HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF AND TRAUMA is completely self, funded, produced, and edited by me, Nathalie Himmelrich.
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Today on the podcast I am speaking with Lisa Bolton who experienced multiple losses in her life. She talks about dealing with loss after loss, the intense grieving bringing her to the brink of suicide, and the pivotal importance of her support system. She says: Without support, you can’t go through it. In her case, she had her church and a group of mothers who all had lost children through a drug overdose. In making her loss meaningful, Lisa beautifully describes how she allows her daughter to live through her. Another really important part of our conversation dealt with the topic of comparing losses, especially in the case of blended families dealing with losses on both sides, and the importance of relational support within the family.
About this week’s guest
Originally from New Jersey, Lisa now lives in Florida. After having been married for 25 years, she divorced and later remarried. She is a mother to 3 biological children, 2 stepchildren, and one foster child, but she considers them all hers. She has been an Early Childhood Administrator for almost 40 years. A few years ago, she also became a Stillbirth Doula, Support Group Facilitator, and Grief Counselor for adults, children, and adolescents. Her grief journey began 34 years ago when she lost her first-born son to a miscarriage. 30 years later she lost her rainbow baby, her beautiful 26-year-old daughter to an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. In between those losses, she also lost her wonderful 18-year-old stepdaughter to a rare autoimmune disease. Everything she does is in memory of her children: carrying on their legacies, making sure their names are said and their deaths are not in vain. They all mattered, and while making sure they live on she is also trying to heal her own heart while helping others to heal theirs.
Topics discussed in this episode
- Multiple losses: Pregnancy loss of her son DJ, loss of her daughter in 2019 and stepdaughter in 2015
- Dealing with the most intense days of grief, suicidal tendencies, and the vital importance of support
- Comparing losses in a blended family situation
- Expressive versus cognitive ways of grieving, and cultural differences in grieving
- How to incorporate the memory of her children into her own life
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Podcast episode – Parents reflecting on grief and loss 11 years after
- TEARS Foundation Florida Chapter
- The FRoM Project Inc supports grieving parents who have lost a child to a substance use disorder, addiction, overdose, or fentanyl poisoning.
- Picking Up The Pieces works to reduce or prevent the harms of alcohol and other drug use through education, intervention, and advocacy.
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HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF AND TRAUMA is produced and edited by me, Nathalie Himmelrich.