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Episode 70 – Coping with Grief and Loss

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This episode of the Milspouse Matters podcast is sponsored by SpouseLink, which was created in 2012 by AAFMA, the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association. The goal of Spouselink is to support, inform, and inspire military spouses. Learn more at Spouselink.org.

The guest for this episode is the amazing and insightful Trevor Romain, who you may remember from episode 63 when we talked about his work with military kids. 

While we were speaking on that episode, he shared a little about his work with terminally ill children over the past decades. He’s also developed educational materials for the United Nations for children living in armed-conflict areas. He visited and worked with former child soldiers in the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda. Since 2007, Trevor is also the co-founder of 501(c)(3) national non-profit the Comfort Crew for Military Kids and serves as President of the Trevor Romain Company.

Trevor is a best-selling author, illustrator, and keynote speaker who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in Hawaii. He hosted a popular television series that has been featured on a number of PBS stations, and his books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been published in 22 different languages. 

When we spoke and briefly talked about the subject of grief, we both thought it would be great to have him come back on the podcast to tackle that subject. Even though grief is an uncomfortable topic, it’s also universal and so important. We will all face it someday. After losing my brother, father-in-law, and a favorite uncle over the past year, I knew it was something I wanted to talk about on the podcast.

As Trevor says, we don’t have to forget those we love. We continue to carry them with us and live in a way that honors their memory. And, “The pain doesn’t really go away…you just learn to make friends with it.”

Milspouse Matters Episode 70

Some of the topics we discuss: 

  • An overview of grief resources Trevor’s created

  • Some of his experiences working with terminally ill children and children who’ve lost a parent

  • Helping our kids walk through grief and having difficult conversations

  • Things we say wrong to people grieving, whether child or adult

  • The idea of a “memory box”

  • How grief is surprising, no matter if the loss is expected or not

  • Some healthy coping skills and the importance of humor

  • The loss of his father and then his dear friend and Comfort Crew co-founder, Ronda Englander

I think that, no matter what’s happening in your life right now, you’ll find something useful here, whether now or later. Here are a few gems of wisdom from Trevor:

“Grief is such a strange thing. It comes up and slaps you upside the head when you least expect it and you don’t want it.”

“Shared pain is half pain.”

“Your record of making it through a bad day is 100%…because you’re still alive. And on those days when you just want to go join the person you lost because it’s too painful to be away from them, we have to realize there are people around us who need us. And our families may not be able to understand, so we have to learn to have our grief be a backpack instead of a roadblock…and be able to move on and carry it in whatever way we have to.”

Mentioned in this episode: 

Connect with the Trevor Romain CompanyFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube 

Connect with the Comfort Crew for Military KidsPinterestFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube

Connect with Trevor RomainFacebookTwitterInstagram 

The Death We Die Doesn’t Have to Define the Life We Lived

We Don’t Move on From Grief: We Move Forward with It

Jen’s “favorite things” this week: 

Get my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse

Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram

Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group

Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode!

Thanks for Listening,

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