Debi Richens on grief, building resilience through it, how men and women deal with the trauma, bouncing back and so much more
Femi: These are crazy times. Indeed. These are sad times. Indeed, just a few days ago. I know of someone who lost someone that was really close to them. And it got me thinking this brief business is so hard within heartbreaking, and I thought there's got to be a way to deal with this. The pain is still there, but we've got to be able to deal with us and help each other. And that's why today we've got an amazing special guest. Debi who's a grief counselor comes in and gives us some great, amazing insight on what grief is, how to deal with it, how men deal with it, how women deal with it, how cultures deal with it as some really easy steps we can take to make sure we can live a life, a full life while dealing with this. It's a tough list of sometimes because it's painful stuff, but you come out feeling much better, much clever on how to help yourself and also how to help others. You don't want to miss this. Stay tuned.
Femi: Welome to the U on list podcast with Femi Akinyemi , the podcast where we share ideas on how to lock it in workplace and in life. In general. A lot of times I use my personal stories, but sometimes I just bring the guests who I know has got a lot of great wisdom and knowledge to share, to come and give us some great wisdom and insight in how we can unleash our best and really just become the best we can be. You know what I usually say, I have become a firm believer that done is better than perfect. So in whatever it is, you do just start, start chip away at it. And you'd be amazed how far you go. You might even get close to perfection. Now this week I have a very special guest. A long time ago. I went through a really tough period where I lost someone really close to me.
Femi: And it's happened to me two times and I never really could understand how to deal with it. It's called grief by lots of people. Now, this is true. But one of the misconceptions I made was also a misunderstanding. What on earth to grief was So when I came across this special guest, I thought I knew exactly the questions to ask and get the answers I want because let's face it in these times. They are sad, sad times with coronavirus and everything. And lots of people are truly having to manage grief. So when I asked her to come in and speak, I thought I'll just give everyone the right answers to it. Little did I know I was going to be blown away regarding what exactly grief is and how we deal with it and just understand it, trust me, our perceptions and understanding of grief will be transformed after this session.
Femi: It gives me great pleasure to introduce revisions. Now, Debi, she's a master at creating confidence from heartbreak and she's an emotional resilience coach and she's got evidence-based training. She does she's fully certified and licensed. And she said vast grief recovery specialist. She also provides lots of services to other people like executive coaching training, and she speaks a lot and she's the life coach. But trust me, this is nothing compared to what you're going to learn today. That gives me great. Great pleasure. I've already been transformed by her to introduce Debi Richens Debi. Thank you for coming on board. How are you today
Debi: Very, very well. Thank you family. And thank you very much for asking me.
Femi: I don't know where to start, because I know where we had our pre chat, I think, last week and we, we got on a call on it. I usually have these chats, not all the time, but this time I thought you said, let's catch up and talk about it. And I said, okay, let's catch up. Which is always good. It's actually a good practice. So we sat down and we talked and 45 minutes had flown by and I had to say, Debi, we need to stop because I haven't been recording this and this is so, so good stuff. but when I we've got to, so thank you. coronavirus grief everywhere. It's a crazy time out there. Isn't it
Debi: Hugely. And so many people don't understand that grief. Isn't just about death, but it's also about all of the losses we've experienced. And one of the things I've been seeing is this comment about we're all in the same ocean. We are all in the same ocean, but we're all in each other's own boats. We're not sharing about with someone else. All of us are feeling this loss in different ways, but we're not very good at expressing our loss and not very good about being honest about how we feel. And Corona virus has brought massive loss in so many different levels because there's the very real physical level of not being able to hug a loved one or be in the special close vicinity of a loved one that you would normally take for granted being able to shake a hand, being able to hug, being able to stand next to somebody and sit next to somebody.
Debi: The very simple things that we've always taken for granted. So there is a mass of grief at this loss of physical connection. And then of course there are all the other complications, our jobs, our homes, our connections to community, and all of the things that that entails even going to the supermarket now is a little bit like doing the two-step left and right, because some people forget, some people are in their own world and they don't really remember. Some people have issues remembering. So they also get a little confused because they're not quite sure what's going on. So we have all of these pressures that are not normal and are things that we are to all intents and purposes struggling to cope with because our normal lives are not the way we expect.
Femi: No, they're not, they're not, not drink it. I love what you said about we're all in the same ocean, but we're not in the same boat. I've got my little canoe, you've got yours and we're all voted. And it just means being the human beings that we are. We have our own worldview. We see things through our, the context of our life, of our childhood, where we grew up, who our parents are, whatever we went through as growing up. So I love what you said when we first met, which is that people say, I understand what you're going through, but they don't. But I want to take a step back and ask this question, which I think you've got this amazing expertise and insights you could share with us. And it's really, this is help us understand what grief is. And more importantly, help us shatter some misconceptions or unintentional mistakes. misunderstandings about grief out there. What is grief
Debi: So grief is the loss of a natural and normal pattern of life, right That could be loss of a job loss of a home loss of a relationship, a death, a break in our normal routine because we have hopes, dreams, and expectations. When we are in any of these things of how our future is going to look and grief is that change. And it's the loss that comes with that change. So you could have been working for 12 years towards this amazing position on the board, and then the company suddenly restructure. And that job is no longer there. So you've spent 12 years working so hard with that dream, that vision in place to have your dream stop it in moments. And this is what's happened actually a lot right now with COVID. There are lots and lots of dreams, hopes, expectations of life that have been just stopped in their tracks. And without realizing it, you go into grief because you're grieving that you couldn't get married on the date. You planned that you couldn't have that fantastic wedding or sorry, birthday celebration. You couldn't have the 60th wedding anniversary, all of these things that, that have a big buildup and a huge, huge effect, not just on you, but those around you, that celebrate from you celebrate every part of our life that suddenly isn't there. And you're grieving. You can't have your normal life. And that's what grief is not being able to have the expectation.
Femi: So that means what I would consider a grief apart from the definition, which is standard, what I would consider grief isn't necessarily the same for everyone. The reason why we all gravitated towards the loss of someone death is because death, death can be quite universal in that it's pretty black and white. You've lost someone you're really close with that you love, and that's heartbreaking. But if we dig deeper, grief is for you. For me, for anyone, anything you've hold Devon Titan, you've have, you've built a hope and you have a psychological attachment to once you lose it. It is grief. So a wet, a marriage breakdown that is grief, losing a job. That's grief, a change of your, a change of, of a boss. something as simple as a simple routine of the same boss would you've taken every time. And that boss was changing. It seems trivial, but for some people to get really emotional about it for any underlying reason, it's grief. So anything could be quite could bring about grief, actually.
Debi: Absolutely. The thing about grief is often there's more than one layer to it. Consider that someone who's caring for someone with dementia or a life limiting illness, and that could be an adult caring for another adult and adult caring for a child. There are the events that you had hoped would be there that are now no longer there, because for instance, the person with dementia, doesn't remember the people around them and is having difficulty relating to the people around them. Although they've known them all their life and then for a child with a life limiting illness where their life expectation may be that they'll only get to 14 or 15 before the illness finally consumes them. So the parent and the other caregivers that are involved with that person's care know that the outcome is not the one that they had hoped that their child is not going to grow up and get married and is not going to achieve those amazing things that they thought they had be plotted in their mind deliberately.
Debi: But just because we're human, we have inspirations and that their child may not achieve the family. We won't have those grandchildren, you know, and, and that's a natural and normal part of our lives is perpetuation of generations. There is lots of anticipatory grief that we have in life as well. And actually, this is a major part of what is happening right now with COVID, there's a lot of anticipated grief because we're not just going to go through what's going on now the same way as the dying child and the D and the dying parent, but also there's the death to come.
Femi: So tell us how your story and how you came to this became how you learned to sort of, what's your story about grief How did you call it if you don't mind, how do you, how do you ship share with us a bit more around your story about this I want to understand grief more than help others. How did you get to this point
Debi: It's very interesting, you know, yes, we've all gone through deaths. and I've had my fair share of, of a collection of, of, of deaths, quite unusual ones and the impact they had on my life. I didn't really see until much later. So, you know, the normal things, aunts, uncles, grandparents, dying in childhood, but for me, great deal of them were in London. Whereas I grew up in Redding. My family were very disconnected because my parents divorced when I was, just five years old. And so I didn't have connection with my family. And because my parole, my paternal family are Jewish. The funerals would happen within 24 hours. So I didn't actually hear about those deaths sometimes until several weeks afterwards because my father wasn't terribly good at being in touch. and he didn't really understand that not communicating it then would have been a much healthier way for us to deal with it.
Debi: So those losses were never properly addressed because we didn't have the opportunity to grieve at all in the normal way. And then growing up, obviously lots and lots of loss growing up, because I didn't have two parents at home. I didn't have a, a normal life. My mum was very ill for a lot of my childhood. So lots and lots of imbalance that never really got spoken of. It was just accepted that we had to get on and deal with it. Growing up into adult hood, I got married and I really thought life was going to be wonderful. And actually sadly, it wasn't three weeks before my second wedding anniversary. My dear, dear, brother-in-law very talented. 23 year old, who was the most amazing carpenter was killed in a car accident. It was nothing to do with him. He was completely innocent and his life was snuffed out just like that.
Debi: And I watched my ex-husband and his family implode. There were only a very small family. My ex-husband wouldn't get any support for his grief. He would just disappear into the most horrific migraines and he would limp along, trying to work. And that was incredibly isolating. I lived in the middle of nowhere in a, in a cottage deepen in the Oxfordshire countryside, and I was completely isolated. I couldn't drive. I, you know, I worked on the farm, so there were very few people around me. So when you have to deal with how I felt, because his family weren't, they didn't, they wouldn't talk about it. You talked about Martin and his brother, his father would get up and walk out of the room. And, and so his death stopped the line of conversation, which is a massive form of trauma. But at the time I didn't understand that.
Debi: So I just got on with life as best I could. And, you know, I, I Jade my ex husband along as much as I could to help him, but I was very helpless because he wasn't motivated enough to want to do anything about his grief to help himself several years later. That, and again, sadly, we had a five-year-old daughter by then, and three generations of his family were killed in a car accident, his aunt, his younger cousin, and the cousin's baby, that tipped him over the edge into alcoholism. And that's a form of grief covering up his pain and his feelings and thoughts and emotions with alcohol and numbing, how he felt. But it also completely ruined the line of communication in the family. There just wasn't any, you know, and the impact that had wasn't just on this small family, it was also on several hundred people around us because that was three generations, three different lives, three different communities, plus the crossover of various communities.
Debi: So, you know, a lot of, a lot of rapes, a lot of very sudden change. So I carried on living with that because I didn't know what else to do. And, you know, somebody once said to me, well, why didn't you leave Well, I was committed to a marriage didn't matter. So what was going on in the marriage I was committed to the marriage. That's also a form of grief because I stopped caring for myself. I stopped worrying about me and I just put all my energy into worrying about everybody else and trying to keep everything afloat. And that's actually really tough psychologically, but you don't think about it at the time. You know, I can't just walk away from this grieving person. I can't just abandon, I have to stay, but that meant putting myself on hold and just coping. So some years later, I then eventually had to succumb because my health was so happy.
Debi: And I went through a really horrific divorce, formatic language driven, divorced, sadly. And I was separated from my only child. I couldn't, I couldn't change. I didn't have the financial wherewithal to do that. So I had to, to cope with the situation as best at was. But all of a sudden there was the loss of the person personnel. I was married to the loss of my relationship, the loss of my home, the loss. So if my child, the loss of the animals that were part of our life, the loss of my community, the friendships around me, the familiar, the reality of the village, I was living in the familiarity of the wider community. I was living in huge losses, all compounded all at once. And I didn't really understand, and that has grief. I knew I had loss, but I didn't understand it as grief, wonderful forward several years.
Debi: And I attended a debate that parliament about grandparents' rights of access to their grandchildren, because I now have grandchildren. I don't know, because they say the nation has gone on for so long. And I was still so scrambling around trying to find ways to cope with that massive emotion of loss of my then one grandchild. And the second one that came along that I'd never met, you know, and I, I only met the first one a few times, so massive conflict of, feelings and emotions, not knowing how to put it into words when I came back. All right, I've got to set up a grandparents support group to do, you know, in my community, because I know that there are going to be lots and lots of people out there that are afraid to speak and don't know how to speak. So I'm going to set up this space.
Debi: So I did that and I asked a grief recovery specialist who I know from community up the road in Swindon to, to come and speak about grief, because I didn't know, I didn't class myself as an expert. I knew I had a lot of mixed emotion, but I knew no more. So along she comes and afterwards, she said to me, you need to go and get trained. You do what I do instinctively you all, and you should learn how to do it properly for you and for others because you have this lovely skill. And I thought about it a little bit. And I thought about the other things, the other conversations we'd had about grief. And I suddenly got it that the experiences I've had in my life have brought me to a place where actually, yes, I have a lot of knowledge. I have a lot of understanding, but I also have a very different way of looking at things. And I can look at things in a very balanced way. You know, I don't, I don't go into it in full blown anger. I can sit back and remove myself from that. So I thought I'm going to take this opportunity. And so I did my certified training and my life changed overnight. And to one of the most powerful gifts I could ever have given myself,
Femi: Is that why your life changed more because of the understanding you had for yourself before you, before you even less, the benefit of helping others, which was really big, but just because you find yourself unlocked, all of this stuff you were dealing with, you finally found a way to deal with it.
Debi: Hugely. It gave me that space to be safe and secure in my emotional honesty, to being really clear and honest with myself about the things that I had never said before, because I was afraid to say them before, because I was afraid even to voice them to myself because I didn't trust myself for many, many years because I had been so confused with the things going on around me. And along the way that that last journey I'd actually been very ill physically. And that also had, had an impact on me emotionally. And that was something I didn't understand until I started this journey as well, understanding the impact of the physical on the emotion and being able to detach the words from the physical pain, made a massive difference. And it gave me clarity that I'd never truly had before. And I do this journey every single week. I've not stopped. I have continued to do what we call completions, which is the journey through grief recovery. I have continued every single week and every single week I gain another nugget of clarity, which is so empowering. And I can't begin to say how wonderful it is to, to have this journey of work and to notice along the way that I am finding parts of me, that I'd buried in my childhood. And I hadn't realized I'd buried. So I'm blossoming in a way that I never knew I could.
Femi: Oh, thank you, Debi, for sharing that very, very intimate and, very intimate story about yourself. thank you. Really appreciate that. there's so much shared there because, and we'll get through it one by one. Cause you mentioned a lot of motivation to help self fairly important. art, alcoholism in itself can be a form of grief because we are using it's, we're grieving that it's an escape, isn't it It can be an escape,
Debi: Pasta. Yeah,
Femi: It's just a good pasta. But for a lot of us, you've spoke about commitment to a marriage that isn't working as a form of grief. And really it's a way of sticking plaster to it as well, because you don't want that either. I mean, we don't want to get into the rights or wrongs of a marriage coming apart. That's not what we do today, but that, that important, there's gotta be a reckoning either one way or another. There has to be a reckoning in a marriage sometimes where you both come together and you have it all out and you decide what are we doing And sometimes rather than have that, you just commit and you silently just keep going at it. But it's a way of grieving something that isn't giving you what you want because what's happening in the marriages, that joy fulfillment, you want funding mileage, you are not getting so only to add some purpose.
Femi: It's dead. It's not giving you what you want. Now it can be redirected. But for that moment in time, it's not giving you what you want. But then you spoke a lot about losing your child, your community, your pets, your friendships, everything you held there, that structure that held your life together, that gave you a life purpose and meaning you lose it. And that is grief. But because we don't recognize it as grief, we don't know the journey or the steps to take, to manage our mind and selves through that devastating loss. And it is devastating. We end up not dealing with it. And we carry around this massive, massive baggage that weighs us down. And we are less of ourselves every day and every day that that's what happens. But there's something you spoke a lot about, safe and secure in emotional honesty. And before I want to come to that, I guess all of these things you've spoken about to kind of apply to. And if I think of our listeners, everyone from Marvin is you spoken about to real death people dying, which is the argument loss, but also it can apply to people losing their jobs, their houses, their financial reputation listeners. This is what I want us to take from this is any time you lose anything you hold dear, you are grieving.
Femi: And having that context will help in the next few parts of this question. So you mentioned BC physical and emotional honesty. What is that
Debi: It is about taking the time to look deeply at the relationship or the event that has brought the loss to you. It is about writing in your own words, your loss, your thoughts, your feelings and emotions expressing apologies and forgiveness, where you need to, because we all need to forgive to move forward. If you cannot find a way of forgiving, you are stuck with this lead weight that you just can't move past and it holds you back for the sorry.
Femi: And I said that in a way that, I mean, forgive who sometimes your offender or yourself or
Debi: It's about the person or the event it's about the relationship or the event that has happened, that has made a change in how you feel that has become distressing and painful. so, you know, even when you have a friendship that doesn't go the way you were expecting, and suddenly the person comes out with a mouthful of painful thoughts, feelings, and emotions that they are expressing that suddenly pull the rug from you and you're lost in your response. And then it causes a chasm between you. There's no going back and you come away and you've not been able to say, actually, I feel this. This is how it's hurt me. And I want you to know, but you've not had that opportunity to do that. So you swallow those, that, those words and those thoughts and feelings down, and they get buried somewhere and you end up sore throat because you can't express the words, you know, and they're sitting there waiting to be expressed that they're not there. So they fester in a sore throat or you get, you know, you often hear people saying, Oh, you know, I've, I've my tummy. I'm feeling really uncomfortable. My tummy is churning. And often that is a phrase you hear people say when they have gone through a very difficult emotional change.
Femi: Yeah. So what you're saying about termi churning is, is sometimes when we are emotionally unwell, because of any of these tough things, we'd go to, it can actually have physical manifestation. It can actually lead to a lot of physical illness, a sickness country,
Debi: Hugely, and our bodies triple with that pain. So the journey of clarity comes with learning, how to release those words. And as you go through the journey of looking at loss, your you're, the first thing you do is you look at all of the loss that you can remember in your life, from your youngest age, your youngest memories to the present day. And that's all you look at. You just look at the losses and you ascertain which of those losses have had a large impact on you, which of them have had a lesser impact. And which of them are much smaller. And sometimes you look those things and actually your understanding of your life can start to really become clear because the things that you think were the biggest impacts may not be the things you were expecting until you really look at those losses. And what you're doing is your fine tuning that by picking the relationship or the event that has had a very large impact on your life and your looking at the losses in that relationship or that event, and then above it, you're looking at all the positives that you had with that relationship and event. And that's really important because that then shows you the balance, whether it was on an even balance or an uneven balance and where the balance was better, so that you then start to have more clarity about that relationship or event.
Femi: so, so you look at all the other losses in your life. Is there physical loss Is it loss of career Is it loss loss of a close one So when I say close from maybe, be Jilt left at the altar by a man either by, by either party, lots of a big Covey, a job, a dream, a hot, anything you've lost. And then look, what was the impact on my life, big or small. And then you look at each of those ones and go, how much joy or how much sadness did I get from this thing in itself So if I look at myself, I had a job with a major company, and there was a job that I was after I finished my MBA and I thought, this is the job that's going to take me to the board level. I guess the most I get through this applause record of CEOs.
Femi: And I thought I nailed this. And I saw this as a pivotal point in my career. I was going to nail this and become very close to being, getting into boardroom, but it went totally wrong. Someone else came in and didn't necessarily like me. And to be honest on reflection, I wasn't probably ready for the role, but I didn't get the support I wanted either. And Monday, according to her, about four half past four. And I was just on a Friday and I was just told you're fired. Now that meant everything I hoped for around that was gone. And I remember that same company hired me again many years later when I went into the lift two story, Debi, the lady who fired me, she did not even remember me. She came into the lift and we were in the lift together and I've always told myself I'm over them. I'm over it. It's no big deal. And I was physically shaking when we were in the lift together, I taught I'd be able to say, hello, how are you And just say, have a chat with her and say, cause I had a bet. I had a good job that was paying really well. I thought I'd be able to say hello, how are you And just have a nice chat to shiver. Look, I'm doing well. I couldn't get the words out. I couldn't get the words out. I was physical.
Speaker 4: Okay.
Femi: Yeah. I had to run out to the building to get some air after, because I was so
Speaker 4: Angry.
Femi: I was so angry and I, yes, it was just a mix of emotions. Like how much I felt like crying as well. And maybe for men as well, because we'll talk about men as well, because how they deal with this book. I was shocked up as I consider myself a guy, a man's man or a guy, and I thought this is nothing, but I was shocked that as a man, I would come out and feel this way that anyone could have this impact on me without physically hurting me.
Speaker 4: Yeah. Hugely. And, and this what we, we
Debi: Do when we hold onto our emotions. And later on years later, as you've just expressed, they suddenly come out in a way you don't expect because your conscious is saying, hang on a minute. I recognize where we are. I recognize what we're doing. Now. I've got to try and protect you because you've been hanging onto all of this stuff because I've been helping you do that. And all of a sudden, you're your subcultures and your body fighting each other. And so you have that hugely physical reaction. And this is something that we have a lot. And it's actually really pertinent that you say that because that journey I gave you of my life, I could not have had without grief recovery. If I not told you that journey before I did grief recovery, the pain in my chest would have been immense. My whole feeling of my body would have been painful. I would not have been able to hold the tears back. I was like that for so many years. So grief recovery gave me the opportunity to disconnect the physical from the emotional, from, and from the words. So the emotion and the words became separated. Therefore the words don't carry that weight of meaning and my body doesn't either. And that's something that you hadn't yet learned how to do.
Femi: It's a strong bond though, because even when you as experienced as you were, I mean, you're an advanced based specialist, so you're not new to this game. Even you were describing it. And Debi, I'll be honest with you because the audience can see this, but I can see you. And I could see a welling up of emotion. You've obviously been, you've had, you've gone through the journey of completion a number of times as you've called it. So every time you do it, you become better at it. And you distanced the words from the motions or from your physical self. But even then I could see for you that it still had an impact. So is it true then for all of us that to expect that there will be no connection ever is very important is it's not possible. But what you're doing is you're distancing is the distance between them. So less and less you're, you're, you're in control a bit more. You're not trying to completely do away with it because this is part of who you are. It's made you who you are. But if we can give voice to these feelings, if we can afford to voice them out and sort of write it down and deal with these things, we're going to on a personal level become, we can learn from it better. We can manage it better
Debi: Hugely because of course the most important part of that process is also being heard by somebody in a safe and secure space. And this is what I do for my clients and what my, specialist friend and I do when we take our time each week to sit and do our completions. Once you've written all of those words down and you've released them physically from your body on the end of the pen or the pencil, you then need to speak it because you need to tell your subconscious right. It's time to release that now. And what I always use as an analogy when I'm working with my clients is that grief is like a jigsaw puzzle. Our first connections in our lives are our parents, our grandparents, our siblings, our cousins. And to me, that's the outside edge of the jigsaw puzzle. And S times when you're putting that outside edge of the jigsaw puzzle together, you've got one piece you can't quite place because it just isn't visible to you.
Debi: And this is what our grief is like. And this is how our completion letters are not everything is ready to come out in that first letter. So you cannot complete it all in one go. It's an it's impossible because you'd have to be super human to be able to get inside your mind and really clear everything out in one go. So we have a process of completion letters and PS letters, because things will always come up. So we can looking at that jigsaw puzzle and you've got that one piece missing. Okay, well, I'll go down, I'll go onto the next stage. I'll get all the different colors to get her. I'll get, get all the different shapes together. I'll get all the different sizes together. And so you separate out the different things. And that's what you're doing with your completion letters. You're working through the process.
Debi: You go back to that loss and you go, okay, so there's another one there. It's not big, but I want to deal with that one next. So you get on and you go through the process to your completion letter, as you're doing this various bits of the puzzle, start to fall into place. You're starting to release. And bits of you are now ready to go back to where they should be. And if you think about how a spider's web catches the flies and the maths and the spiders been, they're very busy, putting them all away in their little cocoons, ready for nature's journey of whenever he's ready to have that next meal, you go and look at another spider's web. And it's a completely different journey. You know, those little things, those little bodies, you know, different places. So think about how your subconscious collect all of the grief and the loss and layers it up in the spider's webs inside your mind, but like jigsaw puzzle, being all, all over the place.
Debi: So what you'll do is you're painting off each one of those spider's webs and you're dealing with a layer at a time. And as you do that, and as you do your completion letters, then your PS letters, you're releasing little bits and pieces and your puzzle is starting to come together. And when you're further along, when you look at your puzzle, you go, wow. You know, that's amazing. I've got half a puzzle there. How much have I managed to find of myself How much of release powerful. Yeah. But the thing is that when it's all stuck in our mind and the subconscious things get attached to other things. So you do your completion letter, but some parts of that are attached to other things because the minds go well, that's, that's useful like that over there. So when you're doing your completion, you can't possibly find that little thing that's hiding and it has to be something else that sparks that to release it.
Femi: Yeah. I mean, this is, what's great about what you're saying is it's your highlighting the importance for every one of us. When we come to, when we talk about mental health, because this is all of our mail to health, this is really around being, finding a way to bring structure and being in, being an assemblance of understanding to your past life. So you can compartmentalize it and be rational around what's happened to you. And I think for a lot of us and I, as a man, I can speak to this and we'll think about men now is that for a lot of us, we talk about a lot about physical health, but mental health really just means, I think this is a bit, I'm not the most expert, but it's really around having a healthy self esteem and health, a healthy awareness mentally of where you are, who you are, and what's happened to you and putting it in the right context.
Femi: And I think this happens to a lot of it, a lot of us. And when you and I were speaking earlier, we spoke a lot about this. and you can attest to this cause you've, you've, you've been involved with the opposite sex as well in different contexts with these of your marriage and everything else is one of the things I've read recently, cause I've been attending quite a few webinars are mental health. What are the things I realized recently was men are more likely to go through with a suicide than women. Now, women, it seems have suicidal thoughts, have the morph and I think, and I'm happy to be collected, but men are more likely to go through with it. It just because as men we are even, I'm going to say we're probably worse. I'll use words because it's been shown that the whole board generally is not good at this stuff. So is that men are just worse at processing or dealing with mental, some of these mental scars or what is it
Debi: No, not at all, actually about how society looks at grief and how society is now in its infancy about how it looks at the terminology. Whereas for, for generations, we've been told to grieve alone, don't show our weakness being in grief. When actually it's not, it's, it's our greatest strength. Being able to show our emotions. So you know that you hear these phrases, put your big boy pants up, pull your big girl pants up. you know, I, I don't want to see you crying. You don't need to cry. Don't cry. No, no, not hugely man up man up, you know, be you, you're a strong, you're a strong man. You know, you'll, you'll cope. You'll get on with this. But also that starts in childhood. That starts, and this is where our limiting beliefs come from. It goes back to childhood. So you're the five-year-old boy.
Debi: And you have a three-year-old sibling and something happens to one or either of your parents and everybody around you tells you, you've got to be strong for your brother. You've got to be strong for your mum. You've got to be strong for your dad. You know that they don't want to be dealing with your emotion while they're dealing with their emotion. So immediately you're shut down immediately. You learn that your emotion isn't valuable. You can't show it. You can't share it because nobody wants to hear your grief. So you shut it down and you'd be the dutiful big brother. And you look after your youngest sibling and you don't bother mommy or daddy or any other adult with how you feel. So you are actively told to be quiet. You are effectively told don't voice your emotions. And you remember, and you carry it on into your adult life, but you do it instinctively then because you've been practicing it all through your childhood and we've all done it.
Debi: We all do it because that's what happens in society. You know And then you're told, be busy, keep yourself busy, go do something. You know So what do people do They go out pounding the street running, and they'll go and do it twice as long and twice as hard. Or they go to the gym and they, they beat the gym, you know, and they wear themselves out with the gym where they might not normally have done that or appreciated that, you know, they're, they're releasing their grief because it's the only way they know how to, and they're doing it on their own.
Femi: Oh, that, that, that, that's so true because, and that's what I can't count the them of times. And I think I understand where they're coming from. It's a way to release some tension. I'm going to the gym, but it is not, it's not, it's only a small part of the overall. Cause what that does is it takes you off the physical side and masks the emotional, but you still have to deal with the emotional. You have to be healthy physically and mentally. So doing all that physical exertion doesn't mean that mentally you're healthy. It just, we did address a rush of adrenaline and dopamine. It just masks it for the time. And then later you're back.
Debi: Yes. And suicidal ideation, as you say is much higher in women. But women also have a network of other women and they talk, men are getting better at talking, but for many years, they've been told to get on with it and be strong. And you know, you don't don't show your emotion. So they haven't. Whereas women have been told that, but not in such a strong way. So men haven't talked because they haven't felt safe to talk. And because they haven't felt safe, they have imploded on themselves emotionally. And they get to a point where they are not heard by anybody. And they are not felt to be heard by anybody. And eventually they say, I can't do this anymore. Yeah. They committed suicide.
Femi: Yes. But if I want to play devil's advocate, isn't there a bit there, but you have to think that men and that we're wired differently, that men and women are wired differently. Is that true Is there truth to that is some ways that we're wired differently.
Debi: There are lots of truths to it because we do, we are physically different and our emotions and our bodies work differently because they have slightly different train of thought. We live with what is around us in society and grow up with that misconception. So we have the myths of grief that we live with, what we also live with judgment and criticism of others. And it's how we deal with that judgment and criticism. Whether we can be, as they say, Teflon coated and it bounces off of us or whether we absorb it. And mainly we absorb it because our subconscious collects that 95 to 99% of everything that we do every day that we experienced, that we feel that we hear that we see that we taste and touch and it doesn't let go of it. So we have super stuff going on in our mind. That's exactly what it is. It's subconscious. So we don't actually know what it is we're absorbing. So those negative things that are surrounding us, we're absorbing. And those are the things that react differently for male and female. Yeah.
Femi: And that's why we have to be very, I mean, that's, that's why we have to be very conscious about our subconscious. We have to be very careful about what we let into our mental, because the subconscious is neutral. It just takes what you give it and it plants it. And whenever you're faced with a similar situation, again, it looks into your mental diary goes, I've seen this event before, this is what we need to do. And it just plays it back. And without realizing it, you just start to act subconsciously in ways you didn't expect because your brain behind the scenes, even when you're asleep just said, next time, something like this happens. You're a man, you suck it up. You don't see anything. And there's only so long. You can do that one day, the dam will burst. And
Debi: Yeah, the dam is such an important phrase. You often hear the straw that broke the camel's back. It was the last drop in the ocean. And actually you think of the physical connotation of that. And that's what happens to our minds and bodies. It becomes too much for us to cope with. And you see, there's a very, very strong image where you see the dome of water in a cup. Yeah. And then one last drop. And that whole explosion of energy comes because the column was there, but there's no more room for calm.
Femi: Yes. And people and people with the people without knowing the context with say, Oh, it was Femi. All I did was say all, I did a snap at him. I just snapped at him and he just lost it. And they don't realize that there's been a lot of issues. I've been carrying a lot that I haven't unburdened. And this was the straw that broke the camel's back. And this is all, I mean, it's amazing, amazing stuff. And it, it speaks to really that we we've got it. We've got to be more open with ourselves and with others, we've got to find somebody we trust and be more open and honest. But I love what you spoke about women. I think I come from a culture, a Nigerian culture, before I lived here where people suffer grief. But one of the things you find, and this is where culture has to play with it as well.
Femi: When you suffer grief, everybody comes around you, your neighbors, your friends, family, the whole street comes around you. And it's probably similar to, if you look at sort of the Bible sometimes where there's lots of grieving and people wear sackcloth and family come around and they would make sure for at least two weeks, three weeks, you were not left on your own. There's somebody giving you food. There's someone looking after you. And then, yeah. And it just goes like that. And even in, in that culture, in some cultures, they would say, if you lose a child, you don't baby. The, because it's, it's, it's, it's taboo. You shouldn't bury a child, touch the baby. You say, even then the parents don't bury the child. So it's, it's good in some ways, but it's not. But when you come through Western culture and it's in, in North America, it can be quite awake.
Femi: Then there'll be then the, be the funeral. And then the person is almost left to themselves. And if they've got family don't really care or neighbors that are really lovely, they will check on them quite, quite clearly. But, and then you have like the Indians, the North American Indians, red Indians, they had very fascinating when I was watching this documentary about basketball, the last dance with Michael Jordan, and it was a basketball team and they were coming to their last year of playing together and their coach did this weird thing. He got them to write on a piece of paper, what that team means to them. And then they voted down. Then they came out to the middle of the group. Each of them could, they've been together for six years or seven years. And they read what the team means to them. And then they all got this big bonfire and then they dropped it in the fire and they all sat there for quietly till they burned out on the flame, burned out.
Femi: And a lot of the players, there are these of all macho men, a lot of the players there said unbelievably, it had this cathartic and calming and releasing feeling that they all looked at and said, yeah, that's a beautiful end. That's done. And they didn't grieve about it. They were even able to celebrate it. So that's an even, it's amazing that we mock sometimes ways of old, but you look at something like that and that's looking back in what you said, that's a powerful way for all of us go into something. Sometimes you have to write it down. You've lost a job, a marriage, anything you have to write it down, what it means to you, what you loved about it, what you hate, what you miss about it, read out and then lay it to rest. You've almost got to grieve. You've got to go to the ceremony of grieving. That thing has been gone, haven't you
Debi: Absolutely. And when you look back at a lot of these cultures, it's about language. It's about being heard and those very, very important structures in their lives and their grieving processes are what helps them to deal with the grief and what helps them to be very clear in how they feel. as I said earlier, half of my family is Jewish. I wasn't brought up Jewish because my mother wasn't Jewish. I didn't learn about the culture because I never got to spend that time with my family in any way. So when my father died of breast cancer in 2013, I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen. I just knew that my aunt knew what was going to happen. And my aunt facilitated my father's funeral and the events afterwards now ordinarily because I'm not Jewish, I would not have been included in the grieving afterwards, but my aunt had this beautiful way of including me and making sure I was part of that program.
Debi: Yes. So she, you know, the shoulder synagogue, they pay a subscription or through their lives and that subscription pays for the funeral. So that will happen very naturally all on its own and was a very strange process because I didn't have any involvement in talking with my father about that or any involvement in how it happened. It just happened. Not in itself was a loss because there was no involvement. So afterwards the family do what they call sitting shiver. And they sit on small chairs as a family group, the siblings, the parents, the children. But of course I wasn't, I didn't expect him to be there because I wasn't Jewish. My aunt included me there. So I sat with my family and everybody members of the family members of the community, distant cousins. Yeah. Friends all came every day to pay their respects and to make sure that there was food to make sure that there was drink to tell us stories of the person that they'd lost and to share that life with you.
Debi: And these are the only times I've ever met my father's cousins and his distant cousins. Is it family funerals But I learned more about my father in that few days of sitting shiver with my aunts and uncles than I'd ever known how life. And it was a way of bringing him to life. That is so important because you never know everything about your parent or your sibling. Yeah. Cause there are other relationships that are part of that relationship. And it's often not until a funeral that you learn those things. So that's about bringing a balance of your knowledge of that person to your life. And it also helps with how you grieve, because if you suddenly hear a funny story that you've never heard before, it gives you lightening as to your grief, you know No, and that's actually a really important part of the grieving process.
Debi: And you often hear it, especially in Irish families, in those very tight close communities that, you know, they, the week is quite a raucous affair, quite a, rampant affair of joy and laughter and people think why is that But actually it's because they are celebrating in language, in stories, the, the person and they are enjoying the person and remembering them with love, but also remembering them with clarity with the language. And this happens in all cultures, how afterwards the families come together with the people in their lives and they start to tell the stories of, do you remember when gene, when he did that with the dog and tied the dog up and then ran away and left the dog we upping on the neighbor's doorstep or whatever that story is, you know, because these are the things that we never talk about in life. Yeah. Yeah. And this is where we also share our love and concern for the people that are grieving and for each other in that place, family, community of grief and things are so important.
Femi: That's amazing. So I want to ask this question then for all of us who are either grieving time right now, or people who are having to, I don't know if we can apply the process to just a lot of us who have lost something precious to us. If you were to tell us a few basic things that we could do just to get us on that journey, because ultimately you need to see someone like yourself, but for a lot of people would never be able to what are the simple things they can do really to just unpack this stuff and even just lightened the load a bit
Debi: Very simply. One of the most important things is self-compassion being respectful of you and actually taking the time, not to judge yourself and not to criticize yourself because that actually compounds the pain. So instead of saying, I should have done, I ought to be doing take the time to take a breath and step back and say, perhaps I can do it differently. Perhaps I can think about it differently. How can I change this rather than you should have done You must do. Because sometimes those very hard words, actually, I like padlocks and they lock you into that painful place. So compassion, self compassion is to my mind, the most important, it's the thing I've learned along my journey. It is the most important part of it. Then another important part of it actually is gratitude and gratitude is hugely powerful. So many, many years ago, I always did use gratitude, but very small way.
Debi: I would think about one thing. And then I wouldn't think about it at all for the rest of the day. Then I started to change my practice. And actually that was about the time of my father's death in 2013. And I started to wake with gratitude. So instead of turning on the TV and listening to the news or the radio and listening to the news and hearing the painful stuff of life that's going on in the world around us, I would take the time to think about the fact that I was able to open my eyes and see that I was able to fill my lungs with breath. Then I was able to appreciate the life around me.
Debi: And then at the end of the day, the same thing, I was able to be comfortable in my bed. I was able to play my mind of the rubbish of the day and give myself a quiet space. I was able to say, tomorrow, I am going to do tomorrow. I am going to have a go at and have the gratitude that I have the opportunity. Again, no television, no looking at the Facebook or whatever else we tend to do in life, putting it down and giving myself that space, because that is so important that we treat ourselves compassionately and gratitude is part of the journey of compassion, but it's not about having the big things. I'm so grateful. I've got that car. I'm so grateful. I've got this money in the bank. It's about the little tiny things. I'm so grateful. I was able to watch that spiders weaving that beautiful web I'm so grateful.
Debi: I was able to watch the color of the trees change as the autumn comes, as the spring comes. I'm so grateful that I, on a day of solstice, I know that the days are going to start to become longer. Paul simple things. It's some important to look at the very tiny things, because they're the things that will give us a foundation, a strong foundation. Yeah. And then after that, it's about physical. Self-care getting up, getting in the shower, washing your hair, your teeth, keeping clean because that's also, self-empowering looking after ourselves often when we're in the depths of depression and grief and loss, we forget some of those very simple things, but actually it's self nurture and self nurture is very powerful. And if we do it as a religious expression of care for ourselves, we are really empowering ourselves to move forward. You know, for a woman you'll often hear her say, I can't go out without my makeup.
Debi: A flick of lipstick makes all the difference to how I feel. That's incredibly powerful because it is how they physically see themselves. But it's how they feel that the world is seeing them. So it's about empowerment and that's the same for a bloke, you know, with your bed and with your hair. and, and you know, that top that you really liked to wear, because that says so much about you. It's the same thing. You have a particular facade that you want to put on and it's not just for the world, it's actually for you and how you feel about yourself. It's those simple things that are so important. Huh
Femi: Wow. Those are, I mean, I love that. It's, it's be self-compassionate to be compassionate to yourself, gratitude, and it's not just being thankful for the big things. It's the little things it's the air that you breathe is that you can wake up and stretch your arms. it's it's and then it's about physical self care. Lik looking after yourself, and these are things I'm guessing, it doesn't matter what you've gone through loss of a marriage loss of a gear, one loss of a career. Just, it's a very good approach to dealing with life on a day-to-day basis. Isn't it
Debi: Yes. Actually, you know, this, this thing about physical self-care I can tell you a small story. When I was going through my divorce, my dentist actually was the dentist that taught me dentistry because for many years I worked in dentistry and she was a very dear friend. And she said to me, when she knew I was in a, in a very, very bad place, your teeth and your gums up. Absolutely amazing. I'm so proud of you. I said to her, why isn't that normal And she said, no, you'd be surprised how many people I see who are going through divorce, who forget to clean their teeth and forget to clean their teeth well, in a healthy way. And she said, it's a massive sign of the physical distress they're going through when they forget how to clean their teeth. And I never forgot that because to me, that was so important that I kept the physical parts of me together. And it was, it was the one thing I could do for myself throughout all the distress and the implosion that was going on around me of my, but it was the one thing I could do that nobody could take away from me. Yeah. But the power of emotion and the power of grief is that it can take it away from you if your mind is in that mess, that it can't focus.
Debi: And, you know, that's a really powerful example of how we grieve and how we stop caring for ourselves whilst we're grieving.
Femi: Mm Hmm. Fantastic. And this is all what kind of, I mean, this is how we build these of all elements of building emotional resilience. Isn't it yeah. So tell me, let me, let me lighten it up a bit. tell me, in a way, what are some of the, I mean, no names, cause these are clients, but is there anyone you've come across that kind of didn't realize they were in grief and it was only a little bit more trivial that you helped them to go. Do you know, this is what's happening Is there, have you got any
Debi: Oh, interesting. lovely, lovely young mum that I was working with at the beginning of the year, we started grief recovery in the physical sense meeting once a week. And we finished in the, in the online sense because of locked down. So we did half the face-to-face and the other half we did online and she wrote me the most beautiful testimonial. And part of that testimonial was how she came back to life, how she suddenly started to find parts of herself that she'd buried us in her late teens because of the distress that had been going on in her life then, and the criticism of others that made her stop. She started to draw again for the first time in 25 years and her drawings are fabulous, really fabulous. And she has two young children at home who have relished this time with her because they're all doing art together, which they'd never done before.
Debi: And the other part was her dancing. She'd given up dancing, but she's now able to share that physical energy with her children that she's never done before. And the last one was her singing and she has a beautiful voice, but she hadn't sung since she was 15 years old. Wow. And she had buried that again, 25 plus years. And she suddenly found her voice again and she found it at the beginning of lockdown. She found her beautiful art, her dancing and her voice. And it gave her something to share with her children through the toughest time of their lives. And she said to that, being able to find that part of herself brought so much joy in a way she would never realize she was missing it before.
Femi: Yeah. And that's what it does. When, when, when you're, when you're, when you've dealt with a trauma or a loss of something, what can happen sometimes is you forget if it's associated to a part of you or a talent or something that you love to do, and you can very easily throw the baby out with the bath water. You could, you could lock up, you could close down that talent to think you enjoy doing because he's associated associated to that bad thing. A question I have is so one of the things that I've always struggled to answer is how can we help those who people who are close to us who have lost someone or lost something What is the best way we can help Cause sometimes it feels like we make it worse sometimes. How can we help people who are grieving over anything What can we say or do that is most helpful.
Debi: One of the most important things is just offering to be there for them. How can I help you Can I sit and listen Do you want to talk I won't say anything. I won't judge. You I'll just hear you. Obviously we can't sit and talk in the same way, but we can still meet each other on a zoom call or any other number of video ways that we can connect with each other. We can still have a mug in our hand and say, I will sit and have a mug of tea with you and come and sit and have a mug of tea with me. And I'll just listen. It's about giving space to another person without telling them that, you know how they feel because you don't, you know how you feel, you don't know how they feel because as we go back to that comment we had earlier perception is different.
Debi: Everybody's perception is different. So we all look at the same experience in a different way. And we all experience differently. Even if we're all going through the same thing together, we all feel differently. We all respond differently. So it's about making it about them. Not making it about you. Yeah. It's about allowing them the space to feel safe. You know, let's make sure that we have a quiet time. We'll go off into the, into the, the bathroom. People have been known to go into the bathroom because it's the only place they can get, you know, peace and lock the door. I mean, how many of our houses do you have a look anywhere else Except the bathroom and well, you know what to have somewhere where they know they're going to be safe and they can speak really, you know, in the, in the days of all, when we were in the office, if we knew somebody was going through distress, we would say to them has come and get a quick cup of tea. That's gone sit in the restaurant and have a chat. You know, are you all right Are you okay What can I do to help you Do you want to talk Do you want to just have somebody around you It's not about if I tell you how to do this, it'll be better. It's not about, well, when this happened to me, I did this. It's about them and being compassionate and giving them space,
Femi: Fabulous stuff. the only, and so with that said, what are the things then And cause does that apply to someone who's lost a job So if you know someone who's lost a job, good. This is one that stumped me a while ago. Somebody asked someone who he'd been out of work for about nine or 10 months. And I think the sponsor said, what can I say to him How can I help him And that's a loss he's grieving. He's cause men are known to associate jobs with identity, the ability to earn, to look after our families is such a big thing for men. And, and I don't want to stay over typecast, but I think it means a lot for women, but because women talk and they also, sometimes they, they, they have, maybe there are other things they could see as, as important. Maybe a family that looking after the kids can take the mind to think about men it's changing now. But a lot of men see as job breadwinner money. Once he couldn't do that for my moms, he struggled and the wife said, how can I help How can I help I didn't want him, I didn't want him to snap. How, what would you say And so to bring that question up a level generally, how can we help others who are going through that sort of thing So what can we do
Debi: We know one of the biggest things that's so important is actually to encourage that other person to speak. So, you know, you've, you've been, you've been really struggling. I've watched you really struggling. And this last few months, since you lost your job, why don't you tell me how you really feel about that Let me just sit here and hear you and let me just see if there's any way I can think that I might be able to help you, but I can't help you if I don't know how it's troubling you. And that's so important because that's then passing the tennis racket, putting the ball in their court, ready for them to then say, well, actually I really feel like this. And I found that so difficult to say, I didn't know how to say it. Give an opener rather than shutting the conversation down by saying, this is how you should be dealing with it. What can I do to help you What is it that would help you to be able to feel better What is it that would help you to take more time for you to feel better And what can I do to support you
Femi: Yeah, it's since, it's very important that there's a bit of sincerity there isn't there that, that genuine, they can feel the love, the concern, the care, and the absence of judgment that it is not going to be a judge in a session. Why didn't you do that No, this is just, listen, listen, listen
Debi: Simply. And it's as important for a man to say that to another man, as it does, as it is for a woman to say it to another woman or a woman to say it to a man or a man to say it to a woman, you know, very often somebody could be caring for their elderly parent more often than not. It's a woman, but men will just see that, Oh, she's, she's amazing. She does this for her, her parents. She does this for her family. She does this, this, this, and this, but they forget that she doesn't do for her because they don't really see it. So instead of sitting back and going, Oh God, how amazingly brilliant is she Or conversely the wife saying that about lesbian looking after his parents. Well, what can I do to support you in after that person
Femi: Yeah, yeah,
Debi: Exactly. How can I help you to do what you do Is there anything I can do to make that point of your journey going through this situation with your parent How can I make that better for you Yeah. What can I do That's even tiny stuff. What can I do to support you Is there something that you don't get to do for yourself that I can help you with Yeah. It's about help lighten the load.
Femi: Mm mm. It is. It is fabulous thing. one more thing is, so for all of us working around, I mean, what would you say, three things. What's your takeaway that you'd say 20, 20, 20, 21 coming, actually, I'll put it this way. What have you learned from this year we've been through and what's your, what are you taking into next year
Debi: So what have I learned My goodness. That's a big question. Isn't it
Femi: And what's your reflection on zone
Debi: The gratitude is so important because it just helped me to deal with situations that were completely outside of my control, but that I've been able to look at the small parts of it that I have been able to have. For example, my mother is dying and she is also very, stressed with sight and hearing difficulties. And she's now isolated in a care home. Now my first head would have said, Oh my God, I can't go and see her. I can't spend time with her, but my other head, the other side of me says, I am so grateful that she is still able to text that we can have a daily conversation with a few text messages and we can still tell each other, we love each other. I not able to see her. And I am grateful that I cannot take a virus inadvertently to her or the care home and cause more harm than good.
Debi: I'm so grateful for that text message. So for me, gratitude is a very big part of this year. I've had conversations with people and met people that I would never have met. Had it been for the virus. You know, the virus has actually, a lot of people have complained about, Oh, everything's on zoom. Everything's on soon. But the virus has opened my world up to connections, worldwide and new family who is weirdly on my doorstep and yet through the business forum of LinkedIn. And so I have, again, it's gratitude. I have gratitude for the fact that my world has actually opened up enormously. Yeah. I am so grateful for meeting all of these new thoughts and these new people who have made me look at the world in a different way. And it made me appreciate things in a different way because you know, there are, I've learned about different nationalities.
Debi: I've learned about different businesses. I've learned a different perspectives of the world. Then that's a wonderful thing, you know, when we actually closed ourselves down and shut ourselves down. And the third thing actually is I have learned to understand the value of peace in a different way, the waking up and hearing the birds at the beginning of lockdown when the roads are so easy, normally that we wouldn't hear the Dawn course. my goodness, what a dorm course, it was the explosion of third voices, all competing for that space and nothing drowning them out. It took us back to the basics of the earth beneath our feet, walking out in the Woodland without being inundated with the fumes of the world and the cars and the noise. And just being able to appreciate where we came from and where we live.
Femi: Yeah. The busy-ness of life. Hmm. Thank you. So Debi, tell us, a lot of people would have listened to this and said, I want to know more about, there'll be, I want to reach out to her. I might need her. tell us how can people reach out to you to sort of get support supported they're going through any of these, the challenging things. How can they reach out to you
Debi: Well, a pump from my website. So that's Debi Richardson's and, I'll let family make sure you have the correct spelling. Cause I spell my first name slightly differently to others.
Femi: WW dots.
Debi: Debi richens.co.uk,
Femi: Www.debirichens.com. Yep. Nope. Dot co.uk. Ooh, that's www.debirichens.co.uk.
Debi: That's correct. Also they can find me through Facebook and I'm very happy for them to find me just as I am or my business page, which is, Debi Richens emotional resilience coach or just declarations. And they can find me on LinkedIn as well. And again, I'm very happy to connect and talk. I always have a small free chat with anybody who wants to talk to me because without understanding, they're not going to know if it feels right for them to take the journey of grief recovery to heal. Yes, anybody in the world can work with a grief recovery specialist. I'm not the one that required a few of us. And you know, if there's not somebody in, your space as in I'm six hours behind you or six hours ahead of you or, you know, Australia, 12, 11 hours ahead or behind, you might feel it's more comfortable to work with someone in your own region. And that's something I can guide you to as well. I can guide you to people within your own culture because of course the different, nations have slightly different cultures, slightly different language. And so others that do the same as me and can help you in the same way.
Femi: Marvelous, thank you very much, Debi really, really appreciate appreciated coming. It's been such a joy and a blessing for you to share this lovely insight and open our minds to what grief is and how to deal with it. And, our understanding of it. Listen, everyone, it's a tough word up, down to tough times. Everybody's losing people who are close to them. We've all lost people who are close to us, but we've also lost out on things that we hold there in effect. Everybody is grieving something. My grandfather used to say, if you want to live long in this world, you've got to be able to deal with everything that comes along with it. And that includes grief, but we've also learned that important part of dealing with grief is giving voice to it. Clarity. We play in the journey, understanding that everybody's in their own boat, even though we're all in the same ocean. So everyone sees things differently. And it's also about looking after yourselves. And if you do that, you're already on the way to managing these things.
Femi: I know it's a tough message,
Femi: But it's also more we need to hear to help us
Femi: Leash are best because by getting rid of the baggage we carry around, you can truly become our best selves. See if you need to deal with it, find a way to give voice to it, deal with it. And then March on with gratitude and enjoy this life. We have get on leash and stay on leash.