In this episode Betsy shares her story of grief.
This is the Ask A Mortician YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi5iiEyLwSLvlqnMi02u5gQ
Here’s the book I was mentioning – I got the audible version that I think is so much better.
You’re listening to Episode 172 of The Art of Living big. On today’s show, we’re talking about grief. And it wasn’t really a topic that I wanted to talk about. So I hope that there is something in here that serves you, perhaps you are the reason that I needed to make this episode today, I want to just to remind you that you have a community if you want to join us in Facebook, you can actually just type into your browser, The Art of Living big.com.
And that will bring you right to our Facebook group, you can join us there, share with me what your thoughts are on today’s episode. Share with me where you are on your grief journey. And if you’re not grieving, or you’re like this is gonna be I don’t want this topic, Betsy. This might be it might be fun. It’s sort of storytime, and is my own personal experience with grief. And I do hope that it serves you. So thanks so much for listening. Let’s go to the show. Welcome to the art of living big. I’m your host, Betsy Pake. I’m an international expert
in manifesting from your subconscious. And this podcast is designed to help you think differently about what could be possible for your life. Now, let’s go live big. Hello fellow adventurers. Welcome to today’s show. So it is Wednesday, Wednesday afternoon. And typically the show will come out on a Wednesday morning at the very latest every once in a while I come out on a Friday. But because of the holiday here in the States, I got a little off track.
And so I started to think like the last couple days, what should I do the show on and I really like it to be something that I’m inspired to share. And I have felt like the last five, six weeks, I’ve been really focused on being present, right. And I’ve been busy and I’ve been trying to be in the moment. And so I haven’t been as aware of like the idea of like, oh, that thought it would be a good thought to share on the show. And so every once in a while, I’ll think of something. But you know, as soon as it comes in my brain, it goes out the other side. And I just haven’t been clear. And so I and so now we’re going to jump to another story. So hang with me, because I’m going to bring I’m going to land this plane here in just a minute.
So today at lunchtime, I was like I really want tuna fish sandwich. And I’m not a big tuna fish person. I mean, I can’t even remember it was probably been years since I’ve had tuna fish like a long time. But when I was growing up, my mom would go to my grandmother’s house for a tuna fish sandwich. And they she would say I’m going to go to grandma’s for a tuna fish sandwich Do you want to go and I always wanted to go because I always knew that if they were getting together to have tuna fish sandwiches, my grandmother was had made the tuna in the morning.
And so it was in the frigerator. So it was really already mixed up in really cold. And they would have tuna fish sandwiches and chips and my mother would put her chips on the tuna fish sandwich. If you’ve never done that, you can send me an email and thank me. So she would have her tuna fish sandwich with the chips.
My grandmother would have her tuna sandwich and they would talk and those lunches when they would get together for tuna fish sandwiches were long, they would talk about deep things. Talk about truths. And I remember always really liking it liking that they were having deep discussions. And I remember like laying on the floor underneath the dining room table. Well, they would be talking forever. And it was just felt really good.
Right, safe and good. So today, I wanted a tuna fish sandwich. And I was like, well, that’s strange. And all of a sudden I thought, Oh, what is it that I’m supposed to listen to some truths about. So I got my I I ordered from shipped because I didn’t have any tuna fish. So that I got my shipped order the groceries delivered, got my tuna fish and I sat down to be quiet.
And all of a sudden, I heard you’re supposed to do a podcast about grief. Now, I have to tell you, this really upset me, because I don’t want to do a podcast about grief. And I am of the belief that everyone has really firm opinions about grief. Just like parenting, right. So like there is not one opinion that everybody had, like every single person thinks something a little bit different. And so I ate my tuna fish sandwich and I thought no, no, no, don’t give me something else. It’s cool. I hear you.
Maybe someday I’ll do something about grief. And I heard No, no. Do it today. So here I am. And so I want to talk a little bit about grief. But I’m giving you the disclaimer that I’m not an expert. I am only an expert in that. I have been through it, I am only an expert and that I eat tuna fish sandwiches and listen for the voices that tell me what I should be doing, and what I should be sharing. And so I want to share today a little bit about what I think about grief, what I think about losing somebody, and what I think about moving through that entire process, it doesn’t mean it’s what you have to think.
And if that makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to listen. I respect whatever it is you think. And honestly, if you’re in the Facebook group, share with me what you think because I am of the belief that I don’t know, I only know what I think I know is true for me right now. And I am really open to learning what other people think and how that impacts their life. And anything that impacts people in a positive way I am really open to listening to and open to seeing if it’s something that I would adopt as a new belief system for myself. So with all that said, I want to talk about grief.
And I also want to say that grief, I don’t believe is that that just happens when somebody dies, I don’t believe it just happens when there’s a loss of a person. So I completely believe that we go through a great grief process when our pet dies. I mean, I have two dogs, I’ve had dogs, several dogs in my life. And I will tell you that the little dog is 11. And she’s probably she’s in really good health, she’ll live another six years, probably six, seven years. But sometimes I cry just thinking about her not being with me. So I know that we go through grief, not just from the loss of a person, but from the loss of a pet.
And I believe we go through grief with a miscarriage. And I believe we can go through grief when we have an empty nest and our kids move out. And our life has changed. I believe we can go through grief when we lose a job, when we’re really massively disappointed. I believe we can go through grief when we sell our childhood home, our parents sell our childhood home, or we sell the home that our children grew up in.
So I believe that grief can come from lots of different angles. And if that’s true, if you’re with me, then that’s true, then grief is this really, really universal thing that happens to everybody. So sometimes I wonder why we’re so afraid of like talking about it. I guess we don’t want to be emotional around people. And maybe grief makes us really emotional. And so we try to hide from it. But I think the things that we hide from are the things that make us more emotional.
So maybe if we just looked at it, if we just felt it, if we just went through it, if we had like an open conversation about it over tuna fish sandwiches, maybe it wouldn’t be so lonely. And sad. You know, I talk and I have talked on the show really openly about my mom, who died when I was in high school. So I was 16. I was a I’m going to tell you the story about it. Because I think it’s part of this. It’s part of this right. So I haven’t I don’t think I’ve ever really told the whole story on here before. Sometimes there are episodes that I record. And I just go right through most of the time. I don’t have any notes for my podcast, I get a subject and I just go right through.
And sometimes I do an episode where I have to stop because I cry about whatever it is that I’m telling you today, I think might just be one of those episodes, but we’ll see who knows. It’s been some time so I’m okay with it though. I’m okay with the emotion and you should be too. So don’t let it make you uncomfortable. If you hear it in my voice. It is normal and natural and let it give you a little bit of peace if you feel like crying too. So Alright, so I’m going to tell this story, because I do think there’s an interesting piece to this. So when I was growing up, I grew up in Vermont, I have an older sister, and my parents were married.
When my mom died, I was in high school and I was a junior in high school and my mom was really active like she was a stay at home mom, up until the last few years of her life. She got a part time job working at an insurance company. But for my whole life, she was home. And so she was really active with the school, she would volunteer in the library volunteer, she’d go on all of the field trips, you know, in fact, I remember being a little kid and she at the beginning of the year wrote a letter to the teacher saying that she wanted to be a chaperone on the field trip, but didn’t date it and she put it in my bag.
She said the minute you find out you have a field trip, just go up and hand this to the teacher. That way you don’t have To eat, and then she could be first. So she didn’t want to miss out on B. I don’t even know if any other parents wanted to do that. But she always was the chaperone for everything right. And so all of my friends my whole life really got to know her. She was super high spirited. And in fact, I would I flatter myself to think that she and I are really similar.
So my friends loved her. You know, we she brought us to all the concerts, our house was always the house where the parties were, you know what I mean? My husband laughs at me sometimes, because I’ve shown him pictures from the party, and parties we’d have and my mom would write on paper plates, like no running No. In my house was like, what kind of parties did you have?
Those are so lame that your mother wrote rules on paper plates. I’m like, we were really good kids, you know. So that’s the kind of person she was. So when I was 16, my sister was in, in college, and there was a hockey player that went to my high school, and then went to the college where my sister went, and my dad is was in university, where my sister went, and my dad worked. And he was going to go play professional.
And so it was his very last college
game. And my mother was really spontaneous and fun. And I remember she said to my sister, let’s go, let’s go to the game. And I had school the next day. And so I remember I was a little jealous, but not really, my mother was really good about making time for both me and my sister. And so, off, they went, they left really early the next morning, we lived in Vermont. And so the game was in Ohio. And so they left really
early. And I got up and I went off to school.
And that day, we had a meeting. And I don’t know if it was like a student council meeting or something. But I was in this meeting. I remember it was a half a day of school, and I had to babysit right after. And I was in that meeting. And all of a sudden, I just felt really weird. And I remember I turned to my friend pay me and I said, I feel really weird.
And I said, I don’t feel bad. But it’s not a feeling I ever want to have again. Isn’t that weird? And even as I said that I remember thinking that’s really weird. And I actually got up and I walked around, I had to go out, I asked if I could leave the meeting so that I could go I think I said I had to go to the bathroom. But I had to like walk. I felt so weird. So weird. And I didn’t know what it was. And that feeling now knowing that I had that feeling gives me a lot of peace because I know how connected I was an am still to my mom.
We’ll get to that in a minute. So so I left school at like noon, and I went to go babysit, which was like just done the next street over and wasn’t far from my house. I lived in a small town anyway. I mean, it was Vermont, right? And I got a phone call from my dad. And I remember the phone ringing and feeling like I had to run to get it. So I remember I like ran over and got the phone and it was my dad and he said Your mom’s been in an accident, you need to come home, can you get somebody to help, you know, to watch the kids?
Or when are you going to be done. And so I did, I called a friend who was related to the people that I was babysitting for and off, I went to my house. And from there we we drove that later late, late that afternoon to New York, which is where the accident happened when they were on route to Ohio, in Watertown, New York.
And she died at the hospital just before we got there. And so, you know, I share with you that story, just because I want to explain the energy piece to you that I know that that is true. There is not there is just no doubt in my mind. And so if you have wondered, do I have that with my loved one that passed? Or, you know, will I like Absolutely.
Whether or not you recognize it or not, like whether if you have had somebody close to you that has died? And you’re like, Oh, I wish I had had that you did? You might not have noticed it, but you have it? Absolutely you have that. Okay. So, and again, this is my beliefs is okay, if you believe different, I’m not offended, don’t be offended with me. So. So you know, from there that began my journey, right, my journey of
grief and pain and moving through things. And so I really wanted to talk today about some of the ways that we can move through things and some of the things that we that are that are helpful and some of the things that I think are not really very helpful. So um, you know, after my mom died, a lot of people said, you know, everybody came to my house, right?
So this is what But people that are going through a loss experience, everybody comes to your house. And everybody’s super attentive. Right? And then it only takes a few days is usually like just a few days after the actual body is buried. People sort of forget, they don’t want to talk about it. They will ask you things like, are you okay? Who, which is really difficult to answer because no, like, no, totally not.
Okay, never be the same again. Thanks, though, because I think you’re trying to be helpful. And so I think that a normal healthy response to grief is feeling sad. And also feeling a level of confusion of how to react and how to move through this. I was at that point when people would, you know, call me or touch base with me and ask like, Are you okay, like, I, it was really difficult for me to be able to say, like, I’m not like, I’m no, but that’s okay.
So, the first thing that I want to say is that it is okay to not be okay. In fact, that’s normal to not be okay. You are realigning and readjusting and read deciding where where you stand in the world and who you are, because I had been a daughter for 16 years. And I was not, I was a motherless daughter at that point. I do want to point I do want to make one small note is that I called myself a motherless daughter for a long time. And I don’t do that anymore. And there’s a reason for that. And that is because I am not motherless. I still have a mother. She’s not here in the physical reality. But I still have a mother.
And I feel like that story was keeping me really stuck. So I changed that. But I want to go back to my point, which is that it is a normal, healthy response to loss to feel grief, to feel sadness. And, you know, we’re not the only ones that feel this other animals feel this too. I mean, elephants, we’ve hear about elephants experience, grief and dolphins and apes.
Absolutely. I think our pets Do you know, if they’re used to being around another pet, you hear about cats that lose their kittens, and they act different, and they seem like they’re experiencing grief. So this is really a universal feeling. And I believe it is part of the journey of getting to our own death, I believe that it is part of our learning, and understanding and giving us time to be able to understand what we really think about it. And so I think it’s a huge disservice to ourselves to avoid it or not look at it, or say, I don’t want to deal with this, it’s too painful. Because it’s, it is more painful to have it continue to pop up because you’re not looking at it right, in my opinion.
And so it can actually help me prepare for my own death at some point, because I have thought about all of these things. So I think that one thing to notice is when you have a friend who is grieving or has just suffered a loss, there are some things that you just don’t want to say. So I want to share what I think those are. And I want to give you some alternatives. So one thing is, can we just not say like Kevin needed an angel? Like, can we not say that? Like I did not? I don’t? Like have no, heaven just got lots of angels. That’s not why this happened. Okay. I don’t like the time heals thing, because it seems like it’s saying just wait, like, push it off?
Like don’t I don’t want to talk about it. Now. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry. I don’t like the idea of of saying, Oh, this one. We know he’s in a better place. Right? We know she’s, she’s better off now. I don’t, I don’t feel like those things are helpful. But what could be really helpful is saying, I know you’re probably experiencing a lot of things. And I don’t have the answers. But I could sit with you while you think about things. Or I can be here to listen.
And I have even reached out to people that are grieving and say I didn’t know your dad, but if you ever just want to tell me about him. Like I’m here. You know, after that time, where everybody leaves a few days after the funeral, and then nobody really wants to talk about it. Having somebody tell you that you could just talk about them is so so powerful. Because what happens with grief, besides being sad is that there is a fear and I think the fear is something that most people don’t talk about. But I remember having this fear that people would forget my mom.
You know that like everybody else would go about their life and I would be the only one like The only one that would be remembering, or even the only one that would be sad. And I remember my mom was dead just a few months. And I went to this pancake breakfast with my dad. Now remember, I was 17. Right? Or 16? Well, I was I might have been 17. At that point.
It was it was, it was in the fall. So I think it was probably just turned 17. And we went to this pancake breakfast. And you could buy like they were I don’t remember what it was. Maybe they were like read breaking a wall or a pathway or something. And you could buy the brick. Do you know what I’m talking about the head, the person’s name in it, you could put your name in it. So you’d like by sponsor the brick. And I remember I, I asked my dad if we could do it. And he was like, Yeah, and I put her name.
Because I wanted to make sure that nobody forgot, right that people would be walking someday. I think this was my dream that people would be walking along this path, and stumble upon her name and think that she was a really nice lady. I remember thinking that’s what I want. So there is a fear, besides the loss, what people are dealing with. And if you are in grief, maybe you’re dealing with this too. But it is there’s grief, there’s sadness, but there is also this fear that nobody talks about.
We talk a lot about the stages, right, like denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, right. We talk a lot about those stages. And I think that it’s those stages, I don’t think you really go through those, like a straight line. I think it’s like a swirly loopy line. And I think there’s other stuff in there. I think there’s fear in there. I think there’s shame, there can be shame. I remember wishing that it had been somebody else, instead of my mom. And then I felt a lot of shame around that. And I also went through this phase, like four or five years later, where I really was interested in uh, what happened.
What happens like, what, what’s like what is in the coffin right now? Right? Like, what is in there? Like, you know, you when you’re a kid, you sing that like the worms crawl in the worms crawl out the worms play peanut go on my snout, but I really wanted to know. So the internet had just come out. And I remember I would look to see if I could find, like pictures of what happened after five years, what happened after six years, like I wanted to know. So we do think there’s this curiosity book, because we don’t talk about grief very much. And we really don’t even talk about death very much, and what happens to our bodies, and becomes like this mystery. So I want to tell you about a lady that has a YouTube channel.
And it’s called Ask a mortician. And it’s fascinating. And she takes this like this veil off of death. And what actually happens to our bodies, which I find fascinating. I have watched, she’s entertaining and funny. And I and I, and I’m gonna say that, again, she’s entertaining and funny. And she’s talking about death, and what happens to your body when you die, and what happens to your loved ones when you die, and about what the options are and what the legal options are of what other cultures do with the body and what you could do in the United States, and how that could help your grieving process.
You know, you don’t have to just remove the body from your house immediately. You can actually keep it did you know that? So there, I found it comforting, even as an adult, you know, 30 years after my mom died, just to learn about this, because there was this, like, morbid curiosity of like, from a logical perspective, I want to know what has happened. Right, I want to know what has physically happened. Right. So it’s called Ask a mortician. I’ll link to her in the show notes. But it is fascinating, and it can help you move forward. Because anytime you’re getting more information, it’s becoming more solid, right solid in your mind about what you believe and what you think. And I do think when you can get a really solid handle on what you believe it helps you deal with it. Right? It helps you understand and it helps you to create now I have created what I believe truly happens.
And you a couple years ago, I read a book called journey of the soul. And I found it fascinating. I listened to it from Audible, so I didn’t read it. Audible i think is the way to go with this. It’s called journey of the soul. I’ll link to that too in the show notes. But it is a story it is it is almost like transcription of a man who hypnotized people over a 30 year period and asked them about death about their life before they were born. And the stories are so so similar that it’s really is fascinating.
So you might want to look at that. But as you try to develop your own version of what you think happens, so this is what I think, again, you don’t have to think what I think but I believe that we are energy. And because there is a portion of us that is physical matter that can die. But there is a portion of us that is our soul. That is energy. When I meditate, I can feel it almost like a capsule. It feels like a big like a, like a capsule, like a pill you’d swallow.
Do you know what I mean? But big, from my neck to like my breastbone, I feel this like, capsule, that’s where I feel like my soul is that’s the energy, the essence of me, I think we all have this, I have had meditations where I have just seen, everybody’s like, I don’t see the people, I just see the capsule, and it’s like a light. And I believe that this is energy and I can’t die. It can’t be destroyed. But it can transform. And so I am of the belief that we our bodies do die, but we don’t die, I’m using air quotes die, I believe that we transition into a different form. And I do believe that our loved ones are around us and can share in our joys and experience things with us and speak to us. Now. I don’t have a I don’t hear my mother’s voice. I mean, unless I imagine her right.
But even that I have some trouble with imagining. But I do spend time every day. And I ask and sometimes I asked her specifically like what is it that I need to know. And I just listened. And it always sounds so different from me. And I can tell if it would be my mother’s voice, I can tell if it would be my grandmother’s voice. I hear my grandmother a lot, a lot more than my mom. And in fact, I have asked why don’t I hear you as much. And I heard her say to me, because I need you to learn to listen to yourself not be listening for me. Now, I’m totally open to all this being in my head. I absolutely am. I’m totally open to the idea that I know my mother so well that I could know what she would say. And I’m open to the idea that I knew my grandmother better because my grandmother lived until I was an adult and I had an adult relationship with her.
And so of course, I would hear her more because I even have a better idea of what she would tell me over a tuna fish sandwich. But my belief is that we are energy, and that we are able to feel the energy and get the vibration of what it is she’s trying to communicate to me. And that comes through in my thoughts when I’m quiet. So you can believe something different. But to me, this brings me a lot of peace. And what this does is it changes how I am experiencing my grief because my I still have grapes just been gone 31 years, I think, over 30 years. And I still have grief, I will still walk through the grocery store and see a label.
And I will feel like I got punched in the gut. It’s the most random thing. And you never know when it’s going to happen. But it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. But it’s grief. Right? So it never leaves us. We learn to live with it. I walk down the aisles of the grocery store and she used to tell me always buy Uncle Ben’s rice. I don’t know. Is it that good? I don’t know that Uncle Ben’s rice is that good. And sometimes I don’t buy Uncle Ben’s and I say out loud.
Like I’m really sorry, this one’s cheaper. But those are the kinds of things right they bring it right back. It becomes like a visceral thing. And I go, oh my god, but I’m able to handle it now. I’m able to experience it. And when I do, I feel a sense of gratitude. Because I had a mom, I was so connected to that I can walk through a grocery store 31 years later, and feel the pain of her loss. And what a gift that is. So imagine if you think of grief like this, what a gift that is I only hope I have that kind of impact on people.
I know that sounds so awful, that I would want my kid walking to the grocery store 31 years later and feeling the grief but feeling the loss because it was so impactful. Because my life was so impactful. Right? So I can’t think of anything better. Really.
Like my mom had that much of an impact on me that I can move through the world in a different way. I see the world a different way. And because of her death, I have a level of compassion that I never would have had. Damn it. Okay, it’s fine. Fine.
I do want to say that if you get stuck in in this grief for too long and you don’t feel like you’re moving out of it, you don’t have to do that alone. You don’t have to just rely on friends, you can get help, you can go, if you feel if you feel destitute about it, if you are suicidal, let me here, let me share with you, the suicide hotline. If you get too depressed from going through this and you don’t feel like you can get out on your own, there is no shame in that at all. And here’s the number.
And they’ll talk to you for free. But there is always hope there is always a way to be able to move forward. And you can always come up with a better thought what could be a better thought, right? So it is a normal, healthy response, to experience loss, to have grief, to have sadness. It’s also okay to laugh about it. to joke about it. It’s okay to be curious about it. It’s okay to be curious about what happens to the body. It’s okay to be curious about the spiritual side of things. It’s okay to talk to your loved one, it’s okay to talk to them every day. And they can talk back. It’s all okay. You’re never going to be the same.
But would you want to be.
So I think when you can take the lessons when you can experience the emotions. When you can find your inner strength. You can say this is okay. I’m going to move through this in a way that builds me up to become a better person, a stronger person. And in my life, I like to go where then I can turn around and help someone else up to.
my friends is how I think you live a big life. Thanks so much for listening today. And I will see you guys next week. Thanks so much for listening to this episode. If you found it a value, please share it with your friends, tag me on Instagram or leave a review on iTunes or any of your listening apps. If you leave a review, and you take a screenshot, please email it to us at support at Betsy pake.com. And we will send you a self hypnosis audio that will help you break down any limiting beliefs that you have. So thanks so much for sharing. Thanks so much for leaving your review. And don’t forget to join us inside our Facebook group by going to the art of living big.com and I’ll see you there.