Grief is uncomfortable, grief is vulnerable, and grief is painful. Yet every single one of us experiences loss in our lives and it looks different for everyone. That’s why it’s incredibly important to better understand and find comfort in your grief so you can eventually find healing. It’s just as important to be there and support those who are grieving, too.
In this episode, Haylee and I are talking about loss and grief. Having both gone through very different losses, we want to help others find comfort and strength as they navigate their individual healing journey. Today, we are deep-diving into the most surprising parts of grief, how writing helped us through it, and why it doesn’t ever really go away. We’ll also be sharing resources and tools that can help, how to support someone in their own grief, plus the three things we wish we had known in our own grief.
What we covered:
- Finding comfort in grief
- Feeling misunderstood in your grief
- Why you should look grieving people in the eye
- 3 things we wish we’d known in our grief
- How to support someone in their grief
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OK, You’re Not OK by Megan Devine
Grief and loss suck. It’s uncomfortable, it makes you feel vulnerable, and most of all, it’s incredibly painful. We all go through our own different versions of grief and we all handle our loss in very different ways. And that’s okay. Haylee and I both believe that understanding grief, finding support and comfort through your grief, and knowing how to support those who are grieving is pivotal in helping each of us through some of the hardest times in our lives.
Meg: Okay, so loss and grief. This is a really hard, yet important topic. And it’s personally important to both Haylee and I, as we’ve both faced loss and grief, up close in our own stories, Haylee having two miscarriages in 2015. And me losing my former boyfriend to suicide in 2019. So when we were trying to think of episodes that were a must have, we were both like, we should talk about grief. Because I think it’s just something that is hard to talk about, and even being someone who has experienced grief and loss, close up, it still sometimes makes me nervous and uncomfortable.
So do you feel like that to Haylee?
The Uncomfortable and Vulnerable Truth Of Grief
Haylee: Oh, yeah, it’s really hard. I mean, it is very vulnerable. It makes you feel like you’re putting yourself out there. And that’s scary. Especially when it’s something so personal to you. Right? Yeah. Whether it’s sitting in my own grief, or even now, sitting with someone else and their grief, it can be, it’s just uncomfortable. Because having pain, whether it’s your own pain, or someone else’s pain that you love that you literally can’t fix – we can’t fix loss and death, and it’s a part of life and something that we’ll all face.
So for me, I just want everybody to always have their happiest day ever. And so it’s very hard – and I think this is so common – it’s very hard to see someone, whether it’s someone you love dearly like your partner, or even just an acquaintance, it’s hard to see someone so deep and grief and hurting and not want to rush in and fix it.
Meg: Okay, so, Haylee, what surprised you about your own grief and loss journey?
Haylee: I think what was most surprising is that I just didn’t know, like day to day how it would be, or how I would feel. I think generally, I’m a pretty happy person. I look on the bright side of things, I’m very optimistic. And so to not always be like, that was I think, maybe not surprising, but it was hard.
I would remember having to go back to work after my second miscarriage. And it was when I worked at Macy’s, and it was in December, so it’s a pretty hectic time. I was out on the floor with customers and stuff. And I remember a customer would say something to me, I look at them, and my eyes would start watering. And I’m like, why am I wanting to cry right now? It’s just a customer asking me a question.
It actually got to the point where I had to ask my boss if I could just be off the floor for a little while, because it didn’t matter who it was, if somebody came to say something to me, I couldn’t talk.
Meg: Mm hmm. It is very painful watching other people’s lives go on in a normal way. Not that you would expect a stranger to know, but I agree with that. Even after James – was my former boyfriend’s name – after his funeral, I remember people going to work on the following Monday. My first reaction was being offended. Like, what? Why are you going? This is crazy isn’t your world.
Haylee: Yeah that is for sure a hard thing and just normal conversations are also very like, what? Why do you care about the weather? You know?
Finding Comfort In Grief
Meg: So what is something that really helped or was comforting to you and your grief?
Haylee: I think having I mean, Russ was very supportive. But in a way that was – he wasn’t like you mentioned, he wasn’t trying to fix it, because he knew that he couldn’t do anything. There was nothing to fix. It couldn’t be fixed. And so It was more just like, he would just ask if there’s anything that I needed for the day. Or like, if I just wanted to lay in bed, he would bring me food. He just would let me do whatever it was I needed to do. Having a supportive circle is really helpful. What about for you?
Meg: I would agree with that, for sure. Having people allowing you to be where you are. I also think people just doing things, instead of asking when you’re in grief. What do you need? Even though that feels like a really helpful question and I’ve said it before, to people I’ll do anything, what do you need? When you’re like, deep in grief? You don’t even know what you need?
I mean, my answer in my head was always like, the person that just died, that’s all that I want. I think the people that were just like, I’m dropping off dinner, or I’m going on a walk, would you like to come? Like ask something very specific instead of broad? That really helped me because it didn’t overwhelm me.
How Writing Can Be Therapeutic For Grief
Another thing that really helped was writing, which I know, you also wrote a lot. Can you talk about how you wrote and how it was therapeutic to you?
Haylee: Yeah, so I would say before this, I would never really consider myself someone to journal or write a lot. And I bet there would just be times when I couldn’t sleep, and I would just get my phone and just start typing in the notes. Like that was how I wrote most of the time was just through notes in my phone.
I started Whimsy and Wellness a few months after my second miscarriage. And I decided that I wanted to share about my miscarriages because at that time, I hadn’t really known if anyone else that had gone through it or experienced it or really shared about it. And it felt very alone, I felt very alone through this experience. And I thought, well, if I could share my experience, and it could help even one person, I’ll feel a little bit less alone.
Then I would want to do that again, even though it was very scary. To put myself out there and share the vulnerable. So part of the writing that I did when I couldn’t sleep at night, I turned into captions. A caption that I posted on Instagram to share with others.
Feeling Misunderstood In Your Grief
Meg: Yeah, that I relate to that so much. And it is vulnerable, because I am always worried. I don’t want people to think I’m posting this for attention. It was more like, number one, therapeutic for me to write out how I was feeling, and number two, if this could help anyone then it would be worth it.
I think the internet can be this beautiful community. For me, I didn’t know anyone in my personal life who had lost someone to suicide. So it was hard to talk to other people about grief because their scope and experience was another loss. I always just felt misunderstood. But with the internet, I could find others who had lost a loved one to suicide, and in your case, miscarriage, and whatever the case may be. However, you’ve lost someone, I feel like the internet allows us to connect with people who have lost someone in similar ways. I just felt like if other people’s writing helped me feel even just understood or seen, then maybe mine would do the same. So yeah, it’s definitely helpful for sure.
So another question is, does grief ever go away?
Haylee: I don’t think it ever 100% is gone. No, I think it’s strongest when it’s the newest. That’s when you really feel it. For me, I felt it. I thought about it like every second after, right after it happened. And then maybe I thought about it, like every minute a couple weeks later, and then you just think about it a little less, I think as time goes on for me, but it never 100% goes away.
How Grief Is Like A Backpack
Meg: Yeah, it’s something you carry. Someone said this to me, when I was deep in grief, and it was really comforting to me. I love analogies, they really helped me process. And she said that grief is like this backpack that somebody has. It’s like really, really heavy. And if you were on a walk, or a hike or something and someone handed you this 50 pound backpack. At first, you’re like stumbling and all you can think about is how heavy this backpack is. You want to put it down. And that’s all you can think about.
But eventually, you get it centered on your body and you get used to it. You can think about other things, but you’re still carrying it. And I just thought that that was such a good analogy, because it’s true. At first your world is the loss and the grief. And for me, I was okay with that. It was not comforting to me, when people would say like, it won’t always feel like this, or it’ll feel better with time. For me that scared me.
I didn’t want the person I had lost to be this distant memory, you know. And so the thought of like, oh, it’ll feel better with time that actually like really stung. I didn’t want to think about that. I was like, I don’t want to move away from it, you know? But just always carrying it, but that the weight shifts.
Haylee: I like that analogy, too. I haven’t heard that.
Looking Grieving People In The Eye
Meg: Okay. I heard this Brene Brown quote for the first time just one or two weeks after my own loss. And it really touched me. So I wanted to read that because I think that it would be helpful for both grieving people and those of you who are supporting someone who’s grieving.
This is from Brene Brown, she said, “My mom taught us to never look away from people’s pain. The lesson was simple, Don’t look away, don’t look down. Don’t pretend not to see hurt, look, people in the eye, even when their pain is overwhelming. And when you’re in pain, find the people who can look you in the eye, we need to know we’re not alone, especially when we’re hurting.”
I have chills reading that. Because twofold. There’s so much to that, that we can unpack. At first, it was hard for me. The people who I would run into and I would know that they knew, and they just couldn’t look at me. They didn’t. They would either just say, Hi.
And I could just sense their uncomfortableness or even friends or family members who didn’t really reach out. And it was hurtful. And so when I saw this quote, it just made me so grateful for the people who kept looking me in the eye. Whether that was virtually checking in or physically, when they would see me they’d say like, how are you doing?
Can you reflect on that quote for your own experience and your grief?
Haylee: So from my experience, not very many people knew what was happening with me at the time. I mean, Ross knew, of course, and some of our close friends and family members knew. And I would definitely say, yeah, that it was very helpful when they would just like, be there, even if they didn’t say anything, or do anything, but just saying Hey, I’m here for you. Even just like that, like just being seen. And just them acknowledging that they’re thinking about me was really helpful.
The other part of that quote that I love that’s like, and when you’re in pain, find the people who can look you in the eye. I think that is just so good.
Meg: You made a really interesting point about people not knowing. I talked about this a few minutes ago, that all types of grief and loss are so different and complex, like you can’t compare any grief really. Which we’ll talk about later.
But I feel like the more I talk to grieving people about their own experience, the more I’m like, oh, wow, I never thought of that. How you said with miscarriage people who are grieving a loss of a miscarriage, others might not know. Whereas another type of loss, it’s pretty public, it’s in the newspaper and there’s services and that kind of thing.
So that was something that I had never thought of. So I just wanted to call attention to that. Because there’s always things about different types of loss, whether it’s miscarriage or suicide, or child loss or a parent loss that we just don’t think of, if we haven’t lived it ourselves.
For Those Who Are Grieving
Okay, so now we’re going to talk to those of you who are grieving yourselves. And then afterwards, we’ll talk to those of you who are wanting to support a grieving loved one in your life.
So for those of you who are grieving, I just feel like it’s really important to say that – this isn’t advice by the way. Because there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, as long as you’re being safe with yourself. There’s no like, you’re not doing it wrong. So sometimes when people would tell me, Oh, you should do this, I’m just like, No, I shouldn’t.
I guess, with all that Haylee and I shared what worked for us might not work for you. The thought of it might just flat out annoy you. And that’s totally fine. There is just no comparison with grief. So however you’re feeling about your loss, it is your right, and it’s your grief and your experience, and no one gets to tell you that your experience is wrong or invalid.
Three Things We Wish We Had Known In Our Grief
Just to own that your experience is valid is so important. So Haylee, and I came up with three main things that we wish we did, or we wish we had known in our own grief. And like I said, you can take it, leave it, laugh at it, get mad at it, whatever, everything is valid.
Number 1: Be Selfish In Grief & Giving Yourself Grace
It’s okay for you to voice your feelings or needs and to pause or step back from a relationship. This one was really hard for me. Because there were some friends and family members in my life who loved me and wanted to support me. But they were saying some things or doing some things that just were frustrating and weren’t helping. I felt like I couldn’t pull back from that relationship.
However, I could have. I guess that’s something that I wish I had more grace for myself to just realize they can have good intentions, and they can mean well, and that’s fine, but I have to take care of myself. And them saying, well, at least this or telling me what I need to do just isn’t helpful. It’s actually hurting me. So I have to take care of myself and step back. Whether that’s with a relationship, or maybe just like Haylee said, she had to go to her boss and say, I can’t be on the floor working with customers right now. Just voicing our needs. In grief be selfish. That’s the bottom line, for sure.
Do you want to share yours?
Number 2: Have Grace For Yourself & Put Yourself First
Haylee: Yeah. So you mentioned having grace for yourself. And that’s definitely one of mine, taking care of yourself, putting yourself first. I know, for me personally, I’m not usually very good at that. And then especially, I think during grief, there’s just so many things happening, and you don’t want to offend other people, even when you’re not feeling good at all. You still, for some, for some reason don’t want to put yourself first.
The example that you gave, you don’t want to be rude or you don’t want to cut this relationship off. But really, if it’s what’s best for you at the time, then it’s what’s best. And it can be hard to know, at the time, I think that’s the other hard part. So just doing your best at the time that you can have taking care of yourself and putting yourself first. Having grace, knowing that if you need to stay in bed all day that day. It’s okay. Really thinking, what do I need to do for myself today, and just one day at a time. That can be as simple as have I had anything to drink today? Because like, when you’re in grief, little things are big. Eating a meal seems impossible. And so even just asking if I had anything to drink. No? I should probably drink some water, I should try to have some bites of some food. Even little things like that.
I also want to go back a little bit to taking a step back from a relationship. Because something I didn’t say was, it’s better to take a pause than to forever hold resentment towards someone. Because if they don’t know that they’re hurting you or not helping, there could just be more and more damage. And for me, I wanted to be nice and all of that. I had all of my excuses. However, like I was holding resentment and getting internally very mad at the person. And so it’s just best to just know, ok, I need a break from this relationship. Just accept that not everyone in our lives, even if they love us, are going to know how to show up. But I have to choose me right now.
Number 3: Grief Means You Loved
So the third one is something that I actually learned this from the book, It’s OK, You’re Not OK by Megan Devine, which we’ll talk about later, but it was really helpful. Your grief means that you loved. Grief is the price we pay for loving. It’s like the ultimate price we pay and we all grieve.
I just always thought that that was a really comforting description. The reason this hurts so bad is because I loved so much. And so you’re not wrong or broken or overreacting for being so sad or so heartbroken over your loss. It means you loved so much. And it sucks to lose someone. Would you like to add anything?
Haylee: No, I think that is very true. And it’s okay that it sucks. I mean, it’s not okay, that sucks.
The whole point of whatever you need to do to take care of yourself in the moment is okay. Because there’s no wrong way to grieve.
Meg: I remember being proud of myself, for just getting out of bed and being like I did enough today. Like to do lists and all of that go out the window. You’re just surviving.
Supporting Someone In Their Grief
Okay, so now we’re going to talk to those of you who are either supporting someone who’s grieving, or maybe other people’s grief and loss makes you uncomfortable. That actually used to be the case for me, I never knew what to say or do around grieving people. And therefore, I would feel so uncomfortable.
Then when I was on the other end of it, it made me realize, Okay, wow, even though it’s hard to be there for someone who’s grieving, it’s so important. And grieving people remember.
Just like in that quote from Brene Brown. We remember people who looked us in the eye whether that’s through a text, call, email. I remember, one friend would text me like almost every day saying, how is today? Because saying, How are you was so such a loaded question.
Obviously I wasn’t good, but I felt like a negative Nancy for saying bad. Not that you can’t say bad because you absolutely can. You’re facing a loss. I never knew how to respond to how are you? That’s just so loaded when you’re facing grief. And so that friend who would just say, How are you today? That was like, Okay, I can answer how am I today? You know, I can say I ate today. However, this happened, or today’s a hard day.
Supporting someone, sitting with someone in grief is hard, and it’s uncomfortable. But you’re building trust and it’s a really great thing to do to look someone in the eye and their grief.
Okay, what’s something that you have to share about or have to share for people supporting someone in grief?
Haylee: I was just gonna say – to what you said before – I think supporting someone could even just be as simple as sending a text. How are you today? Or like, how is today? I think that’s such a simple way to be there for someone.
Just Being There
I love that song. Say That. So I think not trying to fix the situation, which we touched on earlier, just meeting the person where they’re at. And like you said a simple text message, or just, I’m bringing over dinner, and I’m just leaving it at the door. I don’t even need to come in. Maybe you’re not in the mood to have company and that’s fine, but I just want to make sure you eat.
Just being there. in whatever way that you can. Yeah, but not trying to fix it and not trying to hurry them along. Or, like you mentioned, like the well at least or like, well, maybe you should do this. It’s like well, you don’t have to do any of that. Like, let that person be. When they’re ready to do whatever it is, they will. But just making sure that they know that you’re there.
It’s hard knowing that you can’t fix something that is uncomfortable, but I feel like if we can switch the thought process of, this is so hard that I can’t fix it. Let it almost take the weight off of you like I literally can’t fix this. That takes any pressure off of me to feel like I have to because I literally can’t. There is no fixing death and loss and It’s just what happens. So if we can just be there.
Because oftentimes, trying to fix it just hurts really bad. Because the grieving person knows you can’t fix it. They’re very aware. And as the grieving person, you don’t expect anyone to. No one has that power.
Grief is lonely. It’s a really, really lonely and scary place to be in. The comfort of your presence is as simple as it seems. You might not know how powerful and comforting your presence is, whether that’s over a text, sending a card or something like that. It’s comforting.
Mirror Their Reality
Meg: For sure. Okay, the next one was to mirror their reality. This one was really helpful for me when a couple of people did it. And it’s as simple as like, when someone is talking to you about grief, I remember saying this just sucks so bad. And you would have people that say, no, it doesn’t, or, well, with time, it’ll get better, or they would have some bandaid or fix it statement.
But then there were people who would mirror my reality wherever I was at and say like, Yeah, it does. That’s it. That’s what I mean about knowing you can’t fix it. When they say, This hurts so bad. It does. I know, I’m sorry. Whatever they’re feeling. This is unfair. And sad. Yes, it is. You don’t have to feel that way. Because they do. Because having someone mirror back to you, you don’t feel the need to explain your grief or justify it.
I was always left feeling defensive when people would be like, Oh, well, but it won’t always feel that way or something. When someone would say, it does suck. I was just like, oh thank for just acknowledging
Don’t Bright Side Things
Okay. And then what’s your third?
Haylee: Third would be like, Don’t Bright-side things. So these all connect together. Because when you’re talking, it’s true. That person is also trying to be like, Well it’s not that bad. And it’s like, no, it is that bad. Thanks for making me think that now I shouldn’t be feeling like it’s that bad when it is.
After I shared with people that I had a miscarriage, I would often get well, at least you can get pregnant. Like, the bright side. And it’s like, oh, yeah, thanks. That’s totally what I’m thinking about right now.
Or the other one I would get that bothered me so much is everything happens for a reason. Or along those lines. God has a plan. Yeah, okay person that I barely know, that is trying to make me feel better. You’re trying to fix it. And like, I get your intentions are obviously to try to help me feel better, but it really did the opposite.
I would so much rather you said, I’m so sorry. That must be really hard. And that’s it. Because those bright side comments were the quickest way to send me into rage. I would just be like, Are you kidding me?
We can’t imagine someone else’s grief. Even if it’s a similar loss. Each person and experience is different. And so no matter what the case is we really can’t imagine because you’re not them and you didn’t lose the life that they lost. So, yeah, bright siding is a big No, no. And if you’re saying, Well, my intentions are good. That’s okay. We know that the intentions are good and that your heart is in a good space, obviously, like no one is going into that thinking I’m gonna hurt them more and make them mad by saying, at least, you can still get pregnant or at least they lived that long. But I just think any statement with “at least” needs to go. And honestly it feels awkward. But it’s better to be awkward than trying to fix it or anything like that.
Just Sitting With Them In Their Grief
Meg: I feel like I told you guys, I love analogies. And if you just picture someone sitting on a bench in a rainstorm, and they can’t get up, and you can’t move them to get up, but you can go sit with them and hold an umbrella. But you can’t move them. Just going and sitting in someone’s grief. This is happening. This is hard. But I’m gonna sit here with you. And sometimes that’s in silence.
I also think just flat out asking, do you want to talk about it? Because sometimes people do. And I think oftentimes it’s uncomfortable to ask someone. That is a very vulnerable question to ask someone, do you want to talk about it? Because on the other end of that could be rejection, right? Like, they could say no. And then it’s awkward. But someone could be wanting to talk about it so desperately. And no one’s asking.
You could be that person who allows them to share. Maybe they want to talk about the loss, or maybe they just want to talk about the life they lost. I always felt like I couldn’t talk about the happy memories that I had of James because I could feel the other person’s uncomfortableness. Even if I was just telling a funny, past story. I could see that they were uncomfortable. I would always think, I just wish I could talk about this.
Okay. So did you have anything else to add before we head on to the next part?
Haylee: No, I think everything you said was right on. I think the biggest takeaway, if you’re trying to support someone who’s grieving is just to be with them where they are. Just acknowledging this. I’m so sorry. You’re right.
Tools & Resources To Help With Grief
Meg: Okay, so we normally end each episode with rapid fire questions, but that just didn’t feel right for this episode. So I thought instead, we could just take some time and share some resources and tools that we found helpful and supportive, that you could either use yourself or pass on, and that thing.
These are just suggestions. It’s not us saying try this, it’ll take away your pain, or this will definitely work for you. Because like I said before, what worked for Haylee might have really annoyed me and vice versa. So just take it for what it is.
It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine
The first is the book I mentioned, It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine. That is something that I just really recommend if you have experienced, like an untimely or unexpected death. Or any loss at all. Her book is just incredible. Reading it just felt like someone finally understood. Even though her loss was so different from mine, I just was like, oh, wow, she’s not trying to Brightside me or fix it or anything. The title says it all. It’s OK That You’re Not OK. So I highly recommend that book.
This one is one that surprised me. And that’s Bereavement Counseling. I think this is definitely a personal choice because some people really love and find support and counseling, and some people don’t. But for me, I was actually seeing a regular counselor at the time. And I just felt like I needed something a little bit more. Someone who had a bit more experience with suicide, and I wasn’t sure if I would find anyone. But it turned out that there was a local bereavement center. Not local, it was like an hour away, but close enough for me to get to. And within that bereavement center, they had specialized counselors for all different types of losses. The counselor that I saw, she only did suicide loss counseling. And they had all different specific types of loss counselors, and then they also had support groups there. And so it might be worth it if you’re wanting to talk, especially to a professional. Maybe just googling your area for bereavement counseling or support groups and seeing if there’s anything. And there’s probably also virtual bereavement counseling, and I know there’s virtual support groups too, if you’re wanting to just lean on other people that might get it.
And then essential oils really helped me. I always want to be careful when I say this, because I never want it to sound like oils fixed my grief, because they just didn’t. But they were a supportive tool that I would use.
So the first one that I used was Trauma Life, and that is one that I would recommend if you had if your loss was traumatic. Like for me, I would have flashbacks and visions and so traa life I would diffuse at bedtime to help me not go to that place. Trauma Life is a Young Living blend. But it’s a blend of Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Frankincense, Valerian. I’ll warn you it does not smell good at least to me. I did not like the smell of it but it really really really supported me. It has lavender, rose all different stuff in it but the Valaria, I think is what makes it stinky in my opinion. And then Frankincense was very, very helpful to me. Tree oils are just very grounding in general. And Frankincense is extremely grounding and I would just lather my chest and my feet in Frankincense.
I actually like to remember at calling hours someone hugged me and said, do you have an entire bottle of essential oil on? And I’m just like, Yeah, I do. So Frankincense is just such a good one and then Peace and Calming. It was very very helpful for me, especially when I would get so upset and worked up that I couldn’t calm myself down and so I would just put a drop of Peace and Calming on my hands and take some deep breaths and it would really help me to get away from the panic attack state. I would diffuse it with traa life to make traa life not smell so stinky. Peace and Calming was very comforting to me. Yeah. And it’s a blend of Blue Tansy, Orange, Tangerine, and Patchouli.
Do you want to share your oils just so we stay on track?
Haylee: Yeah, so after my first miscarriage, I actually ordered Young Livings Feelings Kit and it comes with six oils in there. And it’s supposed to be exactly what it’s for, feelings and like big feelings. And obviously that was happening with me after the miscarriage.
I got the kit and I opened them. So there’s Harmony, Forgiveness, Inner Child, Present Time, Release, and Valor, all come in there. They’re all different blends. And we’ll put exactly what’s in each one in the show notes so you guys can see if you’re not familiar with the blends.
But I opened each bottle and they all smelled so terrible to me. And I think it’s so weird, because they’re all very floral. And normally, I like floral scents. So I didn’t understand that. But I was like, wow, that’s disappointing because they all smell terrible. Obviously, I can’t use these because they smell so bad.
So I put them away for months, actually. And I was going through my stuff a few months later, and I found them and I was like, well, I should probably give these to my friend or something so they can get used. And I pulled them back out and smelled them again. And they smelled so good. It was the weirdest thing I had ever experienced with oils. Before they smelled so terrible that I literally couldn’t use them. And then a complete 180. And they smelled so good. I started using them. And to this day, they’re still some of my favorites that I use all the time.
I talked with a couple of friends who used oils about that experience. And they said that sometimes the ones that smell the worst to you are actually the ones that your body likes at that time. So I probably should have used them even though they smelled terrible to me. But I couldn’t. But now I use them all the time. I literally wear them as perfume. I just put them in rollers, roll them all over me or I defuse them all the time.
Meg: Yeah. It’s so interesting. But it makes sense because the limbic system of the brain, which is where trauma and our memories are stored is directly connected to our sense of smell. And essential oils, when we smell them, can get through the blood brain barrier, and they go to the amygdala gland.
So emotional rejection to the smell, there’s like science behind that. Why you smell an oil that you need, and it smells. That’s probably why Trauma Life smelled so bad to me. It’s just very, very interesting.
Okay, another tool that helped both Haylee and I that we already talked about, so we won’t go too deep in that into that, but that’s writing. Whether it’s a note in your phone or you get a journal. Also, Megan Devine, who is the author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK, at one point had a course that she teaches called Writing Your Grief. That was always something I was very intrigued by, I never took it. So I don’t have a testimony. But I loved her book. And so if you are wanting to write and process everything that might be something to look into.
Oh, and also there is an amazing TED talk out there. Some of you have heard it because it was viral. But it was Nora McNerney. I hope I’m saying her name right. She has a great TED talk on grief. And I was really grateful someone sent it to me when I was grieving. And I was just like, Wow, this is amazing. She explained, grieving really perfectly. And she slid in some humor. And it was really good. And I think she has a book also and a podcast and yeah, so there are tools and resources out there.
But unfortunately nothing can fix it or take it away.
Haylee: I was gonna say I thought of another one that was helpful for me and it’s miscarriage specific, but it’s a Instagram account called I had a miscarriage. And she talks a lot about what you had been done, how you can’t compare your grief and she specifically talks about within miscarriage or or pregnancy loss. She’s like, it doesn’t matter if you were one day pregnant or you know, 40 weeks pregnant and miscarry.
I think specifically people tend to want to know that or ask, well, how far along were you? Like that makes a difference somehow on how you should be grieving. I always thought reading that was really helpful. She shares a lot of stories from women all over the world. And again, it was just one of those things that made me feel a little bit less alone. To be able to see, oh, there are people that have experienced this and they’re talking about it. I can see myself. I’m not the only one.
Meg: Yeah, that’s so true. And I definitely want to encourage people that if you are feeling like misunderstood in your specific type of loss, whatever that may be, like for Haylee, it was miscarriage and for me, it was suicide loss. Whatever yours is, if you’re feeling like no one in my personal life gets this and you want someone to, I would encourage you to just search the hashtag on Instagram.
That’s how I found other people who had lost someone to suicide. I just searched hashtag suicide loss. And I found some other women and I would just read their stories.
Whether it’s through a support group that you can find or just googling or putting into Instagram, your type of loss. You might find someone or a page or an organization that you can connect with.
Did you have anything else to add?
Haylee: I just hope this is helpful for anyone. Yes, someone that’s either like you mentioned, either personally experiencing grief or trying to help someone through it or like you even mentioned, maybe it just makes you uncomfortable. I mean, it makes everybody uncomfortable, right? I don’t think anyone’s like, you know what I love talking about? Yeah, my favorite subject.
I could just ramble on. It’s just uncomfortable. I think because in nature, we do want to fix it. And like you said, we don’t want to see people that we love suffering, and we want to do everything we can to make it better. And with grief. It’s literally not an option. And that’s really hard.
Meg: Yeah, it really is. Grief, that should be the title of the episode. But seriously, thank you so much for listening to this episode. And like Haylee said, we hope that it brought someone somewhere comfort, and just knowledge that you’re not alone. I’ll talk to you next time.