It’s been a hard couple of months the country and especially the community here in Southeast Michigan. Many people have lost a loved one, neighbor or friend to COVID-19. Without the ability to come together to mourn in person, it’s made coping with these losses even more difficult.
After receiving several calls and emails asking WDET to take time on the air to come together to mourn, Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson made itself a resource for listeners to honor someone they have lost to COVID-19.
- Rebecca Margolis DeRaud, a clinical social worker and local psychotherapist that specializes in complicated grief and mourning.
Understanding the difference between grieving and mourning
DeRaud says that the terms “grieving” and “mourning” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have quite different meanings.
Grieving includes all of the thoughts, feelings, emotions and individual experiences when someone or something important to them has been taken away. We grieve for losses through death, but we also grieve for losses when we lose other significant attachments, such as relationships, or jobs, or our health. Grief is a personal and private experience.
Mourning is a public expression of grief, the opportunity to have grief witnessed by another. It is how we honor our loved ones and process their death. An act of mourning can be anything from having an elaborate funeral to talking to a friend one-on-one about our loss.
Listeners remember those they have lost
“My sister managed Mike Huckaby in the 90’s. I met him in 2002 at [my sister’s] funeral, and didn’t start hearing his music until that time, where I could find joy in his music in my personal loss of my sister. After that, I tried never to miss a Mike Huckaby set. His music was just so uplifting, in so many ways. We’re shocked as a community. He is mourned worldwide” - Nancy in Novi
Dr. Anthony Shipley
“Dr. Anthony Shipley was a man not just of God, but a man who loved children. He loved the children of Detroit. His dream was to start Chandler Park Academy, and that’s what he did. I’ll never forget the first time I met him. He addressed my son, who was only a toddler, he got on one knee, looked him in the eye. He told me after he talked to my son, he said, when you talk to a child, you get down on their level and look them in the eye, so you make them believe, you let them know that what they’re saying is important, because they’re important. He was a wonderful man.” - Renaud in Detroit
“One of the things that you do become familiar with and comfortable with are the voices that are on ‘DET. You talked about Tom last week, and his loss. [As some]one that is often waiting and looking and hoping to hear those familiar voices. I recognized in coming back into town that I had [the show] on and I didn’t hear him… I really felt how significant Tom’s voice was to the community at large, to all of the voices we may not have heard, to the voices of this city. It always brought a smile to my face to hear him in the morning, to hear him as the first caller in. I think that’s what we all have been to each other in this town. There are so many people that their voices are important to hear, and they are touchstones to our ear, and touchstones to our hearts, and Tom was one of those.” - Jim in Detroit
“It seems that I have been transformed into an obituary writer for long term friendships. I’ve often thought that there should be an obituary project housed at the [Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History], because obituaries are something that we all hang on to. I can’t throw them out. I have a box full of obituaries in my basement. And now that we can’t have funerals, it seems even more important that the obituary captures the essence of a person’s life.” - Bernadette in Old Redford