July 2023

Grief Counseling: Overcoming Barriers To Seeking Help With Reginald W. Lockhart, Resident in Counseloling 

WRT 26 | Grief Counseling

  In a world where silence breeds suffering, let us remember that seeking help is an act of courage. We must transcend cultural taboos and empower ourselves to embrace vulnerability on our journey to mental wellness. Today, we have the privilege of hosting a remarkable guest, Resident in Counseloling Reginald W. Lockhart, affectionately known as Reggie, who shares the value of grief counseling. In this candid conversation, Reggie fearlessly shares his personal experiences, inviting us into his world with authenticity and vulnerability. As the episode unfolds, Tina engages Reggie in a deep exploration of the taboos surrounding therapy, particularly within the African-American community. Counselor Reggie discusses the significance of recognizing that we all fall under the same umbrella of needing support, irrespective of cultural backgrounds or personal characteristics. He emphasizes that grief knows no boundaries and that seeking assistance in our journey of healing is not a sign of weakness but a display of strength. Counselor Reggie also highlights the importance of being present and attentive to the needs of loved ones who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. Tune in now and take the first step to seek help.   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   Grief Counseling: Overcoming Barriers To Seeking Help With Reginald W. Lockhart, Resident in Counseloling  I want you to be prepared. The real talk is in this conversation. I also want you to guard yourself if dealing with a conversation around difficult marriages. There are different triggers that could happen to you in this conversation. There is a lot of graphic conversation. I want you to be prepared for that. It may or may not work well for you. Just be okay with that if that’s a thing. In this conversation, we do talk about some of the taboos when it comes to people that may attend church or faith-based, people of color, and as it relates to mental wellness. I want you to also realize that that conversation relates to any community of people that are very proud and may not always seek out help. This conversation is value-added. I wanted you to be prepared. Let’s get into the discussion.     Our guest is Mr. Reginald Lockhart, but I’m going to be calling him Reggie. Welcome, Mr. Lockhart. I’m going to allow you to share a little bit about yourself. It’s always a pleasure to see you. I appreciate you and the work that you’re doing with widowhood and everything. A little bit about me, I am many years in a ministry in teaching and preaching. I decided to go to seminary and get my Counseling degree. I got my Master’s in Counseling. My wife thought I was crazy. She called it the cemetery. I did get that and I was very enlightened. What else is about me is my mother suffered from schizophrenia. That’s one of the things that led me into the counseling program in Clinical Counseling. I’m raising up my business, Train The Brain, LLC. It’s about mental health awareness and suicide prevention. I have a wife, Dorothy, of many years, a son, Josh and a daughter, Tyra. My son is getting his PhD at Boston University. I’ll be there to see him get his Doctorship. My daughter earned an Emmy from the 2017 Olympics. They’re doing well. I guess that’s all about me. One thing I want to share with you is when my late husband passed away, the first thing that Reggie sent me is this book that I share with everyone, I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye. This literally was my lifeline because there was too much going on. There was too much I didn’t understand. Reggie called me that first weekend. He said, “How are you doing? I know that was a dumb question. I know how you’re doing. It’s horrible.” Even for all he knows, we just automatically asked those questions. He said, “I got a book for you. I’m going to send it to you.” He wanted my address because we kept in touch phone number-wise, but we didn’t have addresses. I said, “When this gets started, I wanted Reggie to be one of our guests,” because as we’re sharing our stories, one of the huge parts of widowhood is to have resources. You may not all be able to be on Reggie’s time and on his schedule and personally, he may not be the person that you are organically connected with. This conversation is to find a very valuable, knowledgeable source that can help you navigate through a very difficult time. Reggie’s going to represent a lot of people that are in this work out here to help us because it is a very difficult time. I’m going to pick his mind. We’re going to have some fun and have this discussion. I’m appreciative of him taking time out of his schedule to be here with us. Reggie, what gives you hope these days? What gives me hope these days is to continue not to drink the Kool-Aid of my youth. There were a lot of things told to me being outside Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, in the projects that were harsh, abusive, the whole nine yards either from a mother, bullies or whatever. That has stuck with me somewhat through high school. As I got older and started learning more, I was like, “You’re not that person of the youth. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.” The counseling has helped me to learn my child-adaptive ways of dealing with abuse or dealing with trauma and everything. I can …

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The Long Grief Journey: Finding Support And Healing After Loss With Dr. Pamela D. Blair

WRT 25 | The Long Grief Journey

  Grief does not follow a timeline and can last throughout a person’s entire life. When grief becomes unresolved in the long term, it can later affect your mental health. In this episode, Dr. Pamela D. Blair, the Author of The Long Grief Journey, talks about her own long grief journey and how she found healing from it. The key: a support group. After losing her ex-husband, she shares how she found the much-needed support from her sister who had gone through a similar loss. Learn more about Dr. Blair’s journey of healing after loss. Plus, hear the story of how she wrote her first book, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye.   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   The Long Grief Journey: Finding Support And Healing After Loss With Dr. Pamela D. Blair I am excited about our guest. Her name is Dr. Pamela Blair. She is a co-author of two books. The first book, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye, was something that a friend gave me when my late husband Mark passed. It was a lifeline for me trying to manage grief, understand what was before me, and grasp what I could do to help myself in the process. She has co-authored another book called The Long Grief Journey. Both of these books have their place in our life. The I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye is so vital in dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially if they died unexpectedly. Her book has been one of the top sellers. It is a cornerstone in the process of dealing with grief. It was so helpful to guide people that experienced the loss of a loved one during 9/11. After over twenty years of that book, we’re realizing that people still need more because what happens after grief is still impacting us 2, 3, or 20 years later. Society gives us the, “It should have been done in six months. How do we deal with that?” The Long Grief Journey deals with so many parts of that. I want to give you a little bit about who our guest is. Ms. Pamela Blair is an author, motivational speaker, and historically trained psychotherapist. She is holistically trained as a psychotherapist. She’s a life coach and motivational speaker with a PhD from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. Pam has appeared in magazines, hundreds of shows, and radio programs, including ABC World News, CNN Headline News, and Fox & Friends, and filmed for a television special titled Widowsville. She is the author of books for women, The Next Fifty Years: A Guide for Women at Midlife and Beyond and Getting Older Better. Pamela also co-authored the bestselling and award-winning book on sudden loss and grief, I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One. She is currently retired, facilitating a group for women writers, mentoring in the school system, working on a novel, and living in Vermont with her husband and two cats. Pam is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been translated into multiple languages and is looking for the new release of her co-authored book, The Long Grief Journey. You can find The Long Grief Journey on our website under Resources. There’s a link there to purchase it. Let’s get into this conversation now.     Welcome, Dr. Pamela Blair, to the Widowhood. It’s nice to be here, Tina. It’s nice to have you here. I am so grateful for your willingness to bring your expertise based on your life experience and your many years of practice in serving other people. I am sorry for the methodology that has brought you to this room, but I am grateful for your willingness to be part of this conversation and to be here for the Widowhood. I’m glad to be here 100%. Let’s get started. For you that may not know, Dr. Pamela Blair is one of the co-authors of I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye. I have mentioned this book several times because someone provided it to me, and it was a lifeline. I know she has authored some other books. We’re going to get into those, but I think this was one of your first books in the grief arena. Would you be willing to tell us a little bit about how this book came to be? This was a year before 9/11. I was writing a newsletter for people who were going through a divorce. My co-author who happened to own a publishing company contacted me and said, “You can write. If you can write about divorce, can you also write about grief?” I said, “It so happened that I had a former husband who died suddenly, and I’ve learned a lot about grief personally. I’d be delighted to co-author a book with you.” Her reason for wanting to write the book was to honor her brother who died of anaphylactic shock from a bee sting. We worked on the book together. There was a lot of remote stuff that you could do like we can today. A lot of it went back and forth over landlines where you had to listen for the sound. That was like the internet or whatever. That book was written in twenty-minute segments because of a brain injury I sustained around the time I signed the contract for it. I was nearly killed in a car accident. I had a brain injury, but I could only write for about twenty minutes at a time, and then …

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The Miss-Wife Crisis: A Widower’s Tale Of Love, Loss, And Resilience With Martin Owens

WRT 24 | Widower

  In the realm of widowhood, men silently navigate the labyrinth of grief, their strength often veiled by societal expectations. Empower their stories of loss and resilience to reveal healing transcends gender and anyone can rise from the ashes. In today’s riveting conversation, we have a special guest joining us, Mr. Martin Owens. We stumbled upon Martin’s poignant story on TikTok and knew immediately that his journey deserved to be shared. It’s essential to create a space where men can openly share their experiences and emotions to feel validated, supported, and empowered, especially in a society where their struggles often remain invisible and ignored. As the episode unfolds, Martin embarks on a profound exploration of his journey alongside his late wife, Tanya. Martin opens up about the intricacies of his grief and shares how his widowhood journey went. This heartfelt conversation proves to be the longest and most profound one yet in the history of the Widowhood Real Talk Podcast. By allowing a male perspective on grief to grace the airwaves, Martin brings a unique dimension to the discussion. His journey sheds light on the often untold stories of widowers. It is an episode that will leave you with a newfound understanding of the complexities of grief and the resilience of the human spirit. Don’t miss it.   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   Email: MTACincorp@gmail.com Facebook: MTAC – More Than A Conqueror Inc. Store: MTAC – More Than A Conqueror By Illya Scott   “Homesick” (My final video from a home going celebration) https://youtu.be/KKEJbBfhzwo   “Stay” (changing the dream boutique closet I built for her into a memory and prayer area) https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRvp3MMa/   YouTube In Loving Memory Playlist https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfZxIrY416TogURH5CEa_UjTIHpFa1Z04   TikTok Page https://www.tiktok.com/@shecalledmemar?_t=8b1aHdRGUH5&_r=1   MTAC – More Than A Conqueror Inc Extreme Makeover For Breast Cancer Conqueror, Jessie https://youtu.be/k7N2EN-Fai8 — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   The Miss-Wife Crisis: A Widower’s Tale Of Love, Loss, And Resilience With Martin Owens I want you to send me your questions. I want you to write in. I want you to let me know if you want to share your journey on Widowhood Real Talk. You can email me at WidowhoodRealTalk@gmail.com, or you can go to our website, which is Widowhood-RealTalkWithTina.org. I want to hear from you. Now, you’re about to hear from Mr. Martin Owens. He’s going to share with us his journey and his wife, Tonya. Let’s get into the conversation.     Our guest is Mr. Martin Owens. How are you? I’m good. Welcome. I want to say that there are not enough men out here sharing their journey. I saw Martin sharing his story on TikTok and reached out to him. I asked him if he would be interested in sharing his journey here on the show. I am excited that he said yes, and I’m excited for all the men that are going to hear his journey, and women too. We need to have more of the men out there sharing because sometimes they’re silently suffering. We want an opportunity for that healing and encouragement to come. Thank you so much. I always joke about it. Anytime you give me a chance to talk about my wife, even if it’s the tough times, I’ll take the opportunity. Tell me what gives you hope these days. My purpose. One thing I realized from the time she passed is she didn’t leave me without purpose. I knew I had a purpose. When she passed, I knew to a degree what that purpose was in terms of finishing her book that she had started and writing the second book, which is her second battle of cancer, then writing a grief book, and eventually writing our life stories combined. I know that much purpose because our marriage had a lot of purpose in it. It was sharing how our marriage was and different things. I don’t even know what God has for me in the future. I know there’s a lot there. Your wife’s name is? Tonya. Tell us a little bit about this love story that you would write from when you guys met. We want all of the tea. We don’t want a short version. We want the first date, when you were nervous, how you met, everything. The funny thing is we met online. We met on BlackPlanet.com, which was interesting because before I met her, I was dating a lot and I used that word loosely.   This is an adult conversation. You’re telling us to read between the lines with that. You read all around those lines. Yes and amen to all of it. When we met back in 2004, online dating was not that much. She wanted us to keep it a secret in terms of how we met. She’s like, “Let’s say we met at a business meeting or business mixer.” There was some truth to it because I had a Black page called Philly Fix It. I was doing handyman stuff and she had a page also. She does event coordination and stuff like that. There was some truth to that, but we kept it quiet. Our promise was either our 50th anniversary or on our deathbed when we finally tell the truth. When she hit hospice, I was like, “I have to finally tell the truth now.” She just smiled about it. Who would’ve ever thought from that what would come out of us meeting like that? I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a love-at-first-sight thing. It was an interest at first sight. She found me cute enough, but she was also smart. She didn’t …

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From Mistakes To Miracles: A Transformative Journey Of A Jewish Birth Mother With Lori Prashker-Thomas

WRT 23 | Miracles

  Lori Prashker-Thomas, the author of From Mistakes to Miracles, shares her story of redemption, hope, and healing. Her story is deeply personal and explores her experiences as a pregnant and alone woman who considered abortion but ultimately chose a different path as a Jewish birth mother. Lori’s journey, as outlined in the memoir, showcases her inner struggles and the difficult decisions she faced during that challenging period. While contemplating abortion, she found the strength to make a different choice, which set the stage for her transformative journey. Lori’s story likewise emphasizes her resilience, courage, and personal growth as she works to rebuild her life and heal from her past mistakes. It also sheds light on the support and resources she discovered within her Jewish faith community, which played a crucial role in her journey of redemption, hope, and healing. Tune in to this inspiring episode and find your path to redemption, hope, and healing.   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   From Mistakes To Miracles: A Transformative Journey Of A Jewish Birth Mother With Lori Prashker-Thomas Our conversations have different twists and turns. Our conversation is with Lori, someone I met when I was going through breast cancer. She is not a widow or a widower, but she has experienced grief and you will find some of the things that Lori shares very helpful. Let’s get into the conversation. My guest for this episode is Lori. We have known each other for a long time. I’m not glad that she’s here for the grief part, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to speak with Lori. I’ll let her say hello and introduce herself. My name is Lori Prashker-Thomas. As Tina said, we have known each other for a long time. I’m not quite sure how long. Am I allowed to say how we met? It can’t be called real talk if you don’t talk. I met Tina doing a Picture Hope photoshoot. I don’t even remember what year, honestly.     I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015-ish. It is somewhere between 2011 and 2015. That is the window. I was on the outside of treatment when we met. I feel like 2014 or 2015 because I’ve been doing I Picture Hope now since 2011 and 2012, somewhere in there. What gives you hope these days, Lori? One of the things that gives me hope is my grandbaby. Tell us about the baby. Seeing her, watching life through her eyes, the innocence, and going into things with innocence do give me hope for the future. That’s one of the big things that gives me hope in this time that we’re living in. When you’re not doing the I Hope photography, what keeps you busy? I am a paralegal by trade. I am also the owner of the photography studio, ShadowCatcher Photography. I’m a wedding officiate, lead officiant, and Owner of Ceremonies by Lori. I am also a brand new author. I’m also a speaker and advocate on many different levels. Any of these ventures do they include everything that is Lori? What is it? Yes, it does involve who is Lori. When it comes to photography, I went to FIT. I got my degree in Fashion. What is FIT? Fashion Institute of Technology. Where is that? In New York City. I used my artistic abilities. I went to FIT originally for fashion buying and merchandising and hated it but didn’t want to leave. I loved the fact that I could dress a window but didn’t like the business aspect of it, which come to now, it’s all business for me, which is funny. Everything that I do does encompass a bit of me or a lot of me. I became a wedding officiant because friends couldn’t find a rabbi to marry them because they are a same-sex couple. I am a firm believer in love is love. I became originally ordained online and married them. This was before same-sex marriage was legal in all states. When I came back to Pennsylvania, it had just become legal and I’m one of the first wedding officiants to marry a same-sex couple in Pennsylvania. I am a romantic at heart. It does not matter to me what that looks like. I am just a sucker for love. That is a big part of it. I also did it because when my husband and I got married, I did not like our ceremony. We were married to a magistrate who was a friend of our families. We wanted to include my daughter, and he wouldn’t do it. He was not moving from that script. Whatever the script was, he used that as how he was doing it. I was never very happy with that ceremony. I married my husband, my best friend, and that’s all great, but in the back of my head, first of all, it wasn’t done by a rabbi. That was something that was always in the back of my mind, too, but he wouldn’t change. I kept saying to my husband for years, “There has to be something better.” I could never find anything better, so I made something better. I like that. I want to go back to a couple of things. If I heard you correctly, you went to college with this idea of what you wanted to major in. As you were there, you realized that was not what you wanted but you persevered and stayed. If someone was in college now and realized, “I don’t like this major,” what advice …

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