33 episodes

If you love deep conversations and learning something new, then get ready to love this podcast.Grief is a Sneaky Bitch creator and host Lisa Keefauver brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world (including our grief) to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.
Lisa holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, educator, writer, grief guide, and widow. As founder of Reimagining Grief, She's on a mission to help you find language when you’re at a loss for words. She is changing the narratives of grief, one conversation at a time. Learn more about her story, about the services and products she offers or follow her journey on social media @reimagininggrief.
 
If you like this series, please make sure to leave a rating and write a review TODAY on Apple Podcasts.
 

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Grief is a Sneaky Bitch Lisa Keefauver, MSW

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

If you love deep conversations and learning something new, then get ready to love this podcast.Grief is a Sneaky Bitch creator and host Lisa Keefauver brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world (including our grief) to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.
Lisa holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, educator, writer, grief guide, and widow. As founder of Reimagining Grief, She's on a mission to help you find language when you’re at a loss for words. She is changing the narratives of grief, one conversation at a time. Learn more about her story, about the services and products she offers or follow her journey on social media @reimagininggrief.
 
If you like this series, please make sure to leave a rating and write a review TODAY on Apple Podcasts.
 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Ask Me Anything

    Ask Me Anything

    About the episode:
    You asked and I answered! In this final episode of Season 2, I invited the Reimagining Grief community and listeners of the podcast to ask me anything about grief and loss. I am so incredibly moved by the flood of DMs, comments, and emails I received from so many of you. I take seriously the vulnerability it took you to ask the questions and I did my best to answer many of them and hope in doing so, I will be helping other grievers just like you. I covered 1. Finding a grief counselor, 2. Dating in widowhood (after loss in general), 3. Feeling angry and betrayed, 4. Complicated grief, 5. Grief brain (brain fog), 6. Returning to work, 7. Grieving a friend, 8. Ambiguous loss, 9. Secondary Losses, and 10. Handling the innocent questions.

    Episode Resources:
    If you want to learn more about Individual Grief Support with host Lisa Keefauver, MSW visit www.reimagininggrief.com/support. If you want to join the GSB Fan Club and be a part of 2 LIVE Q&A Zoom sessions with her and other listeners from around the world, visit www.reimagininggrief.com/gsbfanclub.

    Jump straight into:
    5:49 - How to find a good grief counselor or therapist. “ it's about style. And so part of what I invite you to do is to think a little bit about what you need. What are your expectations? Have you been in traditional therapy before? What was helpful and what wasn't do you like someone who gives you practical advice and homework, or do you just need to be seen and heard.”
    8:36 Dating in Widhood (or after loss in general) - “And the truth is. It's a journey just like dating is frankly, any time in our lives. Take it slow and take it easy.”
    13:46 Anger and Betrayal in Grief - “So take a moment to maybe hold your anger again with that same compassion, that same loving kindness and just soften to it. And maybe just listen, what is it trying to tell you?”
    22:34 Complicated Grief - “If the intensity of your grief remains high. And with real honest reflection, you don't see any improvement as the months go by. And I mean, up and down, it doesn't have to be linear totally in an upward direction. But with honest reflection, if you see no improvement as the months go by and months and months and you're not sure how else to cope.”
    25:27 Grief Brain - Grief brain is totally normal. I'm not sure I've met a single griever who hasn't experienced it. So what is grief brain? Well, some people call it a fog and I think that's a pretty apt description because of what happens”
    .
    30:02 Returning to Work After Loss - “When is it okay to return to work? Should I have returned full-time or part-time if I have a choice, what are my options and how will I know what the right thing is?”
    38:46 Grieving a Friend - “Particularly when it comes to grief, the reminder is that we can't control other people's beliefs or expectations. All we can do is listen and word and be kind and compassionate to ourselves.”
    40:55 Ambiguous Loss- “It's actually quite common and yes, it can feel complicated because it invites us to hold more than one thing to be true. And so this is definitely an area of loss where I encourage you to find a support system in your life.”
    43:54 Secondary Loss - “Secondary losses, not unlike ambiguous loss, are the unsuspecting and surprising, and in some ways hurtful losses...sometimes there are practical things like then we lose our job or maybe our home...oftentimes we lose friendships because our friends don't know how to show up for us in our pain.”
    46:45 Responding to the Innocent Questions -”Those punch in the gut questions. You know, the questions I'm talking about, the questions, iIf you've lost a child, “do you have any children or how many children do you have?””
    Thanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review toda

    • 54 min
    A Mother's Gift of Joy

    A Mother's Gift of Joy

    If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.

    About the episode
    For this episode, I was joined in conversation by the lovely Lindsay Joy Taylor, the owner of The Joyful Jewelry Box, jewelry and keepsakes to honor and remember your loved ones. Lindsay’s grief story begins early on, her mother was murdered when she was only one and even if she doesn’t have explicit memories of her, the grief and trauma it left on her family made an impression on her throughout her life. Like me, Lindsay is now an advocate for thinking about grief from a different angle than we were taught. She believes it is absolutely possible to feel joy and hold space for your mourning at the same time. In fact, that is one of the messages she hopes to put out in the world through her jewelry line and the grief work she does. Can’t wait for you to meet her!

    Episode Resources
    If you wanna know more about Lindsay’s work, follow her on The Joyful Jewelry Box Instagram. Also, check out Lindsey’s beautiful products on The Joyful Jewelry Box website.

    Jump straight into:
    03:22 - Lindsay’s first memory of grief - “I'm a motherless daughter, but more specifically, my mother was murdered when I was only one year old. So naturally, I don't have any explicit memories of her.”
    11:17 - Holding space for grief doing the best we can - “We need to engage with and tend to our grief because if not, we're going to pass it onto somebody else.”
    20:06 - Getting stuck on grief: Is closure a real thing? - “We never caught her killer. There was a forced resignation in terms of how you pick up life and move forward.”
    22:45 - Helping kids understand and tell their loss story - “It was still really helpful for me to feel seen and to feel acknowledged, to be given attention, regardless of whether or not the context was my mother.”
    27:20 - Telling your story to people: Should I disclose or not? - “It created this outlet where people think that they have a right to help you figure out your own damn story.”
    33:02 - Therapy for therapists: Can I do this? Lindsay’s path in the psychology world - “I felt burdened by the experience. I didn't feel like I was equipping them with skills and so it just became overwhelming.” 
    45:21 - How The Joyful Jewelry Box was created - “I took a hard left and then decided, instead of just designing jewelry on a whim, now I was doing remembrance and memorial jewelry to help other grievers honor and remember their loved ones.”
    Thanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us. 
    Our host, Lisa Keefauver, MSW offers a variety of services and products from individual grief sessions, to guided meditations, workshops, company culture consulting and even a line of beautiful and authentic Empathy Cards. To know more visit www.reimagininggrief.com


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    • 57 min
    Poetic Nature of Grief

    Poetic Nature of Grief

    About the show
    If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.

    About the episode 
    In this episode, Lisa talks to British-Iranian poet Fad Jamal (Khorsandjamal) about the power of artistic expression in the process of grieving. Fad intertwines her love of nature, the losses she’s faced, both death and non-death, and the poetic notions and sensibilities of her Persian heritage and the Farsi language to explore love and loss in two volumes of poetry - Quixotic Nature and most recently, Reflections and Refractions.
     
    Our conversation was so rich and expansive as we explored what nature has taught her about loss in its various forms and the ways in which metaphor and poetry has allowed her to explore the dark shadows of pain and grief. Fad brings forth such light, wisdom and hope, and even shares a few of her poems with us. I just can’t wait for you to meet her.

    Episode Resources
    Reflection and Refraction by F Khorsandjamal
    Quixotic Nature by F Khorsandjamal 
    Reimagining Grief Newsletter Sign-Up

    Jump straight into
    (03:29) - The cherry tree story: Pad’s first experience with grief - “I just remember being almost in shock that this thing that I had always really appreciated and loved and obviously got enjoyment out, was gone.”
    (16:39) - Numbness: False beliefs and assumptions about grief - “I remember it was pretty much a year later. Suddenly, I think I was in bed or something, I woke up and I just burst into tears.”
    (25:53) - Fad’s poetic Persian heritage and three of her beautiful poems: Numb, Carnival of Dark & Cabin - “I was brought up with a lot of reference to poetry because Persian poetry and poetry within Persian culture, as a broader sense, is huge.”
    (35:02) - Writing poetry as a way to cope with loss - “As the title suggests it's Reflection and Refraction, you kind of go through these things to come out the other side, like the creation of a rainbow.”
    (40:30) - Don’t Sweep it under the rug!: How to honor and give space to different types of grief - “Little people are given the opportunity to grieve things that aren't a death, a physical death.”
    (48:12) - Looking at darkness in the face and not letting it take over - “There is a point where you feel like you're bereft and there's nothing left, but it's actually an opportunity. There will come a time when you'll want to fill it again with love, light, laughter, and delight.”
    Thanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us. 
    Our host, Lisa Keefauver, offers a variety of services and products from individual grief sessions, to guided meditations, workshops, company culture consulting and even a line of beautiful and authentic Empathy Cards. To know more visit www.reimagininggrief.com

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 58 min
    Dark Humor Helps

    Dark Humor Helps

    About the showIf you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, narrative therapist, grief guide, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.

    About the episode Get ready y’all. This is an episode unlike any other I’ve had. My guest, Tawny Platis, is a voice actor, a comedian, host of her own podcast, and well, she uses dark humor as a tool to navigate the traumatic death of her husband George, who was just 29. We explored how Tawny uses her comedic instincts to help her navigate this tremendous loss, even just moments after she found her husband in a messy scene dead on the floor of their home. We talk about the expectations people have about how widows should behave and the discomfort and judgment some people feel when someone is grieving differently than them. We drop some truth-bombs about grief in general and young widowhood in particular. We do it all with humor, profanity AND sincerity and insight because, yes, we used all the tools at our disposal to talk about this difficult topic and you should too. I can’t wait for you to meet her.

    Episode Resources:Follow Tawny on Instagram, TikTok or check out her podcast Death is Hilarious 

    Jump straight into:(03:25) - Tawny’s first experiences with grief - “I remember being told not to be so emotional because I was being dramatic and I was making other people uncomfortable.”
    (09:00) - Using comedy as a coping mechanism - “My family didn't really have a lot of love for me, but if I could make them laugh, it felt like they did. And then that extended towards everybody in my life.”
    (11:30) - George’s terminal illness and finding unconditional love - “He told me right off the bat what was going on with him, that he could die at any moment. I was completely in love with him, it wasn't even a second thought to break up with him or to not pursue a relationship with him.”
    (20:48) - Finding your own capacity to heal - “There's a black bag right there, and they're going to zip him up and take him away and I just go ‘I'm not really ready for you to take his body, but I guess if you don't, that kind of makes me liable to get into a Norman Bates situation here’. ”
    (30:08) - Tawny and George’s podcast and how it evolved into Death is Hilarious - “If we hadn't shared so much I wouldn't have all of that recording to go back and visit. It reminds me it was real and it happened. He was real. What we had was real.”
    (39:08) - Are you past it? Coping with people who don't show up for you - “So often people don't even bring it up now or they don't check on me because I'm making jokes about it, they see me getting jobs, they see me posting these episodes...”
    (47:08) - Secondary loss and finding the right support system - “My girlfriends were able to do that. When I was in the mood to laugh, they crack jokes right alongside me, and when I was on the ground and I couldn't even make it to the couch they crawled down on the ground and just sat with me.”
    (52:09) - The gift of sharing our stories and wounds - “I think one of our missions, all of us as humans, but especially when we take on the work of grief, is to figure out how to keep showing up in our integrity and authenticity.”

    About The HostThanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write

    • 1 hr
    Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom

    Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom

    If you love deep, honest, authentic conversations get ready to love Grief is a Sneaky Bitch. Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, holds an extensive grief resume herself, as a social worker, grief educator & activist, and widow. She brings her deep curiosity, love of conversation, and knowledge of how language and culture shapes our experiences of ourselves and our world, including our grief, to each unscripted conversation. From CEO’s and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating a grief journey of their own.

    About the episode Lisa was joined by Biological Anthropologist and author, Barbara J King, for an eye-opening and compassionate conversation about grief and love in the animal kingdom. They explored how Barbara has come to understand grief in the animal kingdom, how finding compassion for animals helps us be more compassionate to our fellow humans, and why this perspective requires us to call into question some of our most fundamental beliefs and behaviors. 
    The author of seven books, including the new Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild, Barbara focuses on animal emotion and cognition, the ethics of our relationships with animals, and the evolutionary history of language, culture, and religion. Her book How Animals Grieve has been translated into 7 languages and her TED talk on animal love and grief has now received over 3 million views. 

    Episode ResourcesBarbara tweets about animals, science, and books @bjkingape.
    Visit Barbara’s website
    How Animals Grieve by Barbara J King
    Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom TED Talk
    Animals Best Friends by Barbara J King

    Jump straight into:(03:38) - Barbara’s first experiences with grief - “It struck me very much how it seemed a little bit unwelcome to show that emotion and my parents didn't completely shy away from it, but yet it didn't seem completely natural either.”
    (08:17) - Growing stronger in conviction and the cross-cultural variations of grief - “What we do in the United States, our overarching culture and our overarching traditions of tamping down our grief expressions, physically and emotionally is not the only way.”
    (11:30) - Are humans exceptional? Barbara’s work with animal grief - “Animals need to see other’s bodies in order to get closure.”
    (22:02) - Is grieving only a mammalian behavior? - “We don't necessarily expect to see grief and spiders or frogs or trout. This does not mean we shouldn't look, because of course 20, 30 years ago, we didn't think we would be seeing it in the variety of animals we're seeing it in now. “
    (27:03) - The importance of having compassion for the animal experience - “If you understand how deeply important it is to be good to each other and not necessarily to know what another human being is going through, but to give them the benefit of the doubt to be there, to listen, we can do the same thing for animals.”
    (39:49) - From researcher to animal activist: Barbara’s journey to animal compassion - “I was doing grief research and I began to realize that animals who are considered food in our culture also grief, I needed to stop and write a book about them.”
    (44:36) - Climate grief: How to turn compassion into action - “Our whole earth is in crisis and there's an ecological grief that many of us feel but it also makes me think that how do we take that love-grief sort of dynamic relationship and apply it to the planetary crisis that we're in.”
    Thanks for listening! If you’re feeling social, don’t forget to follow Lisa @reimagininggrief on Instagram. Make sure to leave a rating and write a review today on Apple Podcasts so that more people can find us. Our host, Lisa Keefauver, offers a variety of s

    • 51 min
    Talking About Death With Kids

    Talking About Death With Kids

    About the show:
    If you enjoy deep, authentic, and thought-provoking conversations, get ready to love this podcast. Welcome to Grief is a Sneaky Bitch, a space where Lisa Keefauver, founder of Reimagining Grief, explores her deep curiosity, love of conversation and knowledge on a mission to change the narrative around grief. From CEOs and social workers to authors, educators, filmmakers and stay-at-home moms, her guests open up about the complexity, confusion, and even confidence they have gained by navigating their very own grief journeys.

    About the episode:
    In today’s episode, I was joined by two incredible women, Rachel Carnahan-Metzger and Sierra Herbort. Rachel and Sierra are really special humans, who have both dedicated their careers to supporting children and families going through the most difficult times in their lives. Working at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Rachel serves as a pediatric palliative care social worker and Sierra as a Certified Child Life Specialist. They have made a career out of bearing witness, educating, and supporting families to be able to navigate the unimaginable, the death of a child. They do this every day with such compassion, such heart, and such wisdom. They bring that and more to today’s conversation. I can’t wait for you to meet them

    Jump straight into:
    (04:05) - Where did you learn about grief? - “I remember coming home and asking my mom about it really early on. I remember her sitting at the table and crying and inviting me to share that space with her.”
    (09:56) - Educating families through hard times: How to have conversations about death with children - “I think it's really this balance of providing that education and acknowledging how hard it is and how scary it is to think about these things.”
    (17:58) - Death play: Expressive ways in which kids understand death - “I can think of a mom who told me that they were talking about the terminal illness of their kid and the sibling at home was doing a lot of bath play with putting the Barbies underwater and saying, ‘Oh, he's underwater, he's gone away.’”
    (25:11) - How do you do it right?: Why the perfect conversation doesn't exist - “You have to think about, what does my child need to know? What does my child want to know? And then what are they able to understand based on if they're an infant, a toddler, or a teen.”
    (34:13) - Talking about a bad diagnosis and why it is okay not to disclose all the information - “One of our biggest recommendations is to answer the questions that are being asked and ask for permission before you're giving kids information, checking in with them about how much they do want to know.”
    (42:42) - Dealing with questions: Best ways to guide and help children after a loss - “As your kid moves through those developmental stages, those conversations are going to happen again. If your kid is seven when their dad dies, that means something different when they're seven than when they're 17.”
    (53:32) - On the roots of guilt and shame - “There's just so much guilt that lives in holding responsibility for decisions that ultimately allow your child to die.”

    Episode Resources:
    Mustard by Charlotte Graeber
    Healing Your Grieving Heart by Alan D Wolfelt, PhD for Children and teens
    Fred & Red Say Goodbye  by Alan Schlichtman
    End of Life Conversations with guest Michael Hebb
    The River in her Heart with guest Amber Smith

    Sponsor:
    Today’s episode is sponsored by Jae Kim, Founder and CEO of Chi’lantro BBQ (who was a guest on this show last season, Life Lessons From A Little Sister. Instead of telling you about their amazing food, he invited me to share one of my favorite non-profits with you. Visit the Phoenix Stone Foundation to learn how Ben and Heather are honoring the memory of their son Phoenix by supporting families facing childhood cancer treatment and the medical team who c

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

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Chfdoctor ,

Thoughtful & Necessary.

Highly recommend. A beautiful handling of people’s tender stories of loss. We are better humans for listening to the delicate balance of holding the guest’s tender tales. — Becky, The Death Dialogues Project Podcast.

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