Today, we are talking about grief, the concept of the “nine friends” that guide us through loss and help us find inner peace, and an inspiring mission to create new beginnings for mothers and children by breaking the cycle of trauma.

In this episode, I am joined by Jeannie Seeley-Smith, the newly retired CEO of Perspectives, who is now president of the “Seed the Change” capital campaign to raise completion funding for the new Perspectives trauma-informed family center. For 42 years, she has been the visionary and pioneer who took a small community awareness agency and turned it into a national model for mothers and children emerging from homelessness, poverty, addiction, and trauma.

We delve into the complex, emotional, and multifaceted experience of grief, exploring the idea of grief as a journey accompanied by nine friends, each symbolizing a stage or emotion tied to profound loss. Jeannie shares insights about the stages of grief, such as shock, sobs, and sorrow, emphasizing the importance of tears and emotional release in the grieving process. We also address the importance of accepting the presence of grief and sorrow as temporary companions, eventually leading to acceptance and comfort.

Our conversation dives deeper into the notions of foes in grief, such as fear, anger, depression, resentment, and jealousy. The importance of finding the ninth friend, inner peace, is highlighted, emphasizing the active role individuals must take to find serenity after loss. Jeannie also talks about her impactful work with Perspectives Family Center, detailing the initiative to raise funds, support women on their path to recovery, and rebuild families by breaking the multigenerational cycle of trauma, addiction, homelessness, and poverty.

Some key topic points covered in this episode include:

  • Understanding Grief as a Journey: Identifying various emotional stages such as shock, sobs, sorrow, acceptance, and comfort
  • The Biological Aspect of Tears: Grief tears as a unique mechanism containing serotonin, aiding in emotional release
  • The Foes of Grief: Exploring the negative emotions that may impede the healing process, such as fear, anger, depression, resentment, and jealousy
  • Finding Inner Peace: The significance of actively seeking inner peace as an essential aspect of healing
  • Perspectives Family Center: Jeannie’s involvement in supporting women’s recovery through fundraising and initiatives to change lives
  • Season Reflection and Appreciation: Acknowledging the insights and contributors to this season, wrapping up the theme of grief

About Jeannie Seeley-Smith:

Jeannie Seeley-Smith is the newly retired CEO of Perspectives, Minnesota’s largest therapeutic, supportive housing program for women and children who have experienced long-term trauma, addiction, homelessness, mental illness, and poverty.

Over the past four decades, Jeannie transformed a small community awareness agency into a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary program that has become a national model for mothers and children emerging from homelessness, trauma, and addiction. 

Jeannie is president of Perspectives “Seed the Change” capital campaign, to raise an additional $5 million to close the funding gap to build a $19 million dollar trauma-informed family center.

About Perspectives: Breaking toxic cycles, empowering mothers, rebuilding families

Perspectives is an award-winning human service program addressing homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, and trauma, for disenfranchised women and children. By intervening and removing barriers, they break the cycle of trauma experienced by mothers and their children. Through trauma-informed care, therapeutic services, supportive housing, and best-practice programming, Perspectives empowers mothers to create a healthier environment for their children and start anew by offering them the chance they never had before.  

Check out the video below to watch our interview:

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