About 80% of what I know comes from listening to podcasts, from French language to trail running, and astrology to cryptocurrency. Now I can add the death and grief category to my eclectic podcast library.
Podcasts have helped me feel less alone - both in my grief à la “ohh they feel that too” and literally when I’m by myself and want a friendly voice to listen to. The great thing about podcasts is that they offer this without the focus needed to read a book, or energy required to be present in conversation with someone.
Hosted by two down-to-earth women, Im and Sal, who both lost their mother’s suddenly and started the podcast within their first year of grief. Through interviews with a variety of people who have lived through grief, they share their own experiences, struggles, and learnings.
They’re not experts, and they don’t claim to be. Instead it’s like they grab your hand through your earbuds and say “yep, this is a shitty journey, so let’s do it together and help each other along the way.”
British comedian Cariad Lloyd hosts Griefcast and interviews interesting guests - many of them famous in Britain, but being Kiwi I have no idea who they are - and find them interesting nonetheless.
Each conversation starts with the question “Who are we remembering today?” and leads into a naturally meandering conversation about the death of the guest’s loved one. The focus is generally around the details of the circumstances, emotions, the death, the funeral, the days after, and how it has changed the way they live their life.
It is so intimate, nurturing, and delicate I often forget that Cariad is a comedian.
GRIEF IS A SNEAKY BITCH
Podcast host Lisa brings a unique blend of professional knowledge, personal experience, kindness and humour to the grief space. The discussions she has with her guests helped to open my mind to the concept of healing through, and from, grief. Lisa isn’t afraid to “go there” and no topic is off the table.
Listening to guest’s stories also helped me to realise that while no one is experiencing grief in exactly the same way I am, I’m not actually alone in that hideous pain. They survived it, and gave me hope that perhaps I could too.
WHAT’S YOUR GRIEF
Hosts Eleanor and Litsa also run a website of the same name that is full of griefy resources. They have qualifications in counselling psychology and social work, respectively, as well as that defining measure we all like to use when judging someone’s credibility in grief support - their own lived experience.
It’s the kind of “how to” and grief support that doesn’t suck because they’re trained professionals AND have been to the grief cave themselves. They offer real, practical, helpful, actionable advice - sometimes it’s like sitting in on a therapy session. It’s this combo that makes it the only podcast I’ve come across so far that is informative for grievers and those supporting grievers, alike.
Last but by no means least, is Coming Back by Shelby Forsythia, a fellow millennial, another woman in whom I sense the wisdom of a crone in a maiden’s body.
Shelby’s focus is different from many other grief podcasts as the spotlight is more on the tricky path to living a “normal” life again beyond grief, figuring out what life looks like after experiencing some form of loss.
What I like about Coming Back is that Shelby spreads the grief net wide, acknowledging and exploring a variety of losses - not only bereavement, but loss of identity, relationships, security, and future dreams.
For sure there are numerous other podcasts out there on the subject of death, bereavement and grief - these are simply the ones that I resonated with.
May I also suggest complementing grief podcast listening with some form of comedy, light-hearted learning, or uplifting and inspiring stories. We don’t need to listen to griefy stuff all day, right? Here are a few of my favourites as a place to start:
My Dad Wrote a Porno
Hamish & Andy
Stuff You Should Know
All the best through grief and beyond,