Ian chats with a best-selling author, grief and emotional fitness speaker, and podcast guest, Addison Brasil. Addison and Ian shared a wonderful conversation about the journey of The Grief Club and the valuable lessons Addison learned from his experiences.
About The Guest:
Addison Brasil had no intention of becoming a disruptor in the mental health and grief space. While pursuing his dream of creating stories that connect people, events in his life forced Addison to focus his full attention on surviving trauma, compounded grief, and the various outcomes of finding himself as an LGTBQ-identifying male. Through news coverage, podcasts, social media, and speaking events Addison has reached millions of people.
Addison shows up in the world as an active, committed grief and emotional fitness advocate after landing just to the left of death three times in his 20s: losing his brother to a brain tumor, finding his father after suicide, and surviving a fatal accident that killed a dear friend and left him relearning to walk. He attributes his ability to not only survive but thrive with PTSD and compounded grief to the presence and proliferation of community and connections in his life.
Addison co-founded and served as Head of Brand Impact for tethr, a worldwide men’s mental health and well-being platform focused on the power of peer support. The start-up earned esteem when accelerated as a 500 Global (formerly 500 Start-Ups) portfolio company in San Francisco during the pandemic. His advocacy efforts and promotion of mental health and grief action have garnered global media acknowledgment in the New York Times and The Washington Post, and on Healthline, TMZ, and Fox News. Addison is currently writing a memoir and speaking about grief.
Addison has found meaning and purpose in building supportive communities and conscious brands in response to the losses he has faced. Following his younger brother’s terminal diagnosis, he co-founded the Team Brother Bear Foundation in 2008. The organization continues to aid children and families affected by brain tumors in memory of Austin Brasil.
Addison is Co-Producer and Executive Producer of the award-winning short film The Great Artist starring Matthew Postlethwaite, Emmy Nominee Rain Valdez, Benjamin Patterson, and Marimar Vega. Directed by Cannes Gold Lion Winner Indrani, the film will screen at the American Pavillion at Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
Addison is regularly invited as a speaker at events and as a guest for podcasts worldwide to share his story as a lived experience expert. Addison’s written work as a contributor has been featured in Los Angeles Magazine, Never Alone Blog, Chip Conley’s Wisdom Well, Daddy’s Digest, and more.
You can find Addison on social media: @addisonbrasil and at www.addisonbrasil.com
About the Host:
Ian Hawkins is the Founder and Host of The Grief Code. Dealing with grief firsthand with the passing of his father back in 2005 planted the seed in Ian to discover what personal freedom and legacy truly are. This experience was the start of his journey to healing the unresolved and unknown grief that was negatively impacting every area of his life. Leaning into his own intuition led him to leave corporate and follow his purpose of creating connections for himself and others.
The Grief Code is a divinely guided process that enables every living person to uncover their unresolved and unknown grief and dramatically change their lives and the lives of those they love. Thousands of people have now moved from loss to light following this exact process.
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Ian Hawkins 0:02
Are you ready, ready to release internal pain to find confidence, clarity and direction for your future, to live a life of meaning, fulfillment and contribution to trust your intuition again, but something's been holding you back. You've come to the right place. Welcome. I'm a Ian Hawkins, the host and founder of The Grief Code podcast. Together, let's heal your unresolved or unknown grief by unlocking your grief code. As you tune into each episode, you will receive insight into your own grief, how to eliminate it and what to do next. Before we start by one request. If any new insights or awareness land with you during this episode, please send me an email at info at the end Hawkins coaching.com. And let me know what you found. I know the power of this word, I love to hear the impact these conversations have. Okay, let's get into it.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to this week's guest Addison Brasil. La Addison.
Addison Brasil 1:08
Hey there, thank you for having me.
Ian Hawkins 1:11
You're welcome. Now, you've got a book that you've written. And what I love about it, the first year of grief club, is that that first year I I've talked about this myself is like, first few weeks, everyone's there, you're getting the support, and then suddenly everyone goes back to their day to day life, and you kind of left to your own devices. So it was that was that your experience? And then through that lens, and a little bit about the your book would be great.
Addison Brasil 1:49
Yeah, absolutely. I think for sure, it was also sort of the hesitancy for so long, and then the catalyst for why I kind of showed up with this book the way I did, because, you know, I definitely felt a sense of that. And I consider myself someone who was very well supported, you know, at these times, but that is sort of the natural course of things where people gather, you know, before, you know, the pandemic threatened in any way, but people would gather and sort of be very supportive when something would immediately happen. And then we'd see this natural progression. And in the three times that I experienced intense grief, with my brother, my father, and my friend, I noticed by the time I was sort of coming to the reality of the grief, everyone was sort of gone. And so we talked about this a little bit off air. But you know, I say this in the meaning of the book, whenever somebody would express that they've lost somebody, I would freeze, because I really wouldn't know what to say I didn't want to unload the reality of what was ahead. And I didn't want to sort of be the face, you know, of what grief is and what that journey is. And so when I finally came to writing the book, I went, Okay, if I was really going to be a friend to somebody who's just entered grief club, as I call it, or the grief arena, you know, what would I really be comfortable with, and for me, it was, you know, speaking to them once a week, every week for a year, and encouraging them to not just to learn to live sort of without somebody, but to learn who they are now, I think that was like a big thing that was never said to me. So this idea of staying curious and compassionate and experimenting, well, completely honoring everything you're going through, because that that trap is there to sort of fix things and move on. Because that does, as you said, seen, like that's what we do, right? You know, we gather, we kind of have this horrible thing, and then everyone disperses. But unfortunately, the grief and the getting to know yourself and the loss doesn't disperse at that moment. That's kind of when it starts,
Ian Hawkins 3:45
huh. Oh, I love that. Yeah, because it does change you like, fundamentally changes who you are, because there's a part of you that it's just your will. It's the loss, right? They've gone? How have you learned to face that, to face what has gone on and now who you are like, we don't wanna give too much away from the book, but like, you're here your personal journey around how you've been able to process that?
Addison Brasil 4:12
Yeah, no, of course. And, you know, I had a very natural instinct to go out in the world, especially, you know, I lost my brother tonight inoperable brain tumor after sort of four years of supporting him. And then with my father, I found him after his suicide, which is quite shocking, and a totally different type of debt. So there I am, at 24 years old, and really all the men in my family and half of my family is is no longer with us. And I'm, and this is at a point to in your 20s, where you're just trying to figure out how to be an adult period. Like all the things, rites of passages, so I had this natural idea which I think most of us kind of have this like sort of go out and fix it. And I approached my mental health and my grief where I was sort of exploring the world and going off and just trying to do Do anything I could to fix it buttoned it up and sort of this idea of, quote unquote, getting back to me. And it wasn't until the funny thing is I actually did get to this point where I was celebrating claimed having do Having done that, which I now laugh, but generally myself that I truly believed, you know, I was good and, and even started to celebrate. And as my story goes on, on the on the way home from from celebrating that very thing, one night I was I was in this accident that killed a dear friend of mine, and then left me relearning to walk and with a brain injury and hospitalized and sort of a whole new type of journey and truly a whole new type of post traumatic journey. And I'm now 20 years old, navigating three intense grief processes. As you know, everything sort of surfaced with that with that large event. And it kind of came to a point truly where I just realized that there was never, there was never going to be a fix that there, there was nothing to fix, and that it was going to be a daily relationship that I show up to every day. And I honor what truly is coming up in the moment, or I'm stuck in the quicksand. And so it was really out of my own trying everything else first trying to fix it, trying to escape it, trying to get out of it, that I finally hit the wall of there's nothing here to do, but to honor what's truly coming up each and every day. And and based on that honoring, make decisions, experiment within myself and sort of, you know, adjust as needed.
Ian Hawkins 6:33
Yeah, and if you break that down in really simple terms, that's often all you can do is adjust when needed to the best thing you can
Addison Brasil 6:42
get almost too simple. Yeah, we try to do everything else first. Yeah,
Ian Hawkins 6:49
absolutely. I'm particularly drawn to the thought of grief around your brother's diagnosis, because if it's a four year period where you're caring for him, that initial diagnosis must have been a massive shock to the system.
Addison Brasil 7:12, you know, but, you know, in: Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Yeah, it's amazing what we what we think we know at that age and and then soon realized later, two teenage children at the moment going through exactly that. So that's a fun journey in itself. Now you said there was we're pretty, you're pretty happy to go any direction. I know you said it's it's quite emotional but I'm curious, like around that relationship like, well, I've got four siblings, and there's different relationships with all of them. And we're all close in our own different way. But there's close and there's close, right? We did you spend much time with him? Or was more just, yeah,Addison Brasil:
extremely close. I mean, we were the brothers in the middle, we had two girls on either side and sort of the brothers in the middle. And, you know, it's such a delicate, odd thing, because we were admittedly like, you know, my sister and I sort of just passed that hoop where you go from being rival siblings to best friends, you know, because she's two years older than nine. So, you know, with his diagnosis, I think we all had this sense of sort of speeding up that, okay, enough of this, the silly sibling stuff, you know, this is real life. And we were all really close in our house was sort of like that growing up. I mean, our door was never locked, it was the house where all the kids gathered, like, you know, all this sort of like, parties and gatherings kind of were at my house, I was the type of house where I'd come downstairs, and my friends would already be there, like hanging out with my mom. And I'd be like, I didn't even know you were here. So we are, we were all very close, and we sort of all interchange. And then when he got sick, especially towards the end, when we just had sort of this never ending revolving door of visitors for him. You know, it just became so clear to me that we had something so special in our family and the way that we sort of, you know, we hyper bonded really quick when that all happened. And it was this equal balance with him of always keeping his humor, he wanted to be a stand up comedian, he looked for the humor in every situation, and I'm talking like fresh brain surgery scar, and he's finding the joke, and you're like, being like, why are you making me laugh right now, this is so inappropriate. It's the kind of family we really were. So we took our cues from him. And, you know, it was it was very difficult to be sort of the older brother and feel so young and sort of learning from him every step because he was the only one who was going through it. And, you know, he just he really did want to continue normal life. And up until he literally couldn't walk or speak. I mean, he was still forcing me to drive him to school or to take him to work at the bakery. And even though he's dragging like his left side, as a result of where the tumor pressed on his brain, you know, he was still doing all those things. So a lot of it at the end was just sort of sitting in awe, and literally taking every cue from him, you know, and it was, I think it was a struggle for me, because that was my first year of school. So I saw him sort of at Christmas break. And he was a miracle kid, again, it seemed like the last treatment had worked, and everything was great. We had a beautiful Christmas that year. And then I saw him for his 70th birthday in the spring. And we were playing like beer pong, and like, you know, like, it was just so normal. And then I returned from school in late May. And then I just knew immediately, we were in different different and deep water, and a lot harder for maybe my family to notice, because they were with him every day. But for me, I came home and just went Oh, no, like, it's, it's really going to happen. And, and the hospital sort of revealed that to us very soon after, and, and so it's that weird thing with you know, I get asked a lot about this, this sort of pre grief, you know, does it exist? Is it helpful to know when a death is coming? And, you know, in some ways, there's a level of preparation. But again, I have to say, like, at that age, too, I froze. I mean, I was instructed even on his last day, say what you want to say he can still hear you, like all these things, and I just, I remember like staying silent, you know, and just being there and, and, and not being willing to accept the end until there was no way not to, until that very, very last breath. There was no way any of us were kind of going there kind of thing. So it's really interesting. Because you think there'd be such a juxtaposition between, you know, these deaths that were sudden and unexpected, like my father and my friend and my brother, but it's weird how your mind will really never let you go there until you have to, you know, you no one wants to go check in early to grief club. It's not not something you're looking at. Do you know?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, it's probably a safety mechanism to to stop us from going into a space it's going not going to be helpful, particularly at a time when you're you are caring for him in what it's set. What I'm getting the sense of is in more ways than just the physical acts right? It sounds like you like them. Have you are naturally nurturing person? And like you might say, well, I can tell the difference because I hadn't been there. But I do get a sense that your connection with him was probably deeper than that. And you would have got a sense of that. Anyway. Now given that's the case, and you're nodding as I say that do you? Have you had conversations with him since his passing, where you just got a great sense that there is a an open line of communication?Addison Brasil:
Yeah, I've always had a special connection with him energetically. Unfortunately, because of the things that came later, and sort of the post traumatic that came with it, I sort of shut down anything that wasn't right in front of me, that other people would say they could see in here as well. And that's something in later years. And quite recently, I've started to sort of try to rebuild those connections. But I will say that with my brother, specifically, there was a very specific moment after his passing, where I felt a release and the bond that we have, and the energy the way that we are connected. And I never ever, sort of worried about him or his energy after that moment. And it's something that, I guess within myself, I could I fully understand and comprehend. But then when I tried to put into words, it sounds like I was standing in a hallway with nothing, but it was very formative for me. And it did give me a lot of peace at that moment. And, and as somebody who is, you know, adventurous and nomadic, and, you know, I was planning to live in Los Angeles, we grew up in Toronto, this idea of him being at a grave did not really work for me. So there was what a greater energetic feeling. And, you know, I still went called feel the need to talk to him, whether he's, you know, they're not, you know, it's it's a, it's a personal thing where I, where I go through these seasons of truly when it serves me and, and where I'm at spiritually and just in a connected way, you know?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, absolutely. And I had one guest describe, to me how it's, in those moments afterwards, people will be quite accepting, and it's been normalized, that you would have conversations with someone, it's just past. But then if you would talk about that at any other time, like, people don't necessarily get that. And they might even like, look at you as not quite sure about that. But it's, it is a natural from, from my experience, and everyone I've spoken to, it's a natural, it's a natural reaction to want to be able to communicate still. And I've seen enough myself and experienced enough and heard enough stories of people getting confirmation, for me to, to feel that that's just such a special moment.Addison Brasil:
Yeah, as I would say that yet anyone listening is, for me, it's just about breathing in and saying what needs to be said without the worry, or the attention on how it's being received? Or when or what but, but allowing yourself to express it and feeling the connection to to the fact that you still want to communicate something, you know, it's a deeply personal thing.Ian Hawkins:
Yes, absolutely. Well said, Now, you go through all of that. And then you said you found your dad after suicide? was? Was your dad already in a place where he was having some mental health challenges? Or? Or did the your brother's death really amplify that or a bit of both?Addison Brasil:
You know, I think it really highlights and speaks to the time this is, you know, 2008, my dad was very successful in in finance, stock trader. So there was all those natural changes that were happening in the world, just a business as well for him. And I think that quite naturally, when my brother passed, we all focused attention to my mom, you know, this idea of how will the mother go on, you know, how, you know, and it was interesting, because she was actually quite resilient. And, admittedly, just with where we were, even in just the understanding of mental health, especially men's mental health at that time, I just assumed my dad was, you know, good for anything like, you know, he wasn't, there was no way he was silently struggling and I wasn't aware. And so that is sort of what inspired a lot of my advocacy later in men's mental health. But, you know, the reason for that is at that time is it did seem quite invisible to me. And it was again at a time where I was figuring out what it meant for me to be a man in the world after my brother's loss. And everyone in the family it's, you know, I always think of that thing if, if, if everybody you know, isn't paying attention to getting their own water out of the boat, then the boat is sinking, you know, if we start to sort of look at each other and it's, we'd rather everyone stays floating and treading than us trying to save each other and everyone you know, getting exhausted and and trying to support each other in that way. So it does become this delicate ecosystem and, and for my dad to be honest, I, I wasn't aware he did have some some drastic life changes like in the six months leading up to his passing, including the end of his second marriage. And I knew, you know, between the two of us that he was, he was struggling making sense and finding purpose again. But as far as having any sense of, you know, what seemed like a rough two weeks ending in suicide, that was probably the most shocking and surprising, you know, thing in my life. I mean, I, I had spidey senses that I can now in retrospect, with my understanding, and my inheritance of mental health education makes sense of, but at that time, it was just that same connection and feeling I'm talking about when I still feel my brother, I felt that in connection to my father, that something was truly wrong. And I was very caught in the midst of respecting his privacy, and what he was saying, as a man and what I should act on, you know, out of intuition. And, and so, yeah, if nothing I was I definitely inherited sort of this mental health education from that moment. And, and obviously, the world has come so far, in the last 10 years, again, he wouldn't have had a podcast like this to listen to, you know, there wasn't in existence, there was no, it's okay to not be okay. Back then it was, you know, the Portuguese have a provider of family. And that's your worth, you know, that was his wiring. That was his mindset. So, I again, in retrospect, I can make sense of all of it. In that moment, I was just truly a boy who, you know, lost his his dad, and in a terrible, terrible and unexpected and surprising way.Ian Hawkins:
There's a few things I'd love to unpack there. And it's interesting that you bring this up, because it's something that I observed recently, I actually did a individual podcast episode on it just last week, the guilt of when, when someone leaves us to soon have all of those different thoughts of could I have done something different? Could I have done something to stop it? What you noticed in retrospect, but would never have noticed at the time? Is that? Oh, yeah, they're kind of worrisome signs that I could have looked out for. And even though, logically, we might say, I didn't, I didn't know. Like, there's still part of that underlying feeling like, guilt, shame, whatever it is that I should have done things differently. Have you had to process any of that, as you then did look back and notice what you noticed?Addison Brasil:
Yeah. And, you know, I'm sort of a weird advocate for a healthy amount of human guilt with any death, or any process, you know, so many people at the time, who were just truly trying to be helpful, sort of would say, you know, what, you shouldn't feel guilty for anything, or you shouldn't, you know, and I've spoken about this before, but there's just certain elements of, you know, for instance, my father who, in my 30, I always do that I was only 23 At the time, now. Now, it would be 30 years. But you know, and that 23 years, I truly don't believe I ever saw my dad eat a frozen dinner, like, I just don't think. And the day after his death, I found one in the garbage. And that's just something that's always stayed with me. And it's something that I thought I had to, again, fix or get rid of, because I shouldn't feel guilty. But that's also just this beautiful example of like, who I am as a human and my compassion and my empathy, just who I'm who I am and who my parents brought me up to be, I'll just never truly be comfortable with that frozen dinner. And I'm cool with that now, like, I don't need to let go of that. That's something that goes, yeah, that's my dad. And I would have liked to cook for him that night. And it's the perfect amount of guilt for me, you know, so. And then there's other things where, of course, around something like a suicide or an accident where there's this limiting belief that you could have controlled time, somehow, you could have, you know, did a Benjamin Button thing and switch things around, if you had just done this, and I call it the Benjamin Button thinking because in the movie, he kind of goes through and says, if you're just done this, if you had just done this, like all these things for this event to not occur, and you realize just how many things you would have had to do differently for something to shift. But if when I take myself out of all of that, I have to say that, and this is years of self work and deep work, but I am able to look at it in a world where I can change nothing, which is the only world I you know, truly believe exists. I couldn't have I've shifted something that that was going to happen like that. In a weird way, it has become sort of an honor that, you know, somebody was going to be there to usher these people out. These people who I love dearly, you know, I I'm honored that that I got to be there and it sort of helps with the guilt that I know that I was sort of the last person to have my dad I was sorted Last person to cater to my friend's sense of humor and take her to her favorite band that was playing at that concert that night. And I get to live in this pure awareness that their last sort of touches with humanity, I get to be, you know, confident that that it was within love, you know, and that's for me starts to really overshadow the guilt when I'm able to do that. But I think there's a healthy amount of guilt. And I think it's a process and even when you brought up guilt, I started to laugh, or anybody who can see the visual, and I'm not laughing at guilt, I'm laughing because it's one of those things, we go, oh, yeah, you're gonna do that, you're gonna, yeah, you're gonna do that for a long time. You know, and that, that natural process of, you know, in a way, it's, you know, if you look at Mary Francis O'Connell's work and the neurobiology of grief, you know, it's a very smart avoidance tactic to focus on the guilt rather than the loss and the finality of the loss, it's actually protecting you for a little while. So you know, if the guilt showing up naturally, you know, being curious and compassionate within it is actually a very healthy thing for you to do, because you're obviously not ready to focus solely on something more final or something, you know, like that. So, again, in retrospect, very easy to sit in this chair now. And sort of Monday, Monday morning, quarterback, my grief processes. But in the moment, of course, I was completely lost and overwhelmed when grief and guilt collided for the first time, you know, of course,Ian Hawkins:
yeah. And what I love is that you are sharing it from that perspective of this is what it was like at the time. And it's important for for everyone who's gone through any sort of loss to realize that there is stages, and there's no right or wrong on how long you should sit in any of them, they're there to serve a purpose. And when you're ready, you will process it, I guess the thing that comes to mind, for me is, is it's it's a choice as well. And ultimately, we choose to stay at a point until we're ready to move on. And that's not anyone else's responsibility, but ours. And like, like you were saying, it's like, taking responsibility for the part that I can bring to this world. Now, rather than looking back at what I could have done, that nothing's going to change that nothing would have changed that something's just meant to happen. And it's then moving forward with it. So actually, I'll come back to that. But I wanted to just talk about one more thing, if you don't mind. It's, it's around what you said around your dad, it's like, because I know, there's gonna be a lot of dads listening to this, who may have experienced similar things. His worth you said, was attached to this, this being the provider, and the financial crisis at the time, he's working in that area. So he's got a loss, a massive loss, there have been the provider, then he's got a breakdown of a marriage, he's got all this other stuff. Plus, he's got all the, I'm sure he still had elements of grief, from losing a child having spoken to people who've lost children that's like that, that that, that feeling like you should never have to the phrase that I heard from one of the you should never have to bury a child. And so he's got all these different things going on that are that are creating this impact. And and, as you said, suffering in silence. So I can see now what yeah, go you go.Addison Brasil:
No, no, I'm just collecting my thoughts. I, you know, again, what, what's sort of important to look at as it you know, now I'm able to look back, you know, I'm 33 years old now. And I realized a just how young my parents were, I had very, very young parents, and I realized just the way my dad's upbringing into what he valued and you know, sort of how he built his life all attributed to, to the moments and how his mental health formed around his own life, you know, it, it is this beautiful thing of nothing else that I get to look at it like that now, and if I could speak to my dad, now I would, you know, be doing everything to help him to understand that his value to us was never, you know, financial or, and not even that he wasn't able to do that anymore. But just we were at an age where we were, we were out of the house, you know, and my brother was the youngest of his three children. And my sister and I were already adults. You know, I was, you know, we're both out in the world work. And so I think, you know, I think there is sort of a lack of dedication, especially at the time there with the empty nesting and just sort of the shifts and, and, you know, this is a man who from his perspective, was doing everything he could his whole life to provide and to give and receive love, and sort of ends up in this moment where nothing makes sense. And none of it made sense to me. It was 10 years ago, this July, you know that that happened. And as I get older, I go, okay, so take away my coaching take away my therapy. The takeaway all the things I inherited as a result of that moment that I needed to prioritize as a man in this world, and put me in that moment, were the world I knew in the world, I always thought I live in just as unrecognizable, you know, a second divorce losing a child, the complete shift of technology and finance and you know, everything, you know, he came up on, it's just a totally different world. And so there's just, there's, I hope, if anyone's listening to this, there's just so much compassion and empathy to apply to that, beyond this, this question some people get stuck on and I did to, admittedly, when I was younger, around, you know, why would he do that, you know, and, and that's something that's a years of research and work to go, when you're really looking at suicide, you know, our bodies, and our brains are not designed to allow death, especially self inflicted to happen, you know, I jokingly say to my friends, you know, go tried to drown yourself in that pool, your body will not let you your mind will not let you know, and it's the same brain. So there's obviously at some point, a true disconnect there, you know, where everything goes quiet and, and I can speak to this myself, the closest I've ever come to suicide after the accident, when I was just in such an immense, immense pain, all that thinking I thought my father was doing that was not present, there was just sort of a quietness, and one logical way to end the overwhelming amount of pain that I was playing. And I and, and sort of kept closing in like a fog around me. And you know, a few days out, I was still thinking, this cannot happen to the rest of my family, like, we have to do everything we can, you know, I gave up my independence, I put myself in my mother's care, all my doctors were aware that this was something that was a true concern for me, because of because I knew what had done to my own life to find my father in that way. But as I got closer to that moment, which, luckily, was disrupted, and I was supported, and had resources at the time, you know, none of that was there, it was just a very logical, you know, this is the way that that we can end that alarm that's constantly going off in your body right now. And it's so weird that my own almost suicidal moment is what's given me the most amount of peace around my father's passing, and such understanding there. And, and I don't really know what happened, I've been carried through all of this. And I mentioned this in the book. And whenever I speak, there's a certain element of magic through these big three things of what's carried me through and a true community of support. And I truly just remember saying at the time, like, if you got me through this, I'll go back for the others, because I knew, I felt like as if something was happening to me the same way a cancer or, you know, that was uncontrollable, it was a no way that so it's weird that that experience actually gave me the most understanding compassion, empathy, and peace around around the way that I lost my father. You know, my dad didn't, didn't kill himself. He didn't commit suicide, he died by suicide that there and that's something I always make sure when I'm speaking, I make that distinction, because I think it just helps us all truly, further along in the mental health journey to to look at it that way.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Oh, my God, so much depth to that. Thank you. The I'm glad the first thing that you started with, I'm glad you said because again, it's important for parents to remember that the thing that they may think is what they need to be for their children is not actually what their children are wanting from them or already getting from them. And it's that pressure that we put on ourselves. And if you're a parent listening, the pressure that you put on yourself around what you think it is. It's that the two words you mentioned before being curious and experimenting, finding what works, finding what doesn't. And also shifting from realizing that it's you're already being the provider, that predictor or whatever else that you may be thinking you're not to then using that curiosity and experimenting and asking questions and being open to different possibilities. To allow yourself to feel like you are the things that you are already providing. So instead of having to go through what you went through, which was your own moment, to get that full understanding, being able to come back to understanding through your own work on yourself, rather than having to go down into a into a deeper hole yourself.Addison Brasil:
There. Yeah, and I think that I would also just say that when it comes to parents or parental grief, you know, I knew that I thought sort of without ever realizing it that like my dad was just my dad and sort of in my world and my perspective, that's just what his job wasn't, and what his role was in the world and, and there's this, this beautiful thing about coming to this place where you realize your parents are human beings, and everything that you've gone through to become who you are that they have a similar journey. They're fully flawed, fully feeling human beings that aren't just your parent. And that's just such a, that, you know, I don't really ever go into what what I tell my younger self, but that's one thing I might have just, you know, taken myself to the side. And, you know, these are fully feeling fully flawed human beings who had dreams and who prioritize having a family very young, you know, to give you everything, but like that perspective just was not there, you know, and I feel like I, you know, I expressed gratitude I was, you know, we were extremely loving family and all those ways, it wasn't any sort of thing like that. It was just like, that truly wasn't my worldview. You know, he was just my dad and dads were dads, and then and then you become a man. And you're like, oh, no, these are these are real people who, you know, like, you never think of your parents as having like, exes or like, you know, high school drama or like struggling in college. Like, their job was to, like, keep you alive and make sure you went to school. Like, it's this weird thing. And unfortunately, with my dad, I that's something that those are conversations I didn't get to have with him, because that learning comes much later when you enter sort of your own manhood and realize those things. Yeah.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, absolutely. I can definitely relate to that, that idea of wanting to have these conversations with people that are no longer with us. On we can come back to that, because I wanted to get to what you talked about there. So your own suicidal moment, but actually the catalyst for that. And so then the fast forward to the accident, which I can't believe you said it when we're on air or not. But it was kind of like you were saying like that, going through that and then having to go through your own suicidal moments was actually probably the bigger, biggest moment all of all of them. So tell us a little bit about how that unfolded without necessarily going into the nitty gritty, but just what that what that whole experience was like, and how, how that left you feeling?Addison Brasil:
Yeah, yeah, I guess I kind of dipped into sort of how it, it helped me to understand my father more. You know, it's quite so much of what you know, it's sort of the inverse of what I'm saying I assume about my father was right where I was at. So I guess that's where that learning comes from. But I was just in this place where suddenly my own life and my own circumstances were, were just sort of completely unbelievable to me. And I really have such an empathy. And just love for anyone who struggles with any sort of chronic pain. I always use my body throughout, you know, my grief and my mental health journey and my 20s I mean, I danced at the highest level, you know, on scholarship at school, like I, you know, just, I always returned to that athleticism when I was struggling the most, when there were no words for something. And then after the accident, I was in the first place where I, you know, I really learned to walk like I, you know, bedridden to wheelchair to walk or to cane. And then I was in pain all the time. And it sort of just became this thing where my life was not only something I no longer understood, but it sort of felt like there was this fire alarm constantly going on, in my head, in my mind, and in my soul, really, of just this constant pain signal. And it was a lot more logical than one would think I just started, you know, thinking, well, there is there is one way and if anyone knows about that way, quite intimately, it's you and, and I think at the time, this is pre a lot of coaching and a lot of mindset work, and a lot of my meetings with my mentor, where I was, you know, if you're, if you're a parent, pastor of Alzheimer's, I always say every time you forget something, you feel a little bit uncomfortable, you know, you're just not sure. And so losing a father quite young to suicide, that I, you know, as much as I hate to admit it, I am my father, son, and a lot of ways, you know, I, I had those moments as I was getting my mental health education where, you know, is this how he felt, you know, how close am I like, what, what is this? You know, and also I had a lot of people looking in going, Yeah, you know, what, you know, after the brother, the Father, and now the accident and loss of a friend, this is too much. Like, I don't know how you're doing it, like the things I was being told were like, this is sort of impossible. So what, you know, it was a very difficult time. And for the longest time, I mean, it came to a point where at one point, I actually had a conversation with a therapist where I just said, you know, I wonder if you could talk to my mother and my sisters and just explain to them that You know, sort of like a quality of life, you know, end of treatment type conversation. And I know that intimately because I've had that conversation with my brother, where, you know, I, I'm going to do my best. But you know, and I used a sports metaphor, I said, we're in game seven, and I'm down. And I just think somebody that's spent this time with me intimately on this mental health journey, needs to speak to them, because I'm not sure what's going to happen here. I'm doing everything I can, but I just don't feel like I'm winning this thing. And I constantly saying that at the time, I don't think I'm going to win this thing, you know, and I, and it hurt me so much to say that, but it was also sort of this weird duty to admit that that's how I was feeling. But, um, yeah, it was a very weird combination of asking for help. Telling the truth, when it seems like it was insane to actually admit that in forming both, like my peers, and my professional network within my, you know, my, my mental health journey, and then, you know, the biggest kudos goes to my mother, who is someone that loves me unconditionally, took me in after 30 years of co parenting was happy for me to finally admit that heifer is like, you know, equivalent to a baby in diapers going, I don't know how to do this thing anymore. And she, she kept me safe, and supported me with a level of grace and integrity that if I can ever reach in my life, I will, I will have done the thing. You know, but that's again, that that magic there were, you know, this idea of returning home and being truthful and honest, and really admitting where you were at. And sort of what I thought was the end was actually became sort of this ultimate surrender, that opened up to a to a back end for me, of, of, I thought, if I ever truly accepted my circumstances, that would be the end. And, you know, it was one of those things. Luckily, for me, because of that mental health, education I inherited, it wasn't beginning.
But you know, I, when we toyed with my memoir, you know, I always say that in the third Brasil boy did die, he just woke up 10 minutes later, you know, everything I believed about the world, and how it would work and how I would function and how it would all happen. Had to die at that moment, there was no, there was no room for that version of me anymore. And, and that's where the rewiring and the mindset work and sort of a true rebirth, you know?Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Powerful. Like, what I know of grief is that it forces you to grow up for one of a better term beyond your years, so So you've been thrust into this almost adult world from caring for your brother to him, his passing and your dad's passing to you sort of suddenly, you're the You're the man of the family. It's, it's suddenly you're having to cope with things that most people don't have to that really you shouldn't have to. And you need to try and push yourself, like you described to ultimately, you have to come to that point of putting your hand up and saying, Well, actually, no, it's, I'm not coping with this. And I do need help. And to me, the resistance from so many men is that's a sign of weakness. But what I know is, it's the ultimate show of strength to say that I'm going to allow myself to be supported the same way that I support everyone else. And that's going to make me even stronger. I don't know what your thoughts are on that around that.Addison Brasil:
Growing up, yeah, when you have a story like mine, I feel like you have people approaching you with a lot of housing, a lot of wise. And I do think it seems oversimplifying. But, you know, responding I was willing to ask for help was a very big part of it. But it also took responsibility, and figuring out what true support looked like for me, you know, and helps the people around me to actually provide it. It wasn't sort of just I need help, you know, like, it was there was that inner work and that responsibility, we all have to remain response able, you know, as you break down the world, and say, like in being able to say this is what support would look like for me in this moment. And that's, for whatever reason, so easy to give, but so hard to ask for, even in moments of desperation. And, and again, that's where this idea of, you know, that's where true grace and integrity for me lies is in a moment where you can truly ask for what you need. And trust me as soon as I was out of the danger zone, I tried to close out right back up. But yeah, as far as growing up quickly, again, I don't know I grew up in this beautiful family where the parents were younger than the other parents and with the kids were also close. I do feel like in a weird way that we all still got to grow up and we did it together. Other and you know, some sort of like snakes and ladders, you know, yes, sometimes that 16 years old, I was doing things that I now I'm like, I'm not at that mature now at 33. You know, we're like, you know, trying to help with my brother and my sister or whatever it was in the household or whatever. But then also, I've, we've all sort of had this, I got your back moment where everyone got to sort of go back and reclaim that a little bit. And, and I'm certainly glad I think if I'd stayed on the track, I was like, you know, run a nonprofit, I would have been married with 2.5 kids and, you know, provide, I was always on my dad's track after my brother, you know, and I'm so glad that I've taken the time, especially now that the books been written to kind of go back and be like, checking with my inner child and go, Okay, I know, you missed a lot, like, what can we do? You know, and what's coming up for me a lot in the last six months, which nobody on earth understands, because they're like, What are you doing, and I'm like, focusing on on a lot of love and a lot of laughter, and a lot of connection. And, and that's kind of wild for all my friends who are getting married and having babies that I'm sort of, I'm having my, you know, gap here, do Europe, that 33, you know, and I feel confident doing that, because the achievement list is there for me, and it will be there when I get back, you know, so enough of an a type that I made sure I published a book before I ran away, but like, you know, you know, it's, it's, it's there for me, and I didn't know, again, I feel like I got through this thing, you know, with just the right amount of magic. So they're, I don't, I don't really ever have a moment where I sit around and go, you know, I feel sorry for myself, I, it's hard to do when you're that when you're the third Brazil boy to you know, to go, Dan, you're the one who gets to do whatever you want, you know, and operate in this world with, you know, just the right amount of support and just the right amount of magic and just the right amount of privilege to be perfectly honest. You know, and I acknowledge all of that and take my steps forward in that way. So, yeah, it's a it's an interesting thing. And again, to go back to the, you know, the point of the book and the beginning of the conversation, that's a daily relationship, you know, how I feel about losing my childhood changes on a Monday to Thursday, and I honor it very differently on the Monday to Thursday, you know, what we bring into that day and kind of brain ache? And what if I seek out a comedy show versus, you know, doing extra late hours of work? You know, it's just sort of, it's this this beautiful, broken Balancing Act of, of honoring what's truly coming up in the moment, not this theoretical idea of what a life looks like, you know?Ian Hawkins:
Hmm. Oh, I'm glad you brought that up. You mentioned there around your friends, I imagine some of them would be a little bit envious, that you're going out and doing a whole lot, that sort of thing. And what what drew me to wasAddison Brasil:
my story, and is a word that comes up? I don't think I don't know that in Well,Ian Hawkins:
I mean, I mean, the fact that you're going and doing the traveling and all that sort of stuff. Now, when they're, when if they've got small children, then they're feeling quite trapped. Because it can have that sort of impact. But what I was gonna say is that, has there been elements for you, on the flip side of that, similar to what you said, Well, this is what my life is where, where, I don't know if envy is the right word, but looking at your life and going well. Wouldn't it have been great just to have like, a normal life?Addison Brasil:
Right, if I if I didn't have, you know, a beautiful master coach and mentor that Jennifer Merrifield shout out, that taught me very early in the game, and through my own experiential learning that you know, just comparison and it's one of the We the experiments in the book, like, it just truly didn't serve me or my grief at any point. You know, it's just it's sort of like a trap to even go there. And I'm that is one of the first things that I worked so hard to rewire was that muscle to go look over there, you know, because with with what I went through, it was just, I was never going to win that game. You know, and it was It wasn't even fun to play the game It'd be one thing I'm not a sore loser. But like as the game is not even fun to begin with. Why even get like why even play you know, why sign up for the league? So I do, I do. After a lot of work, you know, can confidently say that I genuinely don't try to compare and it is this weird thing where I constantly am saying to people, I still don't think the weird thing about me at this moment is the three deaths or the grief processes. It's more of the amount of like a hope, laughter connection that I'm still able to experience after having them because I know in those moments quite intimately that everything in my life was teaching me to shut down and to disconnect so I couldn't lose anymore. And I don't know how or what the genetic makeup or magic was. that allowed me to stay connected. But, you know, it leads to a lot of gratitude for me for sure. And yeah, again, this is me on what day is it Thursday, you know, on Monday, I was probably pretty pissed that my best friend has two kids in Orange County and like, you know, just these what I used to call normal people problems, like, you know, I'm just getting to that it's very weird. I'm, I'm very much like a child right now, which I keep bringing up. I'm 33. And it's the first time that everything I do is in the shadow of trying to be resilient of trying to survive something I thought I would never have to. These are my first steps. These are my first words, I've never operated in the world where it wasn't out of survival as an adult. So it's, it's to be continued. It's the it's the memoir, you know, and that's why I stopped from the process of the memoir going out, I truly wasn't comfortable with it ending at you know, a year ago, I think there's a there's a huge love story missing there with myself and the world, you know. So it's a very interesting and precarious time. And challenging a lot of limiting beliefs around every time things come something that happens right now. It's, it's, that's my adventure right now is going like, No, this is sort of what it's like when you're not, you know, in the grasp of grief, you know? So it's very interesting.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah. Awesome. You mentioned there, like, you find the humor and things. And I noticed that quote, when I was looking at your bio earlier, I was immediately drawn to what you said about your brother, as he was going through all of his challenges, he still bringing that, that wonderful humor, and Anaconda, it kind of feels like it's, there's a beautiful synergy there around how that you've made that such a big part of your forward path, and also helping others to do the same. So have you drawn that? That bridge between how you're processing it now and how he did?Addison Brasil:
Yeah, and, you know, I kind of when the book came out, I kind of had a team huddle. And it was like, I don't think I want to do this grief thing, you know, I sat in it for 13 years, I don't want to sit around talking about death. Like I like I said, I, you know, my inner child is sitting in the room with me, and he's got demands, and it has nothing to deal with talking about death or helping other people through debt. But I came to this place where I was like, okay, if I'm going to do this, for me, you know, it's gotta be this, this sort of self mantra of equal parts, honor the journey, and find the funny, because that's who I truly am. And if I can't show up in the space and do that, the way I have in my, my own life, and the way my family always has, then then I won't, and it's been welcomed that I let that back. And it doesn't have to be this a type advocacy, sad story thing, like it can really be there. And one thing I really love about my family is that humor was was always this, like, magical bonding force between all of us, you know, parents, kids, you know, that was, it truly was so special to all of us and, and understand each other's sense of humor to really, you know, help each other and lift each other up in that way. And the fact that we, that we refused, we really refused. I mean, like, We rebelled against giving that up as a tool to survive our losses is just so cool to me. Because it I mean, the humor got, you know, really fine tuned and smart. And some people call that gallows humor. But for us, it was just these nods that we weren't alone. And we were an isolated, I mean, that joke is just too specific. Not to be funny. And I know by making it that my sister and I know exactly where we are in the world, and what we're going through, but we get to do it through this cool, you know, element of humor, and, you know, a lot of my jokes and you know, my friends will tell you that a lot of them for a long time were like, you can't say that was the immediate response. Well, they laughed, you know, and it was like, yeah, man, if I can't say it, then who can? You know, this is truly, you know, my experience. And, you know, we are sort of this, you know, this legacy like HBO comedy kind of show where we were laughing in funeral homes and limos and on death beds, and that's just always the way we dealt with it. It was, you know, like I say, I can't build a toolkit for anybody for grief, I can just guide you in experiments that will allow you to find the tools that will work for you. Humor is my number one tool. That is the reason I am here today. It's also the reason I was able to understand that I was suicidal because nothing was funny for the first time in my whole life. It's it's been such a tuning fork for me my whole life that I will never give up that tool just because it's not in someone else's kit. You know, so it's that thing of what is your hammer look like? What is your screwdriver look like? I just want you to be able to do what you're trying to do in the world. It doesn't have to be my list of 10 things that will help Do you know if there's you know, I say in the book, there's no retreat, there's no quick fix. There's no funnel online that that gets rid of your grief. So you know, save your money and, and start start truly experimenting and spending time with yourself in it because it's your tools will come from you, you know, ultimately.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, fantastic. That quote, I'm going to use that one, I'll never give up that tool because it's not in someone else's kid. It's it's that, that feeling that you have to be a certain way. So you don't upset someone, like I can't laugh here because someone else might be upset. And it's like, no, them Just be true to you. Let them manage their own stuff. And you've talked about that the whole way through, right, come back to responsibility. Come back to I love how you break that down response able, like, you can only dictate or control what you do. So to do that, huh? Yeah. So, can I just come back to that time from the accident? Because if it's okay, that that so you do you? Are you conscious? After the accident? Or how bad an accident we told you? Or did you suddenly wake up in hospital and then you're like, trying to piece it all together? Or?Addison Brasil:
Yeah, it's, um, you know, and this is something to be aware of, I check in with myself right now. And like, where I'm at sort of in the day, the level of exhaustion, and just my own awareness around my posttraumatic, I'm not going to go too much into any of the details of that, but it was fatal. And, you know, I was knocked unconscious. So there are elements, and my brain is still to this day, protecting me in ways in terms of what I do and don't remember. But I certainly remember sort of the time that followed the path forward from that. It's also it's sort of, you know, equate it to sort of wearing glasses when you're dealing with trauma, you know, when when they're on, they're on, but I'm not wearing those glasses anymore. So it says, this odd thing of the memories are there, you know, if I was to get triggered, I remember a lot more, you know, and viscerally. And, you know, with that, whereas when I'm in a pretty healthy place, it is sort of sometimes, and I'm sure it seemed like this for listeners at the time that I'm sort of speaking about somebody else, sometimes the way it's sort of just a bit disconnected. And again, that's just a beautiful thing the brain does, so that, you know, I can share a story without blubbering through it. But, um, but yeah, it was it was quite horrific. And, and it just, I mean, quite frankly, for two years, my full time job was recovery. And, well, well also, you know, having this new grief process come in to one of the most lovely people that I've ever had the honor of knowing. So it was just the most the most difficult time in my life. And again, it was another point where I truly was sort of a baby, I feel like in my own head, I'm a broken record. But I'll always say, when I woke up the next morning, it was like, you were trying to run Mac on Windows. It just didn't work anymore. nothing made sense to me. And, and my mom flew in. And I remember saying to her, like, you know, why, though? Like, why is why is this happening? Because it seemed like we started together, and we're all grieving the central loss. And then, you know, with my father, it was like, Why was I the only one there and then in this situation, as far as my family and my, my other close friends were concerned, the grief of it was all sort of my experience. This was specific to me. You know, and my mom's only response could be that, you know, I guess because you're strong enough, you know, to be there for these things. And at that moment, I just remember looking at her with tears in my eyes that I don't want to be that, like, I have no interest in, in that. You know, that's, that sounds like something in a movie, not in the real true journey of your own life, you know? And, yeah, I that that entire, that entire journey was just touching go of what I could manage within a moment and how much pain I could handle and, and how much learning I could take in a day. And that's at a time where because of the brain injury as well, I mean, I spending half my time with my eyes covered and my ears plugged, you know, so it was just, it was like sort of womb like in memory as well. Because it just, you know, I just, I just remember I was just so focused on being able to walk and then you know, and then everybody was rolling their eyes when I started talking about running, which I now do. You know, like, it was like, you know, it was just it was so I mean What a horrible way to say it, but one foot in front of the other, you know, for so long and in again, it's one of those things like the other two things we talked about the theme here is, when I was able to sit back last fall to write the book, in retrospect, you know, I understand that, that so many of the resilience, takeaways and tools that I built, I could kind of go, Well, what was that experiment? And then like, how would I set someone else up to experiment with that without having to go through what I went through? Again, that all in retrospect, in the present moment, it was just the most difficult and unbelievably challenging time of my life.Ian Hawkins:
Yeah, and I don't know how you look at this. But it's, it's almost like a, it feels like a predetermined journey, that you would have the strength for those things. And, and I don't know if you've read the book, the Medical Medium, where he talks about this gift that he had, and, and it just presented everywhere. And then there was a moment there where he was drowning, or he's trying to save his dog. He was drowning. And then he went to save his dog. And then he's drowning. And he had that similar conversation to what you described, like, saying to God, if you get me out of this, I promise I'll, you said, I take them, take them with me, or whatever it was, you said, he was like, yeah, yeah, I'll get back to them. Yeah. He said, I'll honor this gift that you've given me, and the miraculous moment of being saved. And at that time, when I was reading that I was going through that same thing, like, I feel other people's stuff deeply to the point where I'll get a sensation in my body, and go, oh, where's that come from? And then I'll look at my phone, and someone's just messaged me. Now I don't fully understand the magic of how that works. But at that time, when I read that, I was like, I don't want to do this anymore. I'm actually sick of this. It's so exhausting. I'm so over it. And that just sort of smacked me in the face of like, yeah, we'll, there's a reason. And we all everyone, every single person has something like this. And you don't have to be have gone through what Addison went through to find it. But that message that that your mom gave you may not have been what you needed to hear at the time. But then also, maybe it was because it's what I see now is the journey have gone on is a self realization of just how incredibly strong you are and how you can pass it on to other people.Addison Brasil:
And I would just want to declare it here. And now for the universe and everybody listening, that that books been written in that pattern is there, it's going to be as real relaxed. Like, my friends are like, maybe if you stopped getting up this pushing you down. It's like one of those things that you punch in, it comes back up. And it's like, yeah, I just, yeah, it's it's, uh, you're catching me at like, a formative moment, in that sense of, of believing that I'm sort of on two feet again. And it's, it's very interesting. And part of that is the book existing and, and I don't, there was a whole new level of acceptance that happened when I could suddenly be in rooms with people that I wasn't in. And how would I have a grief book if it wasn't all true? And, you know, there's all these elements of acceptance when the book came out, that I've been sorting through over the last six months, while also somehow trying to eloquently sound like, I know what I'm talking about when I'm once again, in the deep end, you know, figuring out what this whole thing is, you know, so it's been really interesting. And I'm sort of, yeah, on the precipice of that. And, you know, that's one thing I always say to people, too, is, it's, I did want to create something that I was comfortable with you giving to someone the first day they lose someone, but this first year, it can also be the first year you choose to honor your grief. Like years later, you know, the first first year you tried to commit to doing it with compassion and kindness, you know, first you commit to allowing a friend in, you know, so it for me, I'm, I'm constantly on a first year, and I'm going back to all these experiments every week, and it does become funny, you know, you're like, oh, yeah, because we know, comparing helps, let's just keep going down this road, you know, like, it's like, it's like, you know, in the test comm. You know, people genuinely are curious, and they want to know, like, how you look at life when you've experienced death in an intimate way. And those are all little tests for how you truly want to show up in the world, you know, and it's just constant experimenting. And I think the biggest takeaway that I can ever give people is, is that that idea that there is no fixed and like, you will never know, there is no way to know and the sooner you let go of that the sooner you step into this freedom of just what's actually happening, you know, and how resilient you are within a moment. There's no preparing for what you don't know. Although we Try ruthlessly, forever, you know, and I just I say it with a smile and laughing and tomorrow, I might say the very same thing in tears, because it's just too real in the moment, you know, there's I have no way of knowing how how or when my grief will show up and in what way, I just know that I've long committed to honoring it. And sometimes that means disappointing people. And that means canceling. That means making opportunities to make amends later, you know, whatever it is to truly show up to it in the moment.Ian Hawkins:
Love that. And what I know about laughter is that the healing element of it is just so powerful. The way you described there with the first year, I can be the first year of all the different parts of grief. And I think anyone who's been through through that loss, it can just come back out of nowhere, the one that sticks in my head is not on a particular date or anniversary, but around about 11 years after not not, maybe could have been 11 and a half years, I'm walking, just up the road here, back up to my house, and then suddenly just get this moment of something around my dad and just, I just started crying out of nowhere, and I get to the front door. And it was like your honor your item like Well, I'm fine, but I just just had a moment. And that's like it almost like you gave that your book is a reference book come back to Okay, well, now it's the first year of whatever this was. Be curious, have a think about it was but it's what it was and, and continue peeling back the layers. So that, that part of it how you describe that, that made me think, Okay, I've got to get a copy of this book, because becauseAddison Brasil:
the worst thing to say as an author, but I do say it because I don't care, even if you get it, just so it's, I don't want it to be that thing that you meant to do in this wellness thing that's now bothering you. But if you do get it and you don't even open it, it just every time you see it, just just remember that this isn't there's nothing to fix, you know, just honor what's coming up, including not wanting to open my book. But you know, whatever it is, even if it can just be like in your gym bag or in your kitchen or on your nightstand table, and you never even open it. Like you know, just least the reminder that there is at least one friend out there who gets it. And whatever you're going through in this moment, there's nothing to fix. It's just, you know, to honor, if you do want to open it, there might be some strategies to help you honor it. But you know, that's up to you. Because ultimately, that's one of the first things I say on the first page, I want to get that out like, this is for you. And it's up to you. You know, ultimately you choose, you know, and that's what seems daunting at the beginning becomes a very, very beautiful freedom to show up to, you know, whenever whenever you're ready toIan Hawkins:
love that whenever you're ready to because plenty of people are going to tell you when whether they think that you should be should have moved on or you should have done this or you should have done that. But that's actually irrelevant, because until you are then it doesn't matter anyway. Addison, what does the future hold? Like? What what is the further impact that you want to have with this purpose that you've now stepped into?Addison Brasil:
That's, that's very of the moment. I mic my humor aside wants to respond with there's no way to know. Because it not gets me out of the question. Yeah, thank you know, there's there's this See, that's been coming up when I talked recently, and just both like privately and professionally, of, you know, this sort of inner child showing up and what, what he had hoped for, and how little he cares about my achievements, which is funny to me. But I was like, I thought this is what you call it is like no, I just wanna love and laugh. And I'm like, Oh, well, you know, just go on Tinder that you know, I'm kidding. But it is very different than than what I thought I would be looking at you know, and and I have long over professionally proven to myself that anything I put my mind to I can do. And with this beautiful exhaustion I'm feeling after this book came out right now, that that is what I'm honoring right now is is the listening and not feeling like I need to present something. And it's been interesting, like I have found that I only want to do grief one day a week. I do want to do it. I do love to tap back in and be a part of the club. But I'm just another guy in the gym and I have to look out for myself on the other six days. I'm not a coach. I'm not a doctor, you know, I I don't want anyone to feel isolated and I want to show up with with what I've been through. But I also was an aspiring screenwriter and creator and you know, fiction writer, a very talented fiction writer in high school because I never imagined anything would ever happened to me where it would be based on a true story. But I do have an interest in in return. Earning back to that level of play and, and using seeds of real life and in these other mediums creatively and, and just playing again. And, you know, it being sort of surprising if someone were to stumble through Google and find out that I had been through all these things, because when they met me, we laughed most of the time. You know, that's, I like to get get to that. And I can see that that a little bit more clearly every day as sort of the fog lifts. And, and I, you know, honor my own grief, in a healthy way.Ian Hawkins:
Love it. One thing that came to me there was something that I was going to ask earlier, but we went on a different tangent. Did you have aspirations, you said, you mentioned aspirations, did you have aspirations for your dancing, or, or whatever performance that you were heading towards that you had to then make sense of not being able to become a reality?Addison Brasil:
Again, like, then this is where the magic comes in. I, I don't feel like they ever get in, get just see things through. I mean, there's nothing like a big pause there. And it's funny, because a lot of you know, obviously, like I live in Los Angeles, and it's Hollywood, and you know, like all that stuff. A lot of the people who are sort of 10 years older than me right now, or are sort of laughing at me about how worried I was at 2627 about being on pause, because, you know, essentially what it did for storytellers infused the most amount of life possible. You know, for me, I always wanted to dance until physically, it sort of naturally shifted anyways, I didn't expect it to be as literal as it was. But, but for me, it's just the ability to tell story. And so I've sort of weaved in and out of dance acting writing. Yeah, like, I guess writing is still writing, if it's screenwriting or book, but, you know, like, there's always a different way to do that. And even, you know, in the stuff I do in nonprofits with events, and there's just, there's always been sort of a way for me to continue storytelling. So I definitely am, I haven't really grieved that I think there's just a natural grief, though, that happens, especially with someone who's highly athletic, or highly artistic, like, in a physical way, there's a grief of sort of just the same way, sometimes you think about college nights with your friends or high school, or you're never gonna have like, play on the street again, like, you know, it's just, you know, that's, that's, that's one of the sort of micro grief processes, I assume, would have been happening and been a very main focus in my late 20s, if it wasn't completely overshadowed by these sort of, you know, movie like grief, things that that happened. So, so that there's a lot of that right now, for me to going back and honoring the things I sort of missed, as I sort of became an adult that I know for a lot of people were a main focus, but were sort of pushed to the side for me, and I get to go back and honor all my, all my micro grief processes. And again, I'm not saying micros and they are small, and they don't matter, just that you might have to look with a microscope to realize you're grieving something in your life, because there's just these rites of passage that shift, you know, having children is a beautiful thing, but like you said, some of my friends are sitting there going, that means a lack of freedom in other ways, you know, so there's, there's these Greek processes that, you know, grief is for me is the loss of anything meaningful, you know, in what was meaningful to you. So, that's not always a physical death, and most often and beautifully. So it's not, you know, it's, it's a stage of life, it's a job, it's a relationship, it's a role, it's these other things. So, yeah, I'm kind of I kind of going back and like giving myself those parts of myself that maybe did want to dance a little bit longer or, or did want to just keep pitching the TV show I'd written and not be in a physical recovery for two years, like, you know, like, some love because I understand that those parts of me, you know, but a way rather than that, and that's something I've just started getting to because survival was too much of a focus for a long time.Ian Hawkins:
Yep, love it. And what I'm drawn to is the those moments of micro grief we are constantly grieving those those little losses. The first year of grief club can always be broken down into an hour a day a week, depending on the size of the grief right like it's a thought and if you've looked at it like this, but year it can be a moment in time and and the same strategies are gonna work whether it's something that's big and needs longer, like a year or more, or whether that needs to be something that you're processing quickly because it's my growth not necessarily any less painful but just not not as impactful in the rest your life.Addison Brasil:
Absolutely. Yeah, it's a times a weird thing when it when it comes to that it's, you know, it's it can be so long and so short at the same time and And depending on how you approach or show up to anything, I mean, in a sense, we've spent 10 years together now in this hour, because we've gone there, and we've dipped back and forth. And we, I've seen parts of me in the last hour from, you know, 10 years. And I think it's, it represents grief and a lot of ways that that feeling of Have you ever had that type of conversation where you're sort of time traveling, you know, a lot of the time and it's this, this sort of, sort of beautiful parent thing where you're letting a child walk, but trying to get back to present, you know, and feel safe there. And, yeah, I just, I mean, it's also a testament to you, it's been a beautiful, safe space. And I, I said, things I haven't heard before in the last hour. So I'll go back and transcribe this and try to pull something out of it as well. It's just been, it's been a testament to this. And I'm, like, I keep saying, like, you know, this is all stuff that wasn't happening even a decade ago, two guys spending, you know, a night like this or for you a day, because you're in the future. So sure. But um, you know, it's, it's things have shifted, and there's a lot going on in the world. But, you know, the more that I have conversations like this, the more I realized that, that the next people to enter grief club are are going to have a lot more friends and a lot more support. And that doesn't have to necessarily be a sad thing. You know, I would much rather join looking around going, no one has to babysit me or take care of me. But there's other people here, you know, and in technology in some ways, there's one beautiful thing about technology, it's allowed us to feel that. I mean, we're Toronto to Australia right now, you know, you know,Ian Hawkins:
Yep, absolutely. And you're never alone in whatever you're going through your grief. So, yeah, it's great way to finish. Where do we find the book Addison,Addison Brasil:
is on Amazon worldwide first year of grief, grief club, a gift from a friend who gets it and I'm just my name on socials. You can find it there too Addison Brazil, or share my grief club is the is the grief club one. My grief club.com. Yeah, that's that I'm accessible. And I'm the only person in the world Brazil like your country, the way the local spell it. But yeah, that's, that's one thing. I'm definitely the only one.Ian Hawkins:
How cool is that are very unique. will make sure you drop those links in the notes there so people can find it as well. Addison, thank you so much. Appreciate you appreciate you sharing so openly and sharing your wisdom and guidance for our audience today.Addison Brasil:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Welcome.Ian Hawkins:
I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Grief Code podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Please share it with a friend or family member that you know would benefit from hearing it too. If you are truly ready to heal your unresolved or unknown grief. Let's chat. Email me at info at Ian Hawkins coaching.com. You can also stay connected with me by joining the Grief Code community at Ian Hawkins coaching.com forward slash The Grief Code and remember, so that I can help even more people to heal. Please subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform