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.
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/
Self-care During Grief with Graciela Moore
It’s always vital to take care of ourselves, but especially important—and challenging—during times of grief. Life Coach Graciela Moore discusses some easy ways we can nurture ourselves at our most vulnerable times. So many great questions, practical solutions, and beautiful shares in this episode.
For more about Graciela’s work, you can go here: https://linktr.ee/song.of.myself.ig
End of Life Support and Death Doulas with Sharon Pollock
Oct 27, 2022 | End of Life Support and Death Doulas with Sharon Pollock
Western society barely provides us enough time to plan a funeral, much less get affairs in order, grieve, or spend time with the dying. When it comes to saying goodbye, Sharon can assist you in multiple ways. Whether it’s keeping vigil with the dying, providing assistance with bureaucratic tasks and paperwork, supporting the family with meals or errands, or planning living wake or after death, Sharon can help plan the perfect ceremony to honor their life by creating and delivering a farewell true to them.
It may be traditional; it may be simple, and intimate; it may be outdoors in a favorite location; it may be full of laughter and joy. Where is it written that funerals need to always be somber events.
Sharon's passion is creating unique bespoke services which honor your loved one, before or after death.
You can find out more about Sharon’s services here: https://livingtilltheend.com.au/
To find a death doula in your area: https://goingwithgrace.com/death-doula-directory/
Sudden Unexplained and Unexpected Deaths with Amanda Brindle, LSW of the SUDC Foundation
October 6, 2022 | Sudden Unexplained and Unexpected Deaths with Amanda Brindle, LSW from the SUDC Foundation
Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is relatively unknown though it is the 5th leading classification of death in toddlers. SUDC is the sudden death of a child 1-18 years old that remains unexplained after a thorough autopsy and death investigation. Most of these children die in their sleep with no warning. Approximately 400 children a year die this way. Research and awareness of SUDC remains limited and there is little to no public funding. Without a cause – or causes—of these deaths, we cannot develop treatments, interventions or screenings. The SUDC Foundation seeks to promote awareness, advocate for research, and support families devastated by sudden unexpected or unexplained death in childhood. Today’s guest Amanda Brindle LSW is the Foundation’s Family Services Coordinator. She chats with us about the unique challenges faced by families affected by SUDC and the many ways the Foundation provides support.
For more information about SUDC support services, link here: https://sudc.org/services-for-bereaved-families/
For FREE Continuing Education for medical professionals, link here: https://sudc.org/medical-professionals/
Stillbirth and Birth Trauma with Dana Nassau, MFT
October 6, 2022 | Stillbirth and Birth Trauma with Dana Nassau, MFT
Approximately 21,000 babies are stillborn in the US every year, often for unknown reasons. Suffering the death of a child you never got to know while your body is recovering from childbirth and very much preparing for a child who is no longer here is a unique loss and one that is often diminished. Former doula and current MFT Dana Nassau joins us today to discuss the unique grief journey facing families suffering stillbirths and how we can better support ourselves and others after pregnancy loss or trauma. More information about Dana can be found here:
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. ❤️🙏