What happens when a daughter comes out as queer to her Christian Parents and then soon after her mom dies? How does she deal with grief of never getting to finish the rumble of her sexual identity with her mom?
I’m delighted to have interviewed Shelby Forsythia about the grief of not only losing her mom at the young age of 21, but also the grief of never getting to finish a conversation that has left her rumbling with feelings of unacceptance. Shelby is the author of Permission to Grieve and podcast host of Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss. After the unexpected death of her mother in 2013, she became a “student of grief” and set out on a lifetime mission to explore the oft-misunderstood human experience of loss. Through her book, weekly podcasts, and one-on-one grief guidance, she helps grieving people find direction, get support, and cultivate radical self-compassion after devastating loss.
Shelby is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Reiki Level II Practitioner, and Intuitive Grief Guide. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Bustle, and Optimal Living Daily. She currently lives in Chicago.
00:23:10 Why we struggle to give ourselves permission to grieve in society
00:30:35 Shelby’s idyllic childhood story
00:33:40 When it all changed (the 4 years of hell) – her dad’s diagnosis with brain aneurysms – Shelby comes out queer to her parents and develops an eating disorder – her mom’s breast cancer – her mom passes away
00:43:40 The story of her and her mom shopping – “She died in the middle of a fight.” Shelby’s mom died in the middle of an argument about Shelby’s sexuality
00:48:43 The anger she’s left with
00:52:50 “Love the sinner, hate the sin” – how this statement feels to Shelby
01:02:49 “It’s a lifestyle.” – how this lands with her
01:18:20 What Shelby’s parents could’ve said that would’ve felt more loving and accepting
01:20:40 How can we do better in the Church?
01:28:20 Big Reveal
Book Recommendations for Learning More:
Great Starter Book
A bit heftier theology-wise
Connect with Shelby
Connect with Kathleen
Kathleen’s Workbook –Embrace You: A Guide to Uncovering the Real You
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