A Widower's Notebook
July 18, 2018
Hosted by Cheryl Jones
On a day like any other, Jonathan Santlofer was suddenly dropped into the chaos of intense grief when his wife of 40 years suddenly died. His losses before this did not prepare him for his upended life. It did not prepare him for the insensitive and alienating things people said to him when he was too vulnerable to respond. It did not prepare him for the internal conflict of whether and how much to share about his intense mourning. He also had the sense that his inability to share his feelings and ask for help were deeply affected by the expectations he felt because he is a man. How did gender affect people's expectations of what would happen next? How much of that was a conflict within his own heart? He found an anchor in writing down what he was experiencing. In his notebooks he was able to say it all, and to hear himself. And ultimately, the lifeline he found in writing became a beautiful book, A Widower's Notebook.
Good Grief with Cheryl Jones
Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
On Good Grief we explore the losses that define our lives. Each week, we talk
with people who have transformed themselves through the profound act of
grieving. Why settle for surviving? Say yes to the many experiences that embody
loss! Grief can teach you where your strengths are, and ignite your courage. It
can heighten your awareness of what is important to you and help you let go of
what is not.
On Good Grief, we are inspired by people who have made something miraculous out of their deepest heartaches! We listen as they share how they have walked through their own exquisite pain and what they have gained as a result. We come away ready to follow our own dreams to a deeper, more meaningful time on this beautiful earth! Listen for Good Grief, broadcast live every Wednesday at 2 PM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.
Cheryl Jones is a grief counselor. During her education as a Marriage and Family
Therapist, her first wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which was at the
time a uniformly terminal illness with a six month to one year prognosis. In the
eight years that followed, Cheryl engaged daily in the work of preparing for her
death. She received training during this period from Stephen and Ondrea Levine
(Who Dies and Grieving Into Life and Death) and Richard Olney (founder of Self-Acceptance Training). After her wife’s death, Cheryl immersed herself in her own multifaceted grief, surprised by frequent moments of joy.
Cheryl is a consultant and group leader at the Free Therapy Program of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. She has trained extensively with Erving Polster, leader in the field of gestalt therapy and author of Everybody’s Life is worth a Novel. She was Clinical Director at the Alternative Family Project, which served the therapeutic needs of LGBTQ families in San Francisco. She also wrote a column called Motherlines for the San Francisco Bay Times and ran Considering Parenthood groups for the LGBT community.
Before becoming a therapist, Cheryl enjoyed careers as a musician, a restaurant owner and a carpenter. She still enjoys singing with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, eating food in outstanding Bay Area locations and remodeling her Craftsman. She lives with her wife in Oakland, California and especially savors time with her family and friends.