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Episode 44-Navigating Grief and Bereavement: A Guide with Dr. Toni Miles

“Talking about your own passing isn’t morbid.”


Is it just me, or do you find it hard to know what to say or do when someone dies? It’s the most profound loss and it happens to all of us. So why aren’t we better at comforting each other? One of my goals with this podcast is to bring to light the new research and ideas about aging and to encourage people to approach aging with more optimism, appreciation, and curiosity. But let’s face it: death – like aging – happens to all of us. You can’t exercise, meditate, diet, or socially connect your way out of dying and mourning those you love and those you have lost. So how can we help those who are newly bereaved or ourselves?

Today’s episode topic is thanks to a listener suggestion on the topic of bereavement.

Today’s guest, Dr. Toni Miles, is an expert on the field of bereavement, fellow on the Gerontological Society of America, faculty on the University of Georgia College of Public Health, MD and PhD from Howard University, and recognized as a national expert on chronic health epid, gerontology, and bereavement. She has researched the topic of bereavement since 2012 and her work is used by a number of efficacy groups. Her team has disseminated best practices on bereavement care and trains healthcare professionals on bereavement, and has recently been quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

On today’s episode, Dr. Toni and I talk about her decade of studying bereavement and public health and translating her understanding of bereavement so our listeners can put it into practice. Practices like reversing the assumption that most bereaved people are older adults, how to talk to people who are grieving (don’t tell them how to feel – just listen!), and the major health benefits of going for a walk with someone who is grieving. We also discuss generational differences in bereavement, how to talk about your own eventual death, and best practices for showing up for the grieving people in your life (hint: bring healthy food, and stay off social media). 

What’s Next?

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