Welcome back to the Mother’s Quest Podcast.
I know it’s been a while– a long while.
When my father, David Lieberman, died in December, I put the podcast on pause. And in many ways, it felt like I also put parts of my life on pause. But after months of navigating waves of grief, I'm finding my way back into my life and back to my voice.
Through laughter and tears, I recorded a special solocast to officially close out Season Six of the Mother's Quest Podcast so I can begin again. It felt like part of my healing to share my stories with you and I'm hopeful that there may be something in these reflections that can be meaningful and healing for you too.
Death is one of the few things we can all count on in our lives. And yet it's one of the things we are most reluctant to talk about. I hope this exploration of my experience during my father's death, and the lessons I learned, might support you to open yourself to conversations about death. In so doing, you'll open yourself more fully to life and love.
"There is nothing so whole as a broken heart" – a quote I cut out in a magazine while working on my vision board the other day. It resonated immediately. There were so many people, only a few of you who I mention by name in this episode (but you know who you are!) whose wisdom, compassion and caring made moving through this painful process not only bearable but at times beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You helped me and my family stay whole and I am so grateful.
Lessons To Guide You Through the Death of a Loved One
In this episode, I walk you through the eight lessons I learned through my father’s death, my grief, and most importantly– my love for my Dad and my family.
1) Look for the Signs
2) Find Your Guides
3) Closure Can be Healing
4) Lean Into Your Rituals. Make Them Your Own.
5) Let Laughter In and Invite the Possibility that the Unexpected Can be a Gift
6) Release Perfectionism and Shame
7) Open Your Heart and Ride the Waves
8) Have the Conversations
This Episode’s Challenge:
While it’s not easy to talk about, having conversations about death is one of the best ways to prepare ourselves and those around us for when the time comes– because we’ll never know when it might happen. So say "yes" to conversations about death and dying. Use the resources at Death over Dinner to gather with friends and family for these conversations. Also have meaningful conversations, and consider recording them, like I did with my father, with the important people in your lives. Finally, enjoy the journey, cherish the dash between the years from when you were born and when you will die and continually ask yourself the question "What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Resources and Podcast Episodes Mentioned:
Special note about this episode:
These reflections are based on my experience navigating the death of my father who lived a full and happy life until the age of 84. I am certain that losing a child or someone of any age to a traumatic situation is a whole different experience. I do want to share a link to an episode I recorded with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who tragically lost her son in senseless gun violence. I invite you to listen to this episode for a different and important perspective on grief: From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton.
This Episode Is Dedicated By: Donna Helete
Donna Helete thrives in the realm of human connection. She’s a regenerative grief coach, bereavement counselor, relationship tender, mentor, educator, and community builder with experience in non-profit leadership. She holds space for conversations around grief, love, life, and death. She walks a path toward elderhood, bringing with her real life credentials which include the death of her husband of 28 years in September 2015. Through her experience, she emphasizes the regenerative nature of grief, which allows us to be renewed again and again.
To learn more about her work, visit donnahelete.com and learn about her one on one sessions and workshop offerings.
Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).
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