In this episode, I sit down with the wildly funny, authentic-as-hell Michelle Cove, the Senior Communications Manager for Experience Camps for Grieving Children. When Michelle was 20 years old, she lost her father. She continued by living in a state of shock, until 12 years later, she fell apart. She was in a loving, supportive marriage with a young child, and the trauma of her young adulthood hit hard. “It threw me because I didn’t know why. And the reason why was that I was safe. I was in a stable place, all around me. There were signs that said it’s okay now to fall apart.”
Michelle takes us on her journey that led to her current professional role as the Senior Communications Manager for Experience Camps for Grieving Children. The campers are young people who have lost a parent or parent figure or a sibling. With Covid, Michelle has seen even more applications for campers whose loved one has died of overdose or suicide, the pandemic making life, especially in communities of color, impossible, exacerbated by the lack of mental health access.
Michelle brings her life experience to her organization in her daily work, getting the word out about the camp, amongst other missions. She focuses on education for supporting those grieving: “If we are talking about grief, or if we’re talking about depression or anxiety or anybody facing any adversity— just sitting with them, not trying to fix it, or give them your wisdom. Nobody needs your advice. Just, ‘that sounds hard.’ Or, ‘I want to hear what it’s like for you.’ Or, ‘I’m just listening.’”
Highlights from Michelle:
"And I realized that Goddammit, there were gifts from the death of my Dad. And the biggest one was I don't take time for granted."
"You're valuable just because you're valuable. You're worthwhile because you're you. And everything after that is just extensions of what you want to put out into the world. And it's such a different way to live when you really get that."
"I think authenticity is the hottest thing in the world. People showing you who they really are— take me or leave me. This is me. I don't know what's better than that. I love showing up that way and I love it in other people. It's the thing I find the most attractive."
Don't Miss a Beat.
Follow my Instagram for news from me, Tara Beckett:
Learn more about Michelle Cove:
Experience Camps for Grieving Children:
Original Music for Let Perfect Burn by Eleri Ward