EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 205 Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One with Sarah Neustadter PhD

Listen to a personal and intimate conversation about suicide death and how to cope with the aftermath as a survivor.

PodcastNeustadter

My guest Sarah Neustadter PhD was studying psychology in graduate school when her boyfriend, a fellow student in the program, chose to end his life. Ten years later she has written a book to guide others through the complicated grief that follows suicide. In this conversation we share our own stories of grief and find insights together that we hope will be helpful to others on this path. Learn more about Sarah’s work at her website:

www.sarahneustadter.com

Neustadterbook

Get the book here.

Listen here.

 

This interview includes:

  • Why no amount of training can prepare you for the suicide death of a loved one
  • How grief after suicide differs from other types of grief
  • The stigmatization of suicide death in our society
  • How devastating guilt and regret follow a suicide
  • Why suicide survivors need to work on self-forgiveness
  • What might help on the journey of post-suicide grief:
    • Community
    • Physical touch or holding
    • Support with mundane tasks of daily life
    • Frequent check-ins from friends
    • Presence from others rather than words
    • Acknowledgment of the pain – even months and years later
  • Grief has its own timeline and can’t be rushed through
  • How writing can help us process grief and other difficult emotions
  • Sarah’s 3 categories of her own grief process:
    • Despair
    • Shifting
    • Beauty

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu – your contributions mean everything to me!

EOLPodcast, mortal wisdom, Spirituality

Ep. 193 The Thorn and the Rose: Pain as a Portal for Grace

Learn how to use challenges as a tool for growth and find grace in the midst of pain.

PodcastSuffering

In Part 7 of the Mortal Wisdom Series I’ll discuss how our greatest tragedies can ultimately lead us to growth through the gift of grace. As I prepare for the 30th anniversary of my father’s suicide death this week I share my thoughts on my own journey through grief. These are the lessons we can learn from our mortality and how to thrive in life while knowing that death awaits. Listen to Parts 1-6 first if you haven’t heard them yet!

Mortalwisdom

Listen here:

 

This episode includes:

  • How my father’s suicide changed the trajectory of my life
  • Why the remedy for pain is found “inside the pain” as Rumi wrote
  • There is no “other side” of the tunnel of grief
  • How our grief journey can only be viewed clearly in retrospect
  • How to “burn our pain as fuel”
  • The meaning of grace and how it arrives as a mystery
  • How sorrow prepares us for joy

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us. – Anne Lamott

Links mentioned in this episode:

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on Patreon.com/eolu, especially my new Patrons, Robyn Mott and Amy Wallace; and thank you to Christina Ensminger for increasing your monthly pledge!

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 94 Finding Joy in the Midst of Grief

How I got joy back into my life after my father’s suicide death.

podcastjoy

Wyatt18smallThis episode is a follow-up to the 8-part series I presented on my father’s suicide death (episodes 85-92). I will look at the factors involved that helped me eventually find joy in my life once again.

You can read the companion blog for this podcast at www.eoluniversityblog.com.

 

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the EOLU Interview Series by making a donation at my Patreon page: www.Patreon.com/eolu. This week I would like to thank my newest supporters: Melissa Neeley and Jozie Rabyor. You are awesome! Your support means everything to me. Also last week’s supporter Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs has asked me to promote Death Cafe as a thank-you for her donation. Go to DeathCafe.com to learn more about the movement, download a guideline for starting your own Cafe, or find a Death Cafe near you to attend!

Finally as promised, the Patreon donations have reached $50 per month so I am scheduling the first Hospice Happy Hour for Patreon supporters! It will take place on Friday June 23rd at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern. We’ll “hangout” together, talk about death, offer support to one another, and answer questions. If you are a current donor you’ll receive the call-in information by email. If you are interested you can become a donor too by going to Patreon.com/eolu!

Today I’ll be sharing with you my insights on how I moved through the pain of grief and guilt and managed (over many years time) to recover a quiet joy in my life. Here’s the list of factors that helped me:

  • Patience. I needed to recognize that grief has its own timing (and its different for everyone.) I had to let me grief follow its own path and unfold in its own way.
  • Stillness. Over time I developed my capacity to experience stillness within through a practice of contemplation and meditation. I discovered that joy arises in the stillness so this step was essential in order for me to ultimately feel joyful again.
  • Facing emotions. For many years I repressed all of my negative emotions about my father’s death because they were too frightening and dark for me. But it was necessary for me to face up to those emotions and embrace them with love in order to make room for joy to return.
  • Allowing change. I learned that I had to allow my grief and pain to change everything about me in order to move through it and discover joy again. My resistance to change kept me stuck in grief for many years and unable to move on.
  • Letting go of expectations. I had to alter my assumptions about how joy would show up in my life and recognize that it would arrive as one tiny droplet at a time. Joy for me now is quiet and serene.

Thanks for tuning in to the podcast! Send me a message or your questions for the Happy Hour at my email address karen@karenwyattmd.com or Tweet me at @spiritualmd!

Until next week remember:

Face Your Fears.                         BE Ready.                        Love Your Life.

Love,

karen-signature

 

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EOLPodcast

Ep. 92 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 8

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 8: The Fire Ceremony

candle-1379465_640

 

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • What I’ve learned about my Dad through my investigations
  • The “Tapestry Dream” that changed how I saw everything in my life
  • The hard lessons I learned through hospice work
  • How I recognized that Dad had been my silent partner through all of my grief journey including writing the book What Really Matters
  • The Fire Ceremony: A ritual for healing my Dad’s trauma and my own
  • The song The Sun is Shining for You by Gia (used by permission)
  • Closing comments about this podcast and farewell
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

Highest blessings and deepest love to you!

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 91 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 7

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 7: Omaha Beach

omahabeach

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Exploring Dad’s memorabilia from World War II
  • How indigenous cultures hear the stories of their warriors in order to share in their pain
  • My travels to Iceland and Normandy to retrace Dad’s steps in World War II
  • What I learned about the pain of war on my journey
  • A healing dream about my Dad
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 90 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 6

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 6: The Purple Heart

purpleheart

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • How hospice work help me get “unstuck” on my grief journey
  • How I uncovered my anger at my Dad and my need to forgive him for taking his life
  • The “secret” my Aunt Lena told me about Dad and World War II
  • What I learned from psychiatrist Dr. Jeff Black who treats war veterans for trauma and “soul loss”
  • The RAIN formula from Jack Kornfeld for healing trauma:
    • Recognize the effect the trauma has had on your life
    • Acknowledge and accept the pain you are experiencing
    • Investigate the patterns
    • Non-attachment to the “story” of the trauma
  • Poem: “Griefwork”
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 89 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 5

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 5: Guns

guns-467710_1280


suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

timemagThis episode consists of:
-Dad’s passion for guns and hunting

-A Time Magazine Article from July 1989 about Death by Gun

-Statistics on suicide deaths by guns and gun ownership in the U.S.

Suicide statistics in Wyoming

-Poem: “Shattered” 

-A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 88 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 4

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 4: The Bicycle

bike-372902__480


suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Dad’s difficult childhood
  • How Adverse Childhood Experiences are associated with suicide in adulthood
  • Low self-esteem as a factor in Dad’s death
  • The ongoing guilt experienced by suicide survivors over missed clues
  • An excerpt from my story: “Two Souls in cognito” 
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 87 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 3

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 3: Tough Times

toughtimes


suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • The stigma attached to suicide
  • When friends fail to offer support after a suicide death
  • Financial stress as a factor for suicide in older men
  • Why helping doesn’t always require words
  • The song “Without You” by Gia 
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 86 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 2

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 2: The Funeral

funeral

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • My father’s funeral
  • The surprising number of visitors who attended the funeral
  • Stories of my father that were shared after his death
  • Information about suicide and men facing retirement
  • Guilt and grief felt by suicide survivors
  • My encounter with a meadowlark at my father’s graveside
  • An excerpt from the song “Scary Monster” by Gia (my daughter who was present at the graveside as an infant)
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 85 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 1

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 1: The Phone Call

phone-1506530_1280

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Introduction to the podcast
  • The day I learned of my father’s death
  • The shock and grief experienced by the survivors of a suicide death
  • Statistics about suicide in the U.S.
  • A blessing by John O’donahue “FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF A SUICIDE” (Click the link to download the blessing.)
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 83 Caitlin Doughty: The Young Mortician

Learn how Caitlin Doughty is changing the funeral industry one funeral at a time.

PodcastDoughty

 

 

In this episode I share an interview with Caitlin Doughty, a progressive young funeral director in Los Angeles and the founder of the Order of the Good Death and the popular YouTube series Ask a Mortician.

ANNOUNCMENTS:

Suicideblog_On April 10th  an 8-part series will begin on this podcast titled Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath. Each episode will focus on my own personal journey of healing after my father’s suicide death.

I will share my process of learning about my Dad and the factors in his life that led to his death, while also portraying the grief and guilt I suffered as a survivor of suicide. My goal is to share hope with those who are currently on this journey of grief.

suicide lifelineFor anyone who is currently experiencing a crisis and feeling hopeless the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7.

Call 1-800-273-8255 or Text HELLO to 741-741.

Click here to talk to someone now.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a small monthly donation at www.Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I’ll promote your end-of-life related website, business, or organization on this podcast. Thank you to my newest supporter: Adrianne Berry and thanks to all of the patrons who have offered your support over the past year!

THE YOUNG MORTICIAN:

Caitlin_Doughty_in_red_Caitlin Doughty works as a funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people handle their own . Caitlin has created the popular webseries Ask a Mortician, which has 33,500 subscribers and she founded The Order of the Good Death, a web-based membership site dedicated to bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture.

In this interview you will learn:

  • why we need to make death a part of our lives
  • how to take a step toward accepting mortality by planning for a natural burial
  • ways to overcome our fear of death

Caitlin Doughty attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated in medieval history. After graduation, Caitlin moved to California, where she began to apply to crematories in an attempt to put into practice her theoretical interest in death. Her first job in the funeral industry was as a crematory operator, burning bodies by day and reading Ernest Becker by night. Since then, she has worked as a funeral arranger, a body-van transport driver, and returned to Cypress College for her second degree, in mortuary science.

Currently she works as a licensed funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people help themselves (handle a corpse).

The Order of the Good Death was founded in 2011 with the goal of bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture. Caitlin’s webseries “Ask a Mortician” and the Order website have led to features on National Public Radio, BBC, the Huffington Post, Vice, the LA Times, Jezebel.com, Forbes, Bust Magazine, and Salon.

doughtyeternityCaitlin’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, is a New York Times bestseller and will be discussed in this interview.

She has now also authored a second book, which will soon be released: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. 

You can order her books on Amazon.com or find them in bookstores everywhere.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear.                  BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

karen-signature