Do you want to understand what it is like to lose an entire family? Or how to deal with grief? Or what you can learn from grief? Then listen up as Jessi Lestelle shares how she has found joy again after losing all of her immediate family.
"I took a deep breath one day and was like, what am I doing? What am I doing to fulfill my purpose in life? And I realized that my purpose in life was to tell my story and to help other people."
Jessi Lestelle shares her struggles, triumphs, and failures while dealing with the loss of her family and raising awareness that our young ones need a voice in expressing their grief.
This is Jessi's story...
After losing her entire immediate family within a short span of six years, Good Grief Jessi podcast host Jessi Lestelle struggled with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In an effort to heal herself, Jessi took some time off to grieve and then started her podcast as a way to share her story and help others who might be going through something similar. Jessi's journey is one of grief, healing, and self-discovery...
In this episode, you will learn the following:
1) Jessi Lestelle, aka Good Grief Jessi, lost her entire family in the space of six years, from the age of 19 to 25. She created a podcast called Good Grieving Jessi to talk about her grief and to raise awareness about young people's grief.
2) Before 19, you hadn't experienced much grief. Now you lost your dad, your brother, your uncle, your grandma and your mum. You share with us your memories about each of them. My dad was a funny guy. My uncle was a jokester. My brother loved music and my uncle loved to fish. My grandmother was a wonderful woman and she was very crafty. She was driving in New Orleans when she ran a red light in the middle of the road. Me and my mom were listening to Bee Gee songs in the living room. We were dancing to one of their songs and singing to each other.
3) After losing her dad and brother, she started having anxiety attacks. She didn't grow up with health insurance and didn't have access to mental health care. Now she's able to talk to her anxiety and figure out the root causes of it. She had to let go of her perfectionism and accept that she can't control everything.
4) After her mom died, she left the music industry because his brain stopped working. She started a podcast to help herself grieve and get back to a better place in her life. Her boss didn't understand that the grief brain has a massive impact on the brain. Jesse lost her mother and her job due to the pandemic. She didn't find a therapist until after her mom passed away. An audiobook by Bessel Vanderkolk who deals with PTSD mentions some of the best remedies for people with significant PTSD have not been through talking, but expressing it through things like meditation, yoga, and dance.
5) Jessi's brother was an addict which she never admitted to herself until recently. She wants to change the stigma around addiction. Jessi's first failure was turning to alcohol as a way to cope with the loss of her father.
6) Jessi lost many people in 7 years. She started a podcast to talk about her grief. She got overwhelmed with the response and had to take a break from the podcast. Now she's back and she's talking to people about grief.
7) After losing her daughter, the most important thing for her is to honor the stories that people are sharing on her podcast.
8) Jessi was very timid in her first season about who she was and what she wanted to show everybody. Jesse has a horrible 'potty' mouth and she has to allow herself to be authentic and not cut out the curse words or the ums and awkward pauses.
9) Jesse's brother died when he was 22, and she's the last member of her family left behind. Jesse has learned to live the life that was denied to others who lost their loved ones so early. Jesse's dad helped her cope with her grief.
10) When she lost her mom, she didn't tell many people about it. Now, she has a lot of support around her. She has her friends, her aunt and uncle, her friend Rachel and her friend Kenan. They have dinner every Wednesday and go out together every Friday.
11) Jessi and I were talking about what millennials need to get from grieving and to learn, or just to assist them with that whole grief process. Jessi believes millennials want to be heard and understood, but they don't know how to start the conversation. Social media has given millennials a platform to be more articulate, and more communicative, but that's only happening for a small percentage. Jessi started a podcast talking about the taboo subject of death. Helen talks about getting involved in Red Chocolate Elephants, a project that supports children around suicide.
12) Today is the official homecoming of the diamond that she had made from her mom's hair. She got her ring after a year and a year in a month. It took 13 months for this to happen. She is over the moon to be sharing this with the radio listeners.
13) Jessie's proudest moment is getting out of bed, getting behind a microphone, and starting her journey by sharing her story. On July 14, 2021, Jessi's go-to when she has dark moments is to take a deep breath and acknowledge the feelings.
14) Jessi's message to her listeners is to live the life that was denied to others. The biggest takeaway for anyone listening is to allow yourself to live the life that was denied to others on Anniversaries. Do something that you want to do, and if it's something that's in memory of them, absolutely go for it. Someone out there is counting on you to break through somehow, and you have the strength within to do it. You have to sit there and make yourself uncomfortable. And one of the biggest things that I've learned is healing is a choice. And whenever you're ready to make that choice, make sure you have a good, strong support system with you.
Connect with me:
Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: https://tbs0g2021.libsyn.com/