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Grief: On Death and Dying, the Emotional Journey, and Even Joy with Sarah Davis – TMP 057

Grief. It’s a delicate topic, and one particularly profound and prescient, given the current state of the world.

This episode is about coming to terms with death and dying, on witnessing our loved ones pass away, and on the complex emotional journey.

But our discussion is compounded by the fact that right now, we’re not only grieving those we love, but also our own lives and comfortable routines that have been ripped away. And it would seem almost certain that the world we knew won’t simply return in the same way. As much as this could be a good thing on a lot of levels, we may inevitably face the permanent loss of joys and pleasures that we loved.

It’s a discussion that we’ve had in mind for a while here on The MultiPod, but we waited for the right moment to tackle it, and the right guest to do it with.

We have that guest for you today: Sarah Davis, who has taken her own experience with grief – “grief that takes your breath away” – and turned it into a passionate study on what grief is, how we mourn, and how we can help others, each in their own way along their own journey.

To that end, Sarah launched the Breathing Wind podcast in early 2020 featuring individuals who have experienced intense grief, specifically the loss of one or both parents. On Breathing Wind, she allows her guests to tell their stories, find their comfort levels and share their emotions, and help others find solace in the common experience of grief.

She joins us today to share her experiences and insight, as we broach this topic head-on, complete with all three hosts of The MultiPod: Sara, Vanessa, and Ted, who each add their own perspectives.

It is a peaceful conversation, and one that we hope will give you some comfort in this difficult time.

As Sarah explains, grief is not by any means all about sadness and despair. There can indeed be great joy and contentment as part of the process, and our challenge is to externalize it and find comfort with others, even if we are unable to do so in-person.

Topics & Timestamps

  • [0:39] – Ted introduces our topic: grief, and why it’s particularly poignant right now.
  • [4:35] – We start by talking about a huge misconception with grief: that it’s not all about sadness and loss. You can even feel great joy when you’re in the middle of grief.
  • [5:13] – What brought Sarah to tackle this emotionally heavy subject so deeply, and throw herself into it.
  • [9:33] – The number of people who responded after Sarah posted on Facebook, asking if anyone had stories to share about grief.
  • [11:18] – How does Sarah, as a host, deal with listening to and discussing the emotional stories of her guests?
  • [16:45] – What has Sarah learned about grief that has most surprised her?
  • [20:08] – How much does grief stick with us through the rest of our lives? Sarah talks about the “waves of grief.”
  • [23:36] – Ted talks about processing death, the end of a life and the completion of a person’s story. But also the struggle to comprehend what it will be like when immediate family is gone, for those who have not experienced that yet.
  • [26:52] – How death, loss and grieving is compounded now by the reality of physical distancing, and the inability to gather in person for funerals and memorials.
  • [29:17] – Grief comes in many forms, not just grieving the loss of life but the loss of life as we know it, especially during massive change and turmoil. Our world is barelling into this right now. What can we do to help prepare ourselves? Sarah: “Once you know grief, you can see it in others, and understand the empathy. You flex that muscle.”
  • [33:54] – Sarah talks about forms of connection happening now, to give people the chance to share and express their grief together, and not internalize it. These include a group called the “Grief Tenders” that gathers online, the act of sharing messages with family and contacts of someone who recently passed away, online vigils, communal chats.
  • [41:12] – A final thought: death is as much about life as it is about death. At the core is love, which can continue beyond death.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode