Ep. 37: Celebrating Grief and Our Beloved Dead

Season #4 Episode #34

As we approach Día de los Muertos, Dr. Renee and Dr. Cristina revisit the topic of grief and loss by speaking on their personal experiences loosing the people closest to them.

  • Dr. Renee reflects on her father’s death seven years later. From his final request (“If anything happens, write the book.”), to the chaos of having countless long-lost relatives flying in once it was clear the situation was grim, to the moment Dr. Renee realized that it was time to let him go nine days after being admitted to the hospital.

  • The time came for them to finally let her father go. But the real circus had not even begun. Dr. Renee remembers having to choose a mortuary and call up relatives from Mexico to give them the update—and at some point throwing her phone against the wall in exasperation. She and her family decided to go off-grid for a short time at the Griffith Observatory until their first meeting at the mortuary… on Thanksgiving morning.

  • During the final viewing, Dr. Renee recalls the interesting mishmash of visitors, from even more long-lost relatives, to her dad’s entire over-60 soccer team, to a squad of cop cars pulling up outside the building belonging to his colleagues from the police department.

  • Dr. Renee confesses that she had no idea how to put her father’s ashes in the urn. It was a hilariously dark scene involving a hasty display of siphoning, bits of bone, and her mother having to sweep some of the ashes off the kitchen counter. “My dad would have wanted us to laugh,” Dr. Renee says of that moment.

  • Dr. Renee shares that it was only after Santos was born months later that she was really able to begin her grief journey.

  • Finally, Dr. Cristina talks about her own experience losing her papá and abuela and reiterates the importance of celebration and showing up.

We need to destigmatize death and the grief that follows so that we allow ourselves to feel a full spectrum of emotions that, in turn, helps us further appreciate the completely natural—and supernatural—cycle of life and death. Dr. Cristina reminds us that our beloved dead are with us in a deeper way than they ever were in bodily form. Letting ourselves live the entirety of that experience of loss—which includes celebration—is the only way we truly appreciate that reality.

Connect with Las Doctoras:

Visit their website: www.lasdoctoras.net 

Follow them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/las.doctoras