conversation to have with him. So I just wrote about it was conversation I had with myself. And I just was writing, I mean, that's sort of, I would wake up at like, three in the morning and wouldn't be able to sleep. And so I'd like saunter down to like the living rooms by the dog, and just and just write. And over time I had, I wrote so much. And of course, I'm a psychologist. So I have these conversations with people, like my life is very much inter interwoven with grief and trauma and loss. And so I would send little paragraphs to people or I'd send things to folks and say, like, I've been thinking about this, I wrote this, I wonder if this would be helpful to you. And I got enough of a feedback loop that people were like, oh, yeah, that's really helpful. Thank you. And I was writing so much that I was like, I think there's a book here. So it wasn't an intentional book. You know, it wasn't like I had a business plan and pitch the publisher, I was like, I have this idea for a book, like the book was born out of what was happening. And it just was of such a quantity that we could weave it together into a book. So that's kind of how it came to be very, like authentically, very, somewhat unintentionally, but just very much born out of my own personal need to think and collect and feel and make connections between what I had learned the poetry, I was reading the experiences that I was having.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's so beautiful, and that you used writing as a tool to process and to, you know, navigate what you were doing. I love that because I'm a writer, too, in the sense of as a little kid, I had a diary, I always wrote, I wrote poetry as a little kid, I used to write, like, in my diary that I, one day will my poetry ever be published? You know, and I to this day, I write, I journal I write when I have big feelings, I, you know, I'll go for a walk. And then I get a download, and I write and it helps me process and I think the fact that you took your personal writing and turned it into a tool that can help so many people is amazing. And, you know, Sherry gave me like I said, a sneak peek. Like I have a copy of her book. And I was reading it on the plane home from Mexico up to the cold weight north, also known as Canada. I was coming back to Kamloops. And I just I was so excited to dive in. But I, you know, I was trying to like, When should I start reading this? What if it triggers me and I was like, You know what I'm going to read on the plane, like I'm on the plane for a while. And I couldn't put the book down. And there were times were like, I was wearing it and like my hood was up and I'm crying, like facing the window, reading it crying, hoping no one can see me and like I'm reading about how she always cries on airplanes and puts her hood up and cries and I'm like, wow, oh my gosh, like, so I'm not alone. I'm not alone. And I love that at the end of each chapter, there's exercises and it just I think it's really important for a couple of reasons. Because in loss, it's not just the loss of another person. But it's like you lose yourself. Like when I lost my mom, it was so sudden that all of a sudden, I was no longer grounded. My feet no longer touched the earth. I was so lost, I did not know what to do. And I did read a book about losing my mother and that was helpful. And I joined an online support group. But this this book goes so much deeper. That I am like I was using it to walk through exercises that had to not only do with my dad who I just lost, but my mom and even the miscarriage. And you like you have such a beautiful writing style and I love I love reading but I'm a slow reader. I'm a fast listener and I think you might be recording an audio book.Dr. Sherry Walling:
I don't know I'm doing it this week. Yeah. Does that mean noon?Blair Kaplan Venables:
I love it. Okay, well I'm I listen, like I I read with my ears. But obviously I was just so like, intrigued by your books, I started reading it and i i very seldomly get to a book where I feel like I can't put down if I'm reading it because I'm a slower reader. I just felt like I couldn't put it down. Like the only reason I stopped was because the plane landed. And I just can't believe how potent Your words are in this book, and I'm excited to share it with the whole global resilience community because this is a resource that I wish I had when I lost Dave and when I lost my mom and I haven't now and I have a lot of people out there listening friends, family members, community members who reach out to me for resources because of the stuff I've gone through and this is this is like my number one resource for loss right now like this, this book, so I can't wait till it comes out. When does it come out? Sherry,Dr. Sherry Walling:
it comes out July 12. So in about two months, it's available for pre order anywhere, you know, you got your books, the player, I just, I really, I mean, so much to hear you say that about the work because you as an author, especially as an author of a book that I wrote sort of for myself, originally, it becomes this other thing when it's gifted to other people when it's in other people's hands and in their hearts and in their minds. And so to hear that it was meaningful to you that it landed that it was helpful is, you know, sort of the most gratifying thing that can happen when you write something with your heart that you hope will be meaningful to other people. So I really appreciate your kind words.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, I like I, you know, it's interesting, because I was like, when I met you, I was like, When can I buy your book? Like, I want it? I want it, like, give me your book? Like, how do I get it sold out yet? I'm like, okay, like, I'll sign up for the pre sale, like, I am ready for your book. Sister up, and I didn't say that. But then when you gift it to me, and I didn't even expect that. Like, you honestly helped me like, it's like I was it's like, I'm in a video game. Like, I mean, like old school Mario, and like, there's a secret level. And like, I just haven't been able to get there. Because I didn't know that there was this like, tunnel to go down, but you like open the door to the tunnel for me. And so like, I'm, I'm obviously extremely grateful for that. And the book with the exercises at the back like, is that what you normally tell your clients to do? Like, if you wrote this book for yourself? And you were journaling? These, you know, journaling your feelings and your your process was to write? How did like those things that at the end of each chapter, like, can you explain that a bit more?Dr. Sherry Walling:
Yeah, so each of the chapters are kind of like the short essays. And they're a story about my life and grief process and the things that happened to my family. And then at the end of most of them, I've included what I call a take a moment section. And this is where the the frame shifts from me talking about myself my story, and I'm talking to the reader and making some suggestions. Most of them are very simple, like a journaling prompt or a breath practice, or, like, sit in this yoga pose for five breaths, like just things that are really easily accessible. And mostly, they're things that were helpful to me. And then things that I've started to integrate or have, you know, even previous to my losses have integrated in my clinical work. So much of this experience of grief happens in our bodies, that I I'm obviously I've wrote a book about it, which is a very sort of cognitive and emotional kind of comes in through the brain. But in many of the take a moment sections are really wanted to create space to really integrate something with the body, because that's where often we need some extra soothing. So helping people understand that giving people tools for that felt like an important part of of what I wanted to accomplish with the book.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And it's just so helpful. And so helpful, Sherry, like thank you so much for sharing that. You know, as we wrap this interview up, I want to end it on a note of talking about your dad and your brother. Yeah. Do you have any specific memories that stand out maybe from your childhood, like some of your most favorite memories, and they can be like, obviously two separate memories, because they are two separate people, or all together I love just you know, I'd love to just hear some of your favorite memories of with your dad and your brother.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Yeah, we um, we grew up in this house with kind of a big yard and then back corner of the yard was this big fig tree. And I have a middle brothers. So there were siblings out of three. And each of us had this section of this big fig tree that was sort of like our section. And it was almost like we lived in like an apartment complex, but it was a tree. And so we would like hang out in this tree. And if things got rough, we would pick the figs from the tree likes Pelton man each other, like throw them at each other. But this tree was like the center of life for the three of us for this couple year period when I was probably like 10 and my middle brother was what would he be six and my other youngest was like three or four. And I have such a like happy sensory memory of being in the tree and just hearing them laugh. And then also like dodging the figs that were flying in my head. And if I were to integrate my dad into that memory like my dad loved to barbecue that was like one of his things. So he had his barbecue out in the backyard and would like observe the scene of his children and the trees are in figs at each other while he's grilling something and it just There were these moments of, of just being together in these playful, blissful simple ways that are, I think, the best of family, right? It's where you learn to play and argue and grill meat, like just life. And so that's who they were to me. That's who they were to me.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I love that. That's such a beautiful memory, like, so you guys would climb a fig tree, and you had your own like apartment in your fig tree. I love that.Dr. Sherry Walling:
I think it's the simple memories that I value. You know, like, we went on family trips and stuff. I don't really remember that. It was like, it's the like, sense of sitting around the table. It's the meals together, it's the little things that we would play together. That are my, the foundation of my memory of them.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Do you have anything in your like current life in Minnesota that like a petrified fig or like, like something like something that like really reminds you like when you look at it, of like, of those happy times,Dr. Sherry Walling:
um, I, I have my dad's sweatpants. So after he died, one of the things that I collected from his house, were these just like blue sweat bands. I don't, I don't know why in particular, I took those. But I start my day with them almost every day, I kind of wake up as coal I put on the sweatpants go down and make coffee shuffled around a little bit. So they're like part of my uniform. And then for my brother, you know, I live really close to this lake that he also loved. He lived here in Minneapolis, near us for a couple of years. And so every time we actually scattered some of his ashes here in the lake, and so I feel a deep attachment to the lake. And that is part of being attached to him. So beautiful.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And you mentioned he used to paddle board. Do you paddle board?Dr. Sherry Walling:
I do. Yeah.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I got I paddle board to listen, we should go. I was gonna say it must be so beautiful to get out on the lake and paddle board and like feel his energy and feel His presence. Like that must be so beautiful. And too. I should just come hang out with you and paddleboard.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Let's do it.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, Sherry, you're absolutely amazing. Okay, let's end this with a piece of advice. If I mean, you are a like a well of knowledge, you have so much knowledge and advice. But what advice do you have for someone who's going through, like deep grief for their first time?Dr. Sherry Walling:
It's a two part. It's a two parter. But I think the two words that I would advise people to hold on to, are one to express and to to move. So this advice for me comes from my own practice of yoga. And it comes from my own practice in aerial arts or circus arts. And we're all longing for ways to move some of that emotion around, even when it feels so dark and heavy, even when it feels like you just want to like lay still in bed for days and days on end, like getting up finding small movements with your body. And then ways to express some of that emotion inside, even if it's like, finger painting. Going out back and like moving some rocks around in the yard, like just something that moves those sensations, I think is really an important part of helping grief become integrated inside of us, rather than getting stuck in it for a long period of time.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's beautiful advice. Thank you.Dr. Sherry Walling:
Thanks, Blair.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Thank you. Thank you so much for being here and for just being you and for being so vulnerable and being so resilient and sharing your journey with us. And thanks for everyone for tuning in to another episode of radical resilience. Remember, you are not alone. And we're here for you.