Here For The Long Haul: How To Help A Family Member Who Is Grieving With Ulanka Beckom

WRT 3 | Grieving

  When someone is grieving, we are often tempted to just ask them how you can help. But when someone’s grieving, they don’t know what they need. In this episode, Tina Fornwald interviews her own sister, Ulanka Beckom. They reminisce the time that Ulanka drove countless hours just to assist Tina in her time of need. It’s difficult to provide strength and support during this difficult time, but it isn’t impossible. Listen now as Ulanka shares practical strategies that can help your loved one cope with the pain of loss and help them on their journey towards healing. — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Here For The Long Haul: How To Help A Family Member Who Is Grieving With Ulanka Beckom Family Series My guest for this episode is my sister Ulanka Beckom. Ulanka is 52 years old and single. She’s a retired Senior Chief and now a government contractor. Her hobbies are cooking, watching movies, creating artwork, working out, dancing, spending time with friends, music, and supporting family members. Her ultimate goal is to become an aerospace engineer. Our conversation with Ulanka is going to give you some insight into being a sibling and the daughter of someone that has been widowed. She shares things that she thinks and knows from her experience will be helpful like being on deck for someone, being in their space and being quiet, understanding that grieving is not over in a year and a lot of other great tips that she’ll share. Thank you for joining me. I look forward to you being part of our conversation. Let’s get into it now.     Welcome to the show. My guest is my sister Ulanka Beckom. Ulanka, thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your interests, how you spend your day, and things like that. My typical day is wash, rinse, and repeat. I get up, go workout, go to work, come home, and sit around watching TV. You like listening to music. I listen to music on the way to work and at work during the day, but it’s wash, rinse, repeat. It’s the same thing every day. There’s not a lot of variance in what I do daily. Tell us a little bit about your workout and your favorite music. The workout I do is with Burn Boot Camp. I go there Monday through Friday. The 5:30 class is the class I go to, 95% of the time. The type of workout program there is a HIIT program. It’s pretty much a high-intensity interval training type of workout. They concentrate on different parts of the body daily like arm day, leg day, core day, cardio day, and everything day. It circulates through all of those. As for music, I like house music. It’s because we’re from Chicago. I love some Prince every day of the week and other stuff. That’s hard. You grind with workout routine. She started incorporating a stretching process. Share a little bit about that. There’s this place called Stretchlab. Burn Boot Camp nor Stretchlab are paying for any of these endorsements. I go to Stretchlab and just started doing that. You stretch your body yourself. There’s only so much you could push yourself. You have to have someone to help out. Along with going to Stretchlab, I also go to the chiropractor. Going to Stretchlab helps to push your body past limits that you can’t do personally. I keep thinking about the fact that I workout all the time like an athlete. I watch football, basketball, and all these sports. All these athletes are agile and doing all this stuff. If you think about it, they have somebody like the people at Stretchlab. They are there on a regular basis to help them to have maneuverability. I’m like, “I need to do this for myself.” That’s why I do it. We talked about you now, but we didn’t talk about a little bit before now, about your career, and what you were doing for gazillion years before you started this. I was in the Navy for twenty years and retired as a Senior Chief in the Navy. It was a good time. My job was called Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanical. What places have you traveled to? This is the fun part. We used those engines to propel the ship and the generators. We worked on a lot of other accessory equipment. I was pretty much down there with the engine. I was with the engineers. Think of your car but much larger. Think about walking inside your car and working on all the parts. In my last part in the Navy, I was the lead engineer. I traveled to a lot of places, which is one of the fun parts of being in the Navy. When I met my first ship on deployment. I flew from Norfolk to New York to Spain, then to our ultimate meeting place in Bahrain. After being in Bahrain for a couple of days, we took a helicopter from Bahrain out to the ship. It was a three-month deployment because I did the last half of the deployment. You’re saying deployments, when you were in the service, were generally about six months? Most of the time, it’s six months. Some deployments have been seven months but for the most part, six months is normal. If you’re gone for three months, they considered that deployment also. You have to be gone for at least three months for it to be considered a deployment for the Navy. I’ve gone to Spain, Bahrain, UAE, France, Monaco, Italy, and Greece. It’s probably about 60% of the world. She has a map in her study. You pinned up all the different countries that you’ve traveled to. I would say my greatest experience being in the military was being able to come onto Ulanka’s ship in full Army gear and perform one of her re-enlistments. That …

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