Dear Dead Mother: Against Grieving in Silence
February 24, 2016
Hosted by Cheryl Jones
When Rachel Stephenson was five years old, her mother died in a car accident and never returned home. While the rest of her family was determined to "move on", replace her mom and maintain their silence, Rachel rebelled against their attempts to ignore the monumental vacuum her mother had left. She never lost the compelling desire to speak her grief, though her family never became comfortable with it. Although she went on to accomplish many things in the world seemingly unrelated to her loss, she always knew she'd some day speak about it and make grief a part of her mission in the world. She wanted to share that grief could be a part of living fully. Now is her time to share her message; that when we're silent in grief, it can eat us alive, but when we speak our grief, it can become a part of the rich fabric of a full life.
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.