e020 – Let’s Talk – with Danielle Williams
Today #onthepodcast we are talking about a topic that often gets overlooked or passed into the shadows. It is never easy to experience but as an onlooker or a friend sometimes we have no idea what to say or do. What is an appropriate response? How should I react? In today's episode, we dive deep into the grey areas of grief with Danielle Williams. For Bell Let's Talk day we were going to do an episode on mental health awareness but, Bell has already done such a great job. We wanted to bring awareness to another topic that often gets ignored due to discomfort and fear.
After the loss of their firstborn son Roark, Danielle Williams put pen to paper, and waded through the mountain of heartache by becoming a self-proclaimed “grief student.” It was during grief group therapy that she professed how she would die if she lost another child. Just a year later, Danielle would birth a still baby girl, named Ellie. Danielle is an entrepreneur at heart, and an avid early riser, coffee drinker, and spirit junkie. She is the grateful mother of two earth-side girls, and, two angel babes --- and is lucky to have married the love of her life. Danielle firmly believes that there are gifts in all trauma - our goal is to find them and then share them with the world.
Danielle shares the heart wrenching and tragic story of the loss of their first-born son, Roark. How she and her husband adopted the mantra Hakunah Matata (no worries) and how Roark got his name. The story is tough but Danielle has such a beautiful way of sharing her pain. She also explains what words of comfort in this sort of tragedy really look like and what got her through. She intimately shares that it does not upset her when people talk about Roark, she thinks about him every day anyway, it makes her feel supported to speak openly about her loss. She labels herself the guardian of his memory.
Danielle shares her techniques in moving through grief. Nature became their church.
- Get your body moving.
- Get outside, connect with nature.
- Learn to slow down.
She shares what it means to her to be a "grief student" and how she discovered the lessons in loss and grace and gratitude in grief. Gratitude keeps coming up on the show. Danielle and Sabrina dive deeper into what it means to have a conscience gratitude practice.
Sabrina reads a beautiful piece from Danielle's chapter in You've Got This, Mama, Too.
"At first, grief is like a huge boulder — unmanageable and too heavy to carry. It keeps you paralyzed and is exhausting. But it doesn’t stay that way. It transforms with you, becoming lighter and easier to carry. Until one day, you realize it’s much more like a marble in your pocket. Always with you, never gone. Though much lighter. This marble will be oh so shiny, absolutely adored, immensely loved, and always needed." ~ Danielle Williams
Danielle says a major thing that helped her, was finding other stories that were similar and in turn sharing hers. Human connection is what we crave, what we need in our grief. Danielle didn't talk about her miscarriage at eight weeks. After Roark she didn't care, she talked about what she wanted and how. Then after Ellie was born, still, everyone wanted to see her healthy baby and not talk about the grief. Danielle is very raw in her social media and shares her truth and musings to help other people.
"Grief comes in ebbs and flows, it never goes away; it's not a linear thing."
Sometimes it is important to share things that are awkward, challenging, difficult and scary. Here on this podcast, we vow to dive into the grey areas, the unspoken because we feel deep healing and the ultimate connection comes from that. Danielle shares that we are not immune to trauma, we are not immune to suffering and it's really naive to think we only get one thing in life that hurts. It can happen again, it can happen more than once. She tells us how meditation helps and using the CALM app for guided meditation and bringing her back to her breath.
The mamas remind our listeners that everything is just a season and that all things are temporary. Such a powerful reminder that wherever we are in our story, we have totally got this.
To connect with Danielle, Instagram is best. Also, keep a lookout for her new website www.griefgratitudegrace.com
This Episode is the first of a very special series of episodes featuring our wonderful panel of speakers at our upcoming Boss Mama Retreat. For more information about how to join us in person for a beautiful day filled with joy and inspiration, check us out...
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