In this first Skype interview for the podcast, I had a lengthly conversation with ER nurse Haley Harris-Bloom about her development of a new app to help individuals navigate their own unique grief processes.
After the death of two of her cousins and her best friend in a short span, Haley began to research the different methods of coping with grief and loss only to find a dearth in literature and support that was specific to her needs, which ultimately lead to her deciding to collect all the helpful elements into one interactive App that helps one deal with the day to day self-care that is essential in the face of a loss.
The App itself, GriefGuide, is still in it's initial KickStarter Phase.
In this long awaited episode, I finally got a chance to interview Comedian and AUTHOR Laurie Kilmartin!
Laurie's father had terminal cancer, and she dealt with part of it by live-tweeting her father’s time in hospice and her grieving process after his passing. She ultimately turned those tweets into a special entitled "45 Jokes About My Dead Dad." She then subsequently wrote a book about the same experience, called "Dead People Suck," which is equally as amazing as her special, and perhaps the first ever Comedy-Grief book on the market.
Get her book, "Dead People Suck" Right now!
Subscribe to Laurie's own podcast 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, 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 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
In this episode, Jordon sits down with Comedian Jen Mutascio, who lost her father to stomach cancer 17 years ago. In that time she's had to learn how to get along without her guiding force. We talk about how doing material about heavy topics have to be VERY funny if they are to be successful, and how honesty on stage is always unmistakable.
Follow Jen on Twitter @JenMutascio
In this episode, Jordon sits down with bartender Alissa Atkinson, whose brother James died three years ago in a freak motorcycle accident.
We talk about the difficulty of denial versus acceptance, what it means to have a vested interest in wanting to believe in otherworldly energies, and how to cope with stupid questions and/or comments that people make.
You can visit Alissa behind the bar at Precious Metal in Bushwick most nights,
Precious Metal is located at 143 Troutman St in brooklyn
Follow them on Twitter @PreciousMetalBar
Follow Alissa on Instagram @AlissaMayNot
In this episode, Jordon sits down with author Dr. Meryl Ain, who, along with her husband and brother, have written a book called "The Living Memories Project; Legacies that Last." The book is a collection of personal stories from people from every walk of life, and many types of loss represented, describing the ways in which they honor their lost loved ones, and carry their spirits forward with them.
We talk about how important it is to continue our relationships with those we have lost, and especially how helpful and healing it can be to reach out and help others along in their own journeys towards acceptance and hope.
A Living Memories Project Journal has also been recently published to encourage you to find ways to tell your own story.
Purchase the book from AMAZON HERE
CLICK HERE to go to the Facebook Page.
Follow her on twitter @DrMerylAin
In this episode, Jordon Sits down with Bill Williams, Bill an accomplished director, theater teacher/acting coach, leader of creativity workshops, freelance writer, and addiction advocate. Bill's son William died of a drug overdose on December 2nd, 2012, and since that time Bill and his wife have pledged to do all they can to raise awareness about the disease of addiction and help to erase the stigma of talking about it.
In addition, Bill was also one of MY theater teachers when i was in high school, so this was a very full-circle moment that I had interviewing him.
Read about what Bill is up to at http://billwilliamsblog.blogspot.com/
and Find out info about his "Where There's a Will" Fund at https://www.facebook.com/WhereTheresAWillFund
In this episode Jordon interviews Jeff Glasse, comedian and entrepreneur. Jeff's mother died of cancer when we was just 21 years old, and nearly 20 years later, his brother Joey met the same fate.
We talk about how experiencing grief early in life helped prepare Jeff for the losses he would experience as an adult.
We also talk about the importance of acknowledging and being grateful for having had certain experiences in the face of also being devastated by the knowledge that we will never have them again.
In this episode, Jordon talks with Filmmaker Molly Gandour, who was just 10 years old when her 14 year old sister Aimee died of childhood leukemia. 16 years later, working in the film industry, Molly decided to make a documentary about her own discovery and ultimate ownership of her own experience of the facts that lead to the death of her sister. The film, Peanut Gallery, follows Molly back to her childhood home as she begins to talk with her parents very openly about what happened. The film has intimate conversations at home, at the dinner table as well as family therapy sessions, and features the kind of archival footage that most families have.
In this interview, Jordon and Molly cover a lot of topics related to sibling grief, as well as what it's like to tell ones story publicly.
Follow Molly on Twitter @PeanutGallery94
Check out the trailer and get up to date info on the film at PeanutGalleryDoc.com
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Joe Fernandes, who is still reeling after the death of his father earlier this year, at the age of 65.
We talk about how important it is to have people in your life you can talk to about it, as well as the double edged sword to working on material about the loss to an audience.
Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeFernandes75
Listen to his podcast, "Now What" with Mike Gaffney here:
In this episode, Jordon talks with comedian Ajai Raj, whose best friend Jacob took his own life 6 years ago. We talk about the dangers of depression, and how strongly suicide can affect the people beyond just one's family. We also talk about who is allowed to grieve, and how difficult it can be to incorporate ideas about death and grief into comedy.
Ajai has a podcast of his own as well called "Notes From a Void." Subscribe here!
Follow him on Twitter @SaintAjaiRaj
In this episode Jordon sits down with comedian Geoff Kole, whose mother died of cancer when he was still in high school, and whose father died more recently, if you consider 10 years ago recent.
With all the ups and downs that come in the grief process, Geoff has seemingly taken everything in stride, and truly exemplifies the notion that the show must go on.
Learn more about Geoff and where to catch him live at http://geoffkole.com/
In this episode, Jordon sits down with comedian Kevin Bartini. Kevin's brother Andrew was killed in a car accident 16 years ago, only a few years into his battle with multiple sclerosis. Having been dealing with his grief for this long, Kevin has found a very positive perspective about life, and about death.
In addition to being the warmup comic for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Kevin is an accomplished actor. Find out more about what he's doing at http://KevinBartini.com
Follow him on twitter @kevinbartini
Also, please go to http://RussellFerberFoundation.org for more info on my families foundation, and this years benefit show on Wednesday, June 24th.
This week Jordon sits down with fellow comedian and actor, John Mooney who recently lost both his parents, essentially becoming an orphan at the same time as he is learning how to be a good father himself.
Even though we expect to outlive our parents, it is still difficult to navigate the world without them. This discussion, while somewhat heavy, is an interesting look at the issues that can come up when life gets turned upside down.
This episode of Where's The Grief, Jordon sits down with fellow comedian Jay Nog to talk about the loss of his best friend to suicide.
In addition to a full stand up comedy schedule and the producer of a podcast of his own (Childhood Memories), Jay also runs an annual fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org) and helps raise awareness about suicide, and how to spot the warning signs.
Jay reminds us that it is not always just the family members of those who die who hurt.