Our 2018-02-15 episode will be a very personal show; one that you many or may not be able to relate to; the loss of a loved one. Host Alex Fullick will speak about his and his brother’s personal journey and experiences dealing with the death of their father. Though somewhat expected when an individual is their later years, the loss of a loved one can still leave people unprepared and unable to deal with the heartfelt loss of loosing their loved ones. It’s not an easy subject to talk about, let alone share with an international audience but the show will walk listeners through a personal journey of dealing with the aftermath of being notified that your loved one is no longer with you. Alex found that there was more things to do and think about when such an event occurs – and discovered he was completely unprepared. This show will speak to your heart, as you think of your own loved ones.
Many years ago, when I was beginning my career as a Rabbi, the phone rang in my study.
The following conversation took place:
She: Hello, Rabbi, I have some terrible news (she said, crying)
Me: What happened?
She: Â My dog died. When can we have the funeral?
Me: (as gently as I could) Ruthie, I’m so sorry for your dog’s death. We don’t have funerals for animals, we only have them for humans.
She: (as if she didn’t hear what I just told her, she was in shock): I know, but when can we have the funeral?
The conversation continued, until she finally understood.
Part of me wondered why she didn’t “get it,” and part of me wondered why I didn’t “get it.”
I grew up with dogs. I loved them, I hugged them, I cuddled with them, I even got up at 5AM to walk them. I cried when one of them got run over and died, and I cried when the neighbor said our dog was too loud, and we had to give him away. I knew exactly how Ruthie felt.
So why was this such a moment of anxiety for me?
Answer: I was unwilling to symbolize the loss of her dog. My tradition said no funerals for animals, and that was that.
Today, I know better.
Today I know that when there arise life-and-death situations which remind us of how little real control we have in our lives, we create religious (or other) rituals to take back some of that control. It’s not everything, but it’s something. And it makes us feel better. Like when we return from a funeral.
Pets are members of our families, sometimes they are the only ones we can talk to when we need emotional help. Parents can be…well, you know what parents can be, because all of us had parents and most of us are parents.
So our animals were our best friends. All they wanted and needed was to be loved, period.
Today, I would absolutely officiate at a funeral for a pet, because I am older asd wiser, and I “get it” in a way that I did not when I was starting out as a young Rabbi
My guest this week, Judy Wright (“Auntie Artichoke”), is a pet loss expert. She will chat with us about why we used to treat our pets worse than our family members. She’s a hoot, like we used to say growing up, and you’ll love her!
I can’t wait to hear what has to say.
Join us– this Thursday at 5PM PST on VoiceAmerica Empowerment.
I’ll be listening for you!
THE EMPTY CHAIR AT THE HOLIDAY TABLE
The festive holiday tables were filled once with the loved ones who have been a part of our holiday meals for as long as we can remember. Â Some were our grandparents, some our parents, some spouses and siblings, and some, our beloved children. Â Last year, they were sitting right there in âtheirâ chairs, next to us, laughing and celebrating. Â How should we respond to the empty chairs, to the emptiness that fills our hearts with such sadness? Â Holidays are supposed to be such a time of joy, but how can we be joyful without them? Â Their chairs are empty, and our hearts are filled with heaviness. Â What do we do?
We have lost something profound, and we must realize it and verbalize it. Â We have lost our loved ones, those who have taught us, raised us, and been our role models and teachers. Â They are gone, we are left to go on without them, and it hurts. Â They were connected to our lives for so long, and now, suddenly, theyâre not here. Â A part of them still lives inside us.
And we have lost even more. Â We have lost the order and the familiarity of sitting down together, in the very same seats that we sat in last year at this time. Â We felt safe and comfortable, everyone was in their correct chair, all was right with the world. Â But now, the order is all wrong. Â The seating is different, because different people are sitting in those chairs. Â When our loved ones die â or divorce out of the family â we are adrift, without rudders to guide us. Â Not only do we miss them, but we miss the certainty of the familiar. Â Who will sit in Papaâs chair this year? Â How could anyone fill his chair, or his place in the family? Â When a matriarch or patriarch dies, the family roles are now also adrift. Â Who will be the next family leader? Â Who will chart the familyâs emotional direction, who will be the historian, who will be the family spokesman? Â Who will we call when a family crisis occurs? Â Death affects us in countless ways, many of them coming to the surface at our holiday celebration times.
What shall we do? Â How can we begin to create a ânew normalâ for our family? Â First, by verbalizing our feelings of loss. Â At the beginning of the holiday meal, why not take a minute or two to remember those not there this year. Â Go around the table and tell stories, laugh together at the good times of the past, cry together at the profound loss. Â Make the pain public, share the past so that you can then begin to create the future. Those youâve lost may not be with you in person, but they will always be with you in spirit. Â Make their spirits a part of your familyâs holiday meals, and then your loved ones will live on in your lives for as long as your memory of them lives on. Â And then you will have found and discovered one of lifeâs great secrets â You are still alive! Â You can still be vibrant, passionate, and committed to yourself and your family. Â Life will be different without those youâve lost, but you will help create that new life that will bring you and your family a new order, a new familiarity, a new sense of power and creativity. And that is certainly worth a holiday celebration.
You can Listen toÂ From Mourning to MorningÂ Live every Thursday at 5pm PST
When my wife was dying, we were both sponges for anything that brought meaning to our experience and inspired us. Friends got in on the act, bringing us poems, art, anything that would help us connect with life while recognizing how short hers was likely to be.
I donât remember who brought us the poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye, but for the past 20 years, I retained the essence of the first two lines:
âBefore you know what kindness really is
You must lose things,
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
Like salt in a weakened broth.â
The idea connected for me; that we were learning to open our hearts, to find our kindness, in the midst of this challenging time. The poem gave me a sense that this was livable, that I might be able to discover hidden treasures in the mud. So when I read Elaine Mansfieldâs book, Leaning into Love, before having her on Good Grief, I was stunned to find that poem in the book, creating meaning for Elaine and her husband Vic during his illness too.
I told Elaine about it, and she immediately said, âYou have to have Naomi on your show.â This was, in itself, an act of great kindness and left me in wonder at what I am offered in the process of hosting Good Grief, especially the amazingly generous people I am privileged to meet. Not only did Elaine share this idea, but she helped me to make it happen. And so, on November 4th at 2 Pacific time, I will have the great honor of welcoming Naomi Shihab Nye to Good Grief. Even better, we will be talking about her book, Transfer, which she wrote after the death of her beloved father, weaving him into the poems and speaking to their relationship and her grief.
Sometimes life hands us gifts we could never imagine. I am truly grateful for all that Good Grief brings me. Sometimes I can only whisper âthank youâ.
I was deeply moved when Claire Bidwell Smith joined me soon after I began hosting Good Grief. Our subject was her first book, Rules of Inheritance, which told the story of the loss, early in her life, of both her parents a few years apart. She captured what it is to be thrown off the course of a launch into adult life and to enter the world of illness and death. She reflected the deep experience of coming to terms with loss and finding your way to your best self.
Claire returns to Good Grief to talk about her newest release, After This: When Life is Over Where do We Go? Continuing the search for answers to life’s deepest questions, Claire studied the ways people around the world and from different traditions think about what happens after we die while also sharing her own personal road to finding peace with the greatest mystery.
I am looking forward to spending another incredible hour with her on Good Grief.
Katy Butler has written one of the best books on what’s wrong with end of life care in the field today. When Katy went through her parents’ final years, she felt compelled both as a daughter and as a journalist to explore what could have improved that time, especially for her father. She quotes him as having said, “I’m living too long,” and she heartily agreed. But convincing the medical system to let him go proved nearly impossible. Through sharing the book and through her work as a speaker and teacher, Katy has set out to change the system that makes a good death so difficult to find. She is a wonderful speaker and promises to enliven Good Grief! Join us on Good Grief Radio Wednesday May 6th at 2 PST.
Welcome to StarstyleÂ®-Be the Star You Are!Â® with your hosts Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on the Voice America Empowerment Channel.Â Â Our goal is to seed, stimulate, and support space for positive, meaningful conversations that will get you talking around the dinner table. Can your food multitask? Is a nutrient enhanced product good for you? Are fortified foods with added vitamins and nutrients really adding value to our lives? In Health Matters, Heather Brittany provides the backstory.Â Every human shares two experiences-birth and death. Most people rejoice when a baby is born, yet death zaps our energy making us sorrowful. How can we learn to deal with the dying process. Although death brings changes, it can also enforce healing. Cynthia Brian walks us through the graveyard of losing a loved one.
Summer is winding down and autumn is fast approaching. For gardeners, this is the time to determine if you want to plant a fall vegetable garden to provide fresh vegetables throughout the colder season without the headaches of weeds, pests, and water conservation. Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian, helps us enjoy the final days of summer in the September garden. Â Listen at Voice America andÂ at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions.Â
Buy books by Cynthia Brian andÂ Congrats to everyone who volunteers and supports Be the Star You Are!Â®. BTSYA has been named a 2014Â TOP NON PROFITÂ for the 6th straight year and is one of the first to be awarded this honor by Guidestar and Great Non Profits. Read more at VA Press Pass for more articles.Â
Coming up onÂ Saturday, September 27th, we hope youâll visit our Be the Star You Are!Â® charity booth at theÂ Pear and Wine FestivalÂ sponsored byÂ The Lamorinda Weekly NewspaperÂ andÂ Napa Valley Wealth Management. Â For information, go to BTSYA.org and click on EVENTS.
The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyleÂ®-Be the Star You Are!Â® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE everyÂ Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.Â Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jump start your life while igniting your flame of greatness.Â
Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!Â®,Â each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead. Previous guests and fans of the program on World Talk Radio will always be able to access the archives.Â
Tune in the Power Hour everyÂ Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmETÂ and join our empowerment party. Look at someÂ photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more!Â Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyleÂ®-Be the Star You Are!Â®
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Make a donation todayÂ to Be the Star You Are!Â® charity
If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyleÂ®-Be the Star You Are!Â® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.Â Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are StarstyleÂ®-Be the Star You Are!Â®
Congratulations to Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany for 12 years of weekly LIVE broadcasting of StarStyleÂ®-Be the Star you Are!Â® on Voice America/World Talk Radio. Tune in WednesdaysÂ 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET. Archives, photos, descriptions and more are available at all times.Â The program is brought to the airwaves as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!Â® charity.Â Â
The greatest fear for most is fear of the unknown. Our knowledge of death and the dying process certainly triggers that fear for many. Although it has been depicted as such, death is anything but morbid. We are told it means things have ended, decayed, and been lostâ¦ gone forever. Death is identified with grief, tears and sadness. This fear of the unknown relates not only to physical death but the multitude of life experiences that court change. The unknown can be a paralyzing factor that keeps individuals stuck in circumstances that are disempowering, victimizing, painful and uncomfortable. We get so comfortable being uncomfortable that it appears easier than embarking on the unknown. Fear and negativity would have us believe the unknown holds deathâ¦it is the story we tell ourselvesâ¦the stuff we make upâ¦the illusion within the illusionâ¦or is it?
Perhaps the death we fear and run from is not really the end but actually the beginning. Can something dying be its gift for new life? Is it possible we are meant to experience dying on a continual basis for the purposes of ultimate creation and connection to others and âwho we really areâ? Could dying and birthing be one in the same? Is death actually a shedding of layers throughout life, so we continue living the immortality of the spirit â dispensing of thoughts, beliefs, habits, patterns, dis-eases, discomfort, relationships, environments, and energy that no longer serves the individual.
Many walking are already âdeadâ â living unconscious lives without feeling -disconnected from themselves, others and their passion â moving day to day by habit rather than by choice â settling for what is their circumstance instead of seeing it as the platform from which to create. For so many today, their âendâ is already hereâ¦physical death would matter not. In this moment, if you are not truly alive, then die to who you have been and live the life you deserve. Be passionateâ¦Be a dreamerâ¦ Choose to live the I’M Possible dream rather than the impossible one.