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The Mindfulness & Grief Podcast
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The Mindfulness & Grief Podcast

Author: Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

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The Mindfulness and Grief Podcast series, hosted by author and thanatologist Heather Stang, features compassionate insights for coping with grief and life after loss. Designed for bereaved people and grief professionals, you will learn how a mindful approach to grief can help you deal with difficult emotions, cultivate self-care and self-compassion, and honor the relationship that remains. May these teachings be of great benefit. To learn more about Mindfulness and Grief visit the website at http://mindfulnessandgrief.com.
23 Episodes
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Let’s face it, the winter holidays can be particularly tough on us when we are grieving.  What is supposed to be the happiest time of the year is anything but, as we are constantly reminded that someone is missing. During this episode author and thanatologist Heather Stang shares her favorite tips for coping with grief during the holidays to help you reduce your suffering, weave in the memory of your loved one, and approach this holiday season mindfully.
Grief is a natural and healthy reaction, but if you are like most people, healthy is not a word you would use to describe how you eat or sleep when in the throes of loss. The stress of grief disrupts our sleep cycle, incites cravings for comfort food, and does not usually inspire physical activity. While this is normal behavior in the early period of loss, the sooner we can start taking care of our physical body, the sooner it will become our ally in our mental and emotional health. In this episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, yoga teacher and wellness expert Jason Wendroff-Rawnicki shares how the death of his sister, Lauren, inspired him to live more fully and honor his lifelong mission of helping others. He offers helpful tips on how to get more sleep, work wholesome foods into your diet, movement into your day, and how smelling something good via aromatherapy can radically shift your mood. We even discuss how media - social and otherwise - can help or hurt your ability to regain emotional balance after loss. Don't let all this talk of health and wellness scare you off - both Jason and I know grief is hard! But if you pick just one or two things to try from this episode (which is chocked full of health tips for grief), you will be taking the first and most important step to helping yourself reengage with life after loss. There is no one-sized-fits-all solution for health and well-being, but there are some time-tested tips and tricks that work. Jason closes by sharing a little about being a bereaved sibling, as well as some insights he gained from presenting with his wife at the Compassionate Friends Conference. If you have questions or comments, or would like to connect with Jason, use the links below! Jason closes by sharing a little about being a bereaved sibling, as well as some insights he gained from presenting with his wife at the Compassionate Friends Conference. If you have questions or comments, or would like to connect with Jason, use the links below! Or visit him at the Shine Yoga Center in Cliffside Park, NJ. Reach out to Jason Wendroff-Rawnicki: Email with Questions or for a Free 30 Minute Wellness Consultation with Jason! Connect with Jason on Facebook Jason's Essential Oils Website Shine Yoga Center Facebook Page Twitter Instagram
Coping with your own grief when a spouse dies is hard enough. But what do you do when on top of that you need to raise a grieving family, get everyone to school on time, pay all the bills, and run the household all on your own? These are just some of the challenges widowed parents face. While grief professionals may offer helpful insights, our guest and psychologist Dr. Justin Yopp explains why peer support groups for widowed parents may be one of the most helpful resources for bereaved fathers and mothers. This episode is for widowed parents who are looking for inspiration and practical advice on parenting after loss. Based on insights gained by facilitating widowed parenting groups and academic research, Dr. Yopp offers compassionate guidance that respects each individual's journey. His book, The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life, is based on the “Single Fathers Due to Cancer” project, a group facilitated by Dr. Yopp and his colleague Donald L. Rosenstein at the University of North Carolina. They now collaborate with other colleagues at UNC to run The Widowed Parent project, which is committed to supporting widowed mothers and fathers with children in the home. Proceeds from The Group are all donated back into the project in order to benefit the families. Learn More about Justin Yopp and the Widowed Parent Project: Widowed Parent Website Widowed Father's Facebook Page Widowed Parents on Twitter Widowed Parent Story on YouTube
Learn how the yogic chakras can help you navigate grief and trauma, whether you believe in them or not! In the 20th episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, Karla Helbert explains how the chakra system can act as a model (or metaphor) to help us understand the energetic response to grief and trauma. She also shares tips to find balance during this chaotic time, and even closes the podcast with a guided meditation you can try at home (but not if you are driving please!). Just like having a map or GPS can help you when you are lost in the woods, a system to help you cope with grief can help you feel less overwhelmed and frightened when the tsunami hits. Going beyond the outdated prescribed stages of grief, the Chakras in Grief and Trauma can help you learn to grow through, rather than heal from, your loss. Rooted in her own experience of being a bereaved mother, as well as her yoga training and years of helping others through loss as a licensed professional counselor, Karla Helbert is the author of the Chakras In Grief and Trauma,  Yoga for Grief and Loss, and Finding Your Way To Grieve: A Creative Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum. Learn More about Karla Helbert: Author/Speaker Website Facebook Twitter Instagram
In the 19th episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, R. Glenn Kelly (Ron) shares on the job self-care tips, as well insights into how business leaders and colleagues alike can cultivate a grief-literate work environment. A bereaved father and business leader, Ron is the author several books, including Grief in the Workplace and Sometimes I Cry In The Shower. For some, work can feel like a safe haven, a normal experience in the midst of the worst time in your life. But for most of us, the two or five days of  bereavement leave just isn't enough. The reality is that most of us have to earn a paycheck whether we feel like it or not. After a major loss, work may feel like the last place any of us wants to be. There are many challenges that were not present before, including debilitating brain fog, uncontrollable emotional swells, preoccupation with our loved one and the business of grief, not to mention the unskillful platitudes offered by well-meaning but ill informed colleagues. Over 4 Million active U.S. employees experience the death of a spouse, life-partner, or child every year. Research indicates that in addition to the pain the employee feels, companies are losing an estimated $100 billion in direct and indirect costs due to staff bereavement. But this statistic does mean there has to be a battle between employee and employer. In fact, with Ron's help, organizations like Delta Airlines have found ways to support their bereaved employees that benefit both company, employee, and the people they serve, and cultivating compassion and care along the way. Learn More about R. Glenn Kelly: Author/Speaker Website Facebook Twitter Grief in the Workplace: Recover Hidden Revenue and Productivity Loss Driven by Employee Bereavement and Grief Sometimes I Cry In The Shower: A Grieving Father's Journey To Wholeness And Healing
Kim Colegrove is the founder of the PauseFirst Project, which offers Mindfulness for First Responders, and was founded in honor of her husband, Special Agent David M. Colegrove, who died by suicide in 2014. Kim learned the practice of transcendental meditation at the age of ten. After her husband's death, Kim used her practice to cope with her own grief and loss. Now, with more than 40 years of practice under her belt, she is helping police, firefighters, EMS, paramedics, dispatchers, corrections officers, and other first responders cope with the daily stress and trauma of the job.  Whether you are a first responder or not, we all experience personal and public tragedies that can leave our assumptive world shaken if not completely destroyed. This conversation explores how mindfulness can help us all build resilience and take one step closer to a more peaceful society. Thank you Kim for doing this true Warrior Work!  PauseFirst Links Facebook Twitter Website Publishizer (Book)
At the age of 38, Claire Hoffman became a widow when her husband experienced a drug overdose. A mother of one, Claire describes this event as having a butterfly effect over her entire world. In an effort to cope with the loss and gain wisdom and insight, Claire has gathered together grief experts from around the world for the Liberate Your Grief Spotcast, a 5 day event offering hope and healing to anyone who has experienced a major loss. Learn more about Claire at http://liberateyourgrief.com.
Pet loss is often a grief dismissed by people who have not formed a deep bond with an animal, but those of us who have non-human best friend know the love and heartache that comes when a special pet dies. In the sixteenth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast we explore our deep love for our pets, why we mourn them,  and how they can help us feel connected to our deceased loved ones when they are alive. Guest Dave Roberts, LMSW, shares how two cats, Bootsy & Angel, helped him cope with the death of his daughter, and the impact their deaths had on him.   About Dave Roberts, LMSW Dave Roberts, LMSW, is an author and founder of Bootsy & Angel Books, LLC, and most importantly, the father of Jeannine, who died of a rare form of cancer when she was 18. Dave supports other grieving parents through his work with The Compassionate Friends, in his private practice, and through writing, speaking, and teaching in the psychology department at Utica College. Learn more about Dave at Bootsy & Angel Books, LLC., where you can also purchase his book on pet loss and holiday grief. Read David's Article, 3 Reasons Why Pet Owners Repeatedly Visit the World of Grief, and find him on Facebook and Twitter.
In the fifteenth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, we dive deep into the world of grief and dreams with author and grief dream researcher Joshua Black, Ph.D. If you have ever wanted to know more about your grief dreams, or have wondered why you have not had one yet, this episode is for you. Dr. Black shares the three different types of dreams that occur after loss, plus the different themes that have emerged in his studies of spouse/partner loss, pet loss, and prenatal loss related dreams. You will also learn tips and techniques that can help both children and adults use their grief dreams - or desired grief dreams - to do very important grief work.  Learn more about Grief Dreams at http://griefdreams.ca, and be sure to listen to the Grief Dreams Podcast, hosted by this week's guest, Joshua Black, Ph.D. Grief Dreams Website Grief Dreams Podcast Grief Dreams Facebook Page Dreaming of Owl Book
In the fourteenth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, I interview Jan Warner, author of Grief Day by Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living With Loss. During this episode, Jan shares how her deep love for her husband Artie lives on, how to deal with people who just don't understand, and how Grief Day by Day can help you become your own "grief whisperer." What I love about this interview with Jan is her honest and unfiltered view of life after loss that balances the reality of the pain of loss with the love and levity that helps you continue to live on - with their memory right by your side. The book itself is a fantastic resource - easy to read and offered in small, daily bites that will help you take the next best step for you. About Jan Warner When my husband died I thought I would sadly miss him. Instead I was devastated. After the first chaotic year I began to rebuild my life by honoring him. I became available to grieving people the way he, as a recovering alcoholic, was available to alcoholics and addicts. I wrote a blog. Five years ago, I started a FB page, Grief Speaks Out at www.Facebook.com/GriefSpeaksOut. It is a loving, supportive international community of 2.4 million people. My book, Grief Day By Day: Simple Practices and Daily Guidance for Living With Loss has been called a soothing balm for a wound and an outstretched hand in friendship.  I have a Master's in Counseling Degree and have studied NLP, and hypnotherapy. In becoming fully alive with grief I have produced documentary films and an off-Broadway play. I’m a vagabond who has been to all seven continents. I love being a grandmother.    
In the thirteenth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, I interview Molly Hicks, music therapist and bereavement counselor with Penn Wissahickon Hospice in the Philadelphia, PA area, where she serves adult bereavement clients through individual counseling and support groups. During this episode, Molly shares the principles of music therapy, and how music can help you cope with grief and express how you really feel. 13:22 minutes in, you will also get to hear Molly's original recording of Call in the Light, a song, in Molly's words that is "about darkness and light, which is very common in a lot of music and a lot of songs....the person who is grieving can call in a source of light from themselves and also from the memories that they share with their loved one and the bonds that they still have with that loved one." The lyrics are available below! Along with music therapy interventions, Molly also uses her background as a yoga teacher to incorporate gentle poses and mindfulness techniques into her sessions. Additionally, she supports bereaved children and teens each year at Camp Erin Philadelphia, through the visual and performing arts. Molly holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She earned her Hospice & Palliative Care Music Therapy (HPMT) certificate in 2011. Molly has presented at regional and national conferences of the American Music Therapy Association, on such varied topics as clinical songwriting, cultivating therapeutic presence, and addressing compassion fatigue. Since 2012, Molly has been a member of the Allied Therapies Steering Committee of the National Coalition of Hospice and Palliative Professionals (NCHPP).
In the eleventh episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, I interview Laurie Cameron, author of The Mindful Day, founder of Purpose Blue, and certified meditation teacher. She shares mindful ways we can navigate the emotions that accompany grief, reconnect with ourselves, and continue to relate to the people in our lives that we mourn. Learn more about Laurie Cameron and join her community at at http://www.lauriejcameron.com. Show Notes from Heather Grief can make us feel like our loved ones have been ripped from our life. It can also make us feel like we are no longer even sure of who we are now that this great loss has occurred. And while it is true that our loved ones are no longer physically present in the same way they were before, and we often yearn for them to be back by our side, the relationship continues. Just in a very different way. How often to we think of the imprint someone we loved has left on our heart? Or imagine what they would have thought, done or said as we gaze at a new child, get our first acceptance letter, or learn how to drive a car. One of the things we can to do help ourselves navigate grief is to relearn how to connect with our self and our departed ancestors and loved ones. It is important for us to find a way to continue our story, even though the plot-line has changed dramatically. Mindfulness can help with that, and Laurie Cameron has some compassionate insights and practices that can help us do both. I first found out about Laurie Cameron when my Local Book Store, Curious Iguana, asked me to introduce her at a book signing event for her new release, The Mindful Day. The book itself is designed to help you weave mindfulness into your normal, everyday life, even as you commute, go to work, and interact with friends and family. A lovely premise in and of itself, and the book is well written and a fun read. But what really drew me to the book is her story of love and loss, that is offered right up front in the introduction. And what draws me to her is the way she relates to her losses, and to her life. Laurie is no stranger to loss. She witnessed her father’s death by heart attack when she was a junior in high school. About fifteen years later, she became a student of Thich Nhat Hahn, the beloved Vietnamese Monk. I started going on retreats and deepening my practice and when I was nine months pregnant with my only child, Ava Grace, my brother Johnny suddenly died. Within the space of three weeks, I lost Johnny and experienced the most searing grief I'd ever known. And then at the same time, the most exquisite joy I've ever experienced. So I had the depth of the love both ends of the continuum mixed together. Later, her other brother died, followed by her mother just seven years ago. Laurie uses her mindfulness practice, as well as practices to help her stay connected to her loved ones to cope with an overwhelming amount of personal loss. She uses what we often call embodied mindfulness to pay attention to the physical signs that a wave of grief is about to arises: So by practicing over time tuning into my body, just really having a sense of the sematic signals or the body signals I can feel the grief coming or the sadness coming and then I, and then I can do something about it. So often what I would do is just simply breathe or take a walk. I love being in nature really grounds me and almost nourishes me like a mother Earth Hug. So really what I've experienced is that a step one is accessing an inner calm. That doesn't mean that I'm pushing away the emotion or denying it or avoiding it. It's just almost like an oxygen mask on myself. Just feeling the breath tuning into my body and just allowing myself, meeting myself with kindness in that moment and just generating calm. And then mindfulness helped me to relate to my experience with kind of a wider perspective. Despite the great losses she has faced, Laurie herself is still very much fully alive and awake to this one precious life: These losses continue to remind me of the beauty and the fragility of life. And I also really deeply appreciate my mindfulness practice in helping me navigate that. I am grateful for the wisdom Laurie shares with us in this podcast. I hope you find her words as helpful as I do!
In the tenth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, I interview Maria Mora, a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian. She shares ways we can help our body help itself by giving it the proper nutrition, and how we can use self-compassion to work with an eating disorder or disordered eating during grief.  When we have had a major loss, nourishing our body can feel like a struggle. Many of us will feel nauseous just at the thought of food, while others will use food to distract from difficult emotions, or swing back and forth between the two. If you are dealing with an eating disorder or disordered eating, it can be critical that you give your body the food and self-compassion you need to create a solid foundation for healing. Learn more about Maria Mora at http://www.integratedeating.com/.
In the ninth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, we learn helpful and compassionate ways we can help children cope with grief. More importantly, we learn how to help them help themselves, so they can build coping skills that will last a lifetime.  Jana DeCristofaro, LCSW and Community Response Program Coordinator of The Dougy Center shares her wisdom on Children & Grief, including how peer support can empower children, and the many ways we can help at home and at school. Find resources for Children & Grief at The Dougy Center's Web Site , and be sure to listen to their Grief Out Loud Podcast, hosted by this week's guest, Jana DeCristofaro.
Hope Zvara has turned her suffering into a mission: Help Others Purposefully Excel by using the three Bs: Breathe, Body, and Belief. In this episode, you will learn how Hope turned to yoga and mindfulness to help her overcome her struggle with bulimia as a young woman, and manage the pain after her first born daughter Faith died only twenty minutes after her birth. Listen and then learn more about Hope & her work at http://hopezvara.com.
Meditation for grief can help you cope with the pain and overwhelming emotions of loss, provide much needed self-care, as well as find new footing in your very changed world. It may even lead to posttraumatic growth. Author Heather Stang discusses the second edition of her book, Mindfulness & Grief, with guest host Karla Helbert. Learn more about Heather & her work at http://mindfulnessandgrief.com.
When her husband died unexpectedly while on vacation together, Claudia Coenen felt as though she was hovering above herself, thinking "Your life has radically changed, now what?" She used every resource - journaling, poetry, crafts, dancing and moving meditation - and eventually studied grief theory and counseling. In the sixth episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, Claudia, offers creative and compassionate practices from her new book, Shattered by Grief: Picking Up the Pieces to Become WHOLE Again, and the Karuna Cards deck, which contains 52 exercises and prompts to help you cope with grief and difficult life transitions. Claudia is a Fellow in Thanatology, Certified Grief Counselor, and offers private sessions online and in Hudson, NY. Learn more about her at https://www.thekarunaproject.com.
Learn inspiring ways to celebrate family & friends and the importance of actively engaging in your grief-work from Allison Gilbert, author of Passed & Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive and Emmy Award Winning Journalist. Learn more about Allison and subscribe to her newsletter at http://allisongilbert.com.
Renee Nickell, Author of Always My Hero, shares how equine therapy & evening devotions help her find hope & healing following her brother's death in Afghanistan. Learn more about her at http://reneenickell.com.
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Comments (3)

JessicaVR

Thank you for this episode. I am a vivid dreamer. Whenever I dream of my friends and loved ones who have died, I thank them for visiting. This is especially true with my daughter who died last August. I encourage her to visit me often, and I thank her when she does, just as I thank her living siblings when they call me. Heather and Josh, you are helping so many with your work. Thanks and Namaste.

Mar 25th
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JessicaVR

Thank you for this very important podcast. I have been working through the book as I process the loss of my youngest child. Almost immediately, i turned to meditation and yoga, and found much comfort in those practices. Hearing the stories of how many have experienced grief and then became grief counselors is very inspiring. Namaste.

Sep 6th
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