Confession: I am an introverted bookworm who would rather shove toothpicks under my fingernails than make small talk. Yes, I will talk about the weather, when I must, but I am also very likely to avoid circumstances where I must altogether.
I do, however, love (and I do mean love) big, chewy conversations. It’s how I process information, and along with writing, it’s definitely one of the things that keeps me moving ahead from all that life seems to hand me.
There’s really nothing I won’t talk about and some of the very best, impactful conversations followed periods of grief when I was trying to make sense of what was happening and get through it.
And let’s be clear; a huge part of my work is conversation. I am not always a big contributor to it, but I witness my clients as they say what they need to and then offer what I hope are thoughtful pieces that help them to see themselves more clearly. When I first started my coach training, back in 2008, I remember noticing, as if I had just discovered a magic goose that spit out gold, that the work was as simple as a conversation, and as profound as we allowed it to be.
All this to say: conversations drive me and I love to have them. I love to ask people about their journey with grief, I love to hear about loved ones who have died (I always ask their names so that we may speak them aloud and bring them into the space—dead people love it when we talk about them!), and I love to hear about the incredible experiences of the people around me.
I believe we all long for connection and to be truly seen by the people around us and the swiftest way into this is to share our messy, sloppy vulnerability with others.
In my mind, I have a fantasy that one day, for some reason, I will be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. Earlier this year, I saw a short clip on social media of Jimmy talking about his experience with his newborn son and his heart condition and it drew me right in. He was vulnerable and open and so endearingly raw that I couldn’t help myself and became a big fan. I seem most drawn to public figures who would make great dinner guests, and I could easily see hanging out with him. I started to record his show every night, and watch it whenever I have time and he has an interesting guest.
As a result of Jimmy sharing his life so openly, he created intimacy with a stranger and connection we would not have otherwise had. He modelled what I wish we would all do.
In this mix was the integration of a weekend I had in Texas at a live coaching event. I spent the weekend with about sixty other women and although it was my first time to attend one of these events (see above note about being a raging introvert,) I made an agreement with myself going in that I would be open to what came my way. During the weekend, we had discussions about race and privilege, hate and fear, leadership and intersectionality. I met some important new connections who would become a part of this unfolding, and set the wheels in motion.
I returned home from that weekend sick with a vicious cold, with a whole lot of confusion. The book was nearing completion on the first draft, and my business felt like it needed to be burned to the ground and started again. I was feeling called to work with people around grief, but the relationships and individuals I have always worked with were also still calling. So began the process of mixing them together and creating some news ways to work.
One morning, I rose with a single phrase in my head: “Start the podcast.”
I had talked about it, I had danced around it, and it was time. Grief: A Love Story – the podcast was born and I am thrilled to share it with you now. It’s my very favourite things, all in one place.
In it, we will have brave, sometimes-unconventional conversations about grief, life, death, mourning and all the things that lie among them. We will talk about relationships because along with death, they are the universal experience of all of us. You can expect a show each week, my trademark way of being with all of it, and conversations you never thought you would ever have.
To be among the first to hear, to have your finger on the pulse of all of it, you’ll want to join me here where it will all shake down. See you there!