June 2023

Leading With Heart: How Leaders Can Support Grieving Employees With Dr. William Ramey

WRT 22 | Grieving Employees

  True leadership is not measured solely by accomplishments, but by the compassion and support we extend to our grieving employees during their darkest hours. In this powerful episode, we are joined by the dynamic and experienced Dr. William Ramey. Grief is a universal experience that knows no boundaries, infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Recognizing its profound impact in the workplace, Dr. Will discusses how leaders can effectively support grieving employees. He explains how as people navigate the challenges of grief, it becomes evident that it is not a solitary journey. Dr. Will shares how supervisors and leaders can gain a newfound understanding of sensitively navigating this difficult terrain alongside their team members. Tune in now and learn how to lead with your heart in supporting grieving employees.   Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Leading With Heart: How Leaders Can Support Grieving Employees With Dr. William Ramey Our guest is Mr. Will Ramey. He is an award-winning leadership expert and decorated combat veteran who delivers high-energy, engaging presentations and workshops. In 2001, Will began his career leading a wide spectrum of teams including military police, maintenance, warehousing and distribution, space control, operations, manufacturing, production, and city management. Will is the Founder of Shared Leadership LLC, a full-spectrum leadership and team development firm focused on strengthening a team’s effectiveness using experimental learning and coaching. Will is co-authoring a book through Stanford University Press on shared leadership to shift the organization’s perspective on leadership from the industrial age into the digital age of work. He is a certified coach and certified Lego Serious Play Workshop Facilitator. Will received his Undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University, a Master’s degree from Webster University, and a Doctorate from Drexel University. He is a leadership award to include the US Army Bronze Star in the US Army Accommodation Medal along with others. Will is a personal colleague of mine, and I’m looking forward to this discussion. Let’s get into it now.     My guest is Mr. Will Ramey. How are you? How have you been? It’s been a few years. It has been since my last day at The Depot that we probably talked in person in 2017. We’ve texted a couple of times and we’ve had some conversation, but as far as seeing your face and talking to you, it was that last brief that I presented on the program that I was transferring. At that time, it was the highest public-private partnership that we had at The Depot and I was changing that over. Literally, I was told I could not leave The Depot until that brief. I remember that conversation and those circumstances. That’s not a place that I thought when I was leaving The Depot that day that I would ever honestly be able to say that I am happy and not just existing. At that point when you saw me, I literally was existing. It was a year after Mark passed. I knew digging myself out of the snow to go to work is not something I was a fan of, so I needed to move coming here to Virginia, being here with my sister, and now my mom and my son are here, and friends that I’ve had for such a long time, being able to rally around me. Support has been wonderful. The move for you getting down there and support made sense. I’m a fan of the show. I’ve been watching a few episodes and catching up. Hearing your story has jogged my memory about, “I remember when this happened.” I’m trying to place my timeline because we had worked together for a short period of time and then we had been cross paths during our time at The Depot together. I remember the time period that you talked about in your opening episode. It was daunting as I’m having conversations with people and reliving. I was like, “It was that bad.” It probably made it even more publicized where I was working because I had been one of the interns and you get a lot of visibility of that. The other thing is we went without a chaplain at The Depot. I was standing in doing some chaplain-ish type of things as my schedule permitted to be able to support. There were a lot of people that I connected with that if I was a regular little LMS doing my job and then being in the business office, it gave me more connections with people. Because of that, of the level of people that were genuinely concerned and supportive, I feel like leveraged me to be able to use that same love on this show to be able to help many people that I’ve spoken to that don’t have a support group that has been experiencing grief during the pandemic in a very closed off scenario and not having anybody else to connect with. It’s made the process even harder than the idea of losing someone. It is the outpour that you have there for you. On the one hand, it’s great to have that level of support on the other as you’re going through that process, answering the same set of questions and bringing things up and the emotional spectrum that you’re going through. There are probably some days, times, or moments that, “I don’t want to answer your question. I appreciate your support, but I don’t want to talk now.” That is why I wanted you to be part of this conversation. We’re going to talk about who …

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Giving Yourself Permission To Find The Beauty In Grieving With Isobelle Morrison

WRT 21 | Beauty In Grieving

  We deal with grief differently, and many do not allow themselves to live. Most people choose to run away from reality. We don’t have to live like that. In this episode, a widow, Isobelle Morrison, shares her inspiring tale that demonstrates how the beauty in grieving shows up if you are giving yourself permission to see it. It was her husband who taught her to deal with grief. Isobelle’s relationship with her husband may not be smooth and easy, but she sees beauty in their relationship because of their love. Tune in to this inspirational episode and see beauty in the new normal you face today. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Giving Yourself Permission To Find The Beauty In Grieving With Isobelle Morrison My conversation’s with Isobelle. The nuggets that she shares is so helpful. I literally want you to have something to write with. When she talks about learning how to do it her late husband’s way and learning how to live and being able to give herself praise, there are going to be some tips that you will find helpful, whether you are newly widowed or a widower or you have a friend or a loved one that has someone that they’re grieving. There are going to be some things here that you can share with them. Let’s get into the conversation.     Here is my guest, and I’ll let her tell you a little bit about herself. I’m Isobelle Morrison. What do you go by? It depends. If you know me from college, it’s Isobelle. My husband’s family called me Izzy, and in South Carolina, everybody calls me Belle. Okay, I did not know, I just knew about the Izzy. If somebody calls me Belle, it’s like, “They know me from way back.” The origin of Belle, that nickname? It’s because of the name, Isobelle, so they just call me Belle, and Belle means beautiful. Where is your home? I’m originally from South Carolina. I moved here to Virginia in ’87. Military spouse. We were married for fifteen years, divorced. We have three children, but they’re adults now. I met Freddy in ’08. Who is Freddy? Freddy is my husband that passed away. I met him in ’08, and we dated for almost ten years. It was a crazy kind of love. We lived together, he moved out and moved back in, and moved out again. What was happening during those time when he moved out? I don’t want you to go through it real fast. Let’s back up a little bit. I’m going to bring you back just a little bit. You moved here from the Carolinas and how old were you then? I was eighteen and a mom. We had our kids very quickly. By the time I turned twenty, we had three kids. What are those three children? My daughter’s the oldest, Chica. The second is Albert, but we call him Jay. Where are the children and what are they doing now? Chica lives in Maryland. She’s actually a psychiatrist. Why is that important? I’m a therapist. That’s what she does. She does ER, so anybody come into the ER with psychiatric issues, she works with them. There’s Jay, he sells solar panels in this area. I’m going to have to talk to him about that because I’m interested in the solar panel. I’ll let him know. There’s Marcus who’s my youngest, he’s a mechanic. They are all doing what they want to do. Chica knew at five that she wanted to be a doctor. Marcus, I think he was two changing a tire and he’s a mechanic. Jay is like his mom. He’s going his way. For me, I wanted to be a reporter. I always wanted to be Barbara Walter when she did the Nightly News. I got married and my kids. I went to school and I actually worked at a local TV station here. In fact, I worked as an intern at two other stations and then I worked at one. That’s fulfilling a dream. You did it. Low key? No? I wasn’t a reporter, but I wanted to be a reporter but I didn’t have it. As fate had it, I ended up hating the job so I quit. One of the deans from Norfolk State was having an event and I went, and the guy there had a badge on and I didn’t even know what he did. I said, “If your badge says director, that means you hire and fire.” He said, “That’s exactly what it means.” Long story short, I ended up working for him. In what capacity? I worked in Anger Management. That’s how I got into the mental health field. What was that like? It was amazing. He’s like, “First you need to know what I do.” I was like, “Okay.” It was in Norfolk with young men, at-risk youth that were on probation or parole. I went there and it was just like I was at home, working with them who did Anger Management and it wasn’t easy because they would give you the business. I did that for about three years. I worked in the city of Norfolk, and then I got a job as an in-home counselor for a couple of years. Those are two totally different. Yeah, because then you go in the home when you work with kids that struggle with may be at risk with out-of-home placement, they just trying to get them to get on track in school. It was still …

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Winning Financial Solutions: Critical Financial Advice And Guidance For Widows And Widowers With Kelly B Hunter

WRT 20 | Financial Advice

  When you lose your spouse, you start again from scratch. How can we get back up again financially after the loss? In this episode, Kelly B. Hunter of Winning Financial Solutions shares some critical financial advice and guidance for widows and widowers. We need to get our bearings after losing our partner. As homeowners, we can get bearings through Mortgage Protection Insurance because there are options for paying our mortgage off. She clarifies that the widow’s benefits on their late husband’s social security get nullified if they remarried before 60 years old. Find more insights in this episode as Kelly Hunter financially guides you through your loss.   Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach.   I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.   Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Winning Financial Solutions: Critical Financial Advice And Guidance For Widows And Widowers With Kelly B Hunter Our guest is Ms. Kelly B. Hunter. Kelly B. Hunter is a financial freedom strategist, financial literacy author, advocate, and educator, Board/FCRA Certified Personal and Business Credit Professional, Freddie Mac Certified Smart Trainer, and multi-state licensed life insurance, health, and annuity producer. She is the Founder and CEO of Winning Credit Solutions, as well as Kelly B Protects Me. Ms. Hunter is the host and content creator of Winning Credit Solutions, a weekly podcast. The program airs on Redink Live. She serves as a Director of Financial Literacy Program with What About Us, which is a New York-based nonprofit that serves youth transitioning out of New York foster care systems. Ms. Hunter has written financial literacy curriculum for the largest foster care agency in New York City and is writing a curriculum for the SAAS training program. Ms. Hunter also serves as a Treasurer of the Financial Committee Chair in the Monroe County Branch of the NAACP. Kelly is a mother, a grandmother, a cancer conqueror, a widow, and now the CEO of a thriving financial service firm. Kelly works predominantly with single-parent professionals and mompreneurs to help them design a non-judgmental, holistic five-step game plan to take their finances from flawed to freedom. In the sum of her unique life experience, Kelly’s willingness to share her triumphs through suddenlys of life, enabled this dynamic woman to coach her clients through the importance of being prepared, proactive, and protected. Let’s get into this conversation with Kelly B. Hunter.     In this episode, my guest is Ms. Kelly B. Hunter. Kelly and I go way back, but I’m going to let her introduce herself and then we’ll jump right into it. As Tina said, I’m Kelly B. Hunter. Tina and I met in a widows’ group. I was there first and then Tina came very shortly thereafter. Before we started the conversation, Tina asked if I was okay with how I became Kelly B. Hunter, the financial freedom strategist. My husband’s passing was the catalyst for me wanting to start my business. The interesting thing was we had decided that my husband was going to retire that December in 2016. That was going to be it for him which took about two years for me to even convince him that it was time for him to retire. He wouldn’t retire with his full pension or whatever. I said, “Okay.” My son is off to college and I’ll have more time and I’ll need something to do. Maurice purchased a business for me and I thought that I was going to be making these personalized children’s books, which were amazingly cute. I was making them for friends and family. Life changed and I decided that was not going to do it for me. Going through grief therapy, counseling, and meeting all of these amazing women who were in the same situation having lost their husbands, but they had been stay-at-home moms, they were home raising their children, taking care of their homes, and doing all this stuff. I came to understand that my financial circumstances were very different than most of the other women that I had encountered. The way that Maurice and I worked, he made the money and I spent the money. It was my responsibility to be a good steward of the money that he made. I was very clear about where we stood financially, even with his passing. I also came to understand that that was not the circumstance for many of the other women that became widows or suddenly became widows. They didn’t know anything about their finances. They didn’t have any credit in their name. They may not have had life insurance or they thought that the insurance policy of their husband’s job was enough and it wasn’t. That would’ve been an accidental death and dismemberment policy that didn’t pay out under the circumstances upon which he passed. They were losing their homes. Their homes were being foreclosed on. There was a lot going on. After being in therapy for a few years, I decided that was the work that I needed to do. That would allow me to serve in a way that would impact the greatest number of people that I could possibly and affect more change. Children’s books weren’t going to do it. The books were cute though. The books were adorable. I still make them for my grandchildren on occasion. I didn’t do Easter books. You’re absolutely right. I was like, “I could see that.” It is interesting how we met in the worst circumstance in life. Here we are, years later, you have taken your pain and made purpose out of it because there is a demographic of people that you can help. It started with …

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Forever My Starlight! Forever My Wife! Forever My Love With Addison Drake, A Young Widower

WRT 19 | Young Widower

  How would you face a tragic tale? A story where Snow White finally sleeps and never wakes up. This is a tale where God plucks a beautiful flower and turns her into a star. Addison Drake, a young widower, recounts a heart-wrenching story from the day they meet until God snuffed out his wife’s breath and turned her into his starlight. TikTok became his outlet after the loss because he found none. While most widowers still have their kids or grandkids after losing their spouse, he finds no comfort when his beautiful flower left this world. Tune in to this heartbreaking episode and see how much courage Addison Drake has to swallow the apple of life.   How to connect with Addison: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drakers66 TikTok: @beyondstarlight2021   Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Forever My Starlight! Forever My Wife! Forever My Love With Addison Drake, A Young Widower Welcome to this conversation with Addison. Addison and I met on TikTok. I am looking for the male voice in this conversation and that’s why I reached out to him. Let’s get into this conversation.     In this episode, our guest is Addison. It isn’t random. I wanted to have more men to have their voice in this conversation. When I saw Addison was so willing to share his story, it drew me to him to ask him to have this conversation. It may seem random for probably all the people that reach out to him but my desire was intentional to be able to have his voice be part of the widowhood. I am glad that he is here. Welcome, Addison. Thank you for having me. Tell us about you. Tell us about your wife. Share, please. I have been widowed for several years. I’m right in that weird middle. There’s not a specific one. I was technically 29 years old when my wife passed away. She passed a couple of months before my birthday and a little bit after her 30th. We were close together. I’m a normal guy. I work at non-emergency medical transport, which is wheelchair transportation of people from doctor’s appointments and things like that that don’t need ambulatory services. They need transport because most cars don’t fit wheelchair people. That’s a little bit about me as a person. As far as my wife, are you wanting to know how we met? Yes, and her name. My wife’s name is Brittany. Brittany Anne is her first and middle name but I referred to her as Starlight. That was her nickname. Only I knew that nickname until after she passed away and then I let it out that that was her nickname. Most of the time, people would hear me call her babe, honey or dear. It was normal pet names. She got that specific nickname from me the day that we first kissed. If I used that name, it was a serious moment. It’s not like, “You’re in trouble,” serious but, “This is an intimate thing and I need you to be paying attention to me,” type of thing. Before we got to Starlight, we had to have met. How did you and Brittany meet? Our meeting had to be a God thing because the church that we met at is off the beaten path. There are no big signs that say, “Come to this church. This is our service times.” It is a building on the back of a lady’s property. The church is called The Glory Barn. It’s off the beaten path. Usually, you’re invited out there or you hear about it through maybe Facebook or something. There’s no way of getting out there unless you know it’s there. I’ve been attending this church for a while. At this time, I was also traveling and speaking as an evangelist. I would be there for a time and then be gone traveling and doing other things and then come back. Interestingly enough, the church only does night services. It’s on Sunday nights only and Wednesday nights. That way, everybody else can go to another church on Sunday morning or other things like that. It’s night service only. She came in with a friend several months before we connected. At that time, I wasn’t looking for a wife, a girlfriend or any of that. I had put the dating game away from me. I was focused on being a minister and doing those other things. The very first time I met her, she was face down on the ground, having a moment bawling. She was having a church moment. I didn’t think much of it. I pushed a box of attention to her and moved on. I didn’t much care to know her name or anything. She was another churchgoer. I left the church for a couple of months to do other engagements. I came back one night and she was one of the very first people to greet me. She came up to me and said, “It’s so good to see you.” She hugged me. At that moment, for whatever reason when she said my name, everything else stopped. It was the whole-time-stood-still type of thing but almost in a literal sense. It was almost like everything else faded away for a split second. A light switch flipped inside of my soul. Something instantly changed within me. I had this overwhelming desire to know who she was. I didn’t have that with anybody else. I didn’t care about anybody else. When she said my name and hugged me, it was like something changed. …

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You Make Your Path By Walking: Restore Your Shattered Life After Losing Your Spouse From Suicide With Suzanne Anderson

WRT 18 | Make Your Path

  The brutal terrain of trauma and loss from suicide can be a challenging path to take. In this episode, Suzanne Anderson, the Author of You Make Your Path by Walking, walks us through her journey to restoring her life from trauma and loss because of suicide. She also explores the different capacities of resilience and how to embody them. She draws from her experience of losing her husband to suicide to guide us through making our path through these challenging times of loss. Tune in to this episode to learn more about some tools to set us through this journey. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   You Make Your Path By Walking: Restore Your Shattered Life After Losing Your Spouse From Suicide With Suzanne Anderson This conversation is with the author Suzanne Anderson. She is allowing us to look into her life and she doesn’t hold back anything. She talks about the death and suicide of her husband, David. She talked about how her life was shattered. She spoke about how difficult it is to rebuild and what that looks like, but she also shares helpful tools on how you can walk your path by taking what she has to offer. Let’s get into the conversation now. — Our guest is Ms. Suzanne Anderson, the Founder of the Mysterial Woman, a Psychologist, Author, Coach, Leadership Consultant, and Transformational Teacher. Her pioneering work is in guiding women to awaken their full feminine and masculine strength, insights and practices from ancient wisdom, depth psychology, and modern neuroscience. Combining her graduate studies in Women’s Developmental Psychology together with her decades as a leadership consultant, Suzanne wisely guides women to awaken to the next level of consciousness and leadership capacity, making the changes in themselves they want to shape in the world. She facilitates global online programs, workshops, and retreats, and is the author of You Make Your Path by Walking: A Transformational Field Guide Through Trauma and Loss. She is the co-author of the triple award-winning book, The Way of The Mysterious Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love, and Lead. Originally from Canada, Suzanne now lives in Seattle, Washington. She also provided us with an advanced copy of the book and we’re going to have a good amount of conversation about that. Let’s get into the discussion now.     Suzanne, welcome to the show. Thank you. I’m excited to have a deep conversation with you. I am excited to have you here. Widowhood, we have Ms. Suzanne Anderson and we have an advanced copy of her book, You Make Your Path by Walking, because it is about our individual journey. I’ll let her talk about her book instead of me getting into that because I have a couple of little places I’ve read into it and we can’t get into everything because there’ll be nothing to read. However, I want to pique your interest because Suzanne told me she just started getting the final copy and has some events. Before we get into the discussion, I’ll let her talk about where you can find some things that she has going on. Thank you. I’m in the birth canal. The book comes out on June 13th, 2023. There is that feeling of sliding toward coming out and launching, which is a very exciting energy. Right before the launch, I’m doing an in-person retreat for the first time in over ten years from June 8th to 11th. It’s for women only and it’s called You Make Your Path By Walking Retreat. It’s meant to be a deep nourishment for women right now for what it is to be in the world the way it is as we come out of this pandemic phase. Some of us have been through some quite substantial losses during that time. We’ll be talking about my particular loss here in the show if the retreat doesn’t work for you. Although, I highly encourage it. There is something about being in person again that feels so good, but I have an online book launch and webinar that one of the local bookstores is posting on June 22nd, 2023. All of these things are on my website but thank you for letting me let women and people know about that. I wanted to make sure you had that information upfront because sometimes you can get lost in the conversation. It’s like, “Hold on. How do I get in contact with her? I want that.” I want you to have this upfront. Suzanne, thank you for being willing to share your story with the world and be able to not only share your journey but put it in a way that helps other people going through something similar. Tell us a little bit about your life journey. This is not the only book that she’s written, but this is the book that is geared towards grief. Tell us a little bit about how you got here. Perhaps just how I got to this book or how far back do you want me to go? I want you to go back to the genesis and bring us to where we are now. When they finish this, I want them to say, “I know who Suzanne is. I want to read this book because I’ve got to know who she is and I know I can connect with her.” I had a very circuitous life path. I had gone in many different directions, but I’d say a thread that I tugged on early in my life and followed was a desire to …

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