GAR 102 | Child Suicide

 

Peggy Green is a mother, a teacher, a survivor, a speaker, a leader, a grief coach, and an Amazon bestselling author who has experienced the loss of two of her four children, her daughter Courtney by accident in 1991 and her son Connor by suicide in 2018. The remarkable ways Peggy overcame these two devastating losses informed her first book, titled “Life After Child Loss: The Mother’s Survival Guide to Cope and Find Joy,” which has helped hundreds of readers on their grief journey, and her second book, titled “Survive Your Child Suicide: How To Move Through Grief To Healing,” will be available in September 2022. You may not know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24. This is an especially timely interview because it will air in September, which has been designated National Suicide Awareness Month. 

 

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE: 

  • The grieving process 
  • How Peggy was inspired to become a grief coach 
  • Peggy’s Grief to Healing Program  
  • What people need to know about understanding suicide 
  • The five types of fear 
  • Peggy’s journey to healing and recovery 

 

SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS PEGGY: 

  • Why do you call moving through grief to healing like walking across a rope bridge? 
  • What do people need to know to be able to understand suicide? 
  • What are some of the lifelong physical and mental problems not dealing with grief can cause in a person’s life? 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Peggy Green – Helping Women Move Through Physical, Mental, Emotional, And Spiritual Suffering Caused By Child Suicide

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone, I hope this finds each of you so very well. I’m speaking to you from my studio in West Orange, New Jersey, happy to be welcoming Peggy Green, who is a mother, a teacher, a survivor, a speaker, a leader, a grief coach, and an Amazon bestselling author to the show. Peggy’s two Bachelor’s Degrees are in Business Marketing and Exercise Science. She will be speaking to us from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Peggy has experienced the loss of two of her four children, her daughter Courtney by accident in 1991, and her son Connor by suicide in 2018. The truly remarkable ways Peggy overcame these two devastating losses informed her first book titled Life After Child Loss: The Mother’s Survival Guide to Cope and Find Joy, which has helped hundreds of readers on their grief journey. She was also inspired to create and develop her Dynamic Grief Survival Program through which she has helped mothers grieving the loss of their children to heal.

GAR 102 | Child Suicide

Life After Child Loss: The Mother’s Survival Guide to Cope and Find Joy

I’m looking forward to talking with Peggy about her personal experiences with grief, the way she was able to move forward after her tragic losses, and her second book titled Survive Your Child Suicide: How to Move through Grief to Healing. You may not know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among adults in the United States and the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24. This is an especially timely interview because September has been designated National Suicide Awareness Month. Peggy, a warm welcome to Grief and Rebirth Podcast.

Thank you so much, Irene. Thank you for that lovely introduction. I want to say welcome to all the readers. I’m excited to what we’ve got coming up and stay tuned for some fun information while we’re dealing with a heavy topic. We can also educate you and help you.

Absolutely, that’s what this is all about. This is an interview that gives you a hug. Here we go. Peggy, could you describe what your life was like before your daughter Courtney’s tragic accident before all of this started happening to you?

Yes. Courtney was the first of four children ultimately that I had. She was, at that time, my only child and I was living a great life. I had been married for about five years and had Courtney, and I’d gone back to work. She was just the love of my life. She was, at nine months old, just starting to become mobile. She was starting to move around and become more of that infant, just blob that she was forming and having personality and smiling and starting to be mobile and roll around, and anticipated that she would be crawling soon. She had fuzzy blonde hair, beautiful eyes, and a smile on a face that looked like her grandfather’s. She was my joy and she was my life. I so dearly loved her. Life was good, and that happened.

Let’s talk about that. You’ve survived two stunning life-altering losses. Courtney, by accident, in 1991 and your son, Connor, by suicide in 2018. We learned just now a little bit about Courtney, but tell us more about Courtney and of course about Connor. Could you describe how you lost each and reveal the different ways each of these devastating losses impacted your life? One you lost as an infant and the other was grown.

He was a young adult.

They are very different experience.

You just coined it there, Irene, that it’s a very different experience. At the time, Courtney was my only child and then I went on to have three more children. Connor was the number 3 out of 4 children. Courtney died in a daycare accident. As I’ve mentioned, life was good.

By the way, just curious, what were you doing for work?

I was working at a rental car agency at an airport. That had a big play in what I was doing because I was working in the Denver area, it was Stapleton Airport. Especially during the height of our season, which is ski season, planes could be delayed. As a manager, I was responsible for staying until those planes landed, or I was responsible for being there early in the morning. I didn’t have a typical eight-hour shift. Many times, my shifts were 10, 12 hours. I would start at 6:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon and be there until midnight.

Her father was traveling as with his job, his career in sales. A traditional daycare didn’t work. I need to drop her off at 5:00 in the morning or pick her up at 2:00 AM. My parents didn’t live close enough to really help me out. We wound up finding a woman who was very much, I don’t think a bad person at all. She just made an error of judgment. She was like a grandmother. She was a grandmother because she had kids and she loved kids. However, her home was not licensed as a daycare. When we chose her, we knew that. We chose her because she was that grandmother that she cared for and that she was close to us and that it would work with our schedules. Because it was unlicensed, it wasn’t safe.

Unfortunately, we found out how unsafe it was. For me to get that phone call at work and the police telling me, “You need to get to the hospital. We’ll send a patrol to come get you or have a coworker drive you.” This was long before cell phones. This is more than 31 years. I couldn’t get ahold of her dad. I got ahold of my parents. My parents actually beat me to the hospital. When I pulled into that driveway, my coworker did all the illegal things, going through red lights, rush hour traffic. When we pulled into that driveway of the emergency room, my father was there and then another man. As soon as I got close enough to see the other man’s name tag, it said Chaplin. I knew instantly that Courtney was dead.

How tragic, how sad. Let’s talk about that. How did that impact your life at that time? Then we’ll talk about Connor. Did people understand the grieving process? Did they understand what that had to be like for you?

No, not really. I had some very close friends. Small, I would say 2, maybe 3 that were close enough to me who hung with me throughout this whole process and those who felt my pain. My mom and my sister were alive at the time. That made a huge difference and they supported me. There wasn’t the support that there is available now like people like myself as a grief coach or the books.

Child death was swept under the rug and you didn’t talk about it. That was very evident also with my ex-husband. He didn’t want to talk about her. He didn’t feel comfortable. It wasn’t until after I’d had three more children and my youngest daughter was about a year old that I was able to actually tell all three of them, my three additional children, that they had an older sister because their dad didn’t want to talk about it.

I had to do that for myself, and I wanted to make sure that they knew. I chose to tell them without their father’s permission. I felt that it was necessary because she was the elephant in the room. We’d go to an event with other friends and they’re like, “They can’t talk about Courtney.” It made it very difficult. I felt that I need to talk about her, and my kids need to know about her.

Now, it’s so different. People are encouraged to talk about their children. People are communicating with their children on the other side. People are doing all kinds of things. Let’s move on to Connor. What happened there and how was it different for you when you lost Connor?

This is very different. I can definitely tell you that, Irene. Connor made a decision, Connor chose suicide. As I’ve done so much research and my own experience, finding out, educating myself about suicide has made me understand it enough that I can accept it. He was 24. To me, he was facing 24-year-old young adult challenges, establishing his career and relationships, and moving. It was all these things that I was like, “They didn’t seem they were anything out of control.”

Sometimes, finding out and educating ourselves about suicide can make us understand it enough that we can accept it. Share on X

There were normal rite of passage types of things that he was doing.

There was some backstory that I found out later as I was researching and finding out some more. He had some other things that were going on. One day, something at work happened, and it got too heavy and then he took his life at work one day. Honestly, Irene, I don’t think you woke up on that Friday morning and said, “I think I’m going to kill myself.” I don’t think that’s what happened. I don’t think that’s what was on his thoughts. It was in the moment that maybe it had been ruminating through almost like, “Life is tough. I don’t know how to get out of this.” That event on that day pushed him over the edge.

It happened at work?

It happened at work.

Then you got a call?

Yes, I got a call. I was driving home in rush-hour traffic. Connor passed December 14th of 2018. I was in the middle of thinking about Christmas and then my world just got turned upside down. To go back to where he was, that flashback, it was like, “I’m in traffic again and I’m getting this phone call and I’m getting this horrible news that my son has not only passed away but he’s chosen suicide.”

It must have triggered you back to so many different things. You were inspired to become a grief coach in honor of Connor though. Why did that inspire you? Why do you call moving through grief to healing like walking across a rope bridge?

Irene, I think this is one of those things when we look back at on our life experiences and go, “A-ha, this has been preparing me for this moment for what I do.” As you’ve mentioned, I have degrees, Business Marketing and one in Exercise Science. That Exercise Science took me into personal training, so I’m very involved in health and wellness. I’ve coached people in personal training, I’ve done nutrition consulting, I’ve done bigger life wellness coaching. I have all that experience of working with people for change to move forward and find things that they want. I looked at that and said, “I have all this experience.”

The really big piece that inspired me to go through and start to work with and help mothers move through that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual suffering was to help them to live that fulfilling and productive life. It all started because I started journaling on Facebook. As odd as it seems, yes of course, I posted pictures of me in tears. I posted sad moments and how I was feeling.

When I looked about 4, 5, 6 months, I started seeing that my posts and the voice, what I mean by voice is how I was thinking wasn’t all bad. I was starting to share how I was starting to move through my grief and saying, “This was a bad day, but this is what I did.” Along that, I started having friends, family, and Facebook friends say, “This is amazing. You’re helping me. You need to write a book.”

How do you like moving through grief like walking across a rope bridge?

Again, to me, this is being outdoors and you have this rope bridge. If you think about a rope bridge that that the handrails are made out of rope, and a lot of times the footsteps are planks that are unstable and you swing back and forth in this rope ridge, and it goes up and down with the weight of things. To be able to cross this from one side of a ravine, which is where you were before this happened, the peace and joy, and then all of a sudden it becomes that sadness and then that grief, and taking and coming across that rope bridge to that other side where there’s hope and healing, and to be able to navigate that. It’s taking you from this desperation, despair, and grief, and walking across all the components of that bridge to come to the other side.

That really is a great analogy. It can feel very burdensome as it’s swinging back and forth and things are changing. I could really identify with that. I know you connected with Connor through a medium. How did that help you? Are you now able to connect with him on your own? Is he helping you now to help others?

Absolutely. This has been really quite interesting. A medium reading was gifted to me through one of my friends who said using a medium had helped her tremendously. It was interesting even as we started that first session, my girls were with me. We did it over the phone, and the phone was on the coffee table and the speaker was on.

The medium even told me, “You’ve got this already. You know how to connect with him,” which I found really interesting with that. It was very helpful because for me, it helped to answer some of those questions that we kept asking, and for his explanation to really give me some of that relief and peace and knowing that he does come.

The medium reading was several months because I really contemplated on it on whether or not to accept the gift. The day of his funeral, I got up and ran. I’d love to get out and run. There was a beautiful sunrise, and we shared the love of sunrises. I knew even that day that his presence was with me, that he gifted me with that sunrise.

Now, when you ask about how is he helping me to move through this, it’s because this is where I am. I’ve written one book, and the second one is wrapping up, being released, but knowing that through that medium, that he wants me and his sisters to carry on. I’m carrying on by helping other mothers who have experienced child loss by suicide. I got that message that he told me, “I’m not done.” He’s not done because he’s guiding me, and I know that he’s telling me. It’s like, “Mom, you got this. You’re helping others. You can do this. I’m not on Earth, but you’re doing this to help others because of me.”

That’s right, he’s your inspiration. I can totally relate. Could you tell us about your Grief to Healing Program, and how has it helped 1 or 2 mothers grieving the loss of their children to heal?

What I have taken is all my experience of that personal trainer and nutrition and the wellness, and then all the experience that I’ve gained in moving through the loss of two children. It’s not just my two children. I’ve had other losses in my family. Both my parents have passed away, my sister passed at 53. I’ve had cousins. I had a niece, actually, nine years prior to Connor’s death. She also took her life by suicide.

I’ve been exposed to a lot of death, a lot of grief, and have through the years brought together practical experience, tools, and resources to help people navigate that. That’s what’s inspired me to do this. The Grief to Healing is based on 30-plus years of going through this process, practical tools, proven tools, things that I know have worked for me and that they can work for another mom.

It sounds so perfect for that situation. You’re the person no one ever wants to call, but thank God you’re there. It sounds like to me. You’re second book is titled Survive Your Child Suicide: How to Move through Grief to Healing. Peggy, what do people need to know to be able to understand suicide? What would you like to tell everyone about your book?

Thank you. I personally found that learning about suicide and that big why, but also with that, knowing others with the who, what, when, where, how, and then wrapping up with the why was very helpful. Understanding why and the biggest takeaway that I can say from that why is that so many times is that our loved ones, our children are experiencing pain, physical, mental, emotional, maybe even spiritual, and they don’t know how to get out of it. They don’t know how to end it. The only resolution that they know is to end their life because that takes away the pain.

So many times, our loved ones are experiencing pain, physical, mental, emotional, and maybe even spiritual pain. And they don't know how to get out of it. The only resolution that they know is to end their lives because that takes away the pain. Share on X

Understanding that is huge because we ask, “Why didn’t they talk to me? Why didn’t I see the signs? Why didn’t I see the symptoms? Why?” Understanding just even that simple thing. The other thing is knowing that asking why is normal. I also truly believe that you’ve got to give up the sense of knowing the answer. You can come very close, but you will not know 100% why, and I think releasing that is huge because you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why.

It sounds to me one of the keys that you’re helping with people with is acceptance.

Yes, ma’am.

They can’t change it but they’re learning to accept it. Tell us what you’d like to tell people about your book. Why should they grab that book right from wherever they can get it and get that book?

Irene, you’ve mentioned the three phases of grief to healing. Acceptance is actually my first phase. I very much so found that it was very important to learn to accept what had happened. It came very much into light with Connor, but when I look back and hindsight’s 20/20, that I learned to accept that this had happened for all the other family that have gone before me. To be able to accept that and things like, “What would they want me to do? How would they want me to carry on?” Yes, acceptance is a huge piece, and I start with that. As you’ve mentioned, talk about fear.

Let’s talk about fear because the pain of healing causes people to become paralyzed, stuck, and unable to move forward. You say there are five types of fear. Please talk about that.

One of the things with acceptance is sometimes you can have this fear of letting go. You’re not letting go of the memory. You’re letting go of feeling responsible that you did something. The fear of letting go can also make you feel like, “If I let go, I’m going to not remember my loved one. I’m not going to remember my child.” That’s not the truth. That fear is stopping you. You will always remember them, but you deserve to move forward and carry on with your life.

GAR 102 | Child Suicide

Child Suicide: Sometimes, the fear of letting go is mistaken as forgetting the person we lost, but that’s not true. You will always remember them, but you also deserve to move forward and carry on with your life.

We have that fear of healing. You can be in this place of pain and grief but then go, “I don’t want to face what it takes to heal because it’s going to hurt.” You’re going to hurt here, but by going through that, you’re going to get better. The best analogy I can give you with on that, and I love analogies, is if you break your arm. You fall down, slip on the ice, and you break your arm. You consult someone, you get X-rays, you get a sling, then you get a cast. You go and have that taken care of. If you didn’t get taken care of, you wouldn’t heal. It’s necessary to get that done.

Let’s say you had to have surgery. That can be painful, but ultimately in the end, you know that you’re going to be better after you go through that surgery. That’s the same thing when it comes to your healing and the fear of the unknown, “What’s going to happen? How am I going to feel? How am I going to respond?” We don’t have control over everything. Sometimes, it’s letting things be organic to be able to give you that chance to move through it. The thing is that through my grief coaching, you learn how to handle those things when they come up to give you tools and resources.

The fear of judgment, you’re darned if you’re doing, you’re darned if you don’t. Let’s just take for example, if I’m healing and somebody finds me out running or playing pickleball or doing something fun. Then what happens is like, “Shouldn’t you be home grieving? I’m judging you, you’re happy.” Or the other end is people in today’s society expect us to move through our losses. It’s like, “You should be over this by now. Aren’t you done?” There are both sides of that judgment, the fear of being judged or the fear of expressing your emotions. It’s like, “What’s somebody going to say? I’m at work and I’m crying. I’m at the grocery store and the song that came over the PA system just triggered me.” The fear of those judgments, being able to address that.

One of the others, and I don’t think I ever experienced this, it’s not something that stuck with me, but the fear of losing another loved one. I have seen too many times, and I think more so with suicide because of that choice that somebody made that a parent, a mother now may become so afraid that one of their other children is going to do the same. That fear can drive everything. It can drive your relationship. It can become an event, where you’re constantly with a child becoming a helicopter mom because you’re fearing that another child is going to do something or another loved one is going to be involved in an accident. That puts you on edge.

These fears are just crazy fears. I help you to address those and have the tools. If they come up again, then you can navigate them. To me, we’ll swing back to that rope bridge. With acceptance, we’re on the side where things are ugly and cold and dank. You see on the other side, this hope, and you start to take a step forward. Once you hit on that rope bridge, that’s where it gets scary.

Think of this, it’s like you’re looking down, the walls are steep, there’s water. You don’t know if you’re going to be able to make that next step. You have that fear. I think that I equate to so much about the rope bridge, and fear is in that middle portion where you’re having to navigate this. The hope that you see on that other side helps to drive you forward. You may take a step forward and two steps back and three, but you’re still navigating it and being able to move, and knowing that you’re going to go through some pain and face some obstacles. There’s that hope on the other side.

GAR 102 | Child Suicide

Child Suicide: Like rope bridges, fear is in that middle portion where you’re having to navigate this. But the hope that you see on that other side helps to drive you forward.

I would think that working with you, you would be the hope on the other side because they see how you made it through. Now, they’re in the middle of that rope and they go, “She made it through and she’s helping me. I can do this too.” I would think that that would be a great key to that. Could you also talk to us about recovery? You say the third phase to move through Grief to Healing is recovery. I know you took a three-week road trip after your son died, which was the beginning of your journey to healing and recovery. Everyone’s got their own way to do that, but do you want to tell us, share that with us?

Absolutely. I tell you, one of the best things was this road trip, and I look at it with positive memories. I just knew personally that I needed to do something. I needed to get out of town. I needed to do some recovery. I actually coined it my road trip to recovery. I planned a road trip by myself without my dog because I wanted to have that flexibility to stop when I wanted, where I wanted. I did have some places I had chosen for hotels. I stayed anything from a sketchy bed and breakfast to a better Airbnb, to a hotel because they were in the stops that I wanted to be.

Frequently, I would stop and hike, and journal when I hiked and really started to express my feelings. That road trip was absolutely amazing because I felt when I came back, I at least had a sense of where I was going. Connor passed away in December. This road trip is in March. It was right around his birthday. It was important for me to do that, and so much healing came out of it.

You pulled yourself out of it. You pulled yourself away from the judgment and all of that.

I really did. One of those things is that talking about that judgment like, “You’re a single woman, you’re going to go by yourself?” I’m like, “Yes, this is about me.” Actually, I tossed it out to a girlfriend and asked her if she wanted to go, and then I uninvited her. She understood because I decided, “This is about me. It’d be great to have a road trip with you. Let’s plan that for another time, but this road trip was about me and I needed that solitude.”

It sounds like recovery. Your recovery was the beginning of self-care, really caring about yourself through this horrible tragedy. Do you want to talk about that, how that’s important for all of this?

Circling back around to who I’ve been in my life experiences, in my formal training, this personal trainer, it’s recovery. I’ve considered myself a wholistic grief coach. Let me make sure that you look at that as a W, as a wholistic with a W because it’s the whole body, mind, spirit encompassing. I like to include the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual.

As a personal trainer educated in Exercise Science, I know the impact that exercise has on the physical body, but then also the mental body. To know that if we’re not exercising and producing hormones, then our mind’s not going to function. I know that if we don’t exercise, that our immune systems weaken. If we ate poorly, then it weaken our immune system, and then depression can worsen. Our thoughts can worsen if we don’t have a connection with a higher power.

For me, that connection is gone, but you can have a connection with whatever you call your higher power, that it is so interrelated. If you were to heal just one area, you’re missing the opportunity to be a full person with a fulfilling and productive life. I feel so strongly that it’s a wholistic grief recovery to be able to move forward. Honestly, Irene, with some of my clients that I’ve worked with is that when we’ve gone through the program, they have actually come out on the end of that program, and even a much better place than they were prior to losing their loved one.

If you were to heal just one area, you're missing the opportunity to be a full person with a fulfilling and productive life. It takes a holistic grief recovery to be able to move forward. Share on X

You probably put them in a touch with pieces they weren’t even aware with, or aware of yet.

Absolutely.

This is really important to me. Could you please describe some of the lifelong physical and mental problems not dealing with grief can cause in a person’s life? Why should they go through that rope bridge to the other side? What will most likely happen if we don’t deal with our stuff?

I have seen this too many times, as well. I would love to help everybody, but people need to be in a place that they want to be able to move forward and live that fulfilling life. I believe that our loved ones want us to continue and want us to carry on. Also, just a sidebar here, Irene, death is part of the circle of life. We are meant to die. There’s no guarantee, especially with children, that there’s a certain order. Somehow or rather along the line, we’ve come up with this expectation that it’s all chronological. Old people die before young people. I tell you that is an expectation that is unrealistic. It’s hard to swallow, but when we can even recognize that, that makes a difference.

If you don’t deal with it, it trips you up in other ways down the line.

It trips you up. Because of that, then physically, like I’ve mentioned, you can get sick. I do know that stress causes free radicals to be exposed in our bodies and that weakens your immune system. Then that can lead to other ailments, anything from the common cold and flu to inflammation, chronic diseases, and even can lead into cancer because your body is weakened. That’s a travesty.

You’ve been through enough. Your family has been through enough. That’s one that I look at. It can impact your weight. It can lead to diabetes. It can lead to heart issues, cholesterol issues. If you’re not moving, if you’re not eating, you can just see your health decline, your physical health. Then mentally, if you are in a state of depression, and that you don’t have a tribe, that you’re not living life as it’s intended. We are not intended to live life sad.

If I go back to how old I was when Courtney died, and if I’d lived another 50 years and I stayed sad, that would be a sorry state of living for me. That’s one of the things that propels me forward. How could I live in that state? What kind of life do I want for myself and for those around me? If I choose to move forward, that’s great. If I don’t, then imagine spending 30 years tucked onto a couch, maybe going to work and not having any love, any connection, and mentally it can spiral downward.

Ask yourself, what kind of life do you want for yourself and for those around you? Share on X

How about the impact on all your other loved ones? You’re going to bring them right down with you.

Absolutely. That’s one of the things, when I ask people, “What kind of impact are you having?” If you are able to set that example and move forward, and what I do, I turn the tables. Let’s think about this, if I were to die and Connor was still here, what would I expect him to do? Live, honor me, move forward, enjoy life, enjoy it, live it as it’s meant to be. That’s what I ask my clients, “What’s life supposed to be for you?” It’s a huge difference. Yes, you deserve it. It’s okay, you’re meant to move forward.

Tell us about you have a free grief breakthrough session. You have a customized grief coaching program for both individuals and groups. You have Thursday Thoughts, and you have a downloadable report about suicide. Tell us about all these blessings that you have to offer to people who are going through all of this.

Irene, thank you. One of the things is that Connor was saying, “Mom, you’ve got people you need to help.” My gift is to help people understand suicide because I knew the difference it made for me. If you want a free downloadable report, just go to WhySuicide.com. Then me, and this is a play on word, but remember this, The Grief Specialist. I’ve mentioned all of my experience and what I’ve been exposed to. I really do feel I have been through so much, and that my experiences, my tools that I’ve developed, I’ve gained over the years, can work for you. The Grief Specialist, if you go there, there are plenty of opportunities to schedule your free grief breakthrough session.

Really, it’s a connection for you to get the feel what grief coaching is about because it’s diametrically different than therapy. Therapy focuses so much on the past, and so much of it is talk therapy. As a grief coach, I focus on action, and how to face things when they come up in the future. If you’ve not ever experienced it before, this is the opportunity to do that. There’s no obligation. It’s a time to connect and see if this is something that’s going to work for you.

The big question for you is like, “Am I ready? Am I ready to move forward? Am I ready to live that fulfilling and productive life with somebody who’s been through it?” I’ve walked in your shoes. I’ve been there with a nine-month-old by accident. I’ve been there with a 24-year-old through suicide, and then multiple other family losses in between.

This is your opportunity to really connect and see how it works and if you are ready. Like I said, so many people that I work with come in with it, and they are grieving. That’s to be expected, but after the program, they come out and they have some purpose. They’re helping others and they’re helping themselves, they’re having relationships with their families, that their life, they are able to envision it. Through the whole program, until you’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to it, you don’t know.

What are these Thursday thoughts you have?

I mentioned that I had blogged for a year on Facebook. Rather than continuing to blog every day, I consolidate to once a week where I send out my Thursday Thoughts and the things that come up anywhere from, “I still feel my emotions.” I still have days when I grieve, that I cry. I’m caught in the car, a song comes on, or a picture that I see every day, sparks a memory. I still grieve. It’s my Thursday Thoughts and again how I’m going through and sharing the tools and tips that I’m finding. You can get that also on The Grief Specialist and it says just sign up for that at TheGriefSpecialist.com.

That’s the best way for people to contact you in general, right?

Yes, that’s the best way to contact me in general. As my book is coming out, we’ll be putting that up on my website as well. September is a tough month. It’s National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. I felt that this was just a really inappropriate time to reach out and help other grieving moms. My book will be available to help them with this.

I tell you, if you are reading this, I just want to speak to your guests, your audience here. This may or may not be for you this story about suicide and how I’ve come through it, but we have so many people, especially as we’re in this pandemic. We’re hearing more and more about suicide deaths. A child can be 10 years old, or a child may be 40 or 50. A mom is still grieving their loss.

If this story resonates with you, please share it. Share it with somebody that you think will get something from it. That they’ll learn something. That they’ll learn how one tip or we can give them that step across that rope bridge. I really want you to share this with them. As Irene has done such a fantastic job of bringing these resources to you, this is another resource. Nobody, no mother, needs to grieve alone. We’re not meant to do this alone. We have a tribe. We have people that can help us. This is really important. I appreciate Irene for bringing this together. She does an amazing job.

Thank you so much, Peggy. With that, you’ve just given me tremendous joy. What is your tip for finding joy in life?

I think really just realizing that life is short and that learning to laugh every day, learning to laugh at ourselves, and being intentional with way we live our life. I hear people that just wake up every day and they don’t have a purpose. Your purpose doesn’t have to be becoming a grief coach and writing books, but if you have a purpose and just even helping somebody every day, making somebody else’s day by letting them in traffic, opening the door, buying them their coffee, saying something simple, texting, “I love you or you’re the greatest.” Really giving others joy helps us to have joy. One of my mentors in my nutrition business always says that if you’re having a tough day, take the focus off you and put it on others by helping others because that gives you joy because you’ve helped somebody else.

Peggy, that’s beautiful. Thank you for all that you do to help others on their rope bridge journeys from devastating loss to healing and rebirth, exemplified by this memorable quote from your inspiring book. Here is the quote that just spoke to me, “Death and loss are part of the circle of life and a painful reality. It is guaranteed to happen to everyone at some time. People react to it uniquely and the effects may remain for months or years. It is your response to loss that impacts your ability to live a fulfilling and productive life. You have a choice. Listen to the needs of your body and your soul.”

GAR 102 | Child Suicide

Child Suicide: Death and loss are part of the circle of life and painful reality. It is guaranteed to happen to everyone at some time. It is your response to loss that impacts your ability to live a fulfilling and productive life.

Thank you, Peggy, for courageously role-modeling your healing journey from grief to recovery and inspiring others to do likewise. I thank you from my heart for this really touching and insightful interview. Make sure to follow us and like us on social, @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and especially on YouTube. Like, subscribe, and hit notify to make sure you’ll get inspiring new interviews like this one with Peggy coming your way. Thank you so much. As I like to say, to be continued, many blessings and bye for now.

 

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