Episode 45: Entering a Grief Season

Apr 6, 2022 | Podcast Episode

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I’m running through what’s happening in my personal world on this solo episode because I’m entering my grief season. My dad’s birthday, deathiversary, and Father’s Day are all coming up. Plus, did the loss of a parent make you more attached to the one you have left? Did any loss in general make you realize that bad things can happen in this world? Enter: lots of anxiety. We’re talking through that as well as grief happenings in the pop-culture space, like the recent death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

I recorded this episode from Hawkins’ home town of Laguna beach, California making me feel a little more connected than usual. His death brings up the age-old topic of how much does the media and the public really need to know about a celebrity’s death?

Mentioned in this episode:
Drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death reveals the vulnerability we all share (Article)
Avicii: True Stories (Documentary)
Why We All Feel the Loss of Kobe Bryant (SSFYL Episode 7)

Transcripts (Please Note: This transcript was computer-generated so please be mindful of errors):
[00:00:00] Gianna: Welcome back episode 45. Oh my goodness. We’re almost at 50. How exciting is that?
Recording today in Laguna beach, California. We’ve officially left. Florida had a fabulous three months there. And have moved on to California. We’ll be here for a month and then onto our next
journey. if you’re listening to internationally and unfamiliar with the location of Laguna beach, it is this beautiful little surfer beach town. Nestled right in between Los Angeles and San Diego on the Southern coast of California. Super cool vibe here.
I feel very inspired when I’m out here. It’s such a relaxing vibe that I feel like it just melts stress away from you. And you’re able to really focus on the things that I like actually want to get done in terms of work or the creativity or whatever, but it’s just really cool.
And of course you hear me say this, like almost every episode, but the proximity to the ocean is huge for me. So the house that we have here, we’re looking right out onto the beach. You can hear the waves, you can hear them crashing up against the rocks. Uh, it [00:01:00] just really hits some nerve deep, deep within me that.
Is such a.
soothing thing to my soul. Anyway, we’ll get into that a lot more in this episode today. Just me. Another solo episode with me, myself and I, a couple of things that we’re going to discuss today. The waves, like I just told you, I’ve had some deep thoughts about that over the last couple of nights, as I’ve been laying here, listening to the waves. And I want to share that with you.
Uh, also a grief season. What is it? What does it mean? I’m in one now, maybe you are too, or maybe you’re just coming out of yours.
Maybe you don’t even realize what it is and I’m giving you a name to finally put to the feelings that you have. all is going to be talking about Taylor Hawkins. He is the drummer for the foo fighters that suddenly died at the age of 50, a few weeks ago. He’s from Laguna beach. So he’s from the town that I’m currently living in. And I felt really compelled to talk about it because I’m here, I’m in this town that embodies so much of who he is.
Then people say he was like the quintessential surfer dude. I’m also in the Facebook group for this town. So seeing a lot of [00:02:00] chatter there,
and, you know, it’s just a public death in Hollywood and a good example for us to be able to analyze a little bit more about grief and death. rest in peace of Taylor Hawkins. What we’re going to talk about that.
So that’s what we have coming up, but before we get into all of it, Uh, I got to let out this thing. So I left. My mom back in Florida, which that sounds like a very dramatic way of saying that. But you know, one of the reasons that we did go to Florida, a, the sunshine, but B my mom and her boyfriend lived there now. So they are like 20 minutes away from the house that we live in, in Florida. And the amount of time.
Like good quality time that I got to spend with her over the last three months. Was so needed for my heart and for my soul and to see her and my baby together is just absolutely incredible. First of all, I have a great relationship with my mom. It’s my parent, you know, to those of you out there that have that great relationship with your parent, to you understand, to those of you out there who have lost one parent, you know how all of a sudden you get more attached to the one that you [00:03:00] still have, especially for me being an only child, I feel like
the amount of my immediate family has dwindled. You know, it’s really just me and my mom that’s left. Of course I am so blessed with. So many extended family and, and friends that are family, but there’s just something like biologically to it. I don’t have my dad anymore. I don’t have any siblings.
My mom, is it for me? And I’m so protective of her. I’m so scared of something happening to her. Having my daughter now has now Don, my daughter’s entered the group chat. I now have another person in this bloodline and being the three of us together has been something really healing in my grief too, to say, okay, like everything is still all right Like dad’s not here, but this is.
This is my blood now.
So I’m so grateful for the time that I had, but it can not cancel out. The anxiety of leaving. And if you’ve experienced any type of grief, it doesn’t even have to be with grief of a parent, but [00:04:00] any grief at all makes this anxiety heightened and there’s quotes around this. I’m going to butcher it, but the.
the general idea is. How can you not fear the worst when the worst has already happened? When you’ve already got that call. That your loved one died. Your loved ones diagnosed, whatever it is, maybe. That is the worst. That is the worst case scenario in your life. And when it’s already happened,
when the good in the world has been stripped away, and reality has set in that bad things can happen in this world. How, how do you go back to just living life? How do you go back to just.
Being this Individual that thinks, you know what? It’s, it’s a fairy tale. Everything’s going to be okay. Bad things don’t happen to me. They only happen to other people. And that may sound crazy, but honestly, that was something that I remember feeling. Not that bad things couldn’t happen, but like death can’t happen to me and my family that that’s not supposed to happen. We’re good people. We go to church, we are good in the world. We treat people with kindness.
Like that’s not supposed to [00:05:00] happen to us. So when that gets stripped away, When. The world shows its true colors. And your loved one dies. How do you not? Fear that happening again. And that’s kind of where I’m at.
I think, you know, we’re going to get real down and dirty right now. I think I’m at a good cadence with how I’m doing my therapy I’m at every other week. I was, you know, once a month, at one point I was every week at one point, but now I’m every other week. And I think I’m at a good place with the medication that I’m taking for antidepressant.
So my grief doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it could sometimes to where. These thoughts can be really debilitating of, oh my God. What if that’s the last time I saw my mom? Oh my God. What if something happens to her between the next time I see her and what if this is at hold on to this memory right now? Because you’re never going to see her again.
Like, that’s the thoughts that go running through my head. They’re still there. I hear it. That voice is loud and clear. But it’s not [00:06:00] debilitating. I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and cry on the floor and crawl up into a ball on the bed because I’m. Incapable of actually functioning. That was something that was very real in the early days of my grief. You know, I’m now five years out.
And you know what, honestly, time doesn’t even mean anything. I think in seven years from now, it could be something that is actually gets me down. I just think where I am in my life and where I am, like I said, with my therapy and my. And my medication and, and you know, different things that I’m doing to help manage my grief. I think I’m at a good place.
But I say all of this to let you know that if you have this feeling as well, and that voice in your head, you are not alone, it certainly happens to so many of us.
And it’s one of those ancillary parts of grief that doesn’t really get highlighted. People don’t really know that that’s a thing that you have to go through. Right. Because so many people think, okay. Yeah, the grief is. The initial reaction to somebody’s death, the, the funeral, the first couple of months, whatever is getting through it. And a lot of the things that we deal with years out can sometimes be [00:07:00] overlooked. And this is one of those things I don’t know that I would have ever really thought that a friend who had lost a loved one, that this was something that they would have to deal with.
But it is, it, it really is. It’s really, really all. If you’ve dealt with this are still dealing with it. And you found good ways to manage this, or maybe, you know, some like mind tricks that you say to yourself. DME, let me know on, on Instagram, Facebook email, however you want to contact me.
I’d be interested to see what it is that you all do to help with these feelings. But. That’s what I’ll be managing over. The next couple months until I see my mom next.

[00:07:36] Gianna: Okay onto talking about the waves. All right. So here’s what I want to say about this. I’ve said it a couple other times. Being next to the ocean feels like I am sitting in the presence of somebody who completely understands me.
I’m literally looking at the waves as I am recording this right now. First of all, they’re just beautiful. It’s a beautiful display of nature. I’m not even like a nature person. Like [00:08:00] we were, when we were in The Bahamas a couple of weeks ago, we asked like, oh, like what is something that we can do nearby?
And the guy from concierge was like, oh, Do you like nature walks and mark and I both looked at each other and we’re like, Nope. Like we’re two city kids. We not, Nope. Not nature of walk people. But when it comes to the ocean, I’m obsessed with nature. I’m obsessed with everything about it. The ebbs and flows the back and forth, the calm, the rough, all of it is synonymous with grief. So like I said, I feel like I’m sitting in the presence of somebody that understands me. I feel like I’m heard, Maybe even just this facet of how small I am compared to the rest of the world and what really is going on. Maybe there’s also this feeling of.
That my dad is able to look down on this to my friend up in heaven is able to see the ocean and of course the other aspect is that so much of my dad’s happiness was brought from being on the beach. And I have so many great memories with him there, and that’s just always what he wanted [00:09:00] to do when he retired that he was going to go live by the ocean and the beach somewhere.
And the more that I’m able to spend time by the beach, the more that I feel like I’m bringing him to this place that he always wanted to be.

[00:09:12] Gianna: So I lay here at night now and I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks. And the rhythm of it and how methodical it is and the, the, back and forth. Is very reminiscent to a heartbeat. Mark had gotten out of bed to wake up with Sienna the other morning. And I laid there by myself in bed.
Just listening to the waves. And then some. Weird. Way. I told myself that I was listening to my dad’s heartbeat.
Feels really weird to say that out loud.
But that’s something that I know I’m never going to experience again. And now I have turned the ocean into this character in my life that. I don’t know if I want to say, can bring my dad back, but maybe it’s like a way that he can talk to me.
Hm. So now as if I wasn’t already [00:10:00] connected to the ocean. Now I am. So much more. I mean, if I could just turn into a mermaid and live inside of it, I would, but no only really like in the close waters, if you put me out into the middle of like the deep blue sea where I can’t see land, that that sounds absolutely terrifying to me. There’s not many waves out that far either.
And you know, I’m feeling like my connection is to the wave. So I need to be close to shore. I’m a mermaid that only stays close to shore.

[00:10:25] Gianna: Okay. Now let’s talk about grief seasons. If you don’t know what this term is, I don’t even know if it’s a real term, but it’s the one that I refer to. It’s something that I’ve seen used in other grief spaces. The grief season is like a cluster of dates on the calendar that affect your grief. So for me,
April is the start of my grief season. My dad’s birthday is April 12th. The date he died is in may and father’s day is in June. So bam, bam, bam. Right back to back. I have three months of very intense dates around him. The birthday, it’s [00:11:00] something I really tried to celebrate. I think some years it hits me harder than others and like, it’s a sad thing, but other years I’m actually able to celebrate it and maybe just feel like he and I are living in different locations, but I’m celebrating from far away.
I mean, well, okay. Fair. We are living in different locations. he’s in heaven a bit far away, uh, but you know, not earth side type of thing. I even held my bachelorette party over his birthday weekend in, uh, what was that? 2019 I went to Miami. I was with a bunch of friends and I’m like, what? A better way to celebrate his birthday. Then the way that he would have wanted to celebrate his birthday on a beach with a bunch of his friends, drinking, going crazy. That’s exactly what we did. I don’t want to say that I regret it, but I definitely had like a little bit of a cloud hanging over me. At first, we did a spin class at the beginning of the weekend and I was able to like,
Let the tears flow and let it all out. And, uh, my best friend, Brittany, you know, being very in tuned to me and very good about everything and really [00:12:00] checking in with me. She asked me before we booked everything and was like, are you sure that this is really what you want to do? Are you sure this is a good idea?
And I am glad that we did do it that way. I think it was just going to be tough. No matter what it was the year of my wedding. Thinking about him at all was really tough. And knowing that he wasn’t going to be there. The bachelorette party was probably going to be tough no matter what, not in the sense that I wanted my dad to be there. I mean, hell no girl wants their father on their bachelorette party. Let me just say that.
But more like, it was just this reminder of the wedding and the thing that was coming up that is so monumental in my life and he wasn’t going to be there. So. I made the decision to hold my bachelorette party on his birthday. It was great. Every year, I try to do something nice for his birthday, whether it’s our family getting together and celebrating him or my friends being so sweet and getting together.
We don’t really have any specific plans this year, but I’m sure we’ll do something lovely that involves some vodka because that’s just the way that Gary D would have wanted to celebrate. So a birthday and then a death anniversary in may. I mean, do I [00:13:00] have to even say anymore on that one? That’s just tough.
And this is a big one because it’s the five-year anniversary, which, oh my God. I just like cannot even fathom. I’m sure. Some of you listening are coming up on like a 20 year anniversary and feeling the same way. Like how is this even possible that it’s been. This much time, but it’s just such a weird thing. Isn’t it?
And then June is father’s day. That now does have a different meaning for me, because I celebrate. My husband, because he’s a father now just like mother’s day is different for him. He lost his mom, but. We celebrate me being a mom. So for both of us encountering, like. Grief and joy coexisting at the same time, we talk about that so much in grief and on this show.
It’s a real thing. It can happen, but it feels bizarre. So those parent holidays are not as miserable as they used to be. Because we have our baby and she’s so beautiful and wonderful. We’re so excited to be celebrating our phase of fatherhood and motherhood. But again, it’s still this cloud hanging over us. We wish we could be spending it with our mom and with our [00:14:00] dad and the social media aspect of it. How you see everybody else with their dad or with their parent on that day.
But I will say, like, in this phase of life that I’m in now, my early thirties, it definitely has turned to more. People celebrating their partners. On social media, not necessarily their parent. I did notice that last year, I normally try to avoid father’s day on social media, which I would recommend to anyone. But for some reason I was on it last year And I was actually like, Hmm, this actually isn’t as painful As I thought it would be because a lot of people aren’t honoring their own dads. They’re honoring their partner. Which is something I’m able to do. You know, that’s maybe something that is really hard for other people who have left, lost a spouse or their partner in life.
So, you know, grief is a very, very wide net. Unfortunately can touch a lot of people in different ways. This is just how it is for me. a grief season can be tough because you feel like you’re in a tidal wave, a whole other ocean reference. Of your grief coming at you [00:15:00] all at one time. It’s, it’s definitely a three-month period for me, where the waves are a little rougher. It’s smacking up at skins, the shores, instead of just like gently gliding over the sand. I can make this ocean reference go all day long. Okay. We should have an episode where I just speak in ocean terms as it relates to grief.
But, uh, I don’t, I don’t know how I would prefer to have, I don’t know if I would want it all spread out or if it’s like, okay, let’s just bunker down and get this all done in these three months. And then like, I have a stretch of time where things are. Okay. I don’t know that anything’s better. Everything with grief is a catch 22. It’s not like a sudden death is better than a known death. I mean, it just, it. It all. It all sucks. Okay. Grief sucks. Hashtag. Grief socks. But at least we can laugh. Oh, We need to, I just had a little chuckle. That was nice. Anything special you do for your grief season? Let me know.
Anything, especially worked for you. I would love to hear that. I mentioned earlier some of the ways that you can [00:16:00] contact me, but here’s another really great way that you can contact me, leave a review on apple podcasts. So go and rate the podcast lever of you. Tell me there. That is a great way that I learned from the podcast conference that I went to recently about how listeners can connect with the host.
And I can connect with you guys. By leaving a review with an answer. So question being, what do you do for your grief season or anything about this episode? Really leave it there in the reviews and I will definitely be able to see it. And then, uh, maybe I’ll give you a little shout out on the next episode two. How about that?

[00:16:30] Gianna: Finally, we want to talk about Taylor Hawkins. Okay. 50 years old drummer from the foo fighters. Everybody knows the foo fighters. We grew up in the nineties, you know, the food fighters. California banned. He is from Laguna beach, which is the town that I’m currently broadcasting this podcast from right now.
People say he was just polite and kind funny. He was like a kid. The long blonde hair scruffy look. He started out interestingly As a drummer for a lot of Morissette. Connected with Dave Grohl, the lead singer for foo fighters and other bandmates, and went on to [00:17:00] become an iconic, iconic member of that band. They were in south America. They were on tour. They were doing a set of shows across the continent and, uh, they were in Columbia. When his body was found, um,
The firefighters have canceled the rest of that tour. Rightfully so. They said they needed to take time to grieve, to figure out what that means for them moving forward. Oh, my heart just goes out to them. I know we all know how painful this is. Especially when it’s untimely death, 50 years old, nobody should be dying at this age.
He leaves behind a beautiful wife and two beautiful children, which just breaks my heart.
So what happens after this is that the media goes nuts. Right? We know this, we see this all the time. We see how they feel like they need to report on every single aspect of someone’s death. We dealt with this with Kobe Bryant. That was an incredibly shocking untimely death involving the basketball star, his daughter, and a few other individuals.
But he was close with that were great members of community and had families of their own. But the media sometimes [00:18:00] forgets that these individuals don’t just belong to Hollywood. They don’t belong to the media. They don’t belong to T M, Z. They belong to the families. And that kind of gets put to the side because of this culture that we have, where everything needs to be known.
Immediately. If you want to go back and listen, I actually did an episode. On Kobe Bryant before I had even like relaunched the podcast. So back in the oh, G days of, so sorry for your loss, I felt compelled to even talk about it then and like why these deaths of people that we’ve never even met before affect us. So I’ll put that in the show notes.
But details of Taylor Hawkins death have been coming out. I’m not going to share them here. And what’s being said, if you want to hear them, you can look them up on any news site. I’ve been seeing the chatter. Okay. So I’m, I’m a member of the Laguna beach, a local Facebook group. And. There are a lot of people that are upset With the way that it’s being handled in the media,
They’re upset with the way that even the local paper handled it. And it’s a very, very tricky thing. I think sometimes it helps with closure to know the way that a person dies. Weirdly enough people had [00:19:00] wrote on my dad’s Facebook page saying, Hey, does anybody know how Gary died? And somebody answered.
I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I wasn’t upset. Um, I guess maybe because the, way of his death, it wasn’t. I don’t know, this is difficult topic, not to say that it was something that was shameful or that other deaths can be seen as shameful. Maybe. It is very triggering for some people. If people.
Ask how their loved one died, but I just know with this. There is substance abuse that is swirling around this topic. And it’s something that should be handled very delicately.
And it brings up this issue of how much needs to be shared, how much really needs to be public knowledge and how much should be shared before anything is actually confirmed with the family. Or maybe something’s not even true because. It doesn’t matter if it’s out there in the public forum, people, sometimes they just suddenly jumped to conclusions. people don’t even go back to check and see whether.
Something was confirmed, you know, if it got put out by the media prematurely, It could really cause a [00:20:00] lot of damage to families and.
especially in this realm of substance abuse. So there’s an opinion piece that was written in the Chicago Tribune, author Elizabeth Conant. She’s a musician, a music teacher and a blogger. She founded the blog, the hill house in Greenfield and lives in upstate New York. I’ll link to it in the show notes. She had a lot of poignant thoughts on this, especially this fact of like,
If you were to take the toxicology report for any human right now. The amount of substances that would be recorded would probably be a lot higher than normal. The last two years have been bullshit. Okay. Everyone is doing something different, whether that is they’re drinking more than they have before they’re on antidepressants that they weren’t before Their health has certainly changed because people are not walking to work or not going to their regular exercise routine because of gyms being closed. So now they’re being prescribed other medications by their doctor. Maybe they’re dabbling in recreational drugs because there’s just so much turmoil in their life.
I’m not advocating [00:21:00] for that or saying that abusing drugs is okay. But Without any context, just saying that somebody has substances in their system. Is a very vague statement. You could be on medication for something that was prescribed.
Why all of a sudden does that information needs to be put out into the public and it’s clouding the thought of what actually happened. So Elizabeth writes. Let’s try to realize that there is so much more to every story than we will ever see. We need to trust that no one is having an easy time of it.
This is a hard planet. Human beings are all doing the best they can to just get through Be an attentive and forgiving audience. Everyone is putting on the best show that they possibly can. I love this quote. I think that it’s so true. You need to look at every single person as if there’s something going on in their life that you don’t even know. I try to think about this even just like the mundane things of like the person at the grocery store. Who’s a little rude to me. Maybe there’s something going on at home or there’s something in the background that they’re dealing with that.
I should give them a little grace. I should [00:22:00] give them forgiveness. I should not Ram microsurgery cart back into theirs just because they clipped my leg and were rude on the way, turning the corner in the aisle. This is not a real story. Just hypothetical, Elizabeth goes on to talk in this article about her own dad. So her dad was a musician and she talks about how she kind of got into that world. She was a writer. She interviewed a lot of musicians herself. And all of them were just doing what they needed to do. They were just. Doing what they needed to do to get through it, to get by. Her father Taylor Hawkins, any musician they perform in front of thousands of people. It’s a demanding schedule. They’re traveling. A lot of physical demands. Especially for him as a drummer. I was even thinking about that earlier. Like, oh my God, do your arms like, just kill after a show. As I’m like sitting here, like flapping my arms around as if you can even see that.
They do what they need to do It becomes probably very prescriptive of some of that, right?
She went on to talk about her dad and that she learned many years later that he actually had stagefright. And this is very [00:23:00] interesting because I think we, as a society, look at people that are up on stage and have this fantastical idea of how they’re able to just get up there and do it right. Why can’t I do that? Why can’t we all just have that ability and, you know, they’re so amazing for what they can do.
But it’s not necessarily the case. I mean, We look at them as if it’s just so simple, but it’s not, it can be very, very difficult. And you look at the very sad story of Vici. Timberg the famous DJ, the documentary that came out about him after his death, unfortunately revealed that he was terrified. He suffered debilitating anxiety before having to go onstage.
And unfortunately probably contributed to his death. in another aspect, James Altschuler, I’ll never forget this. He is a. Uh, podcast host of his own. He has a show that gets like millions of downloads is always top of the charts. And he was the keynote speaker of this podcast conference. That I went to a few years ago and he said he curls up in the ball basically before every single interview and praise that the [00:24:00] person doesn’t show up for the interview.
Be hearing this was transformative because I have this feeling too, honestly, I do. It’s not every time and it’s not just like, based on a person or a topic, or I’m scared to talk to this person or whatever it is. Just however I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I sit down, I turn the computer on. I turn on zoom.
And I say to myself, if the interview was scheduled for two and it’s 2 0 1. I am begging that the person doesn’t show up. I’ve already told myself that they’re not coming. This is great. I’m off the hook. I don’t have to do this. And then by two or three, when they’re on, I just got to turn the lights on, turn the camera on and let it go. But it’s this feeling inside of you? Like I’m not going to be able to do this, this isn’t going to be able to good.
This isn’t going to be any good. The interview is not going to be interesting. I’m going to get caught off guard. They’re going to think I’m so unprofessional. None of those things end up happening. I can’t say that I haven’t had one interview that I’m like, oh my God, that was complete shit. That was awful.
But. Hopefully you don’t feel that way either. Hopefully you’ve loved all of my interviews.
But to hear that somebody who had [00:25:00] millions of downloads with a very popular show, Number one show on the charts. I was huge for me.
So it’s really sad that we have to learn another version of this lesson. Through death, but this is one of those just because somebody is up on stage, it’s just because he’s famous, just because he’s made it. It does not mean that it’s easy for them. And going back to Elizabeth quote, Let’s try to realize that there is so much more to every story than we will ever see.
And, you know, maybe we should just leave it at that. Like I said, I think that sometimes knowing these details can create a sense of closure. But this does not belong to us. Taylor Hawkins does not belong to us. He belongs to his family and if they need that closure, then they should receive it and they should have the decisions whether to make that public.
Or not. My final note on Taylor is that apparently he was good friends with John Stamos. it’s kind of surprising to me, not that I know that much about John Stamos, but it’s just like, not really who I saw him being friends with. I think it’s like seeing teachers [00:26:00] outside of class or a colleague outside of work or seeing celebrities outside of their general role, which is uncle Jesse and uncle Jesse living in a house in San Francisco with his brothers and their children.
And now he’s friends with the drummer, from the foo fighters. When you see these connections that celebrities have in different worlds of entertainment, it’s always fun to see who they are, who they’re friends with and all that comes out. Um, So John Samos is in the news right now because he did have a close relationship with Taylor Hawkins and.
I, my heart is just hurting for John Stamos because this is two very significant deaths for him. I mean, obviously the loss of Bob Saget, we know how close they were and now with Taylor to very untimely deaths.

[00:26:38] Gianna: That’s all I got for you today. Thanks as always for listening. I love you and talk to you soon.


All The Skies

There’s no magic pill that can take away the pain of grief
But there are some pretty, little things that can help