In this special episode, I report from the 41st National Compassionate Friends Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Compassionate Friends is an international self-help support group that provides resources and to families who have lost a child, a grandchild or a sibling. As a bereaved sibling myself, it is the national conference and my local meetings that were the most helpful part of my healing process, and ultimately spurred me to do this podcast in the first place.
This episode features conversations with Zander Sprague, Garrett McCormick and Heather Horsely.
Zander has a podcast of his own focused on sibling grief called The Lemonade Stand, as well as a book about sibling loss called "Making Lemonade." Find his podcast and his book at ZanderSprague.com
Heather Horsely runs the Open To Hope Foundation with her family. Her sister Heidi and her mother Gloria are the faces of Open to Hope, but Heather also plays an integral role in producing a TV and Radio show, as well as countless articles and other resources for people dealing with loss. Go to OpenToHope.com to get the Hope YOU need.
The Compassionate Friends has local chapters all over the country, as well as a number of closed Facebook groups dedicated to specific types of loss. Go to CompassionateFriends.org to see if there's a chapter near you!
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Keenan Steiner to talk about life after the death of his mother nearly 2 years ago to breast cancer.
We talk about the different coping mechanisms we use to deal with the myriad of feelings that come up after a loss, and how to ultimately be functional without being insensitive to what we conceive as minor grievances.
Follow Keenan on IG @keenstartrillionaire
Check out all other things Keenan at his website HERE.
In this episode, I sat down with comedian and recent author Kelly Lynn! Kelly's husband Don died of a sudden heart attack 7 years ago, and over the last 5 years, Kelly has been working on her newly published book about her loss, "My Husband is Not a Rainbow," Now available on Amazon and Kindle.
We talk about the importance of community, and how refreshing it is to normalize the ways we talk about grief and loss so that we can move forward. We also talk about how much humor there is in the process of grieving, and how laughing at the darkest parts of ourselves helps guide us back into the light.
Follow Kelly online at http://www.ripthelifeiknew.com
Buy her book on Amazon!
Here's a link to Camp Widow
In this episode, I sat down with comedian, actor and fellow podcaster Dante Nero!
Dante has his own podcast, The Beige Phillip Show, focused on dating and relationships, but Dante and his crew talk about all aspects of life, and all types of relationships, including familial.
6 years after the death of his father and two years after the death of his mother, Dante shares his thoughts about how to reconcile his love for his parents with his animosity towards how they treated him. We talk about finding ways to be the best version of ourselves, and how important forgiveness is, even when you just give it to yourself.
Follow Dante on Instagram @TheDanteNero
Check out his podcast here!
For everything else Dante related, check his website! DanteNero.com
In this episode, Jordon sits down with veteran comedian Ross Bennett to talk about the death of his first wife, over 30 years ago. We talk about how men are taught to deal with grief, as well as how performers harness their truths to create connections and find ways to move forward in both their lives and careers.
Ross just released his second album via Stand Up Records, "Not if You Were The Last Man on Earth." https://standuprecords.com/products/ross-bennett
Stand Up Records produces some of the best comedy albums in the biz, including several former podcast guests. Check out their whole catalogue at https://standuprecords.com
Find out more about all that Ross does at RossBennett.com
In this episode, I sat down with my good friend and comedian Danny Lobell! Danny is unquestionably one of the the original comedy podcasters, and quite possibly the reason I have this podcast myself. We talk about the loss of Danny's first love to a rare form of cancer, and the trials and tribulations that come with having to say goodbye to someone who is desperately trying to hang on. We also talk about the loss of one of Danny's best friends and mentor's, the late comedian Ralphie May.
Follow all things Danny at DannyLobell.com
In this episode, Jordon talks with comedian and podcaster Dan Lamorte! In advance of this taping, Dan felt that he may not have had the amount of loss usually featured on this show, but upon sitting down it seemed as though he actually had quite a bit of personal loss, despite some of it being other than close loved ones. We talk about a multitude of types of loss, from friends to extended family members, to careers, relationships, and ultimately about the loss of ones self.
Follow Dan and all that he does at http://www.danlamorte.com
In this episode, I sat down to talk with comedian Stacy Kendro about the various losses that she has had in her life, and the ways in which they have brought her appreciate the life that she has.
Stacy has lost both of her parents to cancer, and both of them went out of their ways to shield her from their illnesses, giving her less than a week to process the diagnosis before they were gone.
Since then, Stacy has found ways to acknowledge their absence while still being acutely aware of their respective impacts on her life moving forward.
Follow Stacy and find out more about what shes up to at http://stacykendro.blogspot.com/
In this episode, I sat down with comedian Harris Stanton. Despite dealing with a number of losses, the greatest one was that of his friend and mentor Patrice. We talk about how to move on after losing one's guide, as well as how to carry the lessons we've learned forward with us.
Additionally, we touch briefly on the car accident that Harris was involved in that left Tracy Morgan and Ardie Fuqua in coma's and Jimmy Mack dead. Harris may have walked away with but a few scratches, but he also has vivid memories of the accident and it's aftermath that have stayed with him.
Check out what Harris is up to at https://www.facebook.com/harris.stanton
Get his album "Naive Innocence" from Itunes!
In this episode, Jordon sits down with one of his good friends from college, Kendra, who lost her brother Scott to suicide nearly 6 years ago, while Kendra herself was 7 months pregnant with her second child.
We talk about the difficulty of overcoming the stigma in talking about suicide and mental health, and the importance of understanding that depression is a disease that we ought to stop sweeping under the rug.
We also talk about the importance of gratitude, and how appreciating what we have in front of us can help gain a perspective on what we've been through.
Happy New Year to everyone, I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018 . . .
In this episode I sat down with Harriet Cabelly, author of the book, "Living Well Despite Adversity."
In her book, Harriet has compiled 36 separate interviews with people from all walks of life, each of whom has been dealt an otherwise unwinnable hand and turned it into a opportunity to serve as an example to others that we can always triumph over our situation with strong choices and unwavering followthrough.
We talk about the importance of acceptance, and giving ones self permission to feel, be it joy or despair.
Find out more about Harriet at her website Rebuild Life Now
Jordon sits down with voice over artist Bill Ratner, known for dozens of voices you've heard before on TV and radio, yet most famous (at least to Jordon) as the voice of Flint on the popular cartoon G.I. Joe.
Before finding success as an artist and a storyteller, Bill essentially became an orphan at an early age, losing his mother at 7, his brother at 13, and his father just 3 months after that.
For over 50 years, Bill has found ways to continually strive to bask in the light, driven by the loving and supportive environment he enjoyed for far too little time.
We talk about the helpful nature of various forms of therapy, and how our loved ones find ways to reach out and continue to be a force in our lives.
Follow Bill on Twitter @BillRatner
Check him out online and find out where you can see him live! http://billratner.com/
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Jonas Barnes, who has dealt with multiple losses over the course of his life, but can track most of his ways of coping with life to the death of his father when he was just 13 years old. Now having outlived his dad (who died of a possible drug overdose) Jonas has a unique perspective on addiction and depression that have helped shape his view of both himself and the struggles we all face as we move through different phases of living. We talk about how to learn from our pasts in taking ownership of our futures, as well as the importance of being able to say Fuck when it really matters.
Jonas is also about to start his own podcast focused on addiction and mental health at large called The Process (keep an eye out as it's not been released yet)
Follow him on Twitter or Facebook @JonasBarnes
Follow him on Instagram at @JonasBarnesComedy
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Doug Hildemann, who lost his wife Kelly a little over a year ago. We talk about how difficult it is to find places to work towards moving forward, while still carrying our past with us.
To find out more about where Doug is performing, check out his FB comedy page, entitled, "Not Doug Hildemann's Comedy Page or Anything."
Episode 50 is here!
I'm so excited that I made it to 50 episodes, and I commemorated it by recording this show LIVE at the Zinc Bar in the West Village in NYC!
I changed up the format of the show a little bit to showcase some of my favorite prior guests who actually have material in their acts about loss, followed by a panel discussion on what it's like to do that type of material, and where the desire to connect with an audience can lead you!
Featuring comedy from Janice Messitte, who lost her husband two weeks after their wedding. Follow her on FB to find out where she's performing next!
Evan Williams lost his brother when he was 19, and his mother just a year later. Check him out online and follow him on twitter and instagram! https://evanwilliamscomedy.com/
Frank Liotti, in addition to his many live performances around the city (which can be found at his website - FrankLiotti.com ) also has a podcast of his own called FAT PIG, which he co-hosts with Jessica Kirson. Listen and subscribe here!
Follow him on Twitter @Frank_Liotti
Here we go again!
In the second installment of a special 2 part episode, Jordon talks more about The Compassionate Friends LIVE from their 40th National Conference in Orlando Florida.
This episode features a couple brief interviews with both Tracy Milne Edgemon, as well as her mother, Bobbi Milne talking about their experiences at the conference, and how they differed this time around based on new circumstances.
Also featured is the key note speech from the Sunday closing ceremony of the conference, delivered by Jennifer Perez of the Miami chapter.
This episode is very focused on The Compassionate Friends, a self help support group for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. If you are looking for support, it is always available. Find a local meeting or online support today by going to The Compassionate Friends website and reaching out.
In this very special episode, Jordon interviews a number of people at the 40th Annual Compassionate Friends Conference in Orlando, FL.
Jordon follows up with a couple former podcast guests on their experiences at the national conference, Keith Singer (Episode 3) and Alan Pederson (Episode 14) as well as sits down for a more extended interview with Luci Abrahamson to talk about how much being a part of TCF, and a leader at the National Conferences has impacted her path towards healing herself and others.
This is part 1 of 2 Live From the Conference, and it's all leading up to the 50th Episode, which will be taped LIVE in front of an audience at Zinc Bar on August 27th!
Check out the event page on our FB page and get tickets now!
Use Promo Code RUSSELL when buying tickets, and they're FREE!
This episode was a long time coming! Jordon Sits down with comedian Michael Sommerville to talk about the journey he's been on since the death of his brother Paul in 1997. As a baby, Paul had to undergo brain surgery, the complications of which ultimately led to his death. Now, almost 20 years later Michael felt like it was time to talk about it.
We talk about the importance of following your own path, and the ways in which priorities shift after a significant loss. We also talk about how to appreciate the little things along the way.
Check out Michael online at
Also, be sure to check out his new webseries called How to (blank) a man!
In this episode, Jordon sits down with fellow podcaster and comedian Keith Price. Keith's mother suffered from alzheimer's disease as well as dementia later in her life, which ultimately took her life. Finally Keith would have the time to spend with his father and have the relationship that he always wanted with him. Except that his father died just 6 weeks later. Despite not having the time to really enjoy it, Keith did manage to make the most of his final days.
We talk about how important community is, and how having friends who let us be ourselves make the journey back into the light bearable. We also talk about how and why we laugh in tough moments, and how healing it can be to take a step back from the immediacy of a loss and point out the ridiculousness of the human experience.
Check out Keith's Podcast, KEITH PRICE'S CURTAIN CALL and revel in his love and experience with the NYC theater elite.
In this episode, Jordon talks to fellow comedian Geno Bisconte. 10 years after losing both his parents to cancer Geno reflects on how lucky and grateful he is to have had the upbringing he had, and the support system that continues to sustain him. We talk about how important it is to laugh at the darker sides of life, and how going through a loss of this kind of magnitude broadens the human experience, and actually makes you more complete.
To find out more about everything Geno, check out his website and follow ALL the Links!
In this episode, Jordon welcomes back to the podcast, Magician, Clown and all around Showman Nelson Lugo!
Nelson originally sat down with Jordon in episode 20 to discuss the issues surrounding the death of his father and his grandmother.
Now he's back after having put together a new one person show that ultimately ended u being more about his mother, much to his own surprise.
We also talk about the loss of the Big Apple Circus and Barnum And Bailey, and what will replace it as The Greatest Show On Earh. (could it be this show?!)
Find out more about what Nelson's been up to and when he's putting his show up again at http://nelsonlugo.com/
In this special episode, Jordon sits down with comedian and fellow podcaster Chris Calogero!
Chris' roomate Amy (also a comedian) committed suicide several years ago, which prompted him to start a podcast of his own, talking to other comedians about death, depression and loss. Jordon and Chris have a lot in common in the ways in which they have processed their grief, and are both making strides to start honest conversations about some of the heavier topics that crop up in life.
We talk a lot about just how healing it can be just to talk openly about issues related to grief and loss, and how gratifying it can be to actually create comedy out of the darkess.
Chris's Podcast is called "Mourning Coffee Podcast" and it can be found on iTunes HERE
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Allan Fuks to talk about the death of his best friend Sam to suicide.
We talk about the difficultly of acceptance, both of who you are as a person, as well as the realities of life, and how the ever-evolving nature of these concepts impacts how we deal with trauma.
Allan has his own podcast called "The Week in Sex" - check out all the goings on here.
Follow Allan on Twitter here!
In this episode Jordon sits down with Comedian Julianna Meagher to talk about the death of her sister to cancer 4 years ago. We talk about how often we have to comfort others when they are faced with our truths, and how empowering it can often be to actually make others uncomfortable.
We also talk about the pressures of being the only sibling left, and how managing ones parents can be overwhelming on ones own.
Follow Julianna on Twitter @JuliannaMeagher
Chris Monty joins Jordon in the studio to talk about the loss of his mother, and about the ways in which he has managed to keep her in his life.
We talk about spirituality, and the line we walk between faith and WANTING to believe, as well as the real value of a dime.
As it happens, Chris' mother, along with both of her sisters were diagnosed with cancer, and survived their initial bouts, prompting them to create the Three Strohm Sisters Foundation, a non-profit that is dedicated to continuing the fight against cancer.
Learn more about the Three Strohm Sisters here!
Follow everything Chris Monty at his website, ChrisMontyLive.com