Dealing With The 5-Letter Word: DEATH

In debriefing the 2-part interview with Morgan Michele Brown on death, dying, and healing, the T-Uncut Team reminds us of things to consider when dealing with death. Understand common stages and responses to death including, depression, anger, bargaining, denial, and acceptance and tips on how to support someone else who may be grieving.

In this episode we talk about:

Nikki, Jolene, and Alyssa discuss the common responses and stages that you may encounter when processing death or loss and remind us that grief is an individualized process. How you deal with the death or loss of someone or something important to you will very likely be different from

In our previous interview with Morgan, the Therapists Uncut team asked Morgan what she knows know that she wishes she would have known at the time her mother died, and Morgan responded

 “That [grief] is a process.”

One common model that helps us better understand death and dying is the Kubler Ross 5 Stages of Grief. Someone who is grieving may experience these responses in no particular order.

  1. Denial: “This isn’t happening.”
  2. Anger: Anger at themselves or with others
  3. Bargaining: Feeling as though you would do anything to change it.
  4. Depression: Intense sadness, lack of motivation or feeling stuck
  5. Acceptance: While you may still feel sadness, you are able to accept that things will be okay again, in time.

It’s not uncommon to feel that out-of-body experience Morgan mentioned, almost feeling as though your barely functioning within a haze or cloud. Especially when experiencing all of the “Firsts”

  • The first birthday
  • The first anniversary
  • The first time you complete tasks that your partner/friend usually completes

Understand that grieving a loss either to death or loss is process and it’s important to verbalize what you need or don’t need from your support. Remember, don’t compare your grief process to anyone else. This is your process. But, do recognize if and when you need to reach out to your support or connect with local resources to help your through this individualized process.

Now, what if you are someone who wants to know how to “show condolences” or how to support someone who is grieving? Consider these tips, but also remember everyone is different.

  1. Take food. While they may not feel hungry immediately, when they are ready to eat they will eat.
  2. Sit with your friend/family and let them cry. Silence is okay. Crying is okay.
  3. Ask, “What’s going on in your head” instead of “how are you?” This gives them the space to talk if they want, but also not talk.
  4. Use your words to remind them, “I’m here for you, whatever that is.”
  5. Ask, “What can I do for you” or “What needs to be done?”
  6. Don’t be offended if what you offer or say is not what they want in that moment. It’s not personal.

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links:

Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene’s punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at or

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You’ll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria