A weekly newsletter delivering sibling loss specific grief resources, support and validation, coping strategies, sibling loss stories, news from The Broken Pack, and much more- including exclusive content and opportunities for subscribers.
Season 2 of the podcast has begun!
In this season, the guests bring with them a diversity of siblings (in race, ages, religion, adoption, birth, careers, and genders), of closeness or estrangement, of time since death, and of manner of death. There are several authors and therapists. What they all have in common is that their loss and becoming sibling loss survivors have impacted them greatly. I am thrilled to help them share their stories with you.
If you haven’t listened yet to the first episode, what are you waiting for? i’m kidding. But, really. Go listen. I spoke with Dr. Nico Slate, a professor of history at my alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University. He is an author and a researcher of social movements, racism, casteism, and democracy in the United States and India. His biracial family and the loss of his brother were integral to helping him become the person he is today. We discuss this and more.
In the next episode, I interview Karen, who is interacially adopted, as was her brother. We discuss the influence that adoption, race, and her relationship with her brother had on her reaction to his loss and her ongoing grief.
The Broken Pack: A Look Back
Maybe because Nico is a historian or maybe coincidentally, I have been thinking about recent history of my own.
Many of you are new here, and I wanted to take a moment to look back and reflect. Sometimes, I get so caught up in all I want to accomplish with The Broken Pack (and well, everything I am and do) that I forget to step back and see what we have done. In less than 10 months, we have done a lot.
A little over a year ago, I was driving down the highway and was inundated by waves of grief. You know, the kind where you are a sobbing mess one minute and laughing at a memory the next? Shortly thereafter, peace came over me. On a digital billboard, there was an image of a wolf. I have no idea what the actual billboard was for. I just recall the image being very much like one that my brother had on a t-shirt years ago.
I smiled and thought fondly of him. Then, for some strange reason, Apple Music shuffled songs, and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was playing as I passed the exit on the highway that would have led me to the cemetery where his remains are. The thing is, this is not a song I listen to on a regular basis, or really ever. It’s in my playlist from one of my many failed attempts to fall in love with running. Yet, the significance of the song is that both my brother and I played this song in band (him) and orchestra (me) when we were growing up. It may have even been a joint orchestra and band concert in middle school. I don’t remember.
Tony always loved the song, and he loved our high school, whose mascot is a tiger.
In that moment and hearing the lyrics, I knew I was ready to rise “up to the challenge of our rival (sibling grief).” My wheels started spinning, and I knew I was ready to do something to support adult sibling loss survivors as well as raise awareness of what this loss (and grief in general) means to those affected by it.
A month later, I was sitting in front of a group—many of whom are now dear friends—pitching the idea for The Broken Pack, which was officially formed at the end of July.
We have now successfully launched a podcast, which is in its second season, and are about to launch a course to help even more siblings share their story in a multitude of ways.
That said, Tony would be proud of me. He was always the first to smile and congratulate or boast about my achievements.
So, this week, I encourage you to take a moment, and pause on where you are and what you have done since a big loss in your life (sibling or other person, health, role, whatever that comes to mind).
It does not need to be big. Heck, some days, I am just glad I was able to get out of bed or drink more water than the day before. Today may even be a day when it’s hard to see anything is different or you may be doing poorly today. This is all ok, too, even if it’s not pleasant.
Just notice it without judgment. We learn to live by reflecting on our past and present- even if it’s painful. Speak words of kindness to yourself in this moment.
And I need to let you know that the details of the course will be here very soon.
This week was a bit chaotic, and I am wrapping things up on the course to help you share your story. Last week I mentioned that there would be info on the course and pricing this week. I will send this out in a few days. There will be limited spots for this first course, and you, my dear subscribers, will have first pick with special pricing. I am so excited to share it with you!
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Woo! This was a long one. Thanks for reading to the end!