Tina Fornwald

A Father’s Journey Of Love And Purpose After A Traumatic Loss With David Roberts

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | David Roberts | Father’s Love

  Discover the profound journey of Dave Roberts, MSW, LMSW, in this heart-wrenching episode as he tells the devastating loss of his daughter, Janine, to cancer at just 18. With a career dedicated to helping others through addiction and grief, Dave shares his deeply personal story, reflecting on Janine’s brief but impactful life and the lessons her struggle taught him. From his professional roles as an adjunct professor and podcast host to his poignant insights into the mosaic of emotions that define the human experience, Dave’s narrative offers a blend of raw emotion and spiritual enlightenment. Join us for an inspiring conversation about finding peace amid unimaginable loss, understanding grief’s diverse expressions, and the enduring bond that transcends life and death. This episode is a tribute to resilience, empathy, and the power of a father’s love in the face of profound sorrow. 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 Father’s Journey Of Love And Purpose After A Traumatic Loss With David Roberts Our guest is Mr. David Roberts, but he goes by Dave. He is an MSW, LMSW. He became a parent who experienced the death of his child when his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on March 1st, 2003, at the age of eighteen. He is a retired addiction professional and adjunct professor in the Psychology, Child and Life Department of Utica University in Utica, New York. Dave also teaches Psychology classes at Pratt Munson School of Arts of Design. He hosts the Teaching Journey podcast, which can be found on most podcast platforms. Dave has presented workshops, national conferences, Compassionate Friends, and for bereaved parents in the USA. He was also a keynote speaker at the 2011 and 2015 National Gatherings of Bereaved Parents of the USA. Dave also co-presented a workshop titled Helping Faculty After Traumatic Loss for the Parkland, Florida community in 2018 in the aftermath of the mass shooting for the Stoneman Douglas High School. Dave has contributed articles to Medium, Open to Hope Foundation, Mindfulness and Grief, Thrive Global, and Recovering the Self Journal. He has also appeared on numerous podcasts as well as Open to Hope Television. He co-authored a book with Reverend Patty Farrell titled When The Psychology Professor Met The Minister, which was published on March 1st, 2021. Your ability and the links to contact Dave are going to be in the show notes and the comments on the YouTube channel. Welcome, Dave, to The Widowhood. Tina, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve been looking forward to our conversation for some time now.     Thank you so much. I’m sorry for the death of your daughter, Jeannine. I know it becomes something you learn to carry, but it’s still something that you are carrying that has shifted the part of your life. Janine’s Battle Yes, it has, Tina. Certainly, one of the things that I never envisioned having to do as a parent was bury my child. It was unfathomable to me. It was something I didn’t even consider. It was so far removed from my consciousness that I never considered it. When she got sick and then she got progressively more ill and she began to deteriorate progressively from her cancer. I was going to be walking a path that I never thought I’d ever be walking. The thing with her cancer is that it was a rare form of cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma and she was diagnosed approximately three weeks after giving birth to her only child and my first grandchild, Brianna. Brianna was born on May 2, 2002. I had gotten my Master’s in Social Work degree. I had that degree conferred upon me on May 19, 2002. On May 26, 2002, she was officially diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. The diagnosis was confirmed approximately a week later. I think it was June 3, 2002, at the Dana-Farber Research Institute in Boston, which is one of the premier, if not the premier, hospitals and research centers for pediatric sarcomas. In a five-minute consult, they said that she had stage four cancer with bone marrow and lymph node involvement. There was absolutely no cure for her cancer. The only hope that they had was to put her cancer in permanent remission until they could find a cure. At that moment, Tina, what I heard, and I know my daughter heard, was that in all likelihood, unless there’s a miracle, she’s going to die. In ten months from diagnosis to death, I call her death now a transition from the physical body to the spiritual world. She transitioned ten months after being diagnosed. It was a relatively quick progression. Sarcomas have to be diagnosed early. What had happened is she had injured her right foot in a freak accident during pregnancy. Her foot got progressively more swollen, did not respond to traditional treatments for a swollen foot, and an MRI revealed an undefined eight-centimeter mass in the bottom of her foot. It was biopsied and it was found to be a malignant tumor. The rest has set me on a path that’s been a mosaic of a lot of different emotions but ultimately ended up with transformation. Learning how to transcend grief, find peace with what had happened, and be grateful for what I have in my life. It’s been a long journey to get there. Mosaic Of Emotions You said a lot there. There is so much to go back to unpack. Is the concept of mosaic a term you use often? What does that symbolize for you in this process? I look at mosaic as a combination of a lot of different emotions, a lot of different …

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Life After Loss: A Transformative Grief Journey With Alethea Felton

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Alethea Felton | Transformative Journey

  Discover the unexpected way a friendship has led our guest on a transformative journey. In this deeply moving episode, Tina Fornwald sits down with Alethea Felton, a dynamic High Performance/Transformational Coach and host of The Power Transformation Podcast. Althea shares her poignant story of losing two of her closest friends. Through her reflections, Alethea explores the profound impact of this loss, detailing how it spurred her to seek therapy and ultimately transform her life. Join us as we delve into Alethea’s inspiring journey from grief to growth, uncovering the lessons of resilience, intentional living, and the power of cherished friendships. — 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 episode here   Life After Loss: A Transformative Grief Journey With Alethea Felton Hello, Widowhood. Our guest is Ms. Alethea Felton. She is a dynamic high-performance transformational coach, founder of Alethea Felton Coaching LLC, and host of the Power Transformation Podcast. With over 20 years of experience in the realms of education, instructional design, and learning and development, Athea’s mission is to empower ambitious professionals and leaders to shatter limitations through mindset mastery, unleash their true potential, and create holistic lasting life success.  Our conversation with Alethea is outside of her normal discussion. I am so glad that she said yes to speaking with us. Oftentimes I have conversations with people who are grieving the loss of their spouse but in terms of widowhood. We know that people who grieve our loved ones are dear friends. And that is the perspective in which we will discuss today. Let’s get into this conversation now. Alethea, welcome to the widowhood.      Thank you so much, Tina. I am so happy to be here and thank you for having me.  I want to say our discussion now may not fit in the wedge that people may be accustomed to because you hear the word widow and automatically the conversation is, what is that connection? For this, it is, as we talk about widowhood, it’s not always that spouse that passed. This is a community that is impacted when someone transitions from this world.  Our conversation is for someone who may be thinking of the loss of a dear friend or someone close to them because when someone leaves this world, everyone in their community feels the loss of that person. I appreciate you for stepping off into some uncharted territory with this conversation and being willing to share.  I appreciate that. I just hope that something that I say can affect someone in a transformative way as this journey has done for me.  Transformative. That is a really good place to start. Let’s start with where you are literally in the world today, as far as where your life is in some of your youth, if you would share that.  Meet Alethea In terms of where I am today, I am a full-time entrepreneur now in terms of profession. What that looks like for me is I am a holistic transformational coach, motivational speaker, and podcaster. When I say full-time, I dabbled in entrepreneurship for almost, approximately 20 years, part-time but now I have the flexibility and the freedom where I’ve taken that deep dive into it full-time, where I’m building my business with speaking, coaching, writing, things of that nature and podcasting.  I can tell you that being where I am now is certainly a ride. It’s an adventure. It has its highs and its lows. Every day is unpredictable. Also, in terms of just more of where I am, not just in a job space, I can tell you that every day of my life, I have such peace. I live with great joy. Joy does not mean that every single day is happy necessarily but I have a consistent joy, a consistent hope, and faith. That’s where I am in my life right now. That’s who I am.  How did we get there though? Has this been a space you’ve lived in your entire life or is this someplace you’ve come to recently?  In terms of the emotional aspects of who I am, I’ve always pretty much been an eternal optimist. I was always the person, even as a little kid who always saw the glasses, half full to overflowing. That’s how I always view life. I’ve always looked at things in the positive frame of mind, not ignoring the negative, but really in the positive frame of mind. I can tell you that with my life in terms of where I am, I was born with certain conditions that frankly made chapters of my life quite challenging but to get here, I had to go through a series of hard knocks, heartache, pain, grief to get me to where I am now.  In terms of the entrepreneurial journey, I’m a former public school educator and I use the term educator because I have more roles outside of the classroom. I was a classroom teacher, but for 20 years, I worked in the field of education as an English teacher, Spanish teacher, instructional coach, department chairperson, and team leader. I ended my career in human resources where I was coaching seasoned and new teachers.  I was pretty much the one who determined in a sense, if they kept their employment pretty much. I loved what I did, ended on a high note, and I was blessed to be able to retire early at the age of 41, last school year. Nothing happened bad or anything like that. It’s just that it was time and I’m a woman of faith. I knew that God was speaking to me before the start of last school year about making …

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The Things That Keep Us Young: Shifting Your Mental Perspective To Enjoy Life While Living With Sheila Finkelstein

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Sheila Finkelstein | Mental Shift

  When you lose the love of your life, it’s easy to succumb to regret, to the what ifs and what could have beens. But our departed love would have loved us to carry on living to the fullest. How does one transcend grief and learn to enjoy life while living? Sheila Finkelstein helps us make this powerful mental shift so we can learn to deal with loss gracefully and with hope. Tune in for her incredible wisdom! — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   The Things That Keep Us Young: Shifting Your Mental Perspective To Enjoy Life While Living With Sheila Finkelstein Our guest is Miss Sheila Finkelstein. She is coming to us from Florida. In lovely artwork, she has her signature color purple there. We’re going to get into all of that. She hangs out a lot on LinkedIn. I want to read a little bit of information that she has listed there, and I want that to be the start of our conversation. She is shifting the perspective, a guide for women aged 50 and above, at a turning point, feeling stuck, and open to photography and more as a way to expand creativity, enhance relationships, and reconnect with themselves and others. I don’t read people’s LinkedIn a lot but the conversation in the widowhood and community, a lot of times, people isolate. A lot of times, people feel disconnected. I know that the age of being a widow is shifting. It’s not always 50 and older. I am connecting with a large number of younger widows. Still, the premise of what you’re doing resonates with everyone. I love that you said you didn’t have to be creative. You don’t have to be intimidated by not having this huge sense of, “I’m a creative person,” but you have a way to let people use their simple abilities to reconnect and enhance relationships with themselves and others. I thought that was a beautiful way to start the conversation. Thank you. One of the things that has been my mission even back from when I was teaching elementary school many years ago is the, “I am not creative.” People think that they have to draw, paint, or something and that is creativity. It’s problem-solving. I did something, and I forgot what it was but I was like, “I solved that problem.” That’s being creative. It’s a simple thing. I suggest people look every time they’re faced with a problem and they look for it and come up with an answer, they’re being creative. I feel like a little bit of creativity hit me because I’m solving problems all day at work as a project manager. I never looked at it as being creative. I’ve always connected the word creativity with something artistic and something appealing, not something, to me, that seemed like basic problem-solving skills. I like that idea. You have so many different pieces going on. I’m sure as we touch on each of them or maybe some of them, there will be a story but I want to start with your necklace, what’s going on with that, and how that will take us on a journey of getting to know you better. Thank you. Thanks for noticing. This happens to be one of the things that I had when I started college years ago. I was going to be a social worker. I’ll come up to it later. I went to Temple University in Philadelphia. I met my husband on a blind date. He was in textiles. There was nothing in textiles in Philadelphia, although his school was there. He got out of the Army, went to New York, got tired of New York girls, came back, and we met on a blind date. Six weeks after we met, we were engaged. We were married three months after that.     That’s still super fast. We’re going to need to slow down a little bit. Tell us about this blind date. The funny part of it was that somebody I knew from high school was engaged to Sam’s best friend. She broke the engagement. She saw me in school and she was sitting on the toilet. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that. First here. Go ahead. She fixed this up and we went out together. Four of us went out on a blind date. Was it with her ex-fiance? What did you say your husband’s name is? Sam. It was you Sam, the girl on the toilet, and her ex-fiance. You guys went out on a date. What did you think of Sam on that first date? I don’t even know. It wasn’t like love at first date or that kind of thing but we got along. We were communicating. He was caring. He went back to New York and came home one weekend. We started writing. He was writing every day. This was days long before texting and everything. I want to pause there to make sure we understand. You are writing letters and putting them in the mailbox. Is that what we’re referring to here? I have spoken to some people that the idea of even addressing a letter is foreign. I want to make sure we’re able to ensure that our audience understands that you are writing letters and putting them in the mail. Keep in mind that this was 1960 so it was many years ago. He did more writing than I did. He would talk about the day or whatever. Remember. Phone calls were expensive too but periodically, he’d call. I’d be up in the middle of the night and he’d be concerned about me getting my schoolwork done. He was a very caring person. As a matter of fact, years later, a friend of mine who has since passed, rest in peace, was a psychic. She said that after he died, his mission in life had been to fulfill me. What more could one …

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A Double Widower’s Journey Through Dating, Healing, And Parenting With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 2

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Isaac Byrd Jr. | Double Widower

  In part two of our heartfelt conversation with Isaac Byrd Jr., a two-time widower navigating life at 42, we follow his journey of single parenting, dating, and connecting with a community online. Discover how Isaac turned to TikTok during the pandemic, not to go viral, but to find solace and companionship, hosting Taco Tuesday live sessions that created a lounge-like happy hour for his followers. He shares invaluable advice on embracing spontaneity on social media and the challenges of single parenting, emphasizing the importance of communication over discipline and the support from his extended family. Isaac also opens up about preparing his son for the realities of life as a Black child, the complexities of dating as a widower, and the powerful impact of keeping his late wife’s memory alive. Tune in for an inspiring and deeply personal look at resilience, community, and the nuanced art of parenting through grief. 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 Double Widower’s Journey Through Dating, Healing, And Parenting With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 2 Our conversation is with Mr. Isaac Byrd. If you didn’t catch the last episode, you want to go back because that is part one. This is part two. Our conversation with a two-time widower at the age of 42 is about raising his 3-year-old son, dating, and navigating life as a widower. Let’s get into the conversation.     As we ended the last discussion, Isaac was welcoming enough to come back and do part two. He was gracious enough to join us for part two because there’s so much to talk about. We barely got through that. Everybody wants to know about dating and parenting, but before we get into all of that, how did you get on TikTok? What drove that? TikTok Community Being lonely, being in the middle of a pandemic, having a child, and needing adults or some type of connection with the outside world. You can only watch so many movies and those kinds of things. I was like, “We’re not going outside right now. Let me see what this TikTok thing is about.” That helped me build a community, in a sense. TikTok has become a community. I was then like, “I got to interact with these videos.” I never intended to build like, “I’m going to have this huge platform. I’m going to try to go viral,” because I don’t care about any of that. Somebody commented on one of my videos and was like, “Imagine trying to go viral and trying so hard.” I commented back, “Viral is not a part of the goals that I have in life. The rest of you think that, but no.” TikTok became a community. It was a way to connect with people. I’ve connected with several people that I’ve done music with and other things like that. TikTok has been a level of therapy for me. As a matter of fact, I even talked to my therapist about it. It’s a level of therapy for me. It has been there. From that, on one Tuesday night, I was making tacos in my kitchen. I turned on some music. This was finally when I could go live back when they were really hard-pressed about you going live. You had to have at least 1,000 people or something like that. I finally went live and turned my camera on. My son was probably already in bed. I turned the camera on and I’m cooking and making tacos, and a couple of people have joined. That’s been the thing for two years, Taco Tuesday. Are you still making tacos every Tuesday? Are you buying them someplace? Have they evolved? I still make them sometimes. I do buy them, but because of my living or the way I was at my house back in Florida and in changing, my setup is completely different. The cooking part doesn’t happen anymore on Taco Tuesday. For some reason, on Tuesday, I’m trying to get something Mexican or make it. That’s my thing on Tuesdays. That’s how, over time, I developed a community on TikTok, and it’s been really good. I haven’t had any issues on TikTok or anything like that. It’s been pretty pleasant. This is how I met you. I wanted to expound on that. When they hear TikTok, it’s teenagers or it’s people gyrating on the screen, or it’s doing all this other stuff. You talk about going live. For someone who has no concept of that, can you maybe explain or elaborate on that? Yeah. Being live is basically, you’re inviting people into your home. You’re inviting them into your life. Some people make it very formal. Some people make it informal. I’m somewhat informal but formal in a sense because Taco Tuesday is a whole theme. The concept of when I go live for that is specifically, it’s like a happy hour lounge. First of all, it was for adults getting off work. Most of us are parents or whatever. We are not going out to a lounge or going anywhere to have a drink. You can grab your drink, get on here, laugh, have some good times, and talk with other people. Sometimes, I have questions. Sometimes, I have game night, which is fun. Those are brutal. There is a level of competitiveness on game night. My game nights are typically around some type of music theme. I’ll either have questions or I’ll do Name That Tune. What’s funny about that is they get mad at me sometimes because I pick songs and they’d be like, “Nobody knows what that song was on that album. I know. …

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Stories Of A Double Widower With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 1

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Isaac Byrd Jr. | Double Widower

It is indeed not easy to deal with grief after losing someone dear to you. But what if you have to go through the same pain twice? Joining me in this conversation is Isaac Byrd Jr., who opens up about what it is like to be a young double widower. We explore the lessons and realizations from his two partners who have transitioned to the next life, as well as the important role of music and faith in his grieving journey. Isaac also shares his experiences of going back into the dating game, especially now that it is mostly done through online applications.   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 episode here Stories Of A Double Widower With Isaac Byrd Jr. Part 1 Hello, Isaac, welcome to the widowhood.  Hello, thank you for having me, I appreciate it.  I will say, that even though this is Isaac being welcome to our widowhood, we’re having this conversation because he already was a member of the widowhood. I guess technically I was.  For sure and I want to tell you guys, I am intentionally always looking and stalking. Isaac can say that I stalked him down on TikTok and found him. I said, “Hi, how are you doing? Could you come to talk, please?”  It was cool. She’s not the creepy stalker.  They are out there just so everybody knows that. I said hello and I’m interested in this. This is our website. Please look at this and then get back to me. I didn’t come on hot and heavy real quick onto Isaac. It was just like, take a look. I will tell you, he was pleased with our website. He said, okay. I was very impressed with what you’re doing. I got to do it.    Music Background I appreciate that because there are not enough men in this space sharing to encourage. I see all of the equipment in the background. What’s up with that? What is that representing your life?  Music has been, always been in my life since I was a child. I started playing instruments probably around the age of three or four when I got my first set of drums and my first trumpet. Music has always been around. My father was a guitar player and singer. He also wrote. He was a good artist, he could draw very well. He has a lot of paintings in the house and different paintings around from artistry that he’s done over the years.  Musically, of course, my dad had everything to do with me getting involved in music, but one of the things he did was give up being a touring or aspiring musician to be a family man. He always played his guitars and all those different things. My first bass guitar is right back there and then one of my dad’s favorite guitars right here because I was recording earlier. My dad would be proud right now because he’s going on to glory and it’ll be two years on April 24, 2024. I was recording guitar today. It was funny because when I was a kid, I took a liking to the bass first.  He was teaching me guitar and I said, “I want to play bass.” He said, “You got to learn guitar first.” Somehow he agreed to teach me bass. I will play the guitar and I don’t do any of those on a stage. I usually do it in studio work stuff. I have enough to get by. I feel I have enough skill in guitar and bass to get by to do recordings because I know what I want typically. This is my studio area right now. This is what it is.   Father I have so many questions, I’m going to try to pace myself here. One, you mentioned your Dad, if I heard you correctly, stopped being on the road for his music to become a family man. What impact did that make on you?  I guess the impact was he was always here. My father was always involved in my life, whether that be in music, sports, and specifically when we did Boy Scouts and stuff like that. He was my Cub Scout leader. He was also my Scout Master at one point. I want to say that was before I was even born, that he made that decision to not pursue it heavily. I could see that impacted our lives in such a great way for myself and my sister. When I look at that, that sacrifice worked out for our family. My mom and he were together for 47 years.  When you think of relationships, were you looking to mimic what you saw your dad doing or what did you pull from his being a father to you and how you want to show up in life?  First of all, my dad was a Marine Corps veteran from Vietnam.  There are some complexities with that.  Yes, my father was a very intelligent man differently. We would consider Jim Crow, he was born in 1946 and grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina. My father came up through a very different world than I did. His being a father and a husband and my parents’ relationship was ultimately the first thing that modeled marriage for me. We do take and leave some things that we see for sure with our relationships or our family or our parents and stuff that.  However, his presence was an asset to me because a lot of people don’t get that. A lot of kids that I grew up with, even my age, still didn’t get having both parents …

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From Grief To Growth: How Financial Coaching Can Be Your Lifeline With Cheyenne Syverson

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Cheyenne Syverson | Financial Coaching

  Feeling lost after a life change? Divorce, grief, or just tired of living paycheck to paycheck? This episode’s your lifeline. Tina Fornwald talks with financial coach Cheyenne Syverson of Inspiring Solutions 4U about how to find your financial footing after a life-altering event. They explore the surprising power of financial coaching, especially for those dealing with grief. Forget rigid plans – Cheyenne’s about gentle nudges, untangling emotional ties to money, and building habits for a secure future. Find solace in inspiring stories of others who found strength, from creating “don’t buy” lists to rewriting their financial narratives. Learn how to avoid refinancing traps and shed limiting beliefs passed down through generations. Whether you’re facing a mountain of debt or simply want to feel more in control, discover how financial coaching can be your anchor to financial well-being.   Unlock exclusive savings with this unique discount code for Widowhood Real Talk With Tina: IS4U-WRTWT. Enjoy a 10% discount using this code.   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   From Grief To Growth: How Financial Coaching Can Be Your Lifeline With Cheyenne Syverson Our guest is Cheyenne, and she is a financial coach. You say, “Why?” It’s because I know that there is a great deal of people in this community where finances are an immense hurdle in dealing with our grief. I want you to have the tools. I want you to have access to people that can help you. Cheyenne is going to provide you with the ability to not say if I have money or not but change the narrative that is in your mind. Not to look at it as the textile part as far as the technical terms, but understand your relationship with money, what you can do to empower yourself to change it, and how you can have a different scenario in your life and your future as it relates to things that you need to manage with money. Let’s get into the discussion now.     Our guest is Ms. Cheyenne Syverson and she is a financial coach. Yes, I did say coach because when you’re dealing with your money, isn’t it better sometimes to have someone who’s going to coach you through? I’m a life coach, so I can relate to that. When I hear that word as it relates to your money, you’re telling someone what your expectations are and what your goals are. They encourage and coach you through making that decision, but that’s my conversation. Cheyenne says that she is going to give us the scoop on it, which is why she’s here. Welcome.  Thank you so much, Tina. I forgot to mention this because I always want to get right into the conversation. If or when you decide to work with Cheyenne, she is supporting the widowhood. When you reach out to her, please mention the code IS4U-WRTWT and she’s going to be so kind as to give you a 10% discount for her services. Let’s get right into this. I want you to know Cheyenne is an early riser. She got me up. She got your girl up at 7:00 AM to have this conversation. I’m excited about the early bird mentality. Monday through Friday, I am up at 4:00 AM. I think my body has learned. Where are you from originally? I’m originally from Northern Minnesota, a small town about an hour and a half away from the Canadian border. Have you lived there your entire life? Where are you now? I am in Wyoming now. I moved here many years ago. I transferred to my job here and I love the mountains and all the outdoor activities that Wyoming has to offer. When I hear the word Wyoming, I think of something picturesque and relaxing. I know it’s not like that when you’re driving to work every day, or maybe you can see the mountains from where you’re at, or do you have to travel someplace to enjoy them? You can see them from the town. To get into them, though, it takes about half an hour to be at the foothills, but you can see them from town, so it’s a beautiful way to wake up. Financial Coaching How did you get into that financial coaching? Explain what that means. Sure. It’s a funny story because I started in high school taking an assessment that said, “You’ll do good with numbers.” I thought that’s funny. I loved animals. I have a degree in Animal Science and Equine Science. Believe it or not, I was hired before I finished college into an intern position doing agricultural lending because of that background. That’s how I got started in finance. Once I got into it, I realized, wow, we’re not taught a whole lot about it. I started to ask a lot of questions, and while I started doing my training, I started to help people at my place of employment. I started to share a lot more concepts of things that I was learning from other people. Financial coaching, to me, is helping people tell themselves a better story around their money. I realized through the journey that we’re not taught. Even in my degree, I wasn’t taught money management. When I first started, I had to change a marketing class to even have a basic introduction to finance before I went into my job. I was like, “Why?”     How do you go into production agriculture? That’s where I had expected to go and be able to be profitable when I didn’t even know how to manage money other than always paying my bills first and living on the rest. Second …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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