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For Those We Lost

Author: Jennifer Sullivan

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In this podcast, people share their stories of losing a loved one to COVID. Each episode is one person's story of losing someone they love. In these long-form interviews, we talk about grief, loss, the pandemic, healing and taking action. I am your host, Jennifer Sullivan, and I lost my mom to COVID in August 2020. I had no control over what happened and it wrecked me. This podcast is my hope, my light at the end of the tunnel, and my way of making sure that no one ever forgets about those we lost to COVID.
11 Episodes
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Maria in New Jersey

Maria in New Jersey

2021-12-0801:29:26

Episode 11. Maria in New JerseyIn this episode I'll be talking to Maria in New Jersey. Maria lost her father to COVID in October of 2020, just a few days after he'd retired to Costa Rica. When vaccines were announced to the public in early 2021, Maria tried to get her mom, her husband and herself on the list to be vaccinated and had trouble making the appointments. Once she figured out how to navigate New Jersey's online scheduling system, Maria made it her mission to help as many seniors as possible get their vaccination appointments.  She thought to herself, how could my dad have done this? And so she helped others in her dad's honor. Here are some links to the news articles about Maria's service to her community, but as she said to me, she'd give up all that publicity to have her dad back. https://www.facebook.com/TheDrewBarrymoreShow/videos/542150353434802/https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/health/a35589162/new-jersey-facebook-group-covid-vaccine-appointments/For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on October 5, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Marilyn in Arizona

Marilyn in Arizona

2021-11-2401:13:53

Episode 10. Marilyn in ArizonaIn this episode I talk to Marilyn in Phoenix, Arizona. Marilyn is a science teacher and her husband works in science research. She talks about knowing how bad COVID was going to be and the choices her family made at the beginning of the pandemic to keep everyone safe. And they did such a good job. Despite all their efforts, Marilyn's family got COVID. Marilyn lost her mother to COVID in March of 2021 after a long hospital stay. This episode really got me and even now as I write this I am struck by the time and love Marilyn gave to her mother. Her mom spent quite a long time in the hospital on a ventilator and Marilyn took the time to read to her and talk to her via Facetime even though her mom could not talk back. One thing, among many, that stands out in this interview is that Marilyn pushed for her mother to be retested for COVID after she'd spent weeks in the COVID ICU and when that test came back negative, her mother was moved and her family was able to visit her in person in the hospital. I learn so much from every guest on the show and Marilyn was no different. For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on September 24, 2021.Marilyn mentions COVID Connections. You can find information on those support groups here: https://covidsurvivorsforchange.org/survivor-resources/She also mentioned the Marked by COVID network. You can find out more about them here: https://www.markedbycovid.com/ Marilyn wrote a beautiful tribute to her mom and sent it to me. Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Marilyn's mom was devoted to her family, I wanted to share what she wrote here: What is there to say about losing the singular most important person in your life?I’ll start off by sharing the note I would give to the ICU nurses and staff:Dear Nurses and ICU staff, All nurses and the one’s caring for my mother Maria in room number 219. She’s a sweet lady that loves to spend time with her grandkids. She always would start conversations with anyone and everyone and always tried to leave that person feeling seen, cared for, and happy. My mom is that type of person. We would like nothing more in this world to keep Maria in this world as she truly is someone who makes it a better place and helps others. Thank you for all that you do. I am well aware of the circumstances you each are working in everyday as I have family members who are in the medical field nationwide. Our nation wouldn’t be surviving this pandemic without each and every one of you and the effort you put forth each day. You all are true real life heroes. I hope you can enjoy this small token of appreciation I have for each and every one of you. COVID friendly air hug and hand to the heart in immense gratitude,Maria Alcoba (room 219), her daughter Marilyn Raming, and the rest of our family and friends.It was important that the nurses and people caring for my mother knew the type of person she was and how much she meant to us. It makes it more humanizing and not just another person in the ICU. I would always make a point to share a story about my mother to the nurses caring for my mother. My brother, father, and I did everything we could to oversee my mothers care. We never thought we could’ve contracted COVID since we were all so careful and so close to receiving our vaccines. We all got COVID around mid-January. Around that time my mother would our children, Harrison and Logan, since I was teaching virtually. I saw my mother feel more fatigued as the days progressed, Wren decided to get tested since we were feeling quite off as a family. We got the news that we all had contracted COVID the evening of January 17th. I was worried about my
Jill in Los Angeles

Jill in Los Angeles

2021-11-1001:00:36

Episode 9. Jill in Los AngelesJill lost her father to COVID in April 2020 near the beginning of the pandemic. Jill lives in Los Angeles and her father lived in Chicago. He was very active in the local community and her family thinks that he was probably exposed to COVID quite early before there were any real protocols in place. Jill's dad developed COVID pneumonia and from the moment he went into the hospital in March until the day he passed away he was on a ventilator. Jill talks about her experience losing her dad from a distance and talking to her dad and her family via Facetime while he was in the hospital just hoping he could hear them. She talks about her grief and how it doesn't yet seem really real to her that her dad is gone. Even a year and a half later.  We also talk about how grief has changed Jill and made her more open to being there for others in their trying times, when before she might have shied away.  I can completely relate to that feeling, too, so we explore that and how grief has changed us. Jill mentions the COVID Connections group.  You can find out more about those weekly meetings at at COVID Survivors for Change. https://covidsurvivorsforchange.org/survivor-resources/For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on September 22, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Lisa in Indiana

Lisa in Indiana

2021-10-2701:40:33

Episode 8. Lisa in IndianaLisa from Indiana shares her story of losing her dad to COVID in March of 2021.  We talk about so much in this episode and it's a long one, but there was no part of it I wanted to cut out. Lisa had to rehome her dad's dogs, take care of her mother, make the medical decisions for her father's care while he was in the hospital, and she had to decide when to turn off his life-support. As she says in this episode, her dad was her person. And it's clear from every word Lisa says that she was her dad's person right back. This episode does include some talk that may be triggering, including medical descriptions of hospital procedure, how a person changes while they are in a medical coma and also some discussion about how hard it is to continue to want to live when someone you lost is gone. Lisa mentions how she created an Instagram account to talk about her grief.  You can find that at https://www.instagram.com/adaughter.survivinggrief.  Lisa also talks about the website whowelostusa.org and how you can submit your loved ones story there. She also mentions Rami's Heart COVID-19 Memorial. You can follow that memorial on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Covid19MemorialRamisheart/For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on September 8, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Lauren in New Jersey

Lauren in New Jersey

2021-10-1357:39

Episode 7. Lauren in New JerseyWhen I started this podcast, I was angry that my mom died in a COVID outbreak in her nursing home. I was so focused on that that I didn't think about the people who worked there. Thank goodness for Lauren who reached out to me to tell her mom's story. Lauren's mom was a CNA in a nursing home in Connecticut.  When the pandemic started their family decided to all isolate so that Lauren's mom could go into her work and know she was doing her best to keep the residents she worked with safe. Lauren and her mom sacrificed so much time with each other. They sacrificed holidays and birthdays and hugs and in November of 2020 Lauren's mom was exposed again to COVID, but this time she tested positive. Lauren's story is a powerful one of love, sacrifice and loss. But there is hope here for all of us as we see another side to this pandemic. For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on July 2, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Rima in New Jersey

Rima in New Jersey

2021-09-2901:14:48

Episode 6. Rima in New JerseyRima lost her brother to COVID on May 10, 2020 which happened to be Mother's Day.  Rima shares her story with us in this episode and also talks so openly about how difficult it is to watch her mother's grief at losing a son on Mother's Day. To honor her brother's life, Rima started the Rami's Heart COVID-19 Memorial on January 25, 2021, on what would have been her brother's 41st birthday.  She posted to her personal social media and asked if anyone else would like her to write a family members name on rocks and take it out to the beach.  She received some names from people in her community and had a lovely, small candle lighting service on the beach.  But then more and more people started sending Rima their family members names.  What began as one heart on the beach in New Jersey, became two and then four and then ten.  It grew too big to keep there and summer weather could have damaged it.  Rima became instrumental in moving the hearts, very carefully, to a permanent location. You can read more about this amazing memorial here: https://theomahastar.com/syndicate/grassroots-memorials-remember-u-s-covid-19-deaths-while-push-is-on-for-national-monument/ And you can also read about her memorial and the national movement to create a national memorial here: https://time.com/6095659/memorializing-covid-19-tragedy/If you would like to donate to the memorial you can do that here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ramis-heart-covid19-memorialYou can also follow her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Covid19MemorialRamisheart/You can email the memorial ramisheart@gmail.comThe memorial is still taking names.  If you would like to submit your family member's name, please send an email or contact her via Facebook. For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on July 14, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Kpana in New York City

Kpana in New York City

2021-09-1501:03:11

Episode 5. Kpana in New York CityThis is an amazing episode and I'm so glad Kpana shared her story with me.  Kpana and her family lost her mother last May around Mother's Day. She has three other siblings and they each took different roles in their mother's care, her end of life and afterward. There are so many good threads to follow in this episode, for example, Kpana and her family used a shared Google Doc to keep each other updated on what was happening at their mom's facility.  That's something I'd never thought to do. Kpana also talks about how her family each experienced their mother's death differently, how their grief is different and that's OK. Finally, Kpana shares her involvements in COVID loss groups online and the ways that she is working through her feelings and able to help other's whose loss in more recent.  For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on July 25, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Sam in Arizona

Sam in Arizona

2021-09-0101:04:18

Episode 4. Sam in ArizonaSam lost her father last September to COVID and she shares her story with us in this episode. Her father spent 64 days in a hospital ICU and the experience Sam had with the hospital, the video calls and the lack of control led her to raise money to purchase tablets for her local hospitals and eventually to found a non-profit that focuses on family centered, holistic care.  Sam opens up about so much in this episode, her walk through grief, she speaks from her nursing experience and she emphasizes the importance of treating the entire person (their faith, their family, their health and their values) during their care. You can learn more about her non-profit here: https://www.speakinglife4u.org/You can reach her directly at SpeakingLife4LovedOnes@gmail.comFor context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on July 12, 2021.If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!
Rosie in Texas

Rosie in Texas

2021-08-1801:11:15

Thanks for listening to episode 3 of For Those We Lost.  Rosie comes to us from Texas and is the founder of Yellow Heart Memorial. Rosie lost her mom in the spring of 2020 and afterward she sought out a way to heal. She reached out to a young woman who was painting yellow hearts with images of those lost to COVID and asked for a picture of her mom.  That became the Yellow Heart Memorial, which has grown to local memorials all over the United States.  To find out more please visit: https://www.yellowheartmemorial.com/You can join the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/862267707921451/And you can follow the Yellow Heart Memorial on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yellowheartmemorial/You can also reach the memorial via email at yellowheartmemorial@gmail.com. For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on June 11, 2021.If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!---Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100588Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Maureen in Washington

Maureen in Washington

2021-08-1101:04:07

Episode 2.  Maureen in Washington.In this episode of For Those We Lost, I'm going to be talking to Maureen in the state of Washington.  Maureen lost her husband last summer and she shares her story, what she's doing now and she even shares her experiences losing her brother during the AIDS epidemic and how that loss helped prepare her for talking to people about COVID now.For context on this interview and the ever-changing pandemic, we recorded this episode on June 10, 2021. If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. This episode is also on YouTube if you would like to watch it with captions: https://youtu.be/ViilHvgEfY4Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!
Introduction

Introduction

2021-08-1110:16

Welcome to episode 1. The introduction. This episode answers the basics ... what this show is about, why I started it and how you can share.If you've lost a loved one to COVID and would like to share your story on the show, please send me an email.  My email address is forthosewelostpodcast@gmail.com. Or go to the website forthosewelostpodcast.com and click on contact button and you can reach me that way as well. All episodes are written and produced by me and all music is used under the protection of fair use. This episode is also on YouTube if you would like to watch it with captions: https://youtu.be/afuzFEAsLl8Our brand new social media accounts can be found:Twitter:   twitter.com/forthosewelostpInstagram: instagram.com/forthosewelostpodcastFacebook: facebook.com/forthosewelostpodcastUntil next time!
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