Welcome to This Club Suuucks: Grief Support for Parents After the Lasagnas Are Long Gone. These episodes are recorded from the weekly #ChildLossChat on Twitter Spaces hosted by Melissa Monroe, aided and abetted by co-host Alexandria Szeman. Melissa has supported hundreds of bereaved folks through her work as a doctor and teacher of acupuncture. Her understanding of grief became more personal after her two-year-old daughter Alice died in her sleep of unknown causes* just eleven days after her second birthday in 2013.
No one wants to be in the bereaved parents club, but here we are.
After Alice died, Melissa found immense healing in many forms including EMDR therapy, writing, and – in Alice’s memory—helping others deal with grief and trauma. In addition to starting her blog “Mothering in Memoriam,” Melissa founded the Agastock concert to benefit the Southern California Counseling Center’s Trauma and Resiliency Training Program so that more therapists could be trained in EMDR and other trauma modalities. In 2018, this incredible sliding-scale Center was able to open a second location in the underserved Watts community, where they dedicated a room to Alice’s memory. She also developed grief and trauma continuing education courses for acupuncturists at eLotus.org. She continues to treat patients in her Los Angeles clinic and has recently completed a memoir about her path to healing after Alice’s death.
Dr. Alexandria Szeman is the award-winning author of New York Times Book Review’s Notable Book and Top 100 Books of the Year, The Kommandant’s Mistress, which also won the Kafka prize “for the best book of prose fiction by an American woman.” She won the Elliston Poetry Prize for excerpts from two of her books: Where Lightning Strikes: Poems on the Holocaust, and Love in the Time of Dinosaurs. She is a childhood sexual abuse survivor and advocate, and she frequently writes about migraine. She co-hosts #ChildLossChat, #SexAbuseChat, and #BookMarketingChat.
This Club Suuucks aims to destigmatize grief and trauma through open discussion around issues facing the bereaved. Whether you are bereaved, want to support the bereaved, or realize that learning to cope with grief and trauma in all its forms leads to a more meaningful life, we will be holding space for you after the lasagnas are long gone.
For more information on Melissa’s work, visit https://www.melissamariemonroe.com/
*Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is a category of death assigned when no cause of death can be identified after a thorough autopsy and death investigation. Though relatively rare, SUDC is the fifth leading cause of death in toddlers.
Prolonged Anticipatory Grief with Karen DeBonis, Author of "Growth"
May 24, 2023 Prolonged Anticipatory Grief with Karen DeBonis, Author of the memoir “Growth."
Anticipatory grief can occur for days, months, or even years before an impending loss and is experienced by many people whose loved ones suffer from chronic and/or degenerative diseases. Today’s guest Karen DeBonis, author of “Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived” spoke with us about her journey…which, gratefully, has a happier ending than most of my guests. From years of misdiagnoses, medical gaslighting, overcoming people-pleasing behavior, patient advocacy, and balancing work with caring for two boys—one of whom was finally diagnosed with a brain tumor, Karen tell us about the unique journey parents face when their child has a potentially deadly condition, and the post traumatic growth that can occur after your child fights a brain growth.
You can purchase Karen’s book here:
You can purchase Melissa’s new book, “Mom’s Search for Meaning” here:
Grief Following Suicide with Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW
Dec 22, 2022 Grief Following Suicide with Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW
Loved ones of those who died by suicide have a uniquely difficult grief journey. Todays guest Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW, is a counselor in Westlake Village, CA, an EMDR Approved Consultant, the Former Chair of Youth Suicide Prevention Committee for the American Association of Suicidology. Today we discuss how we can support ourselves and others following death of a loved one by suicide. We also discuss some simple anxiety hacks we can all use to improve our mental health, and signs to look for if we suspect someone may be suicidal.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideation call 988 in the US or go to: https://988lifeline.org/
You can learn more about Norine and her work here: https://www.norinevanderhoovenlcsw.com/about.
For more information on Our House Grief Support Center go here: https://www.ourhouse-grief.org/
Crisis in Faith During Grief with Stephanie Herrman, M.Theology
DEC 15, 2022 Crisis in Faith During Grief with Stephanie Herrman, M.Theology
Tragedy, grief and trauma can lead us to question even our deepest held beliefs, often resulting in additional guilt and shame. Stephanie Herrman, M. Theology – and long-time bodyworker and Pilates teacher – joins us today to provide a non-judgmental space to discuss what we can do for ourselves when we find ourselves questioning everything we thought we knew.
To find out more about Blue Christmas https://nationaltoday.com/blue-christmas/
Grief for Dads with Kelly Farley, Author of "Grieving Dads"
Dec 8, 202 Kelly Farley, Author of “Grieving Dads” | Grief in Dads
We individually grieve differently, plus we individually grieve different deaths differently… and grieve differently moment to moment. Therefore, expecting two family members to grieve the same way at the same time forever and ever, is not a fair expectation. And there are gender differences as well! I’m a woman and can give my personal experience as a grieving mom, but this episode is for the dads and anyone who wants to better understand how men grieve their children. Kelly Farley is a twice bereaved father and author of “Grieving Dads.” It was my honor to hand over the mic and Warren Gibbons, father of Nolan and husband of former guest Sheila Gibbons. To find out more about Kelly you can go here: https://grievingdads.com/ For more information about Helping Families Heal go here: https://www.helpingparentsheal.org/
Grief Support for Families Who Lost Children, Jody Pupecki of The Compassionate Friends
Nov 17, 2022 | Grief Support for Families Who Lost Children, Jody Pupecki of The Compassionate Friends
The death of a child is a devastating event not only for the parents of the child, but their siblings, grandparents, and other family members as well. Founded over 50 years ago, The Compassionate Friends now has over 520 grief group chapters for families in the US and is present in 30 other countries. TCF provides bereavement support for families in many ways, including virtual options, and has helped countless families cope with heartbreak of child loss. Jody started as a TCF participant. Her healing experience with TCF led her to become a Board Member today—a true shero.
For more information on TCF : https://www.compassionatefriends.org
To find a chapter: https://www.compassionatefriends.org/find-
To find a FaceBook group for specific types of loss : https://www.facebook.com/TCFUSA/groups
Adoption Loss and Compounded Losses with Candace Cahill, Author of "Goodbye, Again."
Nov 10, 2022 | Adoption Grief and Compounded Losses with Candace Cahill, Author of “Goodbye, Again.”
Candace Cahill lost her son. Twice. Once, after she was strong-armed into relinquishing him to adoption. The second time, after he died in his sleep not long after they finally met for the first time. Candace’s story will break your heart and put it back together. We discuss her unique periods of grief, adoption, compounded losses, complicated grief, and how her healing journey helped her find a level of compassion and forgiveness she didn't know she possessed.
You can learn more about Candace here: https://candacecahill.com/
You can buy “Goodbye, Again” here: https://legacybookpress.com/goodbye_again/
Compassionate, honest, and open talk
Melissa shares honest and candid information and experiences around child loss, grief, guilt, and all of the attendant emotions that surround the unimaginable loss of a dear child. A healer by trade, she is a warm, welcoming, and understanding host to her guests.
This Club Suucks
Wisdom and Compassion are two rare commodities in today’s media. Ms. Monroe offers both, and they come with the gentle guidance that only someone who has “been there” can offer. This program is a great gift.
Shame and Grief with Susan Lynch
This session of “This Club Suuucks” is amazingly therapeutic to me and would be to anyone who has lost a beloved one. I also find it helpful to anyone who is trying to console a loved one in deep grief.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to reach out to help others. We are here to help and love one another. ❤️🙏