Cancer

From Pain To Purpose: Navigating Through The Grief Journey With Jason Clawson

Widowhood Real Talk with Tina | Jason Clawson | Grief Journey

  Prepare to embark on a deeply moving journey through the intricate landscape of grief, where pain transforms into purpose. In this episode, we unravel the deeply moving narrative of Jason Clawson, a licensed therapist with a heart-wrenching personal love story. In this emotionally charged conversation, Jason courageously opens up about the loss of his child diagnosed with anencephaly, the challenges of navigating infertility, and the heartbreaking journey of grief with his wife, Valerie, who later battled stage four colon cancer. Delving into the complexities of grief, Jason emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space for men to share their experiences and the transformative power of vulnerability. From the heartbreak of leaving the hospital without their baby to the strength found in community support, Jason’s story unfolds with profound insights into healthy coping skills, the impact of significant life changes, and the remarkable healing journey that extends to helping others through The Hope Kit. This episode is a poignant exploration of personal grief, professional expertise, and the resilience found in community support—a testament to the strength that emerges from facing life’s most profound challenges. 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   From Pain To Purpose: Navigating Through The Grief Journey With Jason Clawson Our guest is Mr. Jason Clawson. He has a journey to share with us. I want you to know that Jason is a licensed therapist, but he also has a love story to share with us. We take time to dip between Jason, a therapist, and Jason, the man you will grow from this conversation. I also encourage you, as you read this, to share with other people who are struggling and looking for a way to find out how not to be muted in their grief. This is a conversation that will help them and also your family or friends that you feel like you may be struggling with, giving them guidance on how to support you on your grief journey. Let’s get into this conversation.     Jason, welcome to the show. I’m excited to be here. Thank you so much. I’m excited to have you here, and not because of the circumstances, but oftentimes, we do not have enough men who are willing to share their journey. I am grateful for that because we’re trying to create a safe space for men. We have a support group that meets twice a month on the second Thursday of the month, 6:00 PM Eastern Time, exclusively for the men’s support groups. That part is important to our organization. Thank you for being here and with all that good energy. I’ve been resting up for it. Where are you in the world now? I’m located in Utah. How did you find yourself there? Were you born and raised there or relocated? I was born and raised here. My dad is from California. My mom is from Washington. They met at college here. They loved it so much that they stayed here. I’m still here. My kids and I love it here. This is what we call home. Do you live in the same hometown you grew up in or moved to a particular area? I live about ten minutes away from my house, where I was born and raised. It’s a circumstance of how close we are. It’s been a big blessing for us because I’ve been able to help my family. My mom and dad have been able to help me through my journey when my wife got sick with cancer. When my mom got cancer, I was able to reciprocate and give back to my dad and my mom the same energy and love they gave to me when I was going through my journey. I feel like a blessing to be close by and to be an instrument to help as well as to receive help from them. Loving Valerie I can relate to that. My mom and sister live next door. To me, family is everything. You mentioned your wife. What is her name? How did you guys meet? My wife is Valerie. We met through a friend of mine, her brother named Brad, and he wanted us to meet before we even met. He said, “When she gets off a mission for our church, you guys need to connect and meet.” We met, and I was like, “You are Brad’s sister.” She’s like, “You are Brad’s friend. It’s nice to meet you.” That was it. Where did it go from there? There wasn’t any synergy. A year later, we ran into each other. We got talking more. I took my chance. I found out how cool she was, and I said, “I’d like to do something with you.” She says, “I’ll get my brother and friends. We’ll get together.” I said, “I don’t want to hang out with your brother. I hang out with him all the time. I want to hang out with you.” We made plans for a date. Later that night, I got a message that said she had something, and she canceled the date. I was like, man, “Is this ever going to happen?” She said, “I didn’t want this to get back to my brother.” She called back and said, “Let’s go to lunch together.” We went to lunch. That’s where we got to know each other and connected. That’s where our relationship started. What year was that? That was about 2004 or 2005. How long did you guys date? Where did it go from there? We got married in December. We started …

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Living Life With Passion: Lessons Learned From Death Over Coffee With Joi Brooks

Widowhood Real Talk | Joi Brooks | Death Over Coffee

  Sometimes, all you need is a good conversation over a cup of coffee. In this episode, Joi Brooks, the host of Email and Coffee, opens up about the profound journey she embarked upon following the loss of her husband, Harry, and the passing of her parents. Joi shares her insights on embracing life with renewed passion, drawing valuable lessons from the shadows of death, all while savoring the warmth of a comforting cup of coffee. Beyond her personal tragedy, she discovered an unexpected ally and, through her experiences, gained the wisdom to support others in navigating their own grief. Join us for a heartfelt conversation with Joi Brooks, where the aroma of coffee accompanies reflections on life, loss, and the enduring spirit that arises from the darkest moments. 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   Living Life With Passion: Lessons Learned From Death Over Coffee With Joi Brooks Our guest is Ms. Joi Brooks. She is a widow and has a wonderful perspective that I know that you will find insightful, empowering, and encouraging. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Happy morning to you, Joi Brooks. Happy morning. I’m thankful that it’s not flooding this morning. She’s been part of the widowhood conversation. Flooding, what is that about? It’s called living on the South Shore of Long Island. We get used to it over time. It’s not a good thing, but it could be worse. I was looking at different places in the weather. Ohio is getting spanked by the snow and a lot of other places. What is the weather in New York? It’s foggy. We had a rain and windstorm. It wasn’t as bad as Tuesday or Wednesday when we did have flooding. It’s not in the house or anything like that. It could be, but it was about an inch in the garage. How long have you lived in this area? Twenty-five years in 2024. What’s your worst flooding experience? Superstorm Sandy. How did that impact you? Five feet in the street and three feet in the house. It’s past the garage into your home. It’s like a swimming pool in the house. What was that experience? We lost everything. Every day, you rip everything out. You throw it out, and everybody down the block has the same thing. Everybody’s stuff is out in the front. The Red Cross trucks drive by, and they feed us. It’s martial law. There’s a lot right there. That’s packed with stuff. What is the frequency in which you’ve endured? That was what they called a 100-year flood. It shouldn’t happen like that. Hurricanes, yes, because Long Island is prone to what is called a North Easter, which comes up the coast of the United States. It circles around and spanks us. Because I’m on the south shore of Long Island, it goes around and pushes the water up, and we get a hot time. A perfect storm was Superstorm Sandy, which was a hurricane, a full moon, and a North Easter. A hurricane is not bad enough. It was a North Easter hurricane. The way it came up and circled around. That was the perfect storm. We get flooded. There are times when I walk the dogs, and it’s an adventure because I’m not going down the street. I turn around. I got to walk on this person’s lawn. It’s something that we live with. If we get down to a personal level, we shouldn’t be living on the South Shore. One of my husband’s dying wishes was to move out of the house. I like it here. The summers are beautiful. The neighbors are lovely. They know me, and I know them. I’ve been living here for several years. If I were not to come out of my house for 2 or 3 days, they’d be knocking, phoning, or texting. That’s important. I could move to some other place. Odds are something else would be an issue. It’s a trade-off. The weather on Long Island in the summer and fall is lovely. In the winter, it’s iffy and dicey. In August, we get hurricanes. New York, it’s hurricanes. The East Coast gets hurricanes. You dived right into what was going to be my question. You spoke about the devastation, but why stay? You’re right. Everywhere in the world has some level of extreme weather that you experience, but you cannot outdo those relationships that have been built and cemented over time and the people who care for you. People would notice if something were awry in your life. I can understand that outweighing because you have to pick which extreme weather situation you’re going to live in. You have found one worth being there for. When your neighbors read the blog, they know how important and valuable they are. If you’ve never been mushy, let them know. They mean a lot. There are services, shopping, doctors, lawyers, and a whole amount of services that, for the past several years, I’ve been part of. I’d have to start that all over again. I’d find a new doctor, dentist, or accountant. You could pick anybody. You could shop at any store that you want. When I walk into my supermarket, there are a few people who recognize me, and I talk with them. It’s a thing. You mentioned your husband. Please share your late husband’s name. His name is Harry. Since he passed, he’s become a saint. He’d laugh at that because he was no saint. I’ve turned him into Saint Harry. He could do …

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Life After A Great Loss: How A Widower Built A Life For Himself With Carey Christian

WRT 15 | Life After Loss

  When you meet the right person, you begin to look forward to a lifetime with them. Unfortunately, life has its way of reminding us of our impermanence by taking the person we love the most. No one can prepare you for that loss. Here to open up about his life after the passing of his wife is Carey Christian. In this candid conversation with Tina Fornwald, he tells us about his life, his beautiful wife Michelle, and her death. From their great moments (meeting and loving each other and finding their love for traveling) to their heartbreaks (receiving Michelle’s diagnosis and later on, taking her last breath), Carey bares it all. He then tells us about where he is now and the life he is developing for himself. Tune in to this episode and let Carey’s story give you hope, healing, and encouragement to live life after a great loss. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach 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   Life After A Great Loss: How A Widower Built A Life For Himself With Carey Christian Hey, Carey. How are you? I’m good. Yourself? I’m doing well. No complaints. That’s good. Where are you in the world?     Is that physically or in my mind, or both? You can answer both or whichever you want. Physically, I’m living in Cartagena, Colombia. I’ve been living here for a few years. Where am I at mentally is a good question. I don’t know if I can answer that. Maybe as we talk, the answer to that will come out. Maybe we’ll both discover the answer. That’s fair enough. How did you get to Colombia? Even before Chelle passed, I told her that I wanted to move to the Caribbean because I don’t like cold weather. She doesn’t like cold weather and we both love the Caribbean. After she passed, I started physically looking for property in the Caribbean. My first choice was Tulum right in the common Mexico area. I went there in 2019 and looked at properties. I saw some beautiful properties with great prices, but Mexico has laws that, to me, were a little complicated for foreigners to purchase property in those areas that they call restricted areas. Those were near the border on the beach. I visited here. I came here on a cruise ship for one day and said, “That’s nice.” I came back in March 2020, the weekend before everybody stopped traveling for COVID, with some friends. I’m like, “That’s nice. I like that.” It was magical for many reasons. It was so magical that I immediately booked a return flight for when Colombia originally planned to open its borders for traveling again. It was June 2020, then they pushed it back to July, August, and September. In September 2020, they finally opened up. I came back in for two weeks in September 2020. The clubs and the bars were closed. All the party stuff was closed, and I still loved it. It was still magical. I went back to North Carolina. I had already put my house on the market. I sold my house in November 2020, my property, and one of my cars. I put the rest of my things in storage, gave some away, and moved back here. I came back here for six weeks in December 2020. The 6 weeks turned into 2 years and 2 months. I was working for the school system. We were working online like most schools. In February 2021, they said, “We’re bringing the students back into the building.” I had maybe 2 and a half or 3 weeks left in the purchasing process for my apartment. I told my principal, “I need two more weeks. I don’t have any vacation, but I got two weeks of sick days. Let’s work this thing out.” He said, “Okay.” This was what was aggravating to me about the whole thing. This was not an email. This wasn’t a text message. It was a phone call. We were talking. After a week, he sent me a message, “You haven’t been here in a week. You put in five sick days. What’s going on?” I said, “We talked about this.” He said, “You got to come back or resign.” I said, “Thank you for your time.” That’s not a decision. That’s a no-brainer for me. You checked them out. I had already invested the money. I had to be here to do things physically to complete the process. I was like, “You’re trying to tell me to choose between that and working for a school system where there are 200 to 300 vacancies?” Nobody is beating down the doors to get in there. Let’s circle back. Chelle, you mentioned her name. Let’s talk about who she is to you. Michelle Renee Christian was my everything. If during COVID she had still been alive and COVID lasted for 10 years, there was quarantine, people couldn’t go out, and I was in the house with her for 10 years, I would’ve been happy. How did you meet? We met at a birthday party. She knew the wife who the birthday party was for. I knew the husband who was throwing the birthday party. That’s where we met. This is going to be funny. I was there with my friend. The party was dry, so we left and came back in an hour. She and her cousins were there. I saw her and I’m like, “That woman is gorgeous. I might say something to her tonight before I leave.” She shot me down. …

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