New podcast shares grief stories that find positive in negative

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Logo for Grief from the Other Side podcast

What a way to start off 2021 — by launching our first podcast series! Grief from the Other Side: Stories of Hope and Resilience debuted with its first episode on Jan. 12 on the Libsyn podcast platform. This first podcast, “A Glimpse: What’s Grief from the Other Side all about?” serves as an introduction to the series. Amy Stapleton, Manager of Bereavement Services for Chesapeake Life Center, and Tammy Turner, Community Education Manager for  Hospice of the Chesapeake,  discuss why it’s important to explore individuals’ grief stories and give a glimpse into some of the inspirational experiences that will be shared during this first season.

Listen to the introduction by clicking here. The transcript is below:

Announcer:

Grief From The Other Side, where the bereavement experts at Chesapeake Life Center talk about living with loss, sharing stories of hope and resilience.

Amy Stapleton:

Hi, I’m Amy Stapleton. I am the Manager of Bereavement Services at Hospice of the Chesapeake at the Chesapeake Life Center. I am a licensed professional counselor, one of the bereavement counselors here at the Chesapeake Life Center.

Tammy Turner:

And I’m so excited. I’m Tammy Turner. I’m the Community Education Manager for Hospice of the Chesapeake. Amy, why? Why should we be talking about grief?

Amy Stapleton:

Tammy, it’s funny that you say that. It’s kind of like when you’re on the plane with somebody and they ask what you do. And I tell them what I do and they’ll say, “Oh, that must be the hardest job ever, listening to grieving people all day.” And the reality is it’s not. I have such an amazing job in that I get to see people move through incredible loss, in their own way and their own time.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

It’s not about getting it right, or some linear process, or a task.

Tammy Turner:

Or stages.

Amy Stapleton:

Yeah.

Tammy Turner:

Or task lists that they just have to check off.

Amy Stapleton:

But really people grow and stretch and their resiliency comes through and you go, “Wow, I get to be a witness to that.” So I think I have the best job in the world. And I actually think this podcast is going to give people hope. I mean, that’s why we’re doing it. Right?

Tammy Turner:

Absolutely. Absolutely. We’re talking about, as the title is, Grief from the Other Side, another perspective. It is sad, and it is hard, but there are stories out there and people’s experiences that we hope to share with others that have been amazing, amazing transformations.

Amy Stapleton:

Yeah. And these are the stories that don’t get told.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah.

Amy Stapleton:

These are extraordinary people and everyday people. These are our neighbors. These are our friends. These are people in our communities. And yet when you listen to their stories, it’s like, “They did this, they figured this out.” And it’s not anything magical to it. It’s not like they set out to do this hard thing, but they have.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

And along the way, I’m so grateful that they allowed us to walk with them and see their transformation and see their struggle.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah.

Amy Stapleton:

So I believe we’re all going to get something out of this podcast,

Tammy Turner:

Yeah.

Amy Stapleton:

And I look forward to sharing it with the world.

Tammy Turner:

I agree. I agree. So let’s talk a little bit about, we want to do this as a teaser, or we want to get sort of people understanding what we’re going to be talking about. So we’re going to, for our first season, we’re going to have three episodes. And our first episode is going to feature a young woman. And if you want to talk a little bit, just tell a little bit about what her story is.

Amy Stapleton:

Here’s what I want you to know about Parker. She is amazing. When I first met Parker, she was deep into her grief. And as a high school student, really struggling to find resources and ways of connecting with other young adults who had had similar losses or experiences. She is brave, and kept showing up, kept asking questions, kept doing the work. And over time became a really active part of one of our teen groups here at the Chesapeake Life Center called Phoenix Rising. And in the community she has been such an ambassador for access to mental health for young adults. She started an organization that you’ll get to hear a little more about, and she is someone that really has transformed her grief into action and advocacy. So I think we’re going to all get a lot of inspiration out of this.

Tammy Turner:

That’s awesome. And then we’re also going to be hearing from Erica for another episode. So can you talk a little bit about Erica’s story?

Amy Stapleton:

Yeah. Erica. Erica has so much to offer. She comes to this podcast as a clinician herself.

Tammy Turner:

Okay.

Amy Stapleton:

As a mental health professional, who has also experienced a loss due to overdose in her family, someone very close to her. You’ll hear her talk about kind of that struggle of knowing all the resources, of knowing what to do and say from a clinical standpoint.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

But feeling so immobilized when you love someone and you see how much they struggle and you know your help can only go so far.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

She’s going to talk also a little about how she kind of had a parallel or shared grief experience with her daughter, her younger daughter.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

And how by helping herself and giving herself permission to grieve and access support, she was then able to support her daughter and make space for her daughter’s grief. Erica too has transformed her grief in a way by giving back, by giving back to the community, by honoring her nephew and his life in really powerful ways. So I think a lot of people will be able to relate to Erica’s story in terms of the heartache and the hardship.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

That comes with loving someone with a substance use disorder. And they will be inspired by all the ways that she’s grown and the ways that she continues to move through her grief and support her daughter as well in that process.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah. That’s amazing. What about our last person that we’re going to feature in this season. Her name is Paris.

Amy Stapleton:

Paris. Paris is just pure joy. You can’t sit in a room with Paris and not feel joyful, not feel happy. It’s just who she is in the world. And meeting Paris at one of the hardest times in her life, there was still that piece of joy that always came through. She lost her mom very suddenly, was with her mom as she died. And as a young adult in high school, her whole world changed in that instant, in unbelievable ways. She and her sister had to move. They had to change schools. Their entire family structure was reconfigured in a split second.

Tammy Turner:

Wow.

Amy Stapleton:

And Paris, she’s determined.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah.

Amy Stapleton:

When I think of resiliency, I think of Paris.

Tammy Turner:

That’s amazing.

Amy Stapleton:

I think of somebody just kind of looking in the face of hardship and not being defined by it.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

Saying, “Yeah, I know this is going to be hard, and I know this is going to cost something, but I have a goal.”

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

“I have a focus, I have a reason to be here.” And I think you’ll get that energy when you hear Paris. It just comes through loud and clear in everything she does.

Tammy Turner:

That’s awesome. So we have these three episodes to look forward to. And the focus for this season is, as we said, talking about stories of hope and resilience with sort of the mindset of younger adults. So that’s sort of where we’re generating. These are stories from people that are younger ages or their loss happened at a younger age. So I think it’s going to be really awesome to hear what they have to say.

Amy Stapleton:

Me too, Tammy. And I really want to acknowledge what it takes for these women to show up and do this. Not only is it courageous and shows a lot of vulnerability, but I think more than anything for young adults, grief gets dismissed. It kind of gets disenfranchised and people kind of think, “Oh, you’re young. You’ll get over it.” Or, “You have the rest of your life ahead of you.” It’s just way too easy as a society and culture to dismiss the very reality that these teens, these young adults, are facing. And so I think you’ll hear they come to this with a lot of maturity, a lot of wisdom. This clearly has impacted their life now, but will always be a part of their life.

Tammy Turner:

Right.

Amy Stapleton:

We think of grief as not something to get over.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah.

Amy Stapleton:

It’s something that we move through. It becomes a part of us. And these stories, I think you’ll hear that thread, how it’s really become a part of their lives and will again be a part of who they are moving forward.

Tammy Turner:

Yeah. Well, I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to, so for our next episode, that will be next week, our very first episode, be sure to listen in and hear Parker’s story. So that’ll be episode number one. Thanks Amy for chatting. And we’ll talk again soon, I’m sure.

Amy Stapleton:

Sounds good, Tammy. Take good care.

Speaker 1:

Grief From The Other Side podcast is made possible thanks to the generous support from the John and Cathy Belcher Institute. For more information on grief and loss services, visit ChesapeakeLifeCenter.org, or call (888) 501-7077.

 

 

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