It is with great pleasure (and a few tears) that I share this episode of The Herb Walk Podcast with you all. Like so many of you, I have been actively grieving the past couple of years. My grief began with the death of millions of people worldwide at the beginning of the pandemic.
Early on I didn’t know any person that died of COVID, but I felt deeply the loss that affected billions of people worldwide. In January of 2021, two people I have known since the late 90’s, died of drug overdoses (fuck fentanyl) and exacerbated the grief I was feeling for the world.
Then on Easter Sunday 2021, I received a call that one of my best friends, Kelly, died while in Mexico. He had been going through a very rough time and felt completely overwhelmed by his family life, business, COVID. Many of us knew he was struggling and had tried to help, but none of us could have guessed he would take his own life. He is not the first friend I have had that committed suicide, but his death has been the hardest. You can hear my interview with Kelly from 2018.
With all of that loss, I am so grateful to have Willow Meili in my life. Having a friend that works so intimately with grief and those that are grieving, has opened my eyes (and heart) to my own grief. As a culture, we believe we should get over it and move on as quickly as possible. As a practitioner I know that is unrealistic and unhealthy, but I was still trying to shut myself down and speed up my grief. Willow has been my biggest advocate for just letting my grief flow, with no expectations of what it should look like or how long it should take.
Despite the heavy topic of grief, this is actually a very positive episode with lots of laughter! Throughout our talk, Willow explains how a death doula supports not only the person passing, but also their community. We talk about ritual and herbs that can help support the grieving process and how Nature can be a profound ally. One of the most important thing we discuss is about planning your advanced directives so your family doesn’t have to make hard decisions after your death.
Before you listen, I encourage everyone to make a nourishing cup of tea (mimosa, rose and hawthorn would be amazing). If possible, listen to this episode with your loved ones. If you are in a safe space, let yourself feel any emotion that may come up. Contemplate your own thoughts around loss and the resources that may be available to you. Below is a list of a few places you can go for assistance.
Resources for Grief:
988- Suicide Prevention Hotline
Podcast: Play in new window | Download