Today on the podcast I’m speaking with Brooke whose story could be one that movies are made of. She has experienced loss after loss culminating in a series of devastating and traumatic losses within the past 12 months.
Listening to Brooke telling her life story is both devastating and shocking, at the same time as hope-inspiring in the way she’s living her life after loss with fierce resilience at the same time as grieving.
She speaks candidly about the dark places she went through while grieving and how she got help when she was suicidal.
The truth is that there are people like Brooke who have no choice but to live with multiple traumatic losses. The question is: how do we meet them? How do we enable ourselves to hold space for someone and their situation?
Regarding the people who helped Brooke the most, she says:
I want to be strong, and I want to keep going and find meaning in things. I’m just like a go-go-go person and the most helpful thing for me was people saying: ‘Slow down and breathe. You need to feel this and not rush through it, not ignore it, not medicate it.Brooke Carlock
About this week’s guest
Brooke Carlock has experienced more grief and loss in her lifetime than most. The deaths of her grandparents, sister, cousin, and sister-in-law before she turned 35, along with her extensive coursework in Human Development and Psychology, taught her the power of resilience. However, nothing would prepare her for the devastation to come in her 40s. In a span of four months, Brooke lost her father to an unexpected heart attack, her stepmother to suicide, and her beloved 10-year-old daughter, Libby, in a horrific car accident.
As a teacher and freelance writer, her daughter’s death led Brooke to relentlessly study the fields of grief, loss, trauma, and resilience in order to survive her own experiences. Currently, she is pursuing her Grief Educator certification.
Brooke is the founder of LiveLikeLibby.org, a nonprofit organization that provides dance scholarships in her daughter’s honor, as well as the creator of Grieving Mommy, where she blogs about her experiences as a grieving mother.
Topics discussed in this episode
- Loss of her favourite grandfather when Brooke was 10-year-old
- Loss of her sister leaving behind young children, and multiple losses in the close family
- Most recently her father (heart attack), closely followed by her stepmom (overdose) and dealing with both funeral arrangement
- News of the terminal illness of her mother
- Loss of her daughter Libby through a car accident
- Dealing with the dark places in early grief and suicidal thoughts
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), here is an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhRrXuBU8-Q
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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.