Persevering is a podcast created by our Youth Board for young grievers. It’s grief as told by young people, with ten amazing episodes including what grief is like when the relationship was complicated, and what school can be like when you’re grieving. You can listen on your favourite podcast platform – just scroll down for links. Thanks to The Co-op Foundation, who funded this project.
Over a quarter of students have already experienced a loss before medical school, and as Katy and Izzy unpack, it’s a degree that can intersect with your grief in unexpected ways. They share their perspectives that include encountering cadavers in lectures and supporting patients who have similar illnesses to a deceased family member. Packed with honest advice from how to emotionally navigate placements to using your experiences in order to be a better doctor, this episode is an insightful medical-themed discussion that offers food for thought for all listeners.
Episode created by: Izzy and Katy
Resource: ‘Medical students’ experience of personal loss: incidence and implications’ by Whyte et al. (2013): https://bmcmededuc.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6920-13-36
Returning to school when a loved one has died can be difficult to navigate, and something that’s likely to be different for everyone. In this episode, Harin and Emily share what their school experience was like after losing a parent, and offer advice for teenagers going through it now. Topics covered include how do teachers find out, accessing grief therapy, and what extenuating circumstances you can get to help with exams.
Episode created by: Harin and Emily
Anticipatory grief is common when a loved one is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, but what is it like grieving a person who is still alive? Chloe, Ruby and Emily share their stories and the impact of anticipatory grief on them as young people. The conversations include becoming a carer, children’s vs adults’ hospices, and how it feels when you finally get that phone call.
Episode created by: Emily, Chloe and Ruby
8 years after losing her mum to cancer, Shuma Rouf reflects on how finding a stronger connection with Islam helped in her grief journey. In this episode, she shares her personal experiences including learning how to make her mum’s traditional dishes during Ramadan and seeking out support from the Qur’an to understand grief further. Shuma runs @spokengrief, a podcast and Instagram page that offers unapologetic discussions and an online community for those who have experienced loss.
Episode created by: Katy, Hannah and Izzy
This episode focuses on the emotions and challenges when someone dies suddenly, and the different ways it may affect a child or teenager in contrast to having time to process an upcoming death. Having lost loved ones suddenly at a young age, Myat and Harriet talk candidly through responses from school friends, dealing with big moments without your person there, and growing around your grief.
Episode created by: Harriet and Myat
Religion can hugely affect the way you process a death, and this week Katy, Izzy and Hannah share their Christian perspectives on loss at a young age. Conversation topics include the afterlife, visiting the grave, and tips for Christmas without your loved one. For some, a death may prompt them to question their faith, but it can also provide comfort both practically and spiritually.
Episode created by: Hannah, Izzy and Katy
Resources: A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis, @mindandsouluk, www.lossandhope.org, Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Letters from the Grief Club: How We Live with Loss, and Til Min Far (To My Father – Danish) by Niels Erling.
How do you start to comprehend someone’s death when the relationship you had with them was complicated? When your most prominent feelings are guilt, anger or jealousy rather than the sadness people often associate with death, it can be difficult to unpick. Join Harriet and Viola, part of a group of 16-20 year olds who have experienced bereavement, for a nuanced conversation as they reflect on a wide range of topics from absent relationships to finding something out later on that changes your perspective of the person you’ve lost.
Trigger warnings: suicide, domestic abuse and mental health difficulties
Episode created by: Viola and Harriet
Resources mentioned: @thegriefspace Instagram, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, The Grief Gang podcast and @thegriefgang Instagram, and Never Have I Ever (Netflix).
Got 5 minutes? Words of wisdom for when you need it: a group of 16-20 year olds share their advice for for those who are newly bereaved. Themes include surprise initial emotions, changing as a person, and helping others to help you.
Episode created by:
Harriet, Sumaiyah, Hannah and Ruby
Amber Jeffrey was 19 when her mum died suddenly, and over the last three years has created @thegriefgang community as a supportive place for those who have been bereaved. In this episode she shares her story with members of the Persevering team who have also experienced sudden loss at a young age. Topics include the unexpected emotions of grief, whether to tell new people you meet, and finding purpose after pain. This episode contains strong language.
Episode created by:
Myat, Harriet, Anna-Louise and Joanne
What can you say when a friend or classmate is grieving? What is actually helpful to that person? A group of 16-20 year olds who have all been in this situation talk candidly about what they experienced and the meaningful yet simple things you can do to support someone else.
Episode created by:
Chloe, Viola, Amelia, Ruby, Erin and Nell
Resources and organisations mentioned:
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, A Manual for Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink, Hope Bereavement Support, The Good Grief Trust, Let’s Talk About Loss, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, George Shelley: Learning to Grieve (BBC), Kooth, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine, and Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.
Coming soon – a new podcast by young people, for young people.
Persevering: Grief As Told By Young People is a space to openly discuss grief and bereavement, featuring personal experiences and advice from a number of teenagers plus some very special guests.
We hope that whether you’re supporting yourself or someone else through loss, you’ll find relatable stories and solidarity as we aim to talk through the taboo.
A project by the youth board at bereavement charity Let’s Talk About Loss, with thanks to funding from the Coop Foundation.
Follow @perseveringpodcast on Instagram and wherever you get your podcasts.