77. Processing Grief w/ Merissa Nathan Gerson

In Episode 77, we talk with writer & Tulane professor Merissa Nathan Gerson about her book Forget Prayers, Bring Cake: A Single Woman’s Guide to Grieving, the many ways people experience grief in their daily lives, and the interconnected impact grief has on the mind, body, & spirit. Also, Dan & Merissa do some reminiscing on their time together at Naropa University.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication at Tulane University and the author of Forget Prayers, Bring Cake: A Single Woman’s Guide to Grieving (Mandala Publishing / Simon & Schuster, August 2021)She was the intergenerational trauma consultant to Amazon’s hit show Transparent and has writing featured in The New York Times, CNN.com, Playboy Magazine, The Atlantic, Elle.com, Tablet Magazine, Lilith Magazine, and beyond. After releasing a 2018 ELI Talk on consent and Talmud, she founded www.KenMeansYes.org to address the need for consent education in Jewish spaces.

Visit Merissa’s website to learn more!

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

Some links may be affiliate links, which at no additional cost to you help to fund The Writing Remix. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

“I think that generally, grieving, even without a pandemic, is so isolating.” –Merissa Nathan Gerson.

“I have lots of feelings about [my book], like good, bad, and in between, but I do think the process of writing it in some way was a blessing […] I live alone in New Orleans, and I was grieving and I wasn’t really allowed to leave my house. So in some ways it was like a torturous task to sit at home alone and write about grief everyday, but on the other hand, […] it kept me connected to the world because I was writing to this imagined group of women that now have come forward and said thank you.”
–Merissa Nathan Gerson

“Every time I had hell come through me, or if I’d fall to my knees in grief, I’d be like, ‘Oh, take a note and put that in the book.’ So that was, in some way, really nice because it forced me to witness myself and be in community at the same time even though I was alone.”
–Merissa Nathan Gerson.

“I come from a Holocaust survivor family […] there’s this element of grief in my family that existed since the day I was born.”
–Merissa Nathan Gerson

“Grief rips time out.” –Merissa Nathan Gerson

“I want grief to be something that we integrate as like a normal human experience.”
–Merissa Nathan Gerson

“I had a lot of conversations with friends, particularly with Black women who were saying, ‘Your expectation to just sort of like spend the time to clean out your insides and find peace with your grief it’s rude almost because it’s presuming there’s a space between griefs.’” –Merissa Nathan Gerson

This episode was recorded on December 1st, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

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