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When we think about the term deliciously alive, often what comes to mind is excitement and fun, and that is definitely part of the process, but equally, it's also moving through challenge. And in this episode specifically we're talking about how do we move through loss and grief in a way that honors us.
And the way that we need to process and also allows us to really move into the next version of ourself, the next layer of ourself, to know ourselves better, to heal and to be able to process those challenging situations and experiences and emotions. in order to live more vibrantly. And so it's the fun, but it's also those challenges.
And like I said, today's episode is very specifically talking about loss and grief. And this is something that no matter who you are, no matter where you live, you will inevitably, at some point, experience. or grief. And it could be the loss of a loved one, maybe a pet, a job, maybe a piece of yourself that you, that no longer resonates with you.
And because we all go through this process for ourselves, but often do it in isolation, it often manifests itself into either processing grief and loss longer than we need to in a more painful way than we need to. And. This episode was a really great reminder to me, and I hope , that you join in and listen about how to really process grief and loss in a really healing and nurturing way that supports us through something that's just a unnecessary part of life.
And this was actually so good. my guest today, Sam, gave a lot of. , very relatable experiences and explanations for a lot of the things that if you are experiencing loss or grief or if you ever have, will probably sound really familiar. And then also, A lot of tangible tips and very specific ways that you can move through or you can identify how to take the next step, what's the right thing for you?
And it was just a very practical and really educational episode on how to do this with grace and meet yourself exactly where you need to be met. In this, really painful experience So I hope you'll listen in. It was a really great episode, and if you're experiencing anything right now, please don't hesitate to, you know, take the steps, reach out to someone, reach out to those you love.
But listen in to this episode because I think you'll see a lot of relatability inside this episode for. How you may be feeling and what things you can do in order to feel better sooner , and just heal. It doesn't have to be that you have to feel better at this moment, but just heal at your pace and how you need to move through this experience for yourself.
Welcome to the Deliciously Alive Podcast, where we explore what's possible when we allow ourselves the full human experience. My name is Sarah Campbell, and I'm your host. Each week, my guests and I will be sharing real and actionable insights on how to tap into your desires. Feel truly alive, adventurous, and inspired to take action.
I believe to my core that a vibrant, radiant, delicious life is possible for you. So pull up a comfy seat or join me on your favorite walk and we'll take this wild, messy, brilliant journey to living a life that lights us up together.
Hello and welcome. It's so good to have you here today. We are about to kick off a really. Really great episode on a topic that it's kind of tricky to talk about, and it's one of those things that we all experience, but we often experience it in isolation unless we've learned some of the lessons that I think we're probably gonna chat about today.
So my guest today is and she is a psychologist, a speaker. Bestselling author and the host of the Be Ruthless Show, a podcast dedicated to making noise and breaking stigmas. She helps people around the world turn their pain into their power by guiding them to be their true selves, not who they think they need to be by embracing their differences.
And recognizing that their perceived weaknesses are often their biggest strengths and by living life on their own terms. Samantha's mission is to change the way the world views both grief and mental health so people can speak about whatever issues they have and get the help that they not only need but deserve without fear of judgment.
Labels and repercussions. Samantha is the proud founder of Grief Hub, a 24 7 community, open to anyone who has experienced a loss after personally living. Through this, Sam realized just how much support she needed on a daily basis, and so she vowed to create these services so that others would have more support available in their times of need.
it's so nice to have you here. Thank you for being.
Thank you so much for having.
Yeah, it's my pleasure. I know I said it before, but grief is one of those things. , a lot of us, I mean, everybody goes through it at one point or another. If it's the loss of a family member or a pet, even just a loss of grief, they lose, you know, a piece of themselves.
And it's often, like I said, we do go through this in isolation and I love your mission. Grief is such a strong and overwhelming emotion, and honestly it can be pretty debilitating when we don't have the grace and space to process. So why is it that creating a space for others to process grief and loss is so important to you?
When I lost my husband, there was a lot of pressure from the outside world as a psychologist, specifically trained in trauma
bounce back and get to work and get back to who I was and. That really affected me and it helped me see grief, and how similar it is to mental illness because people are judging me, uh, and I'm in this situation not by choice and, uh, what I really needed to do to get through it. being well received by even friends and family. And so I became pretty passionate about letting everyone know the importance of doing it your way. No book can tell us how to do it, and no two people's way to heal will look the same. But that doesn't mean one is more right or wrong than any other.
Hmm. I think that's so true, and I think so you are speaking or you're working with your clients or in the experience that you had for yourself, When it comes to the person on that's receiving or being around someone who's grieving, is it just a discomfort that we're so, like why can't we be there and be okay with someone else?
grieving, we're so uncomfortable with that. Or,
Yeah, the world is uncomfortable. The world is uncomfortable talking about it. And even before I had lived this, I always was sensitive and I would get upset and turn to my dad at funerals. Like the minute a funeral was over, people were talking about what was for lunch, or you know, where should we go eat?
And my brain doesn't go that quickly from something so traumatic. to just right back into the swing of things. But that is the culture we live in, and that is what people think they're supposed to do.
Yeah. Which is not true for all cultures, which is interesting. My sister-in-law lives in India and there are a couple predominant religions that are in her area, and I remember her saying that there are. And I don't know all the specifics, but there's a really prominent grieving process for some cultures, some religions. It's very public, it's very loud. And for her coming from North America, was such a different experience.
It's so interesting and I think it does look different and I think with us having a lot of different multicultural. Spaces and places around the world and even in North America.
So it's interesting. It can losses really hard. It can Rocky, and I've experienced it, but I've had it in the two different modes. One where you know, you don't wanna leave the house cry all day. And one where I've been and somewhere I've been able to bounce back. So what is it? Is it a different, because even one person can have such varying.
experiences with grief. What informs that, those different experiences, do you think?
I had to learn to listen to my body. have had anxiety my whole life. I think when grieving, many, many people end up also dealing with anxiety or depression because
is so much that we have to do. We have to have a service. We have to send thank you cards, you know, and
things that we feel like we have to do.
And that was making my anxiety reach levels I'd never experienced. And I finally just said like, I'm gonna go, if it doesn't feel right, I'm gonna be, my G P s. I'll listen
do it or not do it. And, I wasn't so smart, that I knew to just be authentic. I was in so much pain that I didn't care about putting on a happy face or making you uncomfortable,
not everyone loves that, right?
Like there are some people that were more comfortable being around me and being okay with me, and others wanted me to like get back to fun.
Yeah. Yeah. Cuz it's discomfort for them. it's more about their projections for sure. So is there a healthy way then, there's probably no one right way to process grief, I guess then, because it's, but is there, are there any, uh, healthy parameters for processing grief that you've seen or experienced?
I think the most important thing, so my dear, dear friend, lost her husband about a year after I did, and we handled it extremely differently
we both. Had feedback telling us to do it the way the other was. Like, I was very
and I was with my dog in Colorado. I didn't wanna be around big groups of people, you know, and the world was telling me to get back to being the social butterfly. She struggled being alone
she was busy with work and activities, and her circle was telling her, you need to slow down. You're avoiding your feelings, you know, You really have to be able to recognize that people will always have something to say
it's not their life. You know, you are the one that has to get through every day, and if it feels right to you, then it is.
She reached a point
that she could slow down, and I reached the point
that I was able to do more.
So it's not necessary, like sometimes the way that we cope, even if it looks unhealthy from the outside, it may be just the thing that we need.
It's absolutely what I needed. I did not know nature was so therapeutic. I've always been outdoorsy and loved it, but it would instantly take me from that anxious, heightened state to feeling like I could breathe.
And at the time I felt like I was being totally unproductive and wasting time. And there's so many other things that we could be getting done and we have to be checking things off our list, but it was getting me through trauma.
It was getting me through the day
or the night and bringing me a little bit of peace. So that's extremely productive and we can't measure it or put a price on it. And so I would say to anyone if it's working, be kind to yourself tune out people who aren't kind or understanding to what you're doing.
Because I looked like a four year old playing with sticks in the dirt and it got me to today.
So there's probably a little bit of exploring, like self-exploration that happens at that time. Hey, like it's a little bit of diving into maybe what you didn't expect, because you said that it wasn't necessarily what you thought
was sudden and unexpected.
If you know someone is ill and you have all the time in the world to prepare, it doesn't hurt any less. It doesn’t make the healing look any different. And so I think what matters is knowing if something doesn't feel right. if you're struggling and you're going to these things and you're coming home feeling worse, surviving and getting through whatever your loss is, is hard enough.
And I really, truly, that's how I weighed things like this makes me feel yuckier not doing it.
Right. So that's actually a really interesting point because I think, when we're in kind of the thick of grief and going through loss, we already feel like garbage. And so how did you Like if somebody's listening and they're going through the same thing or they're, how do you, if you already feel bad, , how do you navigate, guess, internally if you pay attention to your body?
Like what are the cues that you started noticing?
So, and this one is really interesting, but I have the best friends and family. I have so much support. I don't ever want any of my world to hear this and feel insulted. but I have. A harder time being around them.
I had more anxiety seeing the people who knew me with Jim
and then without, and they were kind of, to me it felt like comparing like, oh, you don't look so good today.
Or, you know, oh, look at, get more sleep. Whereas the newer people I was meeting just like me without any comparison or judgment.
started to recognize, okay, I'm having this intense reaction. to doing these things and these other things, fine doing.
So I started to pay attention and it doesn't matter.
I mean, I've said no to many things. I changed my mind. I drove places, had a panic attack, never got out of the car, and the people there just assumed I wasn't there. know, people don't know. All that goes on behind the scenes.
And I started to use that as. How I would make my decisions because I didn't trust myself but I knew if I was tired or nauseous or had a he, like I knew if something didn't feel right and I would listen to that. So going outside, being in nature calmed me. It like helped me wind down a notch. Those are the things, the things. make you feel like you can breathe. There's nothing that's gonna make you miraculously smile and laugh again.
Right? But if it decreases pain or increases comfort, then it is working. And that is, it doesn't matter.
Like I, I was really truly playing with sticks like a four-year-old in, you know, in the sand, and I was finger painting at three in the morning because I couldn't sleep and it worked,
It slowed my mind down
I loved what you said about it. what did, how did you word it? allowed me to breathe or allowed me to breathe better because as soon as you said that, I could almost visualize like, I I've gone through the, gamut with anxiety and so I know that it's like a chest tightening, but when you said that allowed me to breathe, it felt really expansive and I could totally understand how that, how you could be able to do things and identify
you feel that way.
So then you know, that's why you're, what works for you is different, but you will have physical reactions to things and you'll know it's harder to do these things. And I have learned that there's also no timeframe. it was over two years before I went through his clothes, changed a thing and that's okay.
Had I done it, it was hard enough when I did it. Had I tried to any sooner, I wouldn't have been able to. And it, you know, it just wasn't the right time. So we put these expectations also on ourself for what, where we should be and what we should be doing by when, and it just doesn't work that smoothly
yeah, it's because I had a dear friend of mine go through, uh, a loss of a partner and he was experiencing a lot of guilt and shame for being to move through it too quickly. And he hiding the fact that he was getting through it more quickly because he felt ashamed.
That the expectation of everyone else was that he would still be deep in grief, and that was really interesting to see. But the thing with him that his partner was sick for 10 years, so he had been grieving the loss of their relationship, the loss of like who they used to be together, the loss of.
her being able to show up in the world for 10 years. And I think when, that loss happened, like I said, we, talked more, on a personal level and he, was like, I don't want anyone to know, because it just feels like, was almost like no one else is ready for him to be done grave.
And I think any of those things, any of the things that we feel like we have to hide, that we feel like others are not gonna be okay. they have the problem. The world has the problem, not us. And so I think keeping it in to what we're already going through.
he had you, right? You don't have to talk to everyone.
Not every you know, but you can figure out who feels safe, who gives you a positive reaction. The people who knew like, we can hang out. You don't have to get ready. You can wear jammies. We can be with your dog outside. That's where I felt like I could breathe and I could like take one.
Yeah. Someone that creates a safe space. So what I'm hearing you say is there is no. unquote, healthy way. what it is is a lot of turning inward and noticing cues from our bodies, and also both in the sense of what gives us that room to breathe and what contracts us or makes more anxious. And also keeping in mind what we are doing.
As a result of what we think society should do, or should society thinks that we should do, and those are all some of the big things that we should pay attention to in our journey with grief and loss so that we can process it in a healthy way for us, for that time in our life.
The things that work that are helping you feel better are, like you just said, it is just as important to notice the things that make you feel worse. And that might mean letting go of some things. I have a five step guide to healing and it's called Shout because I make a lot of noise.
I thought people would connect it and remember it. And the S stands for stop taking care of everyone else and start making yourself a priority. And I think that is we live in a world where if you're a woman, you're worrying about taking care of your family and. everyone else. And if you're a man and you're the provider, whatever your role is, when it comes to grief, you have to say, and for me, this was on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis, that I'm going to take care of me. And that, might mean saying no to someone else, not being there for someone else.
But right now, in order to get through it, I come first. And that's a really, really difficult mindset for most of us, especially in the helping.
definitely, especially like you said, if you've ended up in a helping field, like psychologist or a nurse or somebody who's traditionally there for someone else.
and like you said, even just people you know in their day-to-day lives. That makes a ton of sense. I remember I heard this story and it resonated with me so much, and I'd be curious to hear if is what you would kind of think a typical, experience of moving through grief is.
It was a kind of like a fable and it was comparing grief and loss to. A pebble in your pocket, and you may have heard this before, but it was just talking about how there are gonna be days and times where you've got it in your pocket and you're gonna have the sharp part poking into you some days.
And then some days it's gonna be the smooth side. It's always in there. No one can see it. You can put your hand in, you know it's there. But there are ebbs and flows. as you move through grief and you might have, you might move through grief and then you may have it pop back up maybe on a significant date or memory or just a random smell or whatever.
Is that the typical experience through grief, would you say?
Yes for me I used the drowning and I felt like I was drowning and I couldn't breathe or come up for
then I would find like one little life support buoy to hold onto. And through healing, you identify more and you create your people and you put your little life jackets out there, but there are still those big waves that come and knock you down out of nowhere and you have to get back up there.
I recently heard someone make an analogy with an earthquake, and it was also so valid because. it doesn't only affect us, it affects everything else around us also, right? So, I certainly wasn't performing work, let alone like task
That seems simple to other and the world doesn't understand that grief really truly changes our brain.
And so millions of people
walking around thinking, I'm crazy. What is wrong with me? I'm exhausted. Not understanding that neurologically, our brain does change. Employers don't know that. Teachers don't know that they're expecting people to come back and perform the way they did a week ago, and that might not happen.
Okay. That's really interesting. I've never heard that before. I didn't realize, and it makes sense to me. I mean, I know we've come so far neurologically to understand the different effects on our brain, so can you tell me a little bit more about that? Like what is it that we know now about the effect of grief on our brain?
it neurologically affects. I should have brought, I, I can send articles and share with your audience, but it absolutely, so they, people will say, widow brain or,
the death fog brain. It is completely true. Your brain is devoting at least 80% of its energy on a daily basis to adjusting to the new reality. every,
it doesn't remember. You wake up and you still roll over and reach for that person. So every day you're re-learning
and that can, so we only have that 20% left to get through everything else. So people will say, you know, I did the laundry and I felt like I ran a marathon. And
It's nothing's wrong with you.
and I focus on really silly things people would think, but like setting an alarm so you drink water and stay hydrated
care of the things that we're ignoring because of we're struggling enough physically and it's invisible.
Interesting. It makes so much sense when you explain it that way, I remember, working at a workplace and it was, was when all the work life balance, like everybody's like, you need a work life balance and.
and I remember the HR leader saying, I don't believe in work-life balance. I believe that sometimes you're gonna be able to pour yourself more into work home is gonna kind of take a hit because of it vice versa.
Sometimes there's gonna be things going on at home that you can't necessarily poor. You're full into work. And that was totally different context. It wasn't about grief, but just that split, it kind of opened my eyes to like, how, much of us we need to pour into any given thing at any given time and how we can't give a hundred percent across the board sometimes.
And it makes a lot of sense with the grief because of this, you're putting so much energy into just functioning really at a very, basic level. that it makes sense. So do you find, there is opportunity then for, especially with leaders and businesses and, employers and things to be educated on this
It is so important. I have a client who. Has an employer that understands what
on, understands even if she doesn't understand that anxiety is real, and it happens, and so that client knows that she can say, I need to go to the bathroom. I need to go to my cart, whatever, and she's not gonna get fired.
She's not gonna get yelled at. Whereas I have someone else who's running to the bathroom hysterical, afraid their boss will see.
is suffering more because of the environment than they're already going through. So any employer's open to, can we do as a company to prepare? Everyone in your company will deal with loss at some point. It's unfortunately something we all go through. So creating a culture that people feel able to say, might not get this done by five today, and know that they won't be fired and know.
There's a way to get through it together. it's the biggest service we need to create for people.
that is so relatable. some of the things that we're talking about, I'd never really considered. One being the neurological impact and the other being, so I have lived through both of those experiences as a watcher, as a spectator in having someone really close to me in two different, completely different businesses.
and it was those two scenarios that you just explained where someone had the grace and space and someone did from the outside, like, you know, the, all the niceties were observed. Here's your time off for, grieving, come back and be a hundred percent basically kinda thing. and the person.
They ended up with totally different things. The person that went through the, grace and space is still employed with that company, and then on the flip side, the other person isn't. And I'm wondering if there was a message that you would share if you had like minute with a, an HR leader or an employer to be an advocate for someone going through this, what would you tell?
There are ways to get through it, even though you can't think of those solutions right now. That's what I'm for. That's what people in my field are for, and you will save your organization so much time and money if you bring in the services for your staff. To avoid the turnover of losing people who are not receiving the support they need, and then you have to bring in someone and train them to do the job all over again.
It's much more effective if we figure out how to treat our staff the way they needed to get through an emotional issue, just like we would physical.
I think that's a really important message. Like I said, from being a spectator in both of those situations, it's just, oh, it hurts my heart , it hurts my heart to see, you know, and, and see what's possible. So when we talk about possibility and how to move through and grief in a healthy way, and we know that it's different for different people at different times of their life.
What's possible for us when we can move through grief in a healthy way? Is it faster? Is it less painful? I don't know.
I don't think there's any easy, painless way, but I think without the right things in place. It is more painful and it's more intense. Shows up in other ways. The people who try to stuff it and not deal with it might have a health issue or a relationship problem. It shows up if we don't deal with it.
We're not taught that we're supposed to, but we really, really need to.
And that can mean bringing in someone to help you say the things that you don't know how to say to your family, friends, teacher. accommodations can be made. Grief is a traumatic event, and I know how to speak the legal language and say, I can call the Americans with Disabilities Acts.
don't offer or advertise that we will give you this because they have 500 students, but I promise if I pick up the phone and call A red carpet of support rolled out. So anybody struggling with an employer, a teacher, bring in someone as your advocate. I shouldn't be more powerful than you speaking up for yourself, but we get results quicker and you don't have to suffer through it as long.
and it's, I mean, World. So you, there's something that you might just not know that and you just don't know what you don't know, you don't know act that's out there that might be able to support you or because it really does bleed into the rest of our lives. Like my previous role before what I'm doing now, I worked in fire services.
and just the P T S D the emotion stuffing is such a real thing in industries that you're experiencing loss, even if it's not necessarily a person close to you, but those traumatic events and stuff like that.
That's not even the world's fast culture
responders are in an industry where. A crisis ends and they don't have time to process
it before they're thrown into another nurses,
we need to acknowledge whether it's creating something. At the end of the day, the beginning of the day, bringing someone in, they need to get that off their chest.
I mean, I couldn't handle a day in those shoes.
Yeah. That's actually really interesting. I hadn't even, mean, I've been in that situation, but I'd never really thought about it because I was thinking of grief and loss as a one-time event. Like you lose someone you love, but. , there are a lot of people that are serving in different industries that are, it's like compounding loss after loss, after loss, and it may not be your spouse.
So there's probably a different range of emotions that come with that. there is, , yeah, compounding, I guess is the best word. So do you find that. processing loss and grief is different when you're experiencing something like loss of a spouse, loss of a child, something like that, versus, a job that requires you to experience loss daily.
I think sudden unexpected traumatic loss adds a layer
I don't think it hurts less. but, but there's the post-traumatic, you know, there, I, it was a typical Wednesday at noon, you know, I did not expect my world to blow up when I was 44 years old.
The healing doesn't look different than someone who had eight months to prepare.
But this shock and the impact. For me and for people who deal with the sudden unexpected, I think I was in shock looking back for a solid year.
so you know, that's the one component that's different. Otherwise, I think it's the same.
Yeah. It's just interesting cause I was thinking about it. One of my previous roles back 10, 15 years ago was working in palliative care and you kind of numb. After a while, but you, because palliative care is kind of a little bit of a longer term where people are staying a little bit longer.
They're not in and out in a day.
You develop relationships with these people. And I remember coming in and the bed was empty. This is my first time, but the bed was empty of this person that I had kind of, developed a connection with. And I was like, oh, this is like every day for these nurses and. .
just interesting. there's lots of people that deal with this, whether it's first responders, emergency nurses, doctors, a lot in the health field, but it's almost like there has to be something in place for you to move through grief and loss on a 24 7 basis,
isn't, I mean, police. My friends who are police officers and fire first responders are begging for more support and would love
to bring people in. I don't know what the glitch is. I'm sure it's different from each state to state and department, but the culture is onto the next, onto next
that you're jumping in and you have to physically and mentally be able to go save a life. We still can do something to help these people have a place. To unload all of that. statistics for alcoholism and suicide in those fields are higher than other, you know, we, it's, it's not coincidental.
Yeah. Yeah. It's off the charts for sure. when it comes to processing, like we talked a little bit about listening to your body, doing more of the activities, like getting out in nature, like the creative whatever it is that's opening us up. Is there,
what are your thoughts on moving through grief and loss and talking to people, talking to the right people who are.
Have a healthy conversation with you? Is that a necessary part of the journey to talk about it? Is it,
It is for me.
who were worried that bringing up Jim or telling me a story about Jim would upset me. And I tell everyone loud and clear, like it upsets me not talking about him. Please share anything. But I think we all need to know that. we can't get through it alone.
So asking for and accepting help is a part of the process. Everyone shows up for the funeral, shows up and is there, right? And then people have to leave and go back to their lives and this person is left alone again. It's a second. Like, oh my God, I lost them
now I lost everyone, and we don't know what we need. Everyone says, I'm here if you need anything.
Can I get you anything today? So I encourage people to identify what you struggle with the. most so that when people ask, you can answer
because you do need help. But in that moment, we don't know what to say or how to answer. And if you're the ones asking us what help we need, I would keep that in mind and try not to make it open-ended.
because we don't know. So my, I've told my friends, give me multiple choice, not an essay,
Like, I'm getting you A, B, or C
Or can I bring you dinner tonight?
me to drop it off or do you want company right. the fewer decisions we have to make, the better we can function. Like thinking about whether or not I'm gonna hurt your feelings.
If I say, I don't want you to come in,
Yeah. Yeah, yeah,
Because you might ignore that text, but you're really hungry and you could use the food,
me meant I would cry.
somebody would say, how are you? I would, so there were times I just didn't want to, but I didn't want people to think. didn't wanna talk to them or didn't love them
their support. So figuring out who you can get that help from, who I call it having a team, and my team is not only my team, they talk to each other. So there's always someone checking in with me and they know my code word, right? Like they know the difference between can you talk and it's an emergency. We need those people.
You get to choose who they are. but recognizing that you need those people and kind of having a couple in place of you. To be more able to accept the help. And like I said, having that list for me, I needed help with my dog. Now I have two. but you know, a lot of people it's laundry or drive the kids to school, like the things that are really, really stressful for you a list.
Okay. That's a great takeaway. So if you're struggling with. Go where you're going through something, make a list of the things that if somebody does ask you, you have your go-to. You've already thought it through. You don't have to think of it on the spot.
list, you can pick any of these and it would be a huge help for me. People want to be here for us
they just don't know how to be so, can I, I do anything? People mean well
This way they'll feel great because they can do something.
This really will help us.
So, you know, it, we have to let go of that guilt and feeling like a burden and know that people are asking, they wanna be there and we really need to let them to get through it
mm-hmm. . we're not meant to go through as much as we do in isolation, which is probably what, you know, a lot of the mental health stuff coming out is we do. Compared to other cultures. Anyways, we do a lot solo.
You know, again, using my sister-in-law, as an example in India, I mean, they don't do anything without like a crew of 20
It's like, you've got your.
Everybody calls everybody auntie because basically an elder means essentially a parent. Like they're doing life together and we don't necessarily do that.
But that's really good, tips to be to do. And you mentioned something about kind of having your people and your, you said a code word, like do you have conversations with people and be like, okay, you're like, I feel safe with you.
doesn't mean no good to have you on my list of people if you are unavailable, right? So I have to check in and say, I am not good at reaching out for help. It is difficult for me. I'm picking a few people that I feel really comfortable with, and I am giving you a code word that if I say peanut butter pancakes, that's like my 9 1 1.
Can, like, is that something? And of course you have a life if that's why there is a team really, and they check in. So if it's my brother's day and he's busy, he's handing it off to someone else.
so people have to agree and I can give you a list of 10 people. That doesn't mean I would really call any of them in those moments.
this is the people you will, the people you will let, see you at your worst.
will say, I can't get out of bed and I'm starving and I don't know what I want. Nothing sounds good and I haven't showered like, you know, like
you. and you don't need a hundred, there can be two or three people that you know if you need them, they will be there.
Phone call showing up. That took a lot of the anxiety away from. I knew I had that team and I knew that if I said peanut butter pancakes,
was calling me immediately.
Interesting. That's a really good approach and I think a lot of people. . It's that burden thing. We don't wanna be a burden on anybody.
difficult to say, I need help.
funny, right? Like bananas, something silly up. uplifting so that you can say it in public. You can say it around other people and not worry that everyone knows, oh, Sam's about to have a meltdown.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. . So on, when we're on the flip side and we are the person there for other people, cuz inevitably we're all gonna go through our struggles. We're all gonna go through loss. if the tables are turned and you had a friend that was in this scenario and you were the one that was their safe space.
For anyone who wants to support their friends and doesn't really feel at a loss, feels uncomfortable, but wants to be there, what? what? are some tips that they can do within their control to support their friend without,
Do not step right. I might not answer the phone, text message with a heart. Let me know you are here and thinking about me. You don't have to have any magic answers. Just keep checking in because there are people who don't, there are people who are like, well, I checked in on you three times. You didn't call me back.
It's your turn. Right?
the people that are going to continue to check in on us,
just be there. Just show up even if they don't respond. Also, Let go of who this person was. It was fun, Sam, going to concerts and football games all the time, and I couldn't go to a concert or a football game for a really, really long time.
don't just go to your, we always did this together. Think about it. what they are doing now, what they might be comfortable doing now. So for me, that was outdoors. My dog. Maybe people enjoy cooking, whatever, but it, we need to look at where they are today. Not the person we always knew before the loss.
Mm. I could see how that would be a really quick default. Like we always had so much fun going to a football game. Let's do it. You know, kind of to try and cheer them up . But I can see how that would put some tough expectations on the receiving end.
Right. Like, I know I'm gonna have a
the first football game, maybe at every football game I need to be with certain people. Right. And I just couldn't be around a hundred thousand happy people. I was miserable
so the people who you can say like, can we watch Netflix and jammies? Can we sit outside and not talk?
Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. I love that.
the team. That's who you need to see. And I guarantee. people have, they won't say no.
say What happens if I'm unavailable?
if I can't answer?
Yeah, I love that. And you said something really interesting to me so when my, um, friend that I was talking about before I lost a spouse, I started researching . was like, how to basically be there for someone when they're going through this. I remembered something that stuck with me and you said it as well was not stop talking.
that person or animal or whatever it is that they were grieving. and I intentionally did that, like kept talking about his wife and talk, talking about, you know, experiences and things that she would do and stuff like that. That is that a measure of just being able to allow life to move, but also to have to keep appreciation for that person
yeah. Like we
i wanna hear the stories and share the memories. And even if I tell you the same story a hundred times, laugh at it with me because that's how I am getting through the days. And can even say, I don't know what to say.
Right. Like I would rather have somebody be here for me and say, I'm here. I don't wanna mess up. I have no clue what to say other than wait a month or two and think I'll reach out then because more time will have passed.
Right. Right. Yeah, that makes sense. You said on your, I remember seeing something on your LinkedIn and you had put a quote, life isn't wait about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. does learning to dance in the rain. mean in the context of grief and loss. Like how do you want to dance in the.
I'm starting to like it, I think it's, I've passed five years. i am finally in a city I love and I wanna plant roots and establish, and, there will never be a day I would not give up my arms and legs to have Jim here. That would always be my first choice, but knowing that is not possible, making the best of my time that I do have With people who bring me up, not people who bring me down, right? All of the things that we've been saying.
and for me that's honoring him as well. So a lot of people say that, you know, like, I know they would want me to be happy. I know they would want
Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Awesome. Okay, so this has been amazing. Before we wrap, if there is anyone listening, kind of like how we had talked about employers, but if there's anyone listening right now and literally in like the depths of loss, what is one piece of advice or one thing that they can do today just to kind of give themself grace and space or.
The best advice, I went immediately back on my medication and into therapy because I have those tools available to me. But the best advice I got was one thing a day.
one thing a day.
much per, like one thing a day. That thing could be getting out of bed, right?
You are welcome to add to your list, but you never have to do more than one thing if you can reach out. Please don't go through it alone. I know it is completely overwhelming to think about new people. Anything. There are Facebook groups. you can call us nine eighty eight, which is the crisis line, and talk to a stranger. Anyone. My brother was doing a lot of looking for me. A lot of my clients come to me that way.
A friend or family member does the work for you, so just let the people you're closest with know and they can find the group or the resources for.
That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. I know this is such a tough topic for a lot of people, so where can people find you? Follow you, all the resources that you've been sharing?
Everything's on my website, which is samantharuth.com. You can join the Grief Rehab community. It's for any type of a loss,
a job, loss of a loved one, any loss. We all should have a place that we can deal with it our way, not the way the world does.
absolutely. Okay, perfect. I'll put all those links in the show notes, so make sure that they're there. Sam, thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure. So much wisdom in really tough times that you've shared here.
your heart and your openness.
you for having the conversation that so many others
Yeah, my pleasure. Alright.
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