In this first of a two-part series, hosts Rob B Rok, Nio Nyx, and Gianni Storm engage in a deeply personal exploration of grief. They share their experiences with life's most challenging losses, from the anguish of miscarriage to the profound impact of losing family members and grappling with the aftermath of suicide. Through their stories, they offer insights into the varied ways individuals experience and cope with grief. This episode provides a space for raw and honest conversation about the emotional journey of loss and healing. Don't miss the continuation of this poignant discussion in next week's episode, available on the Podz Network.
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Nio Nyx: [00:00:00] Hey, I'm Nio Nyx. Welcome to another episode of the True Live Shenanigans podcast. Today, we've got a deep episode on grief and loss. My co host today is the lovely Gianni Storm and the rock star Robby Rock.
So this is going to be a pretty deep conversation. So I just want to start things off with something happy. Just anything that made you happy recently.
Rob B Rok: Something I'm really excited about is with the filmmaking, uh, group that I've fallen in place with. Um, there is a pitch happening with one of the local media outlets to produce a [00:01:00] show and they've generated some interest.
So We're going to try to move forward with that. And there's a few other projects in the works with these guys. And it's so exciting to be creating something like this and being a part of it. It really is. That's
Nio Nyx: super exciting. Yeah. I'm excited to see what you guys produce. Rob, the
Gianni Storm: movie star.
Nio Nyx: I got a face for radio.
I'm sorry. We're going to have to, we're going to have to change this from rock star to movie star.
Gianni Storm: For me. I've been making a lot more money lately, so I'm excited about that. And then also, I've been doing a really good job with just my personal routine of just, you know, eating correctly and working out and just this cool work life balance. I've been doing a good job, so I'm happy about that. Finally, I got it right.
Rob B Rok: That's awesome, dude. And you know what you keep refining it over time. Yeah. Small sustainable changes over time. Don't overwhelm yourself with big changes. Just small changes over time. Okay. [00:02:00] And it's acts. It stacks. It's good
Gianni Storm: advice. Yeah.
Nio Nyx: Thank you guys. So, I mean, something that made me happy recently is like, we traveled to Nashville Tennessee.
Yeah, my wife, it was wonderful. It was like a Nashville is actually a really nice city. I mean, I, I suggest anyone, anyone that can visit, go visit. I loved being able to, well, one, me and my wife had a lot of fun. So that made me happy, but I love, I love live music. Live music is kind of my thing. I go to concerts all the time.
You know, I'm one of those people, like, I don't go to a club for the dance, and I go to listen to music, right? I go to those live jazz clubs, and I just, I like the way the instruments go together, and sometimes when I listen to the singers, I look at the instruments, and who's playing what, and the sounds that I hear.
It's so much fun. But with Nashville, you know, they have the strip and they have all these bars and you can just walk into the bar, no cover charge, walk in, walk out, give a [00:03:00] tip, don't give a tip, buy a drink, don't buy a drink, and just listen to music.
We just, I just ended up tipping a bunch cause I would, I don't drink obviously. So I would just go tip him. It was, it was a lot of fun. So yeah. Nashville. Yeah. Yeah.
Nio Nyx: Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville. Nashville, Tennessee, especially with the music and it's a growing growing city as well.
All right. We talked about something happy. Now we're going to talk a bit about grief and loss to Robbie. I'll turn things over to you.
Rob B Rok: Thank you, sir. So, today we are peeling back the layers of a topic that touches us all at some point in our lives. Grief and healing. It is a universal life experience. So grief is a profound emotional response to loss and it is as universal as it is personal.
So from the passing of a loved one to the end of a significant life chapter, grief weaves through our lives in unexpected ways. Traditionally, we've been guided by the [00:04:00] belief in a set path to healing a series of stages that promise a road map through our pain. But as we delve deeper into understanding human emotions, we're confronting with.
A pressing question. Does the idea that there are universal methods for healing from grief oversimplify the complexity of individual experiences? That's going to be the question, the wrap up question at the end. But what I'd like to start off with is just an exploration of some of these universal methods for healing from grief.
So some of them are talking about the loss, sharing your feelings with friends and family and support groups. Seeking professional help, practicing self care, memorializing, and expressive therapies like art, music, writing, uh, to express your feelings, to process it. And then some of the individual differences that come into play here are the cultural variations, depending on where you are, which social fabric you [00:05:00] belong to, personal coping styles, the nature of the loss that you have sustained.
And I guess the support systems that are present. So I know that I've. Put a lot there for you, but let's talk. Let's talk about the common suggested methods. Um, and Johnny, if you don't mind, I'd like to start with you. Yeah.
Gianni Storm: So, I mean, we all kind of know that there is not necessarily a linear. Point of dealing with grief, but I think kind of just some suggestions to throw out there 1 that stood out to me mainly was expressing, like, expressing either through music art, whatever that form looks like for somebody.
That's probably 1 of the main things. And then 2, I would say having some type of. I, how would I put it like a spiritual belief system or something bigger than you that you can believe in? The reason I say that is because I feel [00:06:00] like grief and death and dealing with loss is for some and for a lot of people is greater than like.
What we can handle, and I think that when you have something that you can take it off of you and put it onto something else, whether, like I said, that's through expression of your art music, whatever your talent is, and simultaneously giving it. in essence to God helps like greatly, like life changingly.
Um, so that's what I would say. I think that the biggest thing for me when it comes to loss, I know a lot of people might have their own opinions, but I think keeping that in you is detrimental. And I think the biggest thing is somehow allowing it to Get out of you experience it and then let's let it go.
Somehow. That would be a form of healing that I would offer.
Nio Nyx: I will say researching grief and came across this quote that says brief is the price we pay for love. Apparently Queen Queen Elizabeth came up with that. But. [00:07:00] It's, grief is the price we pay for love. I had to also look up like a definition for grief because I really wanted to understand like what is grief.
One of the ones that resonated with me was the Cleveland Clinic. It says, grief is the experience of coping with loss. Most of us think grief as happening in the painful period following the death of a loved one. But grief can accompany any event that disrupts or challenges our sense of normalcy or ourselves.
I really kind of took to heart that part about ourselves. What grief is to me. And you know, there's all these models like the Kubler Ross model that you talk about stages. Like. Smile, anger, depression, all that stuff. But before we kind of get into that, there are these studies that kind of talk about where grief comes from and there is an actual physical, [00:08:00] psychological, mental effect.
you know, that definition says That we lose a part of ourselves. because, We literally do. Because what happens is. we create connections with people, things, items, whatever it is. There are neural connections, neural pathways that connect together.
it becomes a part of who we are you know, you feel this sense of belonging, needing, closeness. When, when you're laying next to your loved one in bed and, they're not there, you feel this sense of, they're not there. And when we lose someone, our brain pathways have to readjust, those neurons have to kind of not die.
But some of them do kind of different and then you create different pathways, different connections to different things and that takes time, but the loss is significant. The
Rob B Rok: cognitive effects and the behavioral changes accompanied with grief are [00:09:00] significant. Because I mean, it can meld to confusion, disorientation, being preoccupied with the loss.
It can really impact your decision making and your concentration at that point. And as far as your behavioral changes, just, you know, withdrawing from those social activities, if it's the loss of a partner, for example, Nio like things you used to do as a couple would not seem as attractive to you.
So, you would withdraw socially, you wouldn't engage in the rituals that you were. So, like, you were saying. You're killing those neural pathways in a sense, because you're changing your behavior completely. You're forging through with new thought processes with new ways of going through things. So I, I do appreciate what you're saying
Nio Nyx: there.
Just to share his personal experience. So, I've dealt with death, my grandmother, you know, older people, my uncle, all these people that have died. I used to not cry, but there was a breakthrough one time when my grandfather died. And I, so I was when I was sitting [00:10:00] there, right? I was like, oh, okay.
And there was a moment when I looked at the casket and look at him laying there. And I thought about. All of the things that we used to do together. And the moment that I said to myself that that will never happen again. I can never do those things with him again. And it's gone. I started bawling.
Like, just bawling. And I'm like, what the hell? And that sense of loss, that sense of, I can't do that anymore. and it was just. I couldn't stop crying at that point. And I didn't even understand it. And I was relatively young. I was maybe like 16, 17, I think. kind of formative time.
Um, and I've also dealt with, and this is kind of a personal thing, I've also dealt with, um, miscarriage not me personally, [00:11:00] obviously, but, um, when you have a child coming, And you see the heartbeat, right? all these thoughts and plans and things that you kind of like, think about like, I'm going to do this.
I'm going to be this kind of father. I'm going to do these things. I'm going to do that. and I really planned out a long history in my head. Even though that the entity, the person doesn't exist yet. It's not necessarily in my life. They exist to me, right? Yeah. And they exist in my mind. When the loss happened, it was devastating.
I didn't know the person, the human. I didn't meet them. I didn't know their personality. But it was what I imagined, what I dreamed, what I thought could happen. It was devastating to lose that. And I mean, and [00:12:00] it speaks to like these neural pathways, these neurons, these, these thoughts and it's like, and it was, it was, it has been difficult, right.
and it doesn't even go away, which is even more complex and more hard. I've had therapy and stuff for this. Yeah,
Gianni Storm: thank you for sharing that
Rob B Rok: just with cultural variations. I'm, I'm curious now, because I've heard alluded to through our conversations in the past. When you're, you broke down at your grandfather's funeral when you were crying, how was it perceived by.
Your community because I know that boys don't cry. Um, you know, there's a very much a cheesy thing. So I'm just curious if how comfortable you felt in that moment and how it was perceived by your immediate surrounding. I
Nio Nyx: mean, given the context of where we were, I wasn't the only one crying, so I didn't feel out of place, but.
I hear you on sharing your [00:13:00] grief and your pain and culturally speaking. Yeah, you know, we're not supposed to cry speaking on the miscarriage. It has been difficult for me. Um, and it's been difficult to share as well.
Gianni Storm: Is that because you're a man or you're saying because like, culturally do you mean like, because we're black, which, which one?
Nio Nyx: It's a mix for me, actually. Um, You know, I haven't experienced any other community in terms of sharing grief. So, I don't know what it's like, um, I feel like as a black man, crying about these type of things doesn't make sense or has not felt safe. But it makes sense to me as a grown adult now, um, you know, when I can get in touch with my feelings and things like that.
It's something that's not easy to share with my wife. It's not something [00:14:00] that's easy to share with others. It's just not easy to share. So, that's
Rob B Rok: relegated to personal coping styles.
Gianni Storm: Okay.
Nio Nyx: Okay. And it is personal coping styles. someone I don't it makes me cry and I don't want to be seen as kind of week to some degree.
Number two, I'm a horrible crier. I'm an ugly crier. Nobody's a beautiful crier. No, no, no, no, no, no. It's pretty embarrassing actually. No, no, no, no. It's pretty embarrassing. I'm an embarrassing crier.
Gianni Storm: Everybody is. No, no, no, no, no. Everybody looks
Nio Nyx: crazy crying. Until you experience it. No, no, no, no, no. You're like, you gotta see it.
Those memes of Michael Jordan. Yeah, that's me. Aw.
Gianni Storm: Aw, Neo. But crying is so, is so, ugh, therapeutic. I can cry out of nowhere. I'm like, why am I crying? And I was probably just stressed [00:15:00] and overworked and tired, but it's like, wow, after you cry you really do. Feel it out of you. That's why I said the importance of laws.
Nio Nyx: I haven't, I don't know you in person, but I know you've dealt with a lot of loss and grief even recently. Um, yeah, I mean, how are you what is. Culturally for you in Canada, what is it like for you? Are you a crier?
Rob B Rok: I'm okay, so I'm a crier for sure, but let's. Throw some context around that. Okay. I'm a crier today.
In given situations, but definitely that notion of boys don't cry was instilled into me. That was just the way that we were brought up. But with the nature of loss that I've sustained, I've lost my brother to suicide in 2003. Um, yeah, I mean, I wept. Uh, absolutely. And I think that that's really helped change my lens on loss because if it's a [00:16:00] tragic.
Sudden loss it, that impacts me deeply. If it's something that you can prepare for, uh, emotionally, then there's less of an impact if it's losing someone at the end of their life, after they've lived a very fulfilling life, not so much. So, and it really depends on the nature of the loss, the relationship that I have.
Nio Nyx: This is what I understand. So you're saying the longer, more fulfilled life they have. The less you feel
Rob B Rok: grief as as a generality. Yes. When I just had it from a social context. Yeah. If it's a sudden tragic loss of a young life, as opposed to someone in their later years, I have an easier time accepting.
Going in your later years, it makes sense naturally or from disease. I mean, the, these are things that happen, but the nature of the loss, um, my brother, but I guess I'd be careful with the choice of words. My, my brother self deleted, um, and. I, I've been to a [00:17:00] few funerals since where someone has gone by their own hand.
And that breaks me, it absolutely breaks me because I relive it in a way and. I feel very comfortable sharing that level of grief with the family because I. I don't know what their personal experience is, but I I'm dialed in pretty close to the zone. Um, I did lose an uncle. Very recently, and that 1 was a little bit different because he's someone who I spent time with growing up who did have an influence on.
Who I've become, and he's memorialized in my life by some of the things that I do, which is just. Absolutely amazing and touching. And when I lost him, I recognized that at this stage of my life, I think that my grief has become cumulative. [00:18:00] That when I feel the grief for that person, I allow myself to then tap into the grief of all of those that I've lost over time.
Interesting. Yeah, it really makes me value the interactions that I had with those people and it makes me value the interactions that I have with people because the only time that you feel loss is because you had a meaningful connection with someone.
Nio Nyx: So if I'm understanding your cumulative comment, you're saying that as you go through life, as more and more people in your life leave.
Or more loss happens, you are feeling the previous losses. So the losses are at this stage are greater for you than they were, say, when you were 15, 16, 20.
Rob B Rok: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I had no real barometer for grief and loss. Um, I, [00:19:00] I started experiencing loss at a very early age. Um. It was always there, even as a child, when I think about it, my introduction to funerals and these rites, absolutely, I was there.
And over time, it's nice to see the evolution as far as the memorializing to go from the traditional wake to, uh, more contemporary celebrations of life. I'm seeing that trend growing and I. I love it. I love it because while we are sad and we mourn the loss, that shouldn't be what we're really focused on.
Um, during that day, we should be celebrating that person in every way imaginable and sharing those stories because that's what keeps them alive. And that's what really means something to the survivors. Yep. Nio, I, I just wanna say from a personal standpoint that I appreciate your willingness to open up and share with us, because I know that it's not something that is easy for you, it's not something that you lean into.
[00:20:00] So, and there there is value in talking about the loss for yourself and for others. So I just, I wanna say thank you for that. And you too, Johnny, you've always been an open book when it came to sharing these
Nio Nyx: experiences. If I'm being honest, I'm finding back tears. As we're talking about it. So I'm also curious about Gianni, though, because how have you dealt with loss and grief?
Gianni Storm: That is tough because I was low key, not ready for this topic, because I think, like, we talked about, it's just something we don't, you know, you want to avoid talking about, because it is emotional. And then it's also, I think people just want to be put together. Right. We don't want to be falling apart, even if it is something that you rightfully can fall apart about.
But grief for me has been interesting. I've never, sorry, I've lost people, um, growing up, but never somebody as close to me as my mom. My mom also self deleted when I [00:21:00] was 22. She was, my mom was like a best friend. Like she was very, very close to me. And even when I think about it now, it was, I'm not, that's why I said it's grief and sorrow is so heavy to me that I, I think that my way it's been what?
Like six years now, I think the way that I've dealt and coped with it is. Um, kind of letting it come to me naturally. I don't go into the thought. Does that make sense? Like, I don't go seeking it. people speak about her. People love my mom. So people are always talking about her. So that's why it's kind of hard to avoid speaking about her with especially with my family.
But, um, I am her like, it's so weird. Like, we're just so similar. So it's like, I live. Um, not
Rob B Rok: through her. I've seen photographs on, on your socials. I mean, yeah. There's definitely a resemblance too, , when you say I'm her, I, I [00:22:00] can appreciate where that comes from and, you know, not seeking it, letting it find you.
Yeah. That I can relate. Yeah. To, well, where I'm looking when it comes, then it's just, well, I'm gonna lean into it and I'm gonna let myself have this because it's, uh, yeah, it's a very unique experience.
Nio Nyx: It is, it is. I'm just curious out of like, because you, you brought it up like your coping mechanism.
'cause I know part of grief is like learning how to deal with it. Right. And, you know. Yeah. And we all have different ways of dealing with grief. And so you were starting to describe how you cope.Because I, I have a way to cope with mine too.
Gianni Storm: I don't like my coping style and I think that later on in life, we'll see how it goes.
But my coping style is, it seems to me like, um, locking out. I think that's, that's my, I'm gonna be honest. Like, that's and it's been, it's been 6 years now and I still, it's just [00:23:00] too hard because it's, I think how you cope is dependent on how that person passed away. So, I think that 2. I think that 2. Like Rob said, if it was something where my mom was older and she was, she, she went to my wedding.
She saw me have children. I would be more accepting that she passed away. And if it was from a disease, I would be more accepting. Like, okay, life, she got sick, but because of the way and because of the stage I was at in my life, that pivotal 22 years old, becoming a woman, I think that, It was super dramatic for me at that time to the point where I'm who I was at 22 and 21 different than what you guys see now.
Way different, way different. And, um, yeah, it did make me stronger though. I will say that, like I was a super, very emotional, spoiled bratty kind of girl, and now I'm much more independent of my, on my own emotions. I know how to regulate emotion better. Um, so [00:24:00] it taught me a lot.
Nio Nyx: So. I haven't really dealt with someone taking their own life and I can't imagine being on the other side, someone kind of left behind how that must feel.
I I've heard how it can feel, but it's hard for me to actually imagine it. And I'm curious how much guilt or, you know, what you could have done and how much that plays a role or just curious if, if your own feelings about yourself, play a role in your grief
Gianni Storm: Yeah, I think so.
Nio Nyx: Unfortunately, this is all the time we have for this episode.
So if you'd like to hear the rest of our conversation on grief, please be sure to check us out next week for part two, new episodes are released. Every Tuesday on pods network, that's P O D Z apple podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to podcasts and also check out [00:25:00] the raw video from this episode and others on our YouTube channel.
TLS show. com. And as always, we've got to thank you for listening to our shenanigans each and every week. Stay safe and be well.
If you are someone, you know, is in crisis, call or text a 9 8 8. Suicide and crisis lifeline in Canada. That number is 1 8 3 3 4 5 6 4 5 6 6. The lifeline provides 24 hour confidential support to anyone in crisis or emotional distress. Call 9 1 1 in life threatening situations.