Navigating the Grief of Losing Both Parents with Aliza Sherman
In this installment of the Tragedy, Academy Jay welcomes Aliza Sherman to the show. Aliza is an author, entrepreneur, and web pioneer. She has written 12 books and co-founded Ellementa, a company dedicated to educating women on the use of cannabis for wellness. In this episode, Aliza shares the most critical turning point in her life – the passing of both her parents. She unveils the grief behind death, that although we are aware of it, we are not prepared. Aliza reveals her treacherous journey of navigating the death of a parent while gathering the strength to remain sane and balanced.
💔 Losing both parents
☠️ Toxic parents
❤️🩹 Connecting while separating
👨👩👧👦 Generational trauma
😪 Grief and fear
🧘♂️ Searching for moments of centralization
❤️🔥 Transforming anger into fuel
👼 End of life doula
[07:15 ] Aliza shares her tragic past of losing both parents within two years. She describes it as a major turning point in her life; no one could prepare for it. Her father went to outpatient treatment for his liver only to be omitted to the emergency room 12 days later for liver failure. Due to the massive amount of antibiotics given, his kidneys also began to fail. Aliza describes this time as terrifying, stressful, and traumatic.
[10:18 ] As her father’s end came near, Aliza became responsible for handling his finances. Not knowing anything about finances before, Aliza felt overwhelmed but grateful she spent time with her dad daily. At the time, she did not understand the impact this would have on her, watching her father die while simultaneously dealing with medical misconduct. She expresses that she has never recovered from the trauma and does not know if she ever will.
[13:17 ] Aliza’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer soon after her father’s death. She was doing chemo for over two years until she decided to stop and let nature take its course. Aliza described this time as being much easier than the last; this time around, she learned how to die with more dignity and peace.
[18:18 ] Aliza shares being very close to her father but not her mother. As an adult, she disowned her, which lasted six years. The time apart gave her the ability to heal and separate herself from the fear of turning out like her mom.
[20:40 ] Jay and Aliza agree that humans tend to allow people and experiences to rent space in our heads, often with those who have mistreated us. Aliza points out the difference between difficult and abusive and carries that logic to toxic parents.
[24:17 ] Grief and fear manifest differently in people, but ultimately it makes you face your demise. Aliza shares watching her parents die made her recognize her mortality and accept that as a reality check.
[26:41 ] During the intense years of dealing with Grief and trauma, Aliza made it a point to take a moment for herself. She would go outside every day to walk on the grass, sit under the sun and breathe. Most importantly, Aliza ensured her health was intact and fully hydrated to combat her body constantly being on overdrive.
[33:33 ] Aliza shares the significance of turning her anger into fuel. She used her anger to articulate problems, find better support, and get out of her mental fog. In those moments of anger, Aliza describes it as opportunities to cut through the Grief and get things done with determination.
[41:42 ] In the last hours of her father’s life, Aliza fulfilled his last request to order takeout from his favorite Thai retreatant. She turned every stone to make it happen, and as her dad went to sleep, she noticed an intense pain in her hips. Aliza later learned that women stored Grief in their hips and knew she needed to find a way to destress her body.
[44:54 ] Aliza shares her discovery of end-of-life doulas. They are used as a guide for the terminally ill patient to transition to the other side.
[52:47 ] Connect with Aliza
Connect with Aliza:
- Twitter: @alizasherman
- Instagram: @alizasherman
- Learn more about Megan Devine’s course Writing Your Grief:
- Buy her books
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