Victoria Volk, The Unleashed Heart, LLC public
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Grieving Voices

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Grieving Voices

Victoria Volk, The Unleashed Heart, LLC

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Grieving Voices is a podcast started by a lifelong griever for grievers. The mission of Grieving Voices is to change the conversation around grief; how we address our own and that of others and give grievers a platform for sharing what grief has taught them. Through education and personal story, listeners will learn more effective ways to help themselves and others. The Grieving Voices podcast is part of The Unleashed Heart, LLC. Grief resources and additional support are available at www.th ...
 
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Agoraphobia is a mental and behavioral disorder, specifically an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety symptoms in situations where the person perceives their environment to be unsafe with no easy way to escape. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping centers, or simply being outside their home. Amy's mom died suddenl…
 
In this Takeaways & Reflections episode, I reflect on the importance of not grieving alone. We all need support through grief because, going it alone, keeps us stuck and ruminating on our grief. Connection to others is what gives a griever hope. I also share in this episode how I took a long way around to find the right support for me and the impac…
 
Fear can hold you prisoner, hope can set you free. - The Shawshank Redemption This week's guest, Brent Scarpo, was a casting director for one of the most acclaimed and beloved films of all time, "The Shawshank Redemption." Through his personal love of the film, he shares a few of his favorite lessons from the movie. These lessons served him well as…
 
What is your relationship with food? Would you say it's healthy? Does it leave you often feeling shameful? Does the self-critic lurk out from the shadows after you've eaten something that isn't deemed "healthy?" I know I've left a drive-thru at times wondering why on earth I ever stopped, as I just feel like physical crap after eating something I k…
 
Anorexia nervosa: an eating disorder characterized by attempts to lose weight to the point of starvation. Hannah believed she was destined to suffer in silence. Her obsession with food, body image, and a strive for perfection began in middle school. She was always the tallest in her class and developed early on as well. Hannah would go through peri…
 
This episode is a quick and dirty one about how we don't heal in isolation and that support is an important piece of the grief puzzle. In all of the conversations I've had with grievers of all kinds over the past several years, none of them wished they would be alone in their grief. Every single one had a desire to be heard and held in their sorrow…
 
Like many kids, Phoebe grew up in a broken home. Her parents split up when she was 7 and she would remain living with her father until she turned 14. With her own knowing and willpower, she left her father to go live with her grandmother until landing back with her mother. What she experienced between ages 7 and 14 was a frightening relationship wi…
 
What is it costing you by looking to others for permission to grieve your way? What is it costing you, to not address the child within you and the grief you've carried with you into adulthood from your childhood? Grief isn't about death alone. So, don't be mistaken that because someone did not die in your childhood that you don't have grief or, tha…
 
I asked this week's guest, Jill Johnson-Young, the following question: "How are you still upright?" @RebelliousWidow experienced the loss of Linda, her first love, after 23 years. Linda had survived breast cancer but later succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis which was due to the chemo she received to beat the breast cancer. Jill would find herself, wha…
 
As a child, were you called a crybaby? A child taught to grieve alone becomes an adult who also grieves alone. To break the cycle of learned behavior, we have to learn new information. If you want to learn how to support children in their grief, this episode walks you through what not to do and what to do instead. Most of us grew up without a healt…
 
The heartbreak of a parent losing a child is a pain like no other. But what about the sibling(s) left behind of the child who dies? When her son, David, was four years old, he was diagnosed with cancer. After a 2 1/2-year battle, he died when his younger sister was 3 years old. Michele shares her perspective of guiding her daughter through sibling …
 
What happens when you get a group of people together with unprocessed grief? The same thing that happens, likely every day of your life - in unprocessed grief, dysfunction meets dysfunction; baggage meets baggage. We are a society of grievers. Every human being has either lost a loved one, dream, relationship, home, job/career, a pet, or themselves…
 
Do you want to know where to start if you're tired of settling for the conditions and circumstances of your life? Ask yourself the question Moussa asked himself and start there. What was the question? "What are you trying to forget?" When we get tired of our past circumstances creating chaos and dictating how far we go to reach our dreams, it takes…
 
Breaking points - we all have them. But, there are ways you can ride the waves of it without getting pulled down by it. Resiliency has its limits. And, when you've spent years, or even decades, mastering the myths of grief (Don't Feel Bad, Replace the Loss, Grieve Alone, Be Strong, Keep Busy, and Time Heals), resiliency will only get you so far bef…
 
When Kimberley was a child, a house fire would change her life as she knew it forever. Both her older and younger sisters both perished in the fire. However, Kimberley wouldn't learn the truth of how that life-altering moment came to be until her 30's. Growing up, Kimberley's father also worked a job that kept the family on the road. As a result, K…
 
Curiosity is sorely underestimated. It's not given headlines or attention, but, in my eyes, it's responsible for most inventions. Curiosity has led to some of the world's most significant innovations. If there weren't people who allowed themselves to be led by their curiosity, we never would've evolved from stick rubbing to flint. Someone, along th…
 
Kristin Sherry is a bestselling and award-winning author, creator of YouMap®, a 2020 Career Innovator Award recipient, and she's also my mentor. Her brilliance is why I am a Certified YouMap® Coach. If you have been struggling with your life path, career, purpose, or what I like to call - a midlife unraveling, this episode is for you! Grief is the …
 
We have more agency over our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies than we would like to admit. Admitting that we have power and control over ourselves is admitting that it’s also our job to do something about the issues that plague our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. The energy of grief can be like cancer and invade every fiber of y…
 
What does it take to bicycle 4700 miles, with temps most often over 100 degrees and the wind against you? David Richman did just that as part of a passion project that later became his book, Cycle of Lives, where all proceeds benefit cancer-focused charities. However, David didn’t wake up one day and decide to make Cycle of Lives his mission. Inste…
 
Empty Arms Syndrome is a phenomenon most often associated with stillbirth. However, as Corchele's story illustrates, feeling an ache to hold your baby is a very real feeling even if you deliver a breathing child. Ten hours after delivering Breklyn by emergency cesarian, Corchele and her husband were faced with a loss no parent should ever experienc…
 
What is grief? Grief is the loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations. Grief is anything we wish would be different, better, or more. And, no one has to die for you to grieve. Also, because there are more than 40+ losses, it’s a safe bet that you and every person you meet is or has experienced grief. We are taught how to acquire things (or people). W…
 
What is truth? For many of us, it is what we've been told to believe to be true, without any real evidence or science to back up that truth. After the sudden, tragic death of his daughter, Bob found his open-minded skeptical heart looking for evidence that his daughter's consciousness still existed in some form after her passing. He was having expe…
 
Katie Carroll had her life mapped out from the time she was a little girl. She knew, from a young age, that she wanted to be a mother one day. However, as she found success in every other area of her life, there was one area of her life that hinged on her desire to be a mother. She was busy in her career as a pediatric ER traveling nurse, had been …
 
This week, I share a bit of my heavy heart as I share my reflections around sharing our grieving voices - including my own. This podcast has enabled me to be a heart for ears for many guests, including Emma G. and Anne. However, this week's episode is also inspired by my grief in real-time. Since 11/14, life has been day-to-day, not knowing what th…
 
Imagine being told you have cancer. But then imagine being told you have cancer for which there was no cure. At that moment, in an instant, life is forever changed. And, although many people hear the words "You have cancer" every single day, fewer hear that the type of cancer they have will, without a doubt, kill them. That is unless a cure is foun…
 
The ripples of loss reach far and wide within a family unit; often in ways, we don't expect. Emma shares the impact the death of her cousin to suicide has had on her life and that of her family. Emma has found solace in writing her grief in the thirteen years since her cousin Nicky's death, publishing three books since that time. Suicide leaves tho…
 
Do you feel like the leader of your life? Do you believe you are leading yourself through grief in a healthy way? You may be wondering what the "healthy way" looks like. Take a moment to consider what leaders do at the start of their day. They don't start their day dragging themselves out of bed, drinking a Mountain Dew, and grabbing a snicker bar …
 
When Kristine's husband, Richard, suddenly died of a pulmonary embolism while descending on a flight, she had no idea how much she would rely on the tools and insights she had gained while writing several of the books contained in the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series. It was the teachings, many years of personal development work, writing, and s…
 
What do Green Beret special forces do and how do they differ from other special forces? What qualities make a leader? How can everyday people become a leader in their own life? What, in leadership, breaks his heart? How does Scott feel about the pullout in Afghanistan, having worked directly with the Afghans for several years? What is Scott's take …
 
The one thing I found that my guests Marty Cooper and Ken Ross have in common is that they both embody optimism. Marty can't imagine life without learning and without feeling hope for the future. While Ken, in all of his traveling and adventures, never worries about potential adverse outcomes. Both are optimistic in their way, and both are wonderfu…
 
Ken Ross has a theory for the way he lives his life and, it didn't come to be without the influence of his mother, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Ken and I dig deeper into his life experience growing up in a home where grief, death, and dying were a daily part of life and the topic of conversation. His mother, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's first book, On Death a…
 
What does the wizard behind the one invention that has transformed society around the globe have to say about optimism, failure, and learning? Marty Cooper has been coined the name the "Father of the Cell Phone" but, there's more to him than being an inventor of one of the most societal-altering devices. It took ten years to see his dream come to f…
 
When you find yourself the observer of a situation that brings up some emotional dis-ease for you, it may be helpful to say the following to yourself: “I don’t know what I don’t know.” This helps me to feel better when I have felt wronged in some way or when I find myself raising an eyebrow at a situation that may or may not involve me. Society isn…
 
There are psychics and then there are psychic mediums. Do you know the difference? Sirry shares the difference between the two in this week's episode. And, there's so much more that we cover in this conversation including: Her grief growing up, things she's experienced as an adult, and what her grief is today. What her thoughts are on the afterlife…
 
As a parent, if you had to choose between your child's best interest or what you personally wanted, you would likely choose what’s best for your child. However, what if that decision meant your child wouldn't be with you full-time? Kristjana was faced with a gut-wrenching decision that hung over her head for weeks on end until a moment of clarity s…
 
Through the challenges and struggles of life, we often find our strength and learn what we're capable of as we search for meaning in our pain. This episode shares two stories of the tenacity it took to dig deep, while also acknowledging the need for help and support and seeking it for themselves. Rachel battled with her husband for two years as he …
 
It was a great day; nothing seemed off with his daughter Zoi. They enjoyed a meal together; she headed to her room while he went downstairs to do some computer work. Sometime later, before heading to bed, he went to say goodnight to his beloved daughter, Zoi. The music she loved blaring from her stereo; he opened the door only to see an empty bed. …
 
Eight years following the death of her husband from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Rachel reminisces on the love she lost and also the pain and lessons that came from his death as well. Rachel found purpose through her pain in writing about her experience, which later became her book, and also through cancer advocacy. In this episode, she shares the…
 
Grief can either suck the life right out of you or, it can build you into the most compassionate heart for others who will look to you to lean on for support in their grief. They say grief shared is grief diminished, but many people find sharing their grief difficult. Some turn to writing as a way to express and soothe the soul like I had and like …
 
On a day like many others, Faith had taken her daughter, Elizabeth, to a doctor’s appointment to investigate Elizabeth's knee pain. What was thought to be an innocent visit to the doctor, who suspected the issue was nothing serious, quickly turned the family’s life upside down. After an X-ray and further testing, they learned Elizabeth had Stage IV…
 
As a former news anchor, Sherrie Dunlevy delivered bad news on a daily basis. However, it was the news of a personal matter that would shatter her heart. Sherrie knew she would be delivering her son who would be born with complications and quickly swept away for medical care immediately after being delivered via cesarian. She and her husband would …
 
Does everything happen for a reason? How much of our lives is left to chance, and how much of it is a reflection of our choices? I explore these questions in this week's episode and more. Larry and Michelle shared their stories of love and loss and, although their stories of grief are vastly different, there are a few things incredibly similar in t…
 
Michelle St Jane is no stranger to grief, like many guests who have shared their stories. The traumatic experience of finding her grandfather deceased when she was 15 and the subsequent "Don't talk, don't tell" approach to grief laid the foundation for her in how she addressed her grief. She would later better understand the impact that her family …
 
Grief makes grievers feel like they don't have choices. And, it can also be difficult to bring yourself to take a chance on something or someone. In this episode, I explore choice and chance with Larry. Larry shares his stories of loss, focusing on a short-term love that touched his heart and life deeply, leaving a lasting impact. He shares the wis…
 
I share my favorite takeaways and reflections from Ep. 52 with Staci Bartley and Ep. 53 with Tina Ginn, exploring the importance of learning from the past and having the forethought for preparing for the future. Life is messy, and we can learn from our messes, and we can clean them up, too. If we could learn how to re-frame the challenges of our li…
 
Tina, like many grievers, has found her passion in her pain. What started out as a career as a financial advisor, where she was well-versed in risk management, morphed into helping others prepare for the worst in their lives. Having lived through a forest fire evacuation order, the quick decline of a dear friend's health and death due to cancer, a …
 
From the age of 16, Staci Bartley was in the Relationship School of Hard Knox. She found herself pregnant at the age of 16. And, to do the "responsible" thing, she and her then-boyfriend (21 at the time) decided they would get married. A year later, she would end up a divorced single mother. However, at 21, she would expect a second child with a ne…
 
We often find our purpose through our pain. Or are lead to our purpose through our pain. Either way, there's often a strong, deep desire to find meaning through the terrible life experiences we've gone through. I'm no exception to that, and many of my guests aren't either. Darren created AfterCloud, a "life-tech" app for capturing life's most preci…
 
Arielle wasn't a newcomer to grief and loss by the time her husband decided to take his own life when she was only 29. She shares the highs, lows, and fears of navigating all of the unknowns and changes that came with losing her beloved, Rick. She wondered if she would ever love again, and because she and Rick couldn't have children together, she t…
 
In this episode, Darren shares how loss (and his son) inspired him to create a way to capture life's most precious moments, support others through caregiving and loving gestures, and leave a legacy for future generations. After Cloud is, as Darren calls it, a life-tech app; for sharing what needs to be said, capturing what you never want to forget,…
 
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