Shapes Of Grief

Ep. 19 Beatrice Caffrey on multiple miscarriage and the death of her baby son Joshua

An episode of Shapes Of Grief

By Liz Gleeson, MSc Bereavement
Shapes of Grief is brought to you by Liz Gleeson, an Irish grief therapist. Liz hosts conversations with people about their experience of loss and grief in their lives. Through the recounting of our grief stories, integration can begin to happen, both for the teller and the listener. Everyone has a story of loss and everyone's story offers hope and inspiration to other grievers. Sharing these stories with each other can go a long way in normalising this human experience. Please do become a Patron on www.patreon.com/shapesofgrief for as little as $5 per month, help keep us going!
More places to listen

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Ep. 22 Bebhinn Ramsey on her search for a 'cure' for grief and how a spiritual path helped her to navigate her loss
Author of "Love's last gift" Bebhinn Ramsey recounts the sudden death of her husband Alistair while on holidays in San Francisco, leaving her widowed at 31 with a baby and a toddler. At the age of thirty-one Bébhinn had lost her soulmate, the father of her two young sons, but also her faith in life.Bebhinn tells of how the weight of her grief made her feel like a 'cornered rat' and how she went on a search for the cure for grief. That search lead her to The Work of Byron Katie, which provided her with a map that worked for her and helped her to navigate her grief by taking a spiritual approach to her experience. A heart-warming story from a beautiful woman. Bebhinn's ebook can be bought on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loves-Last-Gift-Bebhinn-Ramsay/dp/1444743112 In Love's Last Gift, this inspirational and thought-provoking memoir, we journey with Bébhinn as she searches for answers and a sense of meaning to her husband's untimely death. From walking the Camino de Santiago with her two young sons in the weeks following Alastair's death, to spiritual retreats and self-reflection, we discover how Bébhinn eventually finds peace, happiness and acceptance by opening her mind and her heart. Love's Last Gift is a beautifully-written and ultimately uplifting memoir of hope, courage and eternal love. In 2008, Bébhinn Ramsay set up ARCH, the Alastair Ramsay Charitable Trust, and moved to Florianópolis, Brazil to oversee Child Health Florianópolis, a child-focussed charity. All royalties from Love's Last Gift go directly to ARCH. #grief #bebhinnramsey #sepsis #suddendeath #byronkatie #thework #griefspirituality #bereavement #widow #loveafterloss
1:19:26
August 7, 2019
Ep. 21 Helen Lambe on accompanying her husband through cancer and untimely widowhood
Helen Lamb, owner and founder of the Dublin Wellness Centre, takes us on an intimate journey through her experience of grief following the death of her beloved husband when their baby boy was just months old. Listeners who have accompanied loved ones through cancer will resonate deeply with some of the experiences that Helen shares. She talks about the acute loneliness of grief and the importance of friends who ‘get’ exactly what you’re going through. Helen describes how grief changed her and how she approached loving again after losing ‘the love of her life’.  For more information on the Dublin Wellness Centre, click here https://www.dublinwellnesscentre.ie/about-us/ Helen refers to her friendship with author Bebhinn Ramsey. To read Bebhinn’s book "Love’s last gift”, buy the kindle edition here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loves-Last-Gift-Bebhinn-Ramsay-ebook/dp/B007TNY3F4/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Bebhinn+ramsey&qid=1564426661&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0 Bebhinn is our guest on the Shapes Of Grief podcast next week, episode 22. 
1:05:12
July 29, 2019
Ep. 20 Cath Monaghan on sibling bereavement
Catherine Monaghan talks to Liz about life after the sudden death of her brother, what the grief of losing a sibling was like for her and how Tony’s death affected every part of her life. To read Cath’s article in the Irish Times, click here https://www.google.ie/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/my-brothers-were-inseparable-until-one-died-1.3878482%3fmode=amp
1:03:16
July 9, 2019
Ep. 19 Beatrice Caffrey on multiple miscarriage and the death of her baby son Joshua
For those of you who listened to last week's episode with Justin Caffrey, this is your opportunity to now listen to Beatrice Caffrey's perspective on the life and death of their beloved baby son Joshua. Having endured three miscarriages, Beatrice and Justin were delighted that this pregnancy was going well. When Beatrice was 25 weeks pregnant, they took a much-needed holiday to the south of Spain, when Beatrice was woken by her waters breaking, 15 weeks early.  Several days later in hospital, Joshua was born and immediately needed the care of the neonatal unit where he was not expected to live through the night. But Joshua was a little fighter and lived for almost a year, most of that spent in the intensive care unit. Beatrice takes us through that really difficult twelve months where their whole life was put on pause and Joshua's intense care regime was central to their lives. She takes us through the tasks of caring for a very ill baby, the days leading up to Joshua's death and how she took to the Wicklow hills to walk with her grief.  #grief #loss #bereavement #multiplemiscarriage #born25weeks #neonatal #justincaffrey #babyloss
1:24:15
July 2, 2019
Ep. 18 Justin Caffrey on how the death of his baby son forced him to reconstruct himself to survive his grief
From high-flying banker to kangaroo parenting, Justin Caffrey takes us through a searingly honest account of his experience when his second son Joshua was born fifteen weeks early and life as they knew it stopped for the rest of the family. Forced to live in the south of Spain near the NICU unit where their son battled for survival, their son’s ongoing dance between life and death would change Justin’s perspective on almost everything in his life. After Joshua’s death, just short of his first birthday, Justin’s suppressed grief would eventually scream to be addressed, forcing Justin into a whole new way of being in the world. He generously shares with listeners what this journey was like for him, the abyss of grief that he faced, along with suicidal ideation and eventual acceptance of his grief and the rebuilding of family and career after trauma. Justin describes being surrounded by friends and family at a barbecue yet feeling totally alone and desolate. It is a poignant reminder to all of us to not forget our grieving loved ones, even though the outside can appear ‘normal’.  In the following episode of Shapes Of Grief, we shall talk to Beatrice Caffrey, mother of Joshua and married to Justin, for her maternal perspective of multiple miscarriage and the death of her beloved baby Joshua. 
1:27:30
June 25, 2019
Ep. 17 Dr. Ciara Kelly on the deaths of her parents & her journey with grief
From twenty years in general practice to a full-blown transition to journalist and broadcaster, Dr. Ciara Kelly takes us through her experience of grief following the very sudden death of her father several years ago and then the more recent and prolonged death of her mother just under two years ago. Ciara speaks candidly with Liz about the different experiences, what surprised her about their deaths and how the experience of deep grief changed her as a doctor and as a person. We also hear about her first experience as a doctor, having to break the news to a young mother that she was going to die and how her own bereavements have changed her as a person. The first 11 minutes, Ciara chats about her transition from GP to broadcaster. The conversation then turns to grief and Ciara’s very personal experience of loss. Ciara and Liz both reference some of the articles that Ciara has written on her parents’ deaths, links can be found below. You’ll need to login or register for free access. https://www.independent.ie/life/ciara-kelly-i-saw-my-mother-slip-away-from-me-and-there-was-nothing-i-could-do-about-it-38125299.html https://www.independent.ie/life/dr-ciara-kelly-grief-really-is-very-odd-theres-one-niceish-thing-that-has-occurred-since-my-mother-died-36483205.html https://www.independent.ie/opinion/dr-ciara-kelly-love-loss-and-the-memories-of-mum-that-will-never-die-37584206.html https://www.independent.ie/life/family/family-features/dementia-is-the-long-goodbye-dr-ciara-kelly-on-the-recent-death-of-her-beloved-mum-35809611.html?fbclid=IwAR0FqUgOAznOE9-N1Awlp8zg7j1tVaN08XAt5YASy6rNFOEbtXV7ErsDXSE
1:10:57
June 19, 2019
Ep. 16 Treacy O'Connor, Interfaith Minister, on continuous bonds and how grief is woven throughout our lives in every change we make
More like a conversation between friends, Liz and Interfaith minister Treacy O’Connor talk about a variety of topics related to loss, personal growth, separation, as well as the dance between spirituality and the corporate world. Treacy discusses how her relationship with her father became deeper through the continuous bonds she forged with him after his death. She takes us through her personal journey from a young, searching woman to corporate life and eventually to the role of interfaith minister. We talk about the spiritual aspect of growth, as well as spiritual bypassing, childbirth, the grief of relationship breakdown and self-rediscovery.   For more on Treacy's work, see https://treacyoconnor.com #Treacyoconnor #interfaithminister #continuousbonds #death #loss #bereavement #separation #spiritualbypassing 
1:05:02
June 3, 2019
Ep. 15 Kevin Toolis on 'My Father's Wake' - what we can learn from the Irish about Love, Life and Death
Kevin Toolis is a BAFTA winning film maker and writer of the acclaimed death guide My Father’s Wake: How the Irish Teach Us to Live, Love and Die.  Toolis has reported on famines, wars and plagues all over the world for The New York Times and The Guardian. As a documentary maker he has filmed in the middle east and directed the Emmy-nominated Cult of the Suicide Bomber television history series. He is also producer/director of a compelling new stage work Wonders of the Wake that revives the lost art of Irish keening and celebrates the ancient rite of the Irish Wake.   In this episode, Kevin talks to Liz about what compelled him to write this book about his father's death and what it taught Kevin about  life. It will take the reader on a sometimes uncomfortable journey towards mortality, but ultimately is an invitation to wake up to our finite lives and live them. Buy 'My Father’s Wake' https://amzn.to/2vbg08I Liz refers to the Think Ahead programme run by the Irish Hospice Foundation, details can be found here.  https://hospicefoundation.ie/programmes/public-awareness/think-ahead/ Kevin speaks out against euthanasia in this episode. For another perspective, Liz recommends the documentary 'How to die in Oregon', available to rent on Amazon Prime for $3.99. https://www.amazon.com/How-Die-Oregon-Peter-Richardson/dp/B007Y35YTS #death #dying #irishwake #kevintoolis #myfatherswake #mortality #dying process #grief #shapesofgrief #thinkahead #irishhospicefoundation #howtodieinoregon
1:01:35
May 27, 2019
Ep. 14 Donna Schuurman of the Dougy Centre on Children's Grief, a professional perspective
Donna tells us about the work of the Dougy centre in Portland Oregon and gives us some insight into what support children may need to help them through times of grief. The Dougy centre have some really useful resources for supporting grieving children and adolescents, which can be found here https://www.dougy.org. We also mention the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network who are a great resource for childhood bereavement in Ireland, details can be found here https://www.childhoodbereavement.ie. #childrensgrief #grief #loss #childhoodbereavement #griefsupportforchildren #dougycentre #childhoodbereaement #shapesofgrief #griefpodcast
37:31
May 20, 2019
Ep. 13 Edy Nathan, Psychotherapist & Author, on cumulative grief, overcoming agoraphobia & sexual abuse
Psychotherapist and author Edy Nathan joins me on Shapes Of Grief this week to talk about the grief she endured through sexual abuse and bullying at a young age, which lead to the debilitating condition of agoraphobia. Edy’s experience would later shape her career choice, leading her to study the creative arts therapies, sex therapy and grief support. In this conversation, Edy takes us through her early experiences, how they shaped her and how she eventually came to integrate her grief and become a support for other people also experiencing cumulative grief and trauma.  Edy is offering listeners of Shapes Of Grief a free grief mediation download from her website, when you mention Shapes Of Grief. Her book ‘It’s Grief’ can be purchased on her  website, which can be found here https://edynathan.com. In the conversation, I mention an article that I wrote about Ritual, Symbol & Metaphor which can be found on my blog here https://www.shapesofgrief.com/grief-stories/2019/1/17/ritual-symbol-amp-metaphor-by-liz-gleeson. #grief #loss #agoraphobia #edynathan #sexualabuse #dramatherapy #bereavement #therapy #shapesofgrief #griefpodcast #lizgleeson #bereavementtherapist #grieftherapist #cumulativegrief
48:55
May 13, 2019
Ep. 12 Dr Kathryn Mannix demystifying the dying process & how to prepare for a good death
This week I speak to Dr Kathryn Mannix, palliative care pioneer, about the dying process. Like birth, there are certain stages of death which Kathryn hopes to demystify in her book ‘With the End in Mind’. Kathryn does a wonderful job in normalising this process which we all face and looks at how we can take the fear out of this natural and inevitable stage of life. Kathryn oozes compassion and humanity, offering ways in which we can approach this often-feared topic in a whole new light. We discuss ways in which we can support our loved ones who are facing death and also how we can make our own deaths easier for our loved ones.  Kathryn’s wisdom goes a long way in normalising death and dying, this really is a must-listen for all of us! Dr Kathryn Mannix will be the keynote speaker at the Forum 2019 “Dying is everyone’s business” in Dublin Castle on Thursday 24th October, tickets can be bought here https://hospicefoundation.ie/programmes/public-awareness/forum-on-end-of-life-2019/. #shapesofgrief #griefpodcast #bereavement #dying #death #whathappenswhenwedie #gooddeath #drkathrynmannix #palliativecare #withtheendinnind #forum2019 #irishhospicefoundation #stagesofdeath #grief #loss 
1:09:01
May 8, 2019
Ep. 11 Hayley Manning, Advocate, on Miscarriage, Turner's Syndrome & living with Loss & Hope
In this conversation with Liz, Hayley speaks about the multiple miscarriages that she experienced, the devastating decision that herself and husband Charlie had to make when they found out that their baby had Turner's Syndrome and how, after four miscarriages and a medical termination, she continues to try to find the balance between loss and hope.  Miscarriage remains a taboo subject and if often a source of deep loneliness and grief for those who experience it. Because it is a subject avoided by many, the signs and symptoms of miscarriage often cause unnecessary additional distress and can be a deeply shocking and confusing time for the parents' experiencing this loss.   I am aware that Hayley has a living child and that some listeners do not have a living child; I  wish to acknowledge this possible trigger of pain. Hayley's candid and heartfelt approach to the subject provides a much-needed insight into what it means to endure multiple pregnancy losses and also a glimpse of the devastation parents' face when medical termination is an option they must consider. Hayley, who has significantly resourced herself through these experiences by accessing support and attending ongoing counselling, shares with us the variety of organisations where she found some support and comfort, she generously shares them with us here today: A few links that might be useful for your listeners: (UK based) Miscarriage Association: They have lots of really good leaflets about all different types of miscarriages, complications, feelings, future decisions https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/ Turners Syndrome Society: https://tss.org.uk/ ARC (they support parents through antenatal testing and with the decisions about continuing with the pregnancy or not): They have a “friend” service, I spoke to a women who also had a Turner’s baby, it was really helpful. https://www.arc-uk.org/ SANDS https://www.sands.org.uk/ Helpful resources Book: Miscarriage – What every women needs to know by Professor Lesley Regan Hayley's details: My blog link: https://hayleybmanning.com/  Twitter:  https://twitter.com/losslovelife.  . Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/hayleybmanning/?hl=en Facebook:  https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/hbmlife/about/ #miscarriage #turnerssyndrome #top #medicaltermination #termination #multiplemiscarriage #grief #loss #bereavement #bereavementoverload #sands #turnerssyndromesociety #miscarriageassociation 
1:00:13
May 6, 2019
Ep. 10 Dr Helen Greally on grief following diagnosis & grief theories
Dr Helen Greally is a psycho-oncologist with Cancer Care West. Helen has over forty years experience working with people through grief and loss, following diagnosis. Her PhD focused on spousal bereavement and she has collected a host of grief experiences from people of all ages throughout the country. In this episode of Shapes Of Grief, Helen talks about the shock that can come following a difficult diagnosis, theories of grief and why the 5 stages is usually not that useful, as well as some of the ways in which she works with grief, trauma and forging continuous bonds with our deceased loved ones. Helen provides us with a wealth of wisdom and empathy, it is a total privilege to have had Helen as a guest on Shapes Of Grief. #grief #bereavement #cancer #diagnosis #helengreally #cancersupport #continuousbonds #grieftheories #shapesofgrief #griefpodcast
52:17
April 29, 2019
Ep. 9 Jane Harris, psychotherapist, on parental bereavement & the powerful documentary A Love That Never Dies
In 2011, Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds got the knock at the door that no parent ever wants; their 22 year old son Joshua had been killed in a road accident while travelling in Vietnam. From that moment on, their life changed fundamentally, forever. Jane, a psychotherapist & filmmaker and Jimmy, also a filmmaker, embarked on a voyage of active grief during the following years, using their creative backgrounds to explore the new territory of parental bereavement. This lead them on a road trip throughout the U.S., an homage to Joshua who died travelling, to meet other bereaved parents and to try to de-stigmatise the conversations around parental loss. Their documentary “A Love That Never Dies” is a product of their grief journey and a testament to their enduring love for Joshua. It is a ‘much watch’ for anyone who seeks to better understand grief, in any shape.  The documentary sold-out to a packed audience in Dublin last week, hosted by the Irish Hospice Foundation. Following the screening, Jane and Jimmy stayed with me for several days in Greystones where we talked love, grief, creativity and sea-swimming. They met with Justin and Beatrice, a local couple who had coincidentally also lost a beloved son Joshua in 2011 and who shares Jimmy’s passion for sea-swimming as an antidote to grief.  We also had breakfast with Ruth Fitzmaurice, author of “I Found My Tribe”, a former guest on Shapes Of Grief, where stories of books, documentaries, death and tattoos were shared;  an immediate bond found through grief and creativity. Episode 9 of Shapes Of Grief is a beautiful conversation I had with Jane where she shares much of her grief experience, how losing Josh changed her and the many ways their family adapted to their loss. Jane and Jimmy’s work has profoundly touched me and I know that it will continue to support and inspire those who find it.  Watch ‘A Love That Never Dies’ here https://thegoodgriefproject.co.uk/watch-a-love-that-never-dies-now/
54:18
April 9, 2019
Ep. 8 Gary Andrews on Love, Widowhood & The Doodle Diaries
When Gary’s wife Joy died suddenly in 2017 from sepsis, he turned to his daily practice of doodling to express his grief and help him to process the reality of widowhood and parenting two young, bereft children. The series of heartfelt illustrations soon caught the attention of the public and quickly became a viral sensation.  Liz had the pleasure of speaking with Gary for the Shapes Of Grief podcast and what ensued was a heartwarming conversation about love, parenthood, surrendering to grief & finding hope for the future. Don’t miss this one!  For more resources, please see www.shapesofgrief.com, follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram. Support us on Patreon! #garyscribbler #thedoodlediaries #grief #loss #bereavement #sepsis #widow #widowhood #griefpodcast #bereavement #grieftherapy #griefsupport #hospice #shapesofgrief
56:21
March 29, 2019
Ep. 7 Dr. Robert Neimeyer on Meaning Making after loss
Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology, at the University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Bob is an international speaker on grief and loss, bringing a great wisdom to the field. In this episode of Shapes Of Grief, Bob talks to Liz about how his father's suicide when he was 12 was to shape his later choices.  He talks about why meaning making is important throughout life, not just in grief and has some fascinating perspectives on grief and how we might navigate it. We discuss how to help those who are grieving as well as looking at how to identify what our needs are in grief, how we might go about getting those needs met and how we might maintain a continuous bond with our deceased loved ones.  The sound quality is hampered at times, due to Liz being on a steep learning-curve of podcast editing and some builders who were hard at work in the background of this interview; please excuse this, we hope you agree that the content of the interview more than makes up for the poor sound quality at times.  For details of trainings offered by the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition, please see https://www.portlandinstitute.org. Cruse Masterclass with Robert Neimeyer, Belfast, July 2019 https://cruse.eventhq.co.uk/cruse-masterclass-with-robert-neimeyer-belfast-8th-july-2019 #loss #grief #bereavement #crusebereavement #robertneimeyer #griefpodcast #shapesofgrief #hospice #griefeducation #meaningmaking #suicide #spirituality #continuousbonds
54:12
March 20, 2019
Ep. 6 Madeleine Grant, Nurse & therapist, on bereavement overload, prolonged grief & how grief can make you sick
In this episode, Madeleine talks to Liz about three successive family bereavements and how her inability to grieve resulted in significant illness and a near-death experience. Madeleine went on to complete a Masters in Bereavement Studies at the Irish Hospice Foundation in an attempt to better understand and heal her own unresolved losses. Madeleine's story will no doubt resonate deeply with many people who have experienced grief in their lives, particularly those of us who have, for some reason, shut away our grief and not felt safe to express it.  This is an important conversation about bereavement and unresolved grief that will hopefully inspire people in the knowing that it really is never too late to talk about grief and find healing and integration. #loss #grief #bereavement #prolongedgrief #complicatedgrief #bereavementoverload #griefinthebody #ulcerativecolitis #neardeathexperience #mscbereavementstudies #irishhospicefoundation
48:15
March 11, 2019
Ep. 5 Dr Susan Delaney on the essence of grief, prolonged Grief, resilience and hope
Shapes of Grief had a lovely conversation with Dr. Susan Delaney of the Irish Hospice Foundation. Susan is the bereavement services manager there and has been instrumental in bringing awareness to Prolonged Grief (formerly complicated grief) to Ireland. In this conversation, Susan paints a very clear picture of what grief can look like, what can be involved when we go through grief and how sometimes, when our grief fails to integrate, we can go on to develop prolonged grief. Susan also talks about childhood bereavement and how children must be included in the grieving process.  If you want a 'Grief 101', this is the podcast to listen to!  #prolongedgrief #complicatedgrief #drsusandelaney #grief #loss #bereavement #childrenandloss
1:08:39
March 4, 2019
Ep. 4 Ruth Fitzmaurice, author of 'I Found My Tribe', on living with ongoing loss
Ruth Fitzmaurice's life changed when her husband Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. In this candid conversation, Ruth shares how, as a mother of five, she coped with Simon's long illness and eventual death through writing and daily immersion in the cold, Irish sea. Ruth speaks with exquisite honesty and generosity about her inner journey living with ongoing loss and how she is finding meaning in life again. Apologies for the poor sound on the podcast, but the content is oh-so worth a listen! #grief #loss #ruthfitzmaurice #simonfitzmaurice #ifoundmytribe #shapesofgrief #widow #lifeafterloss
1:06:00
February 26, 2019
Ep. 3 Deirdre Ahern, Mindfulness teacher, on pet loss
Deirdre takes us through a beautiful story of how her little dog Charlie came into her life, the connection they made and how his presence enhanced her life. Deirdre tells an important message of how our pets become our family, particularly if we are single in the world and how their death can have a truly devastating impact. She describes how her spiritual practice helped her to cope with the loss.  #petloss #grief #bereavement #whenadogdies #shapesofgrief #griefpodcast
1:01:54
February 11, 2019
Ep. 2 Emily McCullough, Art Therapist, on prolonged, disenfranchised grief
Art therapist Emily McCullough talks about the sudden, ambiguous death of her brother when she was sixteen, followed by her father's death a few years later. The suppressed grief, both personal and in the family, would take its toll for many years. Emily talks about how her grief has impacted her adult life, her relationships and her ongoing fear of loss. We talk about how her prolonged grief still manifests and how she managed to begin the process of healing, many years later.  #shapesofgrief #griefinthebody #grief #loss #prolonged grief #complicated grief #ambiguousloss #bereavement overload #grieftherapy #griefcounselling 
56:09
January 31, 2019
Ep. 1 Jack Gleeson talks about grief following the suicide of his best friend
Friends for over four decades, when Jack Gleeson's best friend died by suicide, the loss for Jack was huge. In this interview, Jack talks about friendship, love and loss.  www.shapesofgrief.com Twitter: Ofshapes Instagram: Shapesofgrief Facebook: shapesofgrief https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN_6WOp6p_GXhArbMfxvaUg
1:00:18
January 20, 2019
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