182 episodes

Grievers and grief professionals share their personal stories and describe what was helpful for them or their clients in working through grief. This podcast will outline steps to have hope and build meaning into your life.

Tendrils of Grief Susan Ways

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 52 Ratings

Grievers and grief professionals share their personal stories and describe what was helpful for them or their clients in working through grief. This podcast will outline steps to have hope and build meaning into your life.

    Be an Expert on Your Own Grief with Maria Belanic

    Be an Expert on Your Own Grief with Maria Belanic

    Susan, your host, welcomes Maria Belanic to today’s conversation. Maria is a mother grandmother and grief mentor. Like many parents, she never thought about the unimaginable happening until it did. When her oldest son died of leukemia in 2009, it felt like her heart had shattered into pieces leaving her feeling broken and lost. For years it was a roller coaster of emotions that led to isolation and ill health.
    Through her experience, she discovered strategies and tools to heal and find inner peace. This is not about getting over it or moving on; her journey made her passionate about helping others feel acknowledged and find ways to heal.
    Ultimately, you are the expert on your grief.
    Key Takeaways:
    Maria shares her grief story of when her son was diagnosed with cancer and fought it for 11 years.
    Maria’s son was given 48 hours to live but lived for over three months.
    Maria and Susan share their feelings regarding people’s ability to show empathy and compassion for their grief and everything involved in it.
    Grief changes with time and Maria recognizes herself as an unapologetic griever.
    Maria calls the anniversary of her son’s death the death day; she feels “anniversary” is something to celebrate, while his death isn’t.
    The times leading to the events are far worse than the day itself.
    Grievers tend to worry about other people’s feelings; who is worrying about your feelings?
    Some people will judge your feelings. You are grieving, do it your way; some will just not get it.
    Grief can make you work on autopilot; you are functioning, but you are not fully present at the moment. After a while, you must stop pretending; if they can’t take your authentic self, maybe they are not the right people to be with.
    Leaning into your feelings is much better help than running away from them.
    As a griever, you want to share memories about your person.
    It is not a competition; your loss will always be the worst for you.
    Maria shares how she turned trauma into her mission.
    Our unresolved feelings will appear during grief.
    Give yourself compassion; stop pressuring yourself. Grief needs to be witnessed.
    We have been taught to repress our feelings since we were young and that stays with us. Allow your feelings to express themselves, they are not mistaken.
    There is no right or wrong way to grieve; honor your feelings.
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate.
    Meet Maria Belanic
    Follow Maria on Instagram
    Visit Maria Belanic’s Website
    Gift: 5 Secrets to Unlock Self-Compassion
    How to Harness Self-Care for Grievers: A Path to Emotional Healing
    “Hope should never be given or taken away from anyone.”
    “When you are a caregiver, you put other people’s needs in front of your own.”
    “All of our emotions are information to us.”
    “Sometimes it is courageous to just wake up in the morning.”
    “Turn your trauma into purpose.”

    • 43 min
    Dating as a Widow/Widower with Duana Welch

    Dating as a Widow/Widower with Duana Welch

    Susan, your host, welcomes Duana Welch to today’s episode. Dr. Duana (pronounced DWAY-nah) is known for writing and dating coaching that relies on science rather than opinion to help men and women find and keep the love of their lives.
    A former professor in Florida, California, and Texas for over 20 years, she has contributed to NPR, Psychology Today, and numerous other outlets and podcasts.
    Her first book, Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do, is now out globally in five languages; its revised and updated edition released in 2022. Love Factually for Single Parents: [& Those Dating Them] is the second book in the series, specifically geared toward finding the right partner not only for readers but their families.
    She is an expert for Paired, the world’s top-rated relationship app for couples. Her client practice is global via Zoom.
    Key Takeaways:
    Dr. Duana discusses the cases of people who lost their spouses after a lifetime of dedication to that relationship and the challenge of dating again.
    People are not looking for the same things; not everyone on a dating app wants to find a partner.
    People sometimes act as if they want a relationship, but often, they don’t even know what they are looking for; they might not even realize they are not presenting themselves honestly.
    Actions speak louder than words; check if people behave how they say they feel.
    Remember this question: “What is your end goal for the relationship?” (For yourself and others.)
    Learning how you show up in relationships and your attachment style are great tools to return to the dating field.
    Dr. Duana explains different attachment styles: Secure, Avoidant, Anxious, or Disorganized.
    Once a partner is deceased or there is a living former spouse, there are stakeholders (the children, the spouse, their parents, and friends are stakeholders).
    Most secure attachers can stay married for a lifetime; when their partners did not pass away, the reason for the separation can be their spouse, someone who behaves in a way that makes it impossible for a relationship to last.
    Dr. Duana walks the listeners to her steps when coaching her clients.
    Ask the hard questions first! Starting by having sex and seeing if feelings develop is really a recipe for disaster.
    Dr. Duana helps people navigate the online dating experience, realizing what is important, what to expect, and how not to waste time.
    Find someone who can understand that you will always love your deceased person.
    Dr. Duana leaves the audience with these wise words: If you can find and be someone kind and respectful, your relationship will likely go very well; if you can’t, I promise it won’t.
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate
    Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
    Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find — and Keep — Love, by Amir Levine, and Rachel Heller
    Meet Dr. Duana Welch
    Love Science Media

    • 45 min
    Grieving with Intentionality with Danielle McCombs

    Grieving with Intentionality with Danielle McCombs

    Susan, your host, welcomes Danielle McCombs to today’s episode. Danielle believes that everyone is naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. External expectations that are put upon us by society and others can dim the light within us. The world needs everyone to show up as the truest version of themselves. As a coach, Danielle holds space for her clients to explore themselves and how they show up in the world. By following curiosity and intuition, she guides clients to live a life with intention.
    Danielle McCombs is a growth-minded individual who is constantly striving to improve herself
    and deepen the understanding of the world around her. After a 20-year career in commercial real estate, Danielle decided to pursue her passion of inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. Danielle is a Co-Active Professional Certified Coach and has started her own Life Coaching practice, Danielle McCombs Coaching. Danielle hosts the podcast The Opposite of Small Talk with her friend Kristy Olinger, where they explore topics about personal and professional development, focusing on connection, reflection, and social justice.
    Key Takeaways:
    Danielle shares how she realized she needed to change her career path.
    Susan shares the benefits of coaching.
    Coaching and therapy are two resources that are useful for receiving together.
    It takes a long time to let go of the pain and the victim's role to begin changing.
    First, you need to identify where you are stuck at. Then, find out what you have control over.
    Take small steps.
    Journaling is of great help; write down what you achieve every day. Small wins have immense value, and that is how you move forward.
    Be intentional: How do you want to feel by the end of the week?
    Comparison is the worst you can do for yourself.
    If you support someone grieving, don’t take their actions personally and have no expectations.
    Nothing will be the same while you grow; embrace change while you move forward; you are allowed to grieve what is left behind.
    Making choices is never easy, but we can decide the meaning of the events in our lives and how we want to move forward.
    We are all on a journey; different things will happen at other times, some good and some bad. Give yourself grace and try not to worry about what everyone else is thinking; connect to yourself and find how you want to move forward.
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate
    Meet Danielle McCombs
    Visit Danielle McCombs Coaching Website
    Email Danielle at mccombs.danielle@gmail.com
    Follow Danielle on LinkedIn
    Listen to The Opposite of Small Talk

    • 41 min
    Rebuilding the Life that Grief Destroyed with Dr. Chris Sopa

    Rebuilding the Life that Grief Destroyed with Dr. Chris Sopa

    Susan, your host, welcomes Dr. Chris Sopa to today’s episode. Dr. Chris is an Industrial Organizational psychologist, speaker, and researcher who has spent the last 20 years studying human potential and self-awareness. After experiencing several tragic and challenging life events, Dr. Chris became a student of her own life and is compelled by the belief that when self-aware, we can extract the lessons from our life experiences and use them to guide us.
    Key Takeaways:
    Dr. Chris shares her experience going through back surgery that later became more complicated; she went through this alone, and it was an event that revolutionized her life.
    Be present to connect with the signs.
    Shift from a victim perspective to an active perspective.
    When you are grieving the loss of someone, no one realizes what you are going through.
    Sometimes, it is hard to ask for help.
    Most of the time, people don’t know what to say or do to help someone grieving.
    “I got tired of living in fear.” We create our reality, so Chris started to develop a new life.
    Our feelings drive our behavior; sometimes, we need to nourish the feelings we want to hold consciously.
    Choose radical acceptance and be present in it.
    We tend to judge others in the same way we judge ourselves.
    Choose consciously how close you will allow people to get to you.
    Boundaries are meant to protect yourself energetically.
    How can you slow your brain down?
    If you could only choose one feeling to feel for the rest of your life, what would that be? (Other than happiness, pick a feeling) Knowing the feeling you value the most it would be easier for you to choose what brings you closer to that state.
    Your best is different every day; give yourself grace.
    Find one small thing every day that brings you joy.
    Don’t look back; you are not going that way. Look forward!
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate
    The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
    Meet Dr. Chris Sopa
    Visit Chris Sopa’s website

    • 43 min
    Grief: A Dance Between Loss and Love with Pierce Freelon

    Grief: A Dance Between Loss and Love with Pierce Freelon

    Susan, your host, welcomes Pierce Freelon. Pierce is an accomplished musician, producer, and educator from Durham, North Carolina. He is the co-creator of Beat Making Lab, an Emmy Award-winning PBS web series, and is the writer, composer, and co-director of the PBS animated series The History of White People in America, an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. His Grammy-nominated children's music has been featured on The Today Show, NPR, and MSNBC, as well as in Rolling Stone.
    In today’s episode, Susan and Pierce discuss grief from a different angle, from the gratitude and love implied in being together and caring for someone moving out of this life. Pierce wholeheartedly shares his loving memories with his father and how he experiences life without him by his side.
    Key Takeaways:
    Pierce shares his grief journey that started when he lost his father in 2019.
    Pierce talks about how his father’s diagnosis with ALS made them experience a series of losses in its progression.
    Pierce compares the care given to a newborn to the care of a terminal patient; the first is on its way into this life, and the other is moving out of it.
    Grief is the price we pay for love.
    Susan highlights the value of compassion, especially during grief.
    Pierce organized a group where people get to honor their loved ones who passed, telling their stories through their puppets.
    We can connect with the lost people however possible; Susan shares how she asks for signs, and Pierce talks about what “Lasagna” meant for their family.
    Signs come naturally and organically; they will be powerful and moving.
    Pierce talks about his book Daddy & Me: Side By Side.
    Grieve gently and tenderly, hold space for you, and stay compassionate.
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate
    Meet Pierce Freelon
    Pierce’s Website
    Pierce’s Instagram
    Daddy & Me, Side By Side
    Where Our Spirit Resides, a puppet show.

    • 40 min
    Chose to Live an Intentional Life with David Price

    Chose to Live an Intentional Life with David Price

    Susan, your host, welcomes David Price to today’s conversation. David is a life coach who got into life coaching because of his own personal transformation. He was able to achieve so much in his own life; for most of his life, he was completely miserable, sad, angry, and frustrated. He felt like a complete failure in every way, but when he began to learn and practice the things he now teaches and trains:  personal responsibility, the power of thoughts and words, life design and creation, and goal setting and achievement, his life became joyous abundant, and prosperous. He's been blessed to teach and train hundreds of men and women on how to do the same.
    Key Takeaways:
    David shares his grief story that began when his father died when he was a very young age.
    There are thoughts and beliefs we have that just don’t serve us 
    David talks about the power of reframing and refocusing.
    Surround yourself with the right people; family isn’t everything. Remember, you chose the energy around you. 
    Are you going to live your life according to other people's expectations, or will you design and create the life you want? That is your choice.
    You can learn things the easy way or the hard way.
    You don’t need to know all the ‘hows’, plan, set goals, choose to live an intentional life.
    Don’t pressure yourself; allow yourself to process and not judge your grieving process.
    Most of the time, you don’t have to say anything to grieving people; just sit with them silently, listen if they want to talk, and be there for them.
    We often take more negativity than we realize (TV, music, anything), and choosing positive input can make all the difference.
    If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
    Bad things happen to all of us, and really bad things happen to some of us.
    What do I really want to do with my life?
    Be kind to yourself; it helps more than you think.
    No situation is hopeless; it is worth getting up in the morning and trying it again over and over again.
    Perseverance is the ultimate tool to take you where you want to go.
    Email Susan: susan@tendrilsofgrief.com
    If you find this episode helpful, please donate 
    Meet David Price
    Take Back Your Life

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

Rocevents ,

Permission to Grieve

Thank you for providing a phenomenal episode about allowing ourselves to feel the feelings during our grief. We should not bury it. Your thoughtful approach to exploring diverse aspects of grief has brought much-needed awareness and validation to those experiencing non-traditional forms of loss.

Asklastpass ,

Podcast rating

I relate, am comforted and learn more about myself and my grief from the topics discussed. Thank you Susan and to all of your guests.

Graceful Life 247 ,

Normalizing Hard Conversations

I love Susan’s gentle approach to difficult conversations. It is such an important part of healing our dysfunctional relationship with grief. A valuable resource for all!

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