Hosted by Cariad Lloyd

#grief, #loss, #connection, #conversation

This podcast is for you if …. you want kind, open, thoughtful and often funny conversations and personal stories about grief and loss and how to support people experiencing it
This podcast may not be for you if…  an hour of focus on one person’s experience is too much for you or you’re not ready for humour with your grief

Cariad Lloyd’s Griefcast is an award-winning podcast full of humanity, humour, poignancy and emotional intelligence. Lloyd lost her father when she was fifteen. Ever since, she’s noticed how uncomfortable most people are talking about grief. Lloyd, a comedian and author, decided to make a podcast to help us all through it. Each episode features a new guest (often a comedian or other well-known person) who talks about a person special to them and how they have experienced grief. Lloyd’s approach is candid. She calls it how she sees it, and tempers the difficult subject matter with humour, gently probing questions and empathy. What Lloyd is so skilfully able to do is to inject just the right amount of humour and understanding to allow interviewees to open up.

As an example, in Episode 39, Lloyd talks with the Rev. Richard Coles. Coles has worked in radio and written books (The latest is called The Madness of Grief). Together, they discuss Coles losing his soulmate and the love of his life, David. Lloyd, knowing that David died about a year ago, asks Coles, “how are you today?” Lloyd’s question, which seems relatively innocuous, opened up the discussion like it was a turn of a kaleidoscope where a whole new pattern of colours and refracted light come into view. What I mean by this is summed up by Richard’s response…He mentions a “Victorian Year of Mourning,” meaning, in a quintessentially English way “your year [of mourning] is done.” But then Lloyd and Cole tease out what this means. Lloyd recounts the loss of her father, saying that the second year of grief was perhaps more difficult than the first because people expect you to be ‘coping’ after a year. Cole and Lloyd reflect that it is ‘bad manners’ not to be that perky person you once might have been before experiencing loss, death of a loved one, and grief.

To complicate matters further it comes to light that Cole was grieving during lockdown in the Covid pandemic. He says there was an enforced silence that led him to realise there were two levels of grief he was experiencing. The top level was breaking down, crying, expressing sorrow, bodily reactions. The second level he describes as a tectonic level. A deep level that he could do nothing about, filled with slow internal emotional movements. He says “I had set sail on an unfamiliar and threatening sea.”

Lloyd and Cole agreed that the hubbub of daily life can sometimes lift one’s gaze away from grief. Cole said he walks the dogs, makes preserves in his kitchen, and puts on some of David’s cologne at bedtime. He’s become interested in watches and the measuring of time. 

Cole acknowledges there were a range of issues in David’s life that created challenges in their relationship and he has suffered from grieving fatigue.  Lloyd‘s gentle probing leads Cole to talking about dressing David’s body for burial and Cole’s confession he was worried about picking the wrong outfit. They also discuss how his faith has impacted his grieving process.

Lloyd’s undeniable skill is to put her interviewees at their ease. She is a natural talker, but also a natural listener—giving large chunks of time to others to respond about their experiences with grief, death and loss. It is not surprising that she has won many awards for Griefcast. As Reverend Cole says during the interview, it’s nice to talk with ‘someone who gets it’.

In a  further example of why Cariad really understands this subject, shehas a wonderful option for you to filter episodes by the type of loss her guest is talking about. So, if you’re interested in hearing how others have dealt with, for example, the loss of a parent, or a sudden death, you can look at just those options.

You can hear Cariad Lloyd’s interview with Reverend Cole and many other fascinating guests in your favourite pod player via her website:

Review by Matthew Hooper

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