Today on the podcast I’m speaking with Keem Fares, the mother of Karina, a spirited intelligent young gymnast, who died in a freak accident when she was 12 years old.
In our conversation, we draw the connection from early grief to when we worked on the book Surviving My First Year of Child Loss in 2017 to now, 8 years after Karina’s death.
I can highly recommend listening to this episode with Keem because she so beautifully describes how grief has affected her life, her relationship, and her faith and how it has evolved from pure survival to how she experiences it now, after 8 years.
This was without a doubt the most interesting conversation I had on the topic of how faith and grief interact, especially given the fact that I would call myself a strongly spiritual but non-religious person.
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About this week’s guest
Keem Fares is a Non-Profit professional and holds a leadership position in Financial Operations. Originally from Mexico herself, she met her husband in Cairo, Egypt, where they lived for 15 years before moving to San Diego, California in 2011.
Keem struggles to rediscover herself after the accidental death of her 12-year-old daughter, Karina, in 2015. She finds joy in her son Mark, and together with her husband, they rely on their faith in hope. They established Karina’s Joy Foundation to perpetuate Karina’s joyful spirit and giving nature through youth scholarships and acts of kindness.
She says, “I don’t have answers. I simply intentionally survive one moment, one day, one week, one month, one year…and then I do it again. Maybe, someday I’ll have survived enough to live and perhaps even thrive. In the midst of my own darkness, I can trust and hope that a rainbow might appear. One stormy day at a time, I am expecting rainbows.”
Topics discussed in this episode
- The impact of her teenage daughter’s death on her life
- How grief evolved from surviving to becoming ‘comfortable’ with grief
- Pre-grief in the times before death-anniversaries
- Finding comfort in community online
- Social media offering both comfort and triggers
- What grief looks like 8 years later, effects on relationship and faith
Resources mentioned in this episode
- The book including Keem and Karina’s story Surviving My First Year of Child Loss
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HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF AND TRAUMA is produced and edited by me, Nathalie Himmelrich.
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Remember to keep breathing, I promise, it will get easier.