039 – An Open Letter to Grief Part One – with Jo Betz

Episode 39 with Jo Betz comes with a *trigger warning* for grief.

Please listen mindfully and become aware of what feelings this episode may arise within you. Take the time to set the episode aside if it feels necessary and to validate what is coming up for you. You are welcome to join us again at any time and listen back in to this wonderful conversation normalising grief.

Jo Betz is a wedding celebrant, author, speaker and blogger who suddenly lost her husband Craig 3 years ago to an asthma attack in the middle of the night. Jo shares her story here with us today to help normalise the conversation surrounding grief and to shine light into the areas of grief that society tends to shy away from.

As someone currently moving through my own grief, I can say how much I didn’t realise I desperately needed this conversation. Recording it and being present during it helped to validate my grief and what I have been feeling in more ways that one and it made me feel like I was truly not alone.

We have divided today’s episode into two parts, so make sure to hit the subscribe button so that you are notified when the second part airs.

I cannot wait for you to listen to this beautiful and raw episode, it was truly such a pleasure to be a part of. You can connect with Jo on instagram at @jo.betz and she would love to hear from you!

Connect with your host via Instgram at @stephsanzaro. Happy listening xx

Welcome to The Steph Sanzaro Podcast, we are back this week with a beautiful and raw episode normalising the conversation surrounding grief.

This week I am joined by none other than Jo Betz, the incredible woman giving grief a voice.

I came across Jo on Instagram during the early stages of 2020 after she wrote a very poignant blog post about the parallels between grief and the national pandemic we are all living through. I was taken with her sincere depth and her eloquent way of describing grief and instantly became a very big fan of this highly intelligent woman.

At the time I had not yet experienced grief before. I had never lost anyone and I was very thankful for this, I’d consider myself quite lucky for never having experienced this type pain before in my life. But I knew it was out there and I knew it was closer to me than ever before.

I was living through one of the hardest stages in my life thus far as my Nan, the woman who was like a mother to me was slowly losing her life to cancer. I sadly lost her in June this year and suddenly found myself in the pits of grief for the first time with no idea if what I was feeling was normal.

I knew of no one else discussing grief openly besides Jo. She was speaking with such grace and articulating grief in such a way that helped me feel very seen in what I was going through. She was talking openly about the emotions that I had been feeling and the pain that I had been going through and in time, it gave me the strength to talk openly about my grief too.

When Jo and I first connected, I knew that we would click instantly. She felt like an old friend, someone who I could resonate with (and someone I think you will strongly resonate with too). She is gentle and kind, yet strong and independent, and it is my absolute pleasure to have us here with us today sharing her story in an open letter to grief.

Jo Betz talks about the loss of her husband and the launch of her new grief journal and subsequent workshops. August is Grief Awareness Month. Picture: Peter Ristevski

*Trigger Warning*

This episode comes with a trigger warning for *Grief*.
If you have lost someone that you love, I would firstly like to offer my deepest condolences and to tell you how deeply sorry I am. My love is with you.

Move through this episode mindfully; becoming aware of when it may be time to press pause, take a moment, regather your thoughts and validate whatever feelings are arising for you. The invitation to come back and finish this episode when you are ready is warmly welcomed, as I believe these episodes (Part One and Part Two) carry a lot of power in helping to normalise grief.

Jo’s husband Craig passed away suddenly from an asthma attack just over 3 years ago and Jo’s life has never been the same since. Over the past 3 years and through learning through her grief she has found her voice, telling her story in speaking engagements, blog posts, podcasts, articles and most recently in her beautiful addition to the world, ‘Grief – a guided journal’.

Through these works Jo has shone light into the corners of grief that others may feel but are not able to articulate openly. In doing this, Jo’s story carries an incredible ability of letting others know that they are not alone in their grief.

In Part One Jo and I discuss:

  • does getting the chance to say ‘goodbye’ impact our grief?
  • how bad days, bad weeks, bad months and an overall heaviness are normal after losing someone
  • the reality of grief fatigue, jet lag after loss
  • how long it’s acceptable to grieve openly in our society
  • the double standard for how much grief is ‘allowed’, depending on your relationship to the person you lost
  • wanting to fast forward your grief, numb out and close off your feelings
  • how grief can bring us closer together
  • loving and knowing Craig
  • learning that grief is simply pain from having loved someone so much

Today’s episode will be split into 2 parts, divided over two weeks. Jo and I had such a good time recording this episode that we ended up speaking for hours! I truly believe that these two episodes are SO valuable in helping others who are grieving to know that the weird things that they’re feeling and experiencing, are completely normal and that other people are going through them too.

Part Two offers some of my favourite pieces of insight and wisdom, so make sure to hit the subscribe button so that you know the moment that it airs and becomes available.

Jo and I sat down today in the hopes of helping others out there who are grieving and I sincerely hope we have done that. If you have any comments or messages about Part One, please feel more than invited to send us a message on Instagram to let us know your thoughts.

To connect with Jo privately, you can find her through the links below.

Jo is online at https://www.jobetz.com.au

Find Jo on instagram Here

Thank you so much for joining us today and for sharing your time with us, we look forward to seeing you next week for Part Two!

Happy listening,

Love Steph xx