DiscoverThe Silent WhyLoss 41/101: Loss without a body: Lisa Kolb Ruland
Loss 41/101: Loss without a body: Lisa Kolb Ruland

Loss 41/101: Loss without a body: Lisa Kolb Ruland

Update: 2023-02-21


#065. How is grieving the loss of a loved one different when there's no physical body to bury, cremate or identify? How is getting 'closure' impacted when a body of a loved one isn't recovered?

This is The Silent Why, a podcast on a mission to open up conversations around loss and grief and to see if hope can be found in 101 different types of permanent loss.

Loss #41 of 101 - Loss without a body

Meet Lisa Kolb Ruland, from Washington DC, a former New York Prosecutor, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America’s baking and pastry program, and now a food writer and editor of the website - Unpeeled Journal - where she also writes about grief and loss.

Lisa married the outdoors-loving Eric in 2012, but less than two years later he died in a mountain climbing tragedy - along with five other climbers - on  Mount Rainier near Seattle. Although three bodies were later recovered, Eric's body was sadly not one of them.

In this chat Lisa helps us understand the complexities of grieving through, not only sudden loss, but also ambiguous loss. She talks about the importance of the rituals following death and how their absence for her only added to her grief. She also shares very personal things she did to try and feel like any part of Eric was near her, and shares her experiences of finding love again, with her now-husband, and also widowed, Brodie.

Lisa's story is one of horrific sudden loss - in more ways than just the bereavement itself - but it's also a story full of hope, love and wisdom.

This is Lisa's second interview on the podcast, her first 'Let's Chat... Food and Grief' Episode (#59) can be found on any podcast player or at:

For more about Lisa visit:
You can find her food writing and Food + Grief Project at:

And to read about how the second year of being a widow can actually be harder, visit this link:


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More about the hosts, our childless journey, photos of guests, blog, and official 101 losses list:

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Loss 41/101: Loss without a body: Lisa Kolb Ruland

Loss 41/101: Loss without a body: Lisa Kolb Ruland

Chris Sandys, Claire Sandys, Lisa Kolb Ruland