The Grief Relief Show’s 33rd episode features Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewing Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed on surviving a crisis. Cassedy is a lawyer who’s been in mediation and law for 30 years, and has her own private judging practice in Silicon Valley. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Sofia University as well as in the Religious Studies Department at Santa Clara University. After losing two nephews as well as her son, Timothy Sullivan, she’s found that spirituality has been the greatest blessing. Her son died unexpectedly in 2010 during a skateboarding accident.
Freed has a master’s degree in Counseling, Psychology and Spiritual Guidance from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She wrote Is: Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed and works with clients in the San Francisco area at the Entelechy Wellness Center. For both women, spirituality and the questioning of faith has played a big role in processing their grief. Cassedy recalls when she lost her nephew, it shook her that a child she knew and loved could die at such a young age (11).
A Spiritual Rock
Cassedy’s nephew died of cancer, then a few years later another of her other nephews committed suicide by hanging himself at age 15. She had a strong belief in the afterlife, and by the time Cassedy lost her son that belief had solidified, giving her comfort knowing that her son was happy in the next life. She has three key pieces of advice for those grieving: Know that every grief is unique, take comfort when and how you can, and allow your grief to unfold.
Freed specializes in teaching people how to move in and out of grief, which is a learned skill. Her tips? Surrender and lighten up, love yourself first and express gratitude. It takes time, but an entire life consumed by grief isn’t helpful to anyone.