As the launch of this podcast and first solo episode, Vonne introduces the Grief Talk podcast. She shares some of her story about losing her daughter to suicide in 2005, the many struggles she faced in her early grief, and the trade-offs we face when we decide to let go of our pain.
0:12 Introduction to the podcast, Vonne's shares the loss of her daughter and the struggles in early grief, sibling survivors and how she reacted when asked "how many kids do you have"?
4:27 Why Vonne stopped comforting the non-grieving and what saying "I can't imagine" when hearing about child loss does to the bereaved.
6:55 Why Vonne started this podcast (awareness, advocacy, give voice to issues we don't want to talk about at all or enough, personal growth, conscious expansion, healing and good old grief!), community,
14:25. Vonne shares the key founding practices of starting a healing journey and the challenges that tie us to our pain. "If we feel better, then we mustn't have loved (our lost one) enough.", and
18:00. Vonne discusses letting go when the pain is all we've been hanging on to and what we replace our suffering with.
20:04. Vonne describes going to California to learn how to work with the angels, the benefits of ending our suffering, and what our deceased loved ones want for us.
27:06 Vonne discusses what the trade-offs are for giving up the pain.
29:09 Resources and 50% discount for online course (link below).
30:38 Thanks for watching.
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Vonne Solis 0:00
Welcome to another grief talk Coffee Chat episode. I'm your host, Vonne Solis.
Vonne Solis 0:12
Okay, so welcome to Grief Talk. These episodes, I call coffee chat because I want anyone listening or watching this, just to think about sitting across the table in your favorite Bistro, enjoying your favorite beverage, and having a great conversation where you want to, you know, dive deep and learn more about somebody else's story, help it, you know, trigger you to think about your own story, your own traumas, your own pain, your own personal growth, your own healing, you know, your own thoughts, your own, you know, ways that you feel inspired, to be committed to want more for your life. To get unstuck from whatever's keeping you stuck. And it is in that vein that I have launched this podcast, everything you want to know about grief and more. Offering a combination of these Coffee Chat solo shows, guest interviews and soul sister Sunday chats which I'll tell you more about when that launches.
Vonne Solis 1:21
But for now, I wanted to spend some moments as part of this podcast program, sharing some thoughts. Sharing parts of my story. I lost my daughter to suicide at the age of 22 in 2005, and since 2006, I have been working diligently, is the way I want to say that, to raise awareness about things that have challenged me in my very long grief journey to this date, nearly 17 years. And it is in my speaking with others through the years in my capacity as either, an author, as a previous Angel Therapy practitioner, where I did one on one sessions with people. Where I worked at wellness fairs, psychic fairs. Sat with people in you know, lunchrooms at my then job and just chatted. Had casual conversations with somebody in a passing exchange at the dry cleaners or, you know, having a service done - my nails done getting my hair done.
Vonne Solis 2:35
Whatever situation it has been, where we've had these usually brief moments of connection, where when somebody has asked me, "well, how many kids do you have?" and ahhh... how many do I have?
Vonne Solis 2:54
And in the beginning of my bereavement from child loss, it was really, really difficult for many years to decide how to answer that question, because I have a surviving son. And he was 13 when his sister died by suicide, and I've never wanted to forget him as a sibling survivor. And I've met many, many, many parents over the years who do have surviving siblings, and they're whether I have met them, we've talked in person, whether I've read their stories in, you know, a book that they've happened to write, whatever it is, we all are challenged with the same thing. And that is, how do we answer that question? What am I going to say? And the reason is because nobody wants to hear about the dead kid. And pardon me for being so blunt, but that is a fact.
Vonne Solis 3:51
And so, over the years, I have very selectively chosen the people that I decided I was going to share a teeny tiny bit of my story by just saying, when they ask: "How many children do you have?" Well, I have a surviving son and I had a daughter, but I lost her, you know, in 2005. Or I might say at that point, however, many years ago, it was, it’s "Uuuuhhhh.... I am so sorry." And then dead silence. And for many years, I said: "That's okay. That's okay."
Vonne Solis 4:27
And it wasn't until about three and a half years ago. I decided you know what? It isn't okay. And while I had known for years, I didn't want to be always comforting the person who was asking me about my life, I also wanted to be sensitive to understanding that people, unless you have already gone through loss, and it also depends how that loss has affected you, they aren't very comfortable talking about death, much less child death, and certain types of death.
Vonne Solis 5:08
So, things that we can kind of imagine like, oh your child getting sick or your sibling getting sick, like, you know, I'm talking about here and unexpected deaths, or someone's dying too soon as sooner than we think they should be, we can sympathize a little bit with that because we can go, "Oh, yeah, I can imagine" you know. Most of us have had someone in the family extended or immediate lose someone to cancer, another type of disease, a sudden illness.
Vonne Solis 5:36
But in the deaths that are basically what I consider to be the most vulnerable for people to talk about, which would be certainly infant, child, teen, youth up to you know, age 24 or 25. These are the deaths that we just go "Uuhhhhhh..." and we always say, well, people (I don't), but most peoples' "I can't imagine", but the truth is we actually can imagine. And that's why we don't want to talk about it. It would be absolutely shocking. We know that. We know our worlds would be turned upside down. We know we would lose friends. We know our families would fall apart. We know we would be faced with all sorts of devastation and pain and suffering and challenges that we don't want to think about. So, it's easier just to say, "I can't imagine".
Vonne Solis 6:32
Now, I'm not going to go on about that today. That's for another conversation. When you're on the grieving end of the stick, and someone says to you, I can't imagine, I will go into detail in another episode about what that actually does to the person who is bereaved. But in short, it makes you feel different, isolated, and very, very alone.
Vonne Solis 6:55
So, part of the reason - I have many, many reasons I started this podcast, which I have been thinking about for two years, but it is to raise awareness. It is to act as an advocacy platform for grievers. It is to give voice to issues that we do want to talk about, but maybe we aren't talking about enough or at all. So, in some of the episodes where I'm going to be inviting guests on, we're going to be focusing on healing practices and what they do and their stories and where they've come from. We're going to be focusing on practices for personal growth. How to get out of the darkness. We're going to be focusing on consciousness raising topics. We're also going to be focusing on just good old grief, and what it's like being in this journey.
Vonne Solis 7:51
One of the things, if you tune in to episodes, which are going to be available on your regular audio platforms or on YouTube, is that there's a lot of laughter that comes in in these episodes. So, we do have fun. We are also serious, but it's all about the balance. I wouldn't have been able to start this podcast before I'm starting this podcast, which is 17 years into my bereavement as a parent who has lost a child in July, because many, many things for me have had to come together before I could put on a more public face. I have been in the public before as an author signing books, as I said, going to wellness fairs, you know, doing one on one sessions with people and so on.
Vonne Solis 8:43
But this is now me on a platform and I get to actually share my story. The parts of it, I want to in as much detail as I want to always being sensitive to the audience, the listener, the viewer, and what they may be going through in the OR with the intention, I should say, of always providing support, hope, inspiration, and maybe even some healing for some people.
Vonne Solis 9:15
It is true that we talk about healing as well it's different for everybody and grief is different for everybody. And to some extent that's true. But as I've said before, as I've written about before, we all have basically the same range of emotions, pretty much. I'm speaking in general terms here. And while there may be hundreds of them, and they're almost all fleeting, you know, we and we'll go through them at various times to different intensity for different reasons, none of us are creating new emotions as humans. Same goes for grief. Grief is sadness. It's pain. It's longing for you know, the person or what you have lost. It's pain. Pain and suffering. And the difference between pain and suffering is that suffering is a more prolonged and more intense experience. Suffering is something that we put ourselves through that we just can't let go of the pain. And an example here would be in grief. So, I've lost both my parents and I have lost many other family - extended family members. And my daughter's best friend passed away. Her biological father died, and so on.
Vonne Solis 10:41
So, the initial sorrow around that, and the pain of saying goodbye, of packing belongings up, you know, especially if you're cleaning out a parent's home and so on. The you know, the pain of oh my god, and my mother's case, it was sudden death. So, there was some definite pain, not trauma, but pain with Oh, my God, the shock and so on. But this is all pain that I was able to tuck neatly away. Well actually heal from. I didn't even tuck it away. And in many cases, there might have not even been room for more pain, because the death and the suicide of my child, that is something that that is something that has challenged me to this day. That is my greatest challenge in this body on this planet at this time. And I have made huge strides. And it is the strides that I'm now able to share with others because I have a more complete picture of the journey of my role in it. Of her role in it. And more specifically, what I don't want for my life, and forming a picture of what I do want for my life. So, it's the journey I'm sharing on Grief Talk with all of you. Where each episode can stand on its on its own, but throughout each one, we learn bits and more about, you know, my story, other people's stories in which you can think about it and the capacity of your own story. And maybe even you know, decide you want to become part of this community.
Vonne Solis 12:20
Community is the second reason I started this podcast. I have long felt that I wanted to have a community of like-minded people, whether they're bereaved parents, bereaved from other types of grief. You know, people who just feel frustrated, lost, searching for a purpose, searching for more. Just having a, you know, a little bit of a have a rough time of it, being in this human body on this planet. And some of what we go through as a collective on this planet that's dark. That's, you know, not the way we came here to live and came here to be and, and even sometimes came here to do our work amidst what seems sometimes like just massive darkness.
Vonne Solis 13:07
So, establishing a community where we get to share a space and there are other communities like this, absolutely. Mine is focused where we, in addition to all of those types of topics and interaction, where I can eventually build it to have wonderful interaction with folks, is that we don't forget about the grief part of it. The loss part of it and all of those experiences that we go through, mostly in isolation and silence, because we're not a very welcoming culture in the Western world, at least not North America. And I'm from Canada. And I know resources are very limited for, you know, grief, support, grief, advocacy, suicide support, and advocacy, child grief, teen grief, and so on. And so, the platform here is meant to open that world up for people. And I'm excited to see where it goes, how it grows, and, you know, the community development of the whole thing.
Vonne Solis 14:25
So, on that note, I did want to very briefly, touch on one of the key founding principles or practices is a better way to say it, when we want to start a healing journey. Sometimes when we even just want to open up our mind to hear about somebody else's healing, or that they're doing well after a particular trauma or horrible loss. Something that other people just can't imagine. And I get it. This is why I've waited for so long to have a live - this is me live, not hiding behind you know pen and paper in the written word, speaking about some of these things, because I know the difficulties in wanting to heal. Wanting to let go of something painful from our past. And when we think about this in terms of a child dying, you know, there's a lot of challenges to saying, "Yep, you know what I'm going to heal from that loss", because, you know, the obvious thing that comes to mind is that if we feel better, then we mustn't have loved them enough.
Vonne Solis 15:44
So that is a probably a theme that I'm going to be circling around to periodically because it is actually, for me anyway, one of the, the staples, binding nice, stapling me, if you will, to the suffering that I felt for so many years, and only basically decided when I wrote my last book Lessons in Surviving Suicide - A Letter to My Daughter, and I'll have the link below to that. I'll have a link below to all my books and online course and blog and all of an all of the things I offer on YouTube, it was, how do I choose to let go. Let go of my suffering, and heal, when I love her so much? And loving her today, even though she's not here, she's gone, ties me to our connection.
Vonne Solis 16:48
If I didn't display my love for her, and when we've lost someone, we do that through our grieving, through our pain, and really difficult pain or suffering. If I let that go, well, what does that say about me as a bereaved mother? And also, what do I replace it with? Because common sense tells me my daughter wouldn't want me to suffer. I can offer you some episodes, and probably will, on channeling and my daughter coming to visit me through my own, you know, dreams with her, dream, visit, astral visits with her, and through other mediums I saw very early on in the first, you know, two, three years of, of my most intense grieving that took place, although the suffering has lasted for many, many years. But in it in every case that I was able to actually see a medium, interact with the medium, you know, these are real deal people that I met, through training myself I was doing in you know, different avenues, venues that we got together. I mean, it's such a special experience when someone comes to visit you.
Vonne Solis 18:00
So, letting you know, letting that go, letting that you know pain go when it's all we've really hung on to. The last remnants, the last bit of the physical connection is the suffering, then if that's all you're used to, what's the trade off? What do I have to give up? To have in place of my suffering? And some people out there might actually have figured it out very early on, depending on who they lost, what they're suffering from, and because this is a podcast Grief Talk -everything you want to know about grief and more, we're also not limiting this to just human loss.
Vonne Solis 18:51
So those things, I've got an upcoming episode with a wonderful special guest talking about alopecia hair loss, and what the grief is like. And it's just not so different between what we feel in human loss than when you watch the last strand of your hair go, particularly as a woman. So, the whatever we're tying ourselves to, from whatever intensity of the pain, whether it's just really bad pain. Whether it's suffering that has impacted our life in so many ways. It's destroyed much of what we've known. Whether it's to that degree, or it's something else: money, a marriage, breaking up children moving away retirement, childhood trauma, horrible things - like horrible things that happen. Whatever it is that is keeping us to that pain and suffering, in order to even contemplate letting it go, in my view, and in my experience, we have to have some idea what we want to replace it with.
Vonne Solis 20:04
My journey is at the point where for the most part, I've known for years that I wanted to let it go. And I'll tell you one quick story in this episode. So, in 2006, I went to California, I had been working with angels. And in fact, the next Coffee Chat episode I offered to you is going to be all about angels and healing and how I became an angel therapy practitioner in 2006, nine months after my daughter died. And that whole experience and what it was like doing that and training with a well-known, you know, leader in the angelic world at the time, Doreen Virtue . So, I'm going to be talking about that in the next Coffee Chat. But one part of the four-day training was a fire ritual that they did. And I know it sounds kind of weird. And for all of us, it's like, what? Go around a fire, like, you know, do that sacred thing. And there were drums beating and all this stuff. But in actual fact, it kind of was, it was absolutely very sacred. And it kind of touched a very basic instinct core within the 400 of us that were there that night.
Vonne Solis 21:21
And the idea was that the drums beat and all of us filed into this beautiful, beautiful, beautiful garden. And as it came our turn to throw this note - what we wanted to let go that was wrapped tightly around a rock that we had chosen to throw into the fire, it was a basically big bin. It was really powerful, really, really powerful. Just to this one, boom, boom, boom, drumbeat. I think there might have been a couple of drums.
Vonne Solis 22:02
Anyway, what I had written on my paper was that I wanted to let the pain and suffering of losing my beautiful daughter, just nine months earlier, I wanted at some point before I died to be able to let that go. And while this was a very, very special and spiritual exchange between Janaya and me, because I could feel her all around me in that experience. And as a matter of fact, I was with my sister at that, and I had many and my sister witnessed them - physical manifestations of my daughter's presence that whole entire week, it was insanely crazy. And made me an absolute believer in the afterlife and being able to connect with our loved ones gone and so on. But at this fire, sacred fire ritual, when I you know, prepping for it was just like in that lineup, so intense and so moving and scary. And when I threw my rock and my note and my promise into that fire bin okay, it was - I won't say a release. But it was a bit of a whoa, overwhelm of a promise that I didn't have a clue how I was going to keep. And it would be many, many years later, while the intention was always there, and the work has been there in progress since that night, and actually even going right back to the moment I, well, the early night, I found out - the day, the afternoon, the evening I spent at the scene of my daughter's passing - it's never left me that I wanted to let this suffering go. Completely, willingly, consciously and intentionally.
Vonne Solis 23:57
Why? Because I know the importance of incarnation. And I know the importance for me of getting things right in this incarnation. And I know that I never wanted her death to be wasted. Not by anyone else considering, you know, learning about her. You know, and not by me looking back at my life and going, "now that was a waste". I've talked about this from many years ago, I talk about it now. I'm still committed to the same thing. But the difference is now the last you know, two and a half years, I've been contemplating a lot more about what it's going to take and what it is taking for me to completely allow healing to take over my life. S So that I can be fully present for my son, who's now turning 30. For my other family members how few and far between we are. But mostly just for my daughter.
Vonne Solis 25:05
Because understanding that there is the possibility for those and the certainty for those of us that believe this and have been touched by the afterlife - our lost ones in the afterlife, they can see and feel our pain. And that's not what they want for us. And every message I ever got from a medium from years back. From as far back as 2006 was, your daughter doesn't want you to suffer. And while I could just go, "eh, anybody could tell me that", which is true, again, in that realm where these are authentic, the real deal, people, not rich, not famous, not just trying to score the next big Glitz gig. They were real mediums that just want to help people. And that message, and when I later in September 2015 went and did a week's mediumship training with James van Praagh myself; and, understood that that came fairly easily to me to do; the intention of people working in this field for the most part, is to help loved ones left behind deal with the physical pain and suffering and having a connection to their loved one. Ongoing consciousness in whatever form we want to choose to see them in the afterlife. But more to just trust that we can have a connection with them. And if we can have a connection with them, and even if you don't believe that we can, to continue suffering in this life, because they left us? Well, I just don't think that's fair to us. I think it robs us of so much. And I just believe we'll see them again. And so, I kind of want to make the best of what time I have left.
Vonne Solis 27:06
Having said that I know the struggle. So that takes me right back to needing and wanting to let it go. But the trade-off, and what's the trade-off. So, the trade-off is really giving up the pain and suffering for the joy, the contentment, the relief, and the love that we block from ourselves, when all we can do is survive in the darkness. And really believe that pain and suffering is just dark energy. And knowing what that has been like to have been consumed by that, I guess I was really blessed because I had a foundation in metaphysics for many, many years, while 23 years prior to my daughter's suicide. So that was kind of the hook for me, that kept me grounded. Not dissimilar to people who have great faith. Christians or other religions. And that ties them it allows them - their faith allows them to forgive, to heal, to make things right in their life to not want to be stuck in the suffering. So, there are many, many ways to come to understand and to decide your trade-offs. It all starts with whether or not you're willing to even embrace the trade-off.
Vonne Solis 28:31
So, that's just a quick opening in our first coffee chat session or episode, I should say. Our first coffee chat episode in some of what makes me go around. How I think. Some of what I believe in. Some of my story. How I want to help others. And how I do want to help others is help them in many ways, but one of them, deciding whether or not it would even be worth giving up the pain and suffering. And if it was, what might they give that up for?
Vonne Solis 29:09
I'm here as your host, Vonne, and I have things to offer you. Many, many online that are free resources through my blog, through this podcast through a YouTube channel where we've got informational videos and many meditations. Through my books that are available for purchase globally. And my new online course that I'm offering. And anyone that comes to it through this podcast, I am offering a 50% discount. I'm just going to be really, really upfront with that. That is an online course I have specifically launched in my school online to help people who are stuck at the very bottom and giving them very, very specific steps just to get initially unstuck.
Vonne Solis 30:02
So, if you're interested in any of that, check out the links below. Tune into these episodes that are largely going to be bi-weekly with some bonus episodes thrown in. I really hope that you like what you hear on this podcast, understanding it is going to evolve the more that we get into it. The longer it's on air and see how it develops. I would just love to have you here for any of the episodes and be part of this growing community.
Vonne Solis 30:38
Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Until next time. (Music playing).