Ep. 118 How Travel Helped My Grief

Learn how travel can provide a “safe container” for healing grief and loss.

PodcastGriefTravel

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In this episode I’ll share my own insights into how the experience of travel can help with the process of grief. This is also the subject of the new book I’m writing (I did research for it on my recent trip to Italy) … I’ll share a brief overview here!

You can check out all of my Italy photos on Instagram!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

virtualdeathcafecroppedEach month I host a “Virtual Death Cafe” with fascinating conversations about death, grief and the end of life. Anyone can join by telephone or online. You can learn more about it at www.eoluniversity.com/death-cafe.

Also, if you missed Death Expo earlier this month you can still access the replays at this link: www.eoluniversity.com/de17speakers.

Patreonbecome2xThis podcast is supported through the generous donations of my patrons on Patreon.com/eolu. I’m sending a HUGE THANK YOU to all of my current supporters – your support makes a big difference! Join the fun for just $1 or $2 per month and you’ll receive the “Patrons Only” Q&A recording each month (Hospice Happy Hour!) Go to Patreon.com/eolu to learn more and sign up!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

During several of my travel experiences in the past I have been dealing with grief and have found the process of travel to be helpful. On one trip to Italy, my husband and I learned of the death of our brother-in-law on the day we arrived in Venice. Unable to cancel the rest of our trip and return home immediately, which we wanted to do, we stumbled through the remainder of the vacation and managed to make peace with our pain.

Here are some of my “takeaways” about how travel can help with grief:

  • Permission to wander aimlessly. On our Venice trip we canceled all of our sightseeing plans and activities. We started each day with a totally clean slate and just wandered the streets and canals of the city all day long. By following our intuition and our broken hearts we were able to enter into our grief without distraction or attachment. Had we been at home with family we would have felt obligated to “do something” and “be somewhere” but because we were traveling we were free of all expectations.
  • Seeing the big picture. Because we were freed up from the details of our daily life at home, we found more space to explore grief from a “trans-personal” perspective, as something bigger than just our own individual lives. Experiencing grief in another country allowed us to:
    • Recognize that all people, everywhere, experience the death of loved ones. Our mortality and the grief it causes us is the interconnecting thread that binds us to all of humanity.
    • Go deep into history. By visiting ancient ruins we can see that all of humankind, throughout history has dealt with the pain of loss and struggled to make peace with death. Our experience of grief is just one part of a vast “whole” picture of human loss.
  • Surrendering to grief to find joy within. As travelers “stuck” in another country even though we wanted to be home, we had no choice but to surrender to the pain that engulfed us. When we allowed grief to find a home within (and even “became” a living embodiment of grief) we also discovered a startling capacity for simple joy over the beauty of being alive. I’ve written this before: suffering hollows us out so that we can contain an even greater measure of joy … and also love.
  • Understanding impermanence. Strolling through cemeteries, relics and ruined structures of the past illustrated to me perfectly that everything that exists in the physical realm is impermanent and will one day dissolve away. Only love and the energy of life persist eternally. And it is the depth of the love we experience for others that causes the magnitude of pain we feel upon their deaths. Grief is one of the visible manifestations of love in the physical realm.
  • Learning how to navigate in unfamiliar territory. On our “grief trip” in Venice we simply wandered every day until we were hopelessly lost. We took in everything around us along the way–noticing all the colors and sounds and fragrances of life. And when we felt ready to return “home” we studied our maps to figure out where we were and to slowly find our way back to more familiar territory. This skill of navigating in the unknown will prove to be very helpful to us throughout life and especially during our own dying process as we struggle to get back to a home we can’t remember.

I hope you will take the opportunity to travel some day, even when you are experiencing grief, to experience the profound benefits it can offer!

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! If you enjoy this content, please share it with others and leave a review on iTunes! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear            BE Ready            Love Your Life

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Ep. 117 Grief Yoga with Paul Denniston

Learn how the practice of yoga can help heal acute and chronic grief.

PodcastDenniston

ALDennistoncroppedIn this episode I share an interview with yoga teacher Paul Denniston who has created a special workshop for healing grief using yoga and movement. He’ll share stories of his own journey through grief and how his workshop is helping others.

Learn more about grief yoga.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

The Thanksgiving Holiday is approaching in the U.S. and I want to wish everyone a week of gratitude and generosity as we reflect on all that life has given us. My family will be celebrating with our Annual Thanksgiveaway: handing out care packages to the homeless. This is just a small gesture of kindness as a way of expressing our thankfulness for all of our blessings of the past year. I hope you too find a special way to share with others on this holiday!

downloads_wordmark_white_on_coralI am especially grateful for all of my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu! Your generosity helps me feel connected to my audience and lets me know that you like the content I am creating. If you would like to become a patron you can sign up to contribute just $1 or $2 per month at Patreon.com/eolu.

Barbara McAfee has generously offered to share the following music video with all of us! She wrote the song Living Dying Man for her friend Jamie Showkeir as he faced the end of his life from ALS. Learn more at Barbara’s website: http://barbaramcafee.com

I hope you enjoy listening! Thank you Barbara for sharing with us!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

In this interview yoga teacher Paul Denniston will discuss:

  • his use of yoga as therapy for grief
  • how various types of yoga can help release grief that has been stored in the physical body
  • tips and strategies for moving through grief
  • why laughter yoga is especially healing.

Paul Denniston teaches Grief Yoga to bereavement groups in one of the largest hospices in Los Angeles, and has taught for several years at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. He offers techniques and exercises to therapists, counselors and health care professionals in the United States, England and Australia. Paul has studied with some of the world’s leaders in grief work, including David Kessler, William Worden and Elisabeth Kubler Ross.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode! If you enjoy this podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes – it will be greatly appreciated!

Until we meet again remember …

Face Your Fear                 BE Ready               Love Your Life

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Ep. 96 A Caregiver’s Letter to His Dying Wife with Joe DiNardo

Learn how this caregiver coped with his wife’s illness and rose above grief to experience unconditional love.

PodcastDinardo

JoeDiNardosmallIn this episode I share an interview with Joe DiNardo who talks about his book A Letter to My Wife and discusses how his long-term practice of mindfulness meditation helped him cope with being a caregiver and grieving his wife’s death.

www.alettertomywife.org

Thank you to all of my supporters on Patreon.com/eolu who have helped keep this podcast on the air! We just had our first “Hospice Happy Hour” hangout last week and it was a great success.

Patreonbecome2xIf you are interested in joining the hangouts or in having me promote your website, book, product, organization, or cause on this podcast, sign up to contribute just $1 or $2 per month and become a patron – Patreon.com/eolu!

My guest this week is Joe DiNardo, an attorney from Buffalo NY, who served as a caregiver for his wife Marcia during her cancer diagnosis, treatment and eventual death. As a long-term practitioner of Vipassana meditation, Joe found that his mindfulness meditation practice helped him through the difficult challenges of caregiving and grief and he has much wisdom to share with us from the perspective of a family caregiver.

DinardobookcoversmJoe is also the author of the newly released book A Letter to My Wife, which follows his journey with late wife Marcia, from cancer diagnosis through death. The website states that “His practice of mindfulness is explored throughout this heartfelt dedication and serves as the foundation for his recommendations on coping with loss and healing. His story, which includes both practical advice and profound wisdom, is a real-life example of how powerful and guiding meditation can be during life’s painful and challenging chapters. ”

In this interview you will learn:

  • What Joe learned about being a caregiver from accompanying Marcia through illness
  • His best advice for other family caregivers
  • How he discovered the practice of meditation and began to apply it to his life
  • How mindfulness meditation helped him on a daily basis during Marcia’s illness and throughout his own grief process

You can purchase A Letter to My Wife at Amazon.com: Get the book here!

Tune in next week when we will learn how to start a meditation practice with my guest Gia George who is a yoga and meditation teacher, singer-songwriter, and my daughter!

Until then remember:

Face Your Fears.                    BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

Love,

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Ep. 24 The Many Paths of Grief with Karen Wyatt MD

Dr. Karen Wyatt shares wisdom from her own personal journey of grief and tips from guests she has interviewed for End-of-Life University. Find practical suggestions for navigating the journey of grief.

In this podcast I will discuss eight tips for coping with grief I have learned through the many interviews I’ve conducted in the past for End-of-Life University. One of the common threads I’ve found in the stories of my guests for EOLU is that most of us have experienced the death of a loved one in the past and that our current interest in the end-of-life arena has been inspired in one way or another by that death and our subsequent grief process.

You will learn tips for coping with grief, practical suggestions for applying those tips to your own life situation and how to navigate the journey of grief that can be dark and lonely at times.