May 2024

From Despair To Summit: Following The Trail To Healing And Transformation With Keith McNally

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Keith McNally | Healing And Transformation

  Have you ever felt completely lost after a major life event? Tune in to this powerful episode, where Tina Fornwald welcomes Dr. Keith McNally to share his profound journey of overcoming personal grief and health challenges. From surviving a heart attack to rebuilding his life after loss and unemployment, Dr. Keith offers heartfelt advice on coping with life’s adversities. He opens up about his passion for walking and hiking, which played a crucial role in his healing process. The conversation also explores the importance of community, finding purpose, and staying grounded through practices like journaling and meditation. Whether you’re facing your own trials or looking for inspiration, this episode provides a safe space for exploring resilience and embracing life’s journey.   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 — Listen to the podcast here   From Despair To Summit: Following The Trail To Healing And Transformation With Keith McNally It is the month of May 2024 and the show is celebrating our founder’s birthday. Yes, that’s me. We invite you to help us celebrate. How? It’s by donating $5 in the month of May 2024. See what we’re doing there with that? How do you do that? Text Hopeful Hearts to 53555. Thanks for helping us celebrate and support a worthy cause. Let’s get into this episode. — We are doing things a little differently. I am heading out to meet Dr. Keith McNally at a park and we’re going to go for a walk. He’s going to share his story and give you some helpful tips on when you are in a crisis on how to manage that crisis. We’re going to talk about how to deal with when life implodes and some healthy coping skills. He is going to share his experience, not particularly with death, as most of the time our conversations are related to the death of a loved one, but his grief has been personal. There is a trigger warning, suicide attempt, loss of job, and other different things that took him to the end of his self, which he had to rebuild himself. These conversations will help you because when our loved one dies, we find ourselves having to rebuild ourselves. Let’s get into the conversation and meet at the park with Dr. Keith.     Our conversation is with Dr. Keith McNally. We are out at First Landing in Virginia going for a walk. I have pictures of this gentleman all backpacked up and your girl is not doing that. Let’s get into the conversation. Hello, Dr. Keith. Tina, how are you doing? This is going to be a good day because it’s beautiful. We’re near the ocean. There are not too many hills here or anywhere. That was intentional. I am taking my first trip to the mountains, Grandfather Mountain, in North Carolina in May 2024. I’ve got to get acclimated to the ups and downs. I’m going to go back in July 2024 and then later on in September and October 2024, I’m going to make three trips in different parts of the Appalachian Trail. In my day-to-day, I typically hike a lot in Suffolk. There’s a trail. My neighborhood is pretty cool too so I could walk over my neighborhood. Hiking And Walking We met on LinkedIn and I saw your training. Why are you doing all this? The hiking and mountain walking, what is the inspiration for this? There’s probably a lot of inspiration for it. One, I like to walk. I do, too. That’s why this was a good idea for me to be able to be someplace out of Zoom, in person but something different. I’ve been a Marine back in the day. I started exercising when I was fourteen. Getting into it, I had an asthma attack. I was born an asthmatic. That one asthma attack changed everything for me. I wanted to manage my health better. I could easily take medication and do all the stuff the doctor wanted me to do but I never did that. It’s like most people. We say we’re going to and then not. I never said I was going to but I wanted to find a way to manage my health where I didn’t have to use the emergency inhaler or take a daily medication. I started running and jogging. We’re going to need to get onto the trail. This is the drive area. I did. I started running that day and never stopped. Let me ask you a question. Did you have to use medication to manage the asthma or did that get you off of it? I never started any kind of medication. I do have an emergency inhaler. I use it as needed when I simply cannot breathe. That may depend on how far we go. My goal was to be able to manage my health. I thought I was mastering that up until 2022 when I had a heart attack. That’s when I learned that diet and food are what you have to do. The equation there. This is pretty cool because if you’ve not been here, there are different cabins all the way around this area. We’re eventually going to have to go that way. Let’s go that way. We have to get onto the trail. We’re on this pavement. We haven’t hit it yet. Let’s back up a little bit. You talked about the health benefits but from our conversations, there’s a real mission that you’re on with this walking and what you’re working towards accomplishing. I have attempted suicide twice in the past several years. My mission, if we can call it that, and I always like to use the hashtag #ChangeTheConversation, if we could …

From Despair To Summit: Following The Trail To Healing And Transformation With Keith McNally Read More »

A Mother’s Love: Navigating Grief After Losing An Angel With Jessica Garland

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Jessica Garland | Mother’s Love

  Join us for a deeply moving episode as we explore the profound journey of Jessica Garland, whose life was forever changed by unimaginable tragedy. From the joys of motherhood to the depths of grief, Jessica bravely shares her story of love, loss, and resilience in the face of adversity. Jessica opens up about the loss of her daughter, Kendra. From the surprising discovery of Kendra’s pregnancy to her vibrant interests in basketball, dancing, and singing, Jessica paints a vivid picture of her beloved daughter’s life. However, tragedy strikes when Kendra is senselessly murdered at the age of 17 while working at the airport VIP lounge. Jessica courageously shares the harrowing details of the event and the profound impact it had on her and her family. Through her raw and heartfelt storytelling, Jessica navigates the complexities of grief, finding solace in unexpected sources of support while emphasizing the importance of self-care and cherishing every moment with loved ones. Despite her profound loss, Jessica finds comfort in her daughters’ achievements and offers invaluable advice on parenting, relationships, and finding gratitude amidst unimaginable pain. 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   A Mother’s Love: Navigating Grief After Losing An Angel With Jessica Garland Our guest is Miss Jessica Garland, and she is going to share with us her journey and the loss of her daughter. There is a lot of conversation. There’s a lot of information to cover. Be prepared. Take notes. You will find yourself in this conversation, and you will be able to relate. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Our guest is Miss Jessica Garland. She is going to take us on a journey of her experience of grief. She is sharing the death of her daughter with us. I know from the conversations I’ve had with so many people that you also struggle with this type of grief. You are not alone. We are on this journey with you. If you are interested in sharing your journey, please email me at WidowhoodRealTalk@Gmail.com. If you have a particular topic you would like me to cover, please use that same email address. Let’s get into this conversation now. — Jessica, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Thank you for being here. Where are you currently in the world? I’m in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Are you from there originally? No, ma’am. I was raised in Connecticut. From Connecticut To Georgia That’s a bit of a way. How do we get from Connecticut to Georgia? This is a story. I had my daughter on April 12, 1990, and shortly after having her, I started getting these headaches that would not go away, that get worse and worse to the point that I wasn’t even able to lift my head off the pillow. That’s how bad the headaches were. I got rushed to the hospital because it had gotten so bad that my eyes had rolled back in my head. I was jaundiced from head to toe. They rushed me to the hospital. My father, who lived in Hartford, Connecticut, at the time, met me at the hospital to be able to help with the baby because she was a baby at the time. They told me that I had meningitis in my brain. They basically said to my father and to my mother, who came to the hospital, that if I lived, I would probably be a vegetable. Your daughter was born in April. When did this transpire, you said again? June of 1990. It was because I was in labor with her for 16 to 17 hours. They were thinking that we’re going to give you an epidural for the pain. I didn’t have any pain. “This is why we want you to get some rest so that when it comes time to push, you’ll have the energy to push.” I was like, “I’m young. I’m only twenty years old. I’m by myself.” Basically, the nurses, techs and staff were my birthing support team because I was by myself. I was technically coming out of being homeless, a week and a half shy of coming out of being homeless. I was in a shelter pregnant with her. The story is so complex. It’s weird. I didn’t find out. I found out that I was pregnant with her actually by accident. I was working at a company called Record World. I got offered a job in their advertising department in upstate New York, which was $100,000 a year. I was like, “I’m about to be making some money at a young age.” I’m a manager and district manager, so I was quickly moving up the chain. These are braids, but my hair was a little bit longer than what these braids are at the time. I washed my hair and conditioned it, and I’m getting ready for this interview. I put the curling iron in my hair, and it slid so fast out, and it popped back in my eye. What Black woman has not had an electrical burn in her eye? I’m telling you, I have. I can tell you when you said that, I remembered. It was right here, across my eye, across my eyebrow. I’m like, “There’s no amount of makeup that’s going to hide that because that burn is there.” You see a sister and go like, “I know how that happened.” We digress, but I couldn’t help the electrical burn. It happened so fast. Do you know how something jars you? My eye was so open. It burnt my eyelids. I was rushed to the hospital, and I was bodybuilding thing and working out very heavily. …

A Mother’s Love: Navigating Grief After Losing An Angel With Jessica Garland Read More »

Navigating The Tough Part Of Grief Together With Tina Fornwald, Founder Of Widowhood Real Talk With Tina

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Tough Part Of Grief

  Navigating the grief process is hard, and nobody knows just how tough it is better than the person who is going through it. But even the most challenging aspects of the whole healing journey are surmountable with the right mindset and tools. In this episode, Tina Fornwald takes special attention to speak to us about navigating the tough part of grief. Specifically, she shares tips on overcoming the anger, guilt, and isolation that many people experience upon their loved one’s transition. Tune in to hear more of Tina’s wisdom! — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Navigating The Tough Part Of Grief Together With Tina Fornwald, Founder Of Widowhood Real Talk With Tina It is the month of May 2024, and Widowhood Real Talk with Tina is celebrating our Founder’s birthday. Yes, that’s me, and we invite you to help us celebrate. How? By donating $5 in the month of May. Five and five. See what we’re doing there with that? How do you do that? Text Hopeful Hearts to 53555. Thanks for helping us celebrate and support a worthy cause. Let’s get into this episode. — I am staying true to my promise of conducting a solo podcast at least once a quarter. Today is May 16th, 2024, and you are helping me celebrate my birthday. I want to say thank you in advance for the $5 donation going towards the Widowhood. Widowhood Real Talk with Tina is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to support the people who are grieving in our world. At some time or another, we are all grieving. Having a community is helpful, which leads to our conversation.   Why People Get Stuck In Grief I am going to tackle things that people have asked me about, where I have found the pattern of people being stuck in grief, and what my recommendations are for working yourself out of grief. The first thing that I’d like to tackle is when people feel the death of their loved one was a personal attack. Let me say this is not related to the death of a loved one that has a crime related to it, or there was a murder or something that was intentional. That certainly has different implications, which I am sorry for. I am referring to situations where, such as my husband having a heart attack at the age of 51, someone’s mother, cousin, uncle, sibling, or child dying earlier than they anticipated, maybe an accident, but feeling like their loved ones’ leaving of this Earth was a personal attack to them. That is something that I find often puts people in a place of feeling like they’re stuck and unable to move forward. That also goes to the second item, which is guilt. When people carry an immense amount of guilt related to their loved one’s death, it keeps them in a place of being stuck. They cannot move forward. They feel as if they would have only done something different if they had stayed home, not gone to work, done CPR better, given them that last meal, or forced them to go to the doctor. They think that there was something they could have done to prevent their loved one from leaving this world. That often leaves people in a place of being stuck. The third thing that I have seen that allows people to be stuck is isolation. It is being alone. These three things you may say don’t relate to me, and that’s fine. I am sharing three things that I have found as a pattern overall when dealing with people related to grief. That is the person who feels like the death of their loved one was a personal attack. They feel like God or a higher power took their loved ones from them. That is the person who wrestles with guilt, feeling as if they could have controlled the situation. The third person is isolation, where they are alone. They are disassociated from society, and they do not want to interact with anyone. They have come to a place where they feel like no one cares. They feel like no one understands their pain or grief. They feel like they have lost themself in the grief fog, and being around other people will not help them. I want to encourage you to do the opposite of that. It may be hard to digest, but I would ask you to entertain three other things that are different from that. One, death and life are a part of our existence. All of us will transition from this world. That is the reality. If we are able to come to peace with that reality, it will disassociate the idea that the death of our loved one was a personal attack. If we’re able to find peace with the reality that life and death are part of our existence, it will eliminate us from thinking that the death of our loved one was a personal attack.   It’s not granted. I’m not a fan of it. I won’t be happy that it happened. That is not what I’m asking you to consider, but I’m asking you to consider the reality that our loved ones leaving this world is part of human existence. If you’re able to take a sliver of that concept, it will eliminate you from feeling like somebody, someone, some power, some being, and God made this happen to you. It is part of life. As our own existence will end, the ability to now harness the love that we have from our person who is no longer here, harness everything we learned in our relationship with them, harness everything that they were good and the things that we learned that they were not good to use that in our existence in living. We get to honor every person with whom we have traveled this life journey. We get to show …

Navigating The Tough Part Of Grief Together With Tina Fornwald, Founder Of Widowhood Real Talk With Tina Read More »

Honoring My Mom, The Black Panther: A Trailblazer’s Legacy With Kimberly Anderson

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Kimberly Anderson | Mom’s Legacy

  This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the women who shape our lives with unwavering love, strength, and endless support. Join us for a deeply personal and inspiring conversation with Kimberly Anderson. She shares her remarkable story of honoring her mother, a trailblazer who defied societal expectations at 15 and built a strong, loving family. Through laughter and tears, Kim reflects on their unique bond, the challenges they faced, and the profound impact her mother had on her life, parenting style, and the values she cherishes today. Discover how Kim continues her mother’s legacy and gain insights into coping with grief and celebrating the enduring power of love and family. This episode is a heartfelt tribute to mothers everywhere, a testament to resilience, and a reminder of the irreplaceable influence mothers have on our lives. 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   Honoring My Mom, The Black Panther: A Trailblazer’s Legacy With Kimberly Anderson My guest on this episode is Ms. Kim Anderson. Kim and I intentionally selected her podcast to air during Mother’s Day, because we both know that it can be so difficult when your parent is not here. In honoring our mothers, Kim wanted to share about who her mother is and how she has become the woman she is because of her mom. I encourage you, as you read this, to remember and be encouraged by the memories that you have from your mom, that you celebrate her with your life, and know that we are on this journey with you. Let’s get into this conversation now.  — Hello, Widowhood. My guest is my good friend, Kim Anderson. I am just so grateful for her to be here for this episode. We are honoring her mother, and the episode that you’re receiving this will be right around Mother’s Day. Welcome Kim Anderson to the Widowhood.  Hello, thank you for inviting me. Look forward to this conversation.  Thank you. This conversation is about Kim being a daughter, Kim’s mother, and then we may get into some of Kim’s journey as far as being a mom, but being in this Mother’s Day week that we’re planning to do this, can be super hard when your mother is not here. Before we get into that part, tell us about your mom.  My Trailblazing Mom Oh my gosh, I tell you, my mom was a trailblazer. She was a young teenager when she had me. She was 15 years old. Back then, that was just like, “Are you kidding? How old is this gentleman that you’ve been seeing that we didn’t know about?” My dad was seven years older than her. It was one of those where they were forced to get married or my dad was going to jail.  You said seven years?  Seven years older than my mom. It was literally a shotgun wedding.  My gosh. You hear about stuff like that and did you grow up hearing this story?  Yes. My uncle told me this story numerous times. I’d laugh at that because they ended up being the best of friends, even though as the years went by. I have siblings, I’m the oldest of four, and things ended up not working out for them being married, but they ended up being the best of friends.  You were saying, first I thought you were talking about your uncle being friends with your dad, you’re talking about your parents.  My parents, yes.  They were good friends, but not good partners as far as marriage.  No, they were not, no.  Do you recall how old you were when your parents separated?  Yes, I was seven years old. Wow, you can remember seven, girl? I cannot remember seven.  You know what? I think I remember it because everyone would tell me that story. Everyone would say that. Even though my mom was single, she raised us as a single mom, we still saw our dad every weekend.  I’m just going to put on the black card because there is this concept that all black men are out there and are not showing up and doing what they need to do. That idea and I’m so glad to be able to share it. Okay, the marriage didn’t work, but your dad’s responsibility as far as being a father and being responsible for this family that he put on this earth was vital to him.  That was important but for my dad to have us on the weekend, it was always at his mom’s house because that’s where he lived. It was a dual responsibility. It wasn’t just on my dad. I think that helped him become a better dad because if he had to do that on his own, I don’t believe my dad could have done it. It was too much of a responsibility for him.  Okay and back in that day, literally women were being trained to be mothers and sons were not where the dynamic is a little different in the year that we’re in now where the roles are shared on a different plane than what I think they were before. Going back to seven, what are some of the memories of your mom?  My gosh, every day was something new. It was a light. She would always, even though she worked, she knew she had to work and she wanted to go back to school because I was the oldest of the four, I helped out with the kids. I was the second mom to my siblings. We could enable her to go back to school. It was just taking us to the park, putting affirmations on the back of …

Honoring My Mom, The Black Panther: A Trailblazer’s Legacy With Kimberly Anderson Read More »