PODCAST

The Leftover Pieces; Suicide Loss Conversations

Melissa Bottorff-Arey

Life after suicide loss is indeed nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. As the host, Melissa, a mother who lost her 21-year old son Alex to suicide in 2016, has real conversations with other loss survivors, healers and mental health experts. In these conversations she explores the relevant topics and asks the hard questions we all need to talk about and hear answers to. Nothing is 'off limit' as she delves into areas such as trauma, hope, healing, self-care, stigma, grief & mental health. Melissa believes that we learn to live alongside our grief, not get over it. Only through real, honest talk and mindful choices can we make a real difference. For a supporter, or educator, these conversations hold nuggets of awareness and shine a spotlight on suicide and mental health in a real, and unapologetic, way. As a suicide loss griever, one can find the comfort of a community, and hope for a little brighter tomorrow. Melissa wants to help others, like herself, go from surviving to finding a life with meaning, maybe even happiness, amid their own leftover pieces.

Above The Rug; A Suicide Widow's Tale
Nov 22 2020
Above The Rug; A Suicide Widow's Tale
In this conversation, I talk to Lindsey Doolittle, a suicide (police sergeant's) widow, a loss survivor, but also an advocate and an activist, an artist and an author. We discuss how her husband's police department shunned and shamed her, where she found hope, and how she is living with her loss while providing meaningful support to others now. There is a LOT to take away from this conversation! In Lindsey's own words... "I choose not to sweep my husband’s suicide under the rug. I’ll never get over his death, but I can get through it..by speaking out and raising awareness."Here are all of the websites and more we talked about during our conversation Get her children's book "Goodnight Mr. Vincent Van Gogh" here on Amazon. (This book is also a part of the permanent collection at the Vincent Van Gogh library in Amsterdam! :)Above The Rug Advocate, Activist, Suicide Loss Survivor (Lindsey's website including links to her social media, etc)Blue H.E.L.P Honoring the Loss of Police Officers who have died by SuicideThrough This Together (Online Support) A Journey Through Grief TogetherSASS-MoKan Suicide Awareness Survivor Support serving Kansas & Missouri N.A.M.I National Alliance on Mental IllnessIf you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someone The National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXT---> TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA in Canada TEXT 686868 in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
The First Year; Survival & Beyond
Nov 23 2020
The First Year; Survival & Beyond
The mini "Down the Rabbit Hole " Episode touches on the 'shoulds' & (possibly) 'shouldn'ts' of the first year(-ish) while you are in survival mode. I offer my own perspective & my advice based on my life, beliefs & experiences, but that's all it is … the ladies opinion.  As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!Here I link you straight to the AFSP "I've Lost Someone" page … feel free to explore the rest of the site AND be sure to look for the next Out of the Darkness Walk in your area. Start a team in honor of your loved one & attend. These are very powerful events & you will be so glad you went. Here is a (somewhat) comprehensive list of books on Alliance of Hope's website:  Books for Survivors of Suicide Loss I would add Your Grief, Your Way AND (if you have children in your life) Goodnight Mr. Vincent Van GoghYou can find & connect with me at:The Leftover Pieces Instagram orThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageLife after suicide loss is nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. Join Melissa, a mother who lost her 21 year old son Alex to suicide, as she has real conversations with other loss survivors, awareness advocates & mental health experts looking to explore the questions we all seek the answers to. Come along as we delve into areas such a trauma, hope, stigma & shame; all while learning to live with grief -not get over it. We hope you will your grief 'toolbox'  with useful tools and finding,& learning to love, your new self … & more.If you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someone The National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXTTEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA in Canada TEXT 686868 in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
Shelby Forsythia; Your Grief, Your Way
Nov 29 2020
Shelby Forsythia; Your Grief, Your Way
In this wonderful conversation with Shelby Forsythia we discuss her new book "Your Grief, Your Way" which is a 366 day (non-religious) daily devotional that I personally think should be in the hands of every griever. We discuss that while her loss is not in the suicide loss space that some components of grief are universal and that filling our 'grievers toolbox' with tools from a variety of places may be necessary, even desired. Shelby is a grief guide, a podcast host  & an author. This is an insightful, inspiring conversation. You can find ALL THINGS SHELBY at her website, ShelbyForsythia.com where in here own words she " … helps brokenhearted grievers feel safe and whole again after devastating loss..."Shelby is an intuitive Grief Guide offering one-on-one sessions as well as online Zoom groups and SO MUCH MORE!!!  Click the link above to get yourself to her site and join me as a member of her 'Grief Growers Garden' where she reminds us "that even through grief, we are growing" Even though they are on her page, here are separate links to take you straight to purchase "Your Grief, Your Way" and "Permission to Grieve" (you may need one for you & one to share of each... I speak from experience here!) As always, you can find & connect with ME at:The Leftover Pieces InstagramorThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageLife after suicide loss is nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. Join Melissa, a mother who lost her 21 year old son Alex to suicide, as she has real conversations with other loss survivors, awareness advocates & mental health experts looking to explore the questions we all seek the answers to. Come along as we delve into areas such a trauma, hope, stigma & shame while learning to live with grief- not get over it.  We hope that you will fill your grief 'toolbox' with useful tools and finding, & learning to love, your new self … & more.If you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXTTEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
Chasing Joy; Can We Find It?
Dec 6 2020
Chasing Joy; Can We Find It?
In this mini "Down the Rabbit Hole " Episode I discuss an often natural feeling in grief - one in which joy eluded me & how I got back to feeling a balance ... & feeling deserving of joy once again.  I offer my own perspective & my advice based on my life, beliefs & experiences, but that's all it is … this ladies opinion.  As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!You can find & connect with me at:The Leftover Pieces Instagram orThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageLife after suicide loss is nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. Join Melissa, a mother who lost her 21 year old son Alex to suicide, as she has real conversations with other loss survivors, awareness advocates & mental health experts looking to explore the questions we all seek the answers to. Come along as we delve into areas such a trauma, hope, stigma & shame; all while learning to live with grief -not get over it. We hope you will your grief 'toolbox'  with useful tools and finding,& learning to love, your new self … & more.If you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someone The National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXTTEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USA in Canada TEXT 686868 in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
Grief Tools; What are Mine?
Dec 20 2020
Grief Tools; What are Mine?
In this mini "Down the Rabbit Hole " Episode I discuss the many tools that I have placed in my "grief toolkit" and others that I am exploring. This is NOT to be taken as definitive OR construed as medical advice.  I offer ONLY my own perspective & thoughts  based on my life, beliefs & experiences, but that's all it is … this ladies opinion.  And I really only scratch the surface & will talk on this subject more in the future as well as have deeper conversations on some of the "tools" I use & rely on! As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!Here are a few - ONLY a few - places to explore your curiosity in the subjects I addressed today. This is NOT a definitive guide NOR is it official advice - just me sharing some resources: WebMD article on Essential Oils - an interesting readDoTerra Oils; How to use them - this is the brand I useEvolve Transpersonal Crystal Healing - straight from the land down underMindBodyGrief  Emily Dziedzic, founder and operator of Mind Body Grief. is a Grief Coach who works with women who are ready to reclaim their life after loss. As a Certified Master Practitioner and Coach of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy ®, and Hypnotherapy, I provide women with the tools needed to regain footing in their life following a significant loss.Beginners Guide to Chakra's - one of so many places to start AND it links you to Yoga Journal so a 2-for-1 here :) Prevention Magazine article of anxiety/chakras/meditationSound Healing Benefits article in Well & Good The best "Crystal Live" on Instagram (in my opinion) for real connection AND crystalsOPRAH article on Cleansing Aura & Chakras - I mean if Oprah says .... lol, it is an interesting article thoughThere are so many more I could put here (like podcasts I recommendations or audio books I have enjoyed)  but will save for another day! :)You can find & CONNECT WITH ME at:The Leftover Pieces InstagramorThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageLife after suicide loss is nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. Join Melissa, a mother who lost her 21 year old son Alex to suicide, as she has real conversations with other loss survivors, awareness advocates & mental health experts looking to explore the questions we all seek the answers to. Come along as we delve into areas such a trauma, hope, stigma & shame; all while learning to live with grief -not get over it. We hope you will your grief 'toolbox'  with useful tools and finding,& learning to love, your new self … & more.If you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe" rel="nofollow">
Forever 15; A Lasting Tribute to Rader
Dec 27 2020
Forever 15; A Lasting Tribute to Rader
Today I want to share my conversation with Susan Ward. Susan lost her son Rader on June 7, 2017 to suicide just one week shy of his 16th birthday on June 13. Rader was a creative, intuitive & intelligent child who thrived in Montessori school. Susan & her husband William first noticed Rader's struggles  after Rader entered public school. We talk about how they sought 'help' in every way they could yet, it somehow wasn't enough. We also discuss Susan's "tools" for living with her grief. Rader's college fund was put to work & became The Rader Ward Foundation. The foundation serves as a lasting tribute to their son Rader...& Susan's wish is that in his memory they can reach as many kids in their area as possible that would thrive in a Montessori environment - kids who possibly could be saved by such an environment. She also actively uses her platform to promote resources for mental health & suicide awareness ... in fact it is the soul purpose of the foundations Instagram feed. This is a thought provoking conversation.  I am sorry you are here, but glad you have found us.You can find & connect with Susan at Rader Ward Foundation - there are tons of resources for mental health & suicide prevention both here and on her Instagram Page You can also find them at  Facebook at Rader Ward FoundationYou can find & connect with me at:The Leftover Pieces InstagramorThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageIf you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXTTEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
The New Year; The Suck AND The Hope
Jan 3 2021
The New Year; The Suck AND The Hope
In this mini "Down the Rabbit Hole " Episode I discuss my thoughts on the New Year & how as a suicide loss griever there is a 'suck' to it for sure, but also promise & hope. This is NOT to be taken as definitive OR construed as medical advice.  I offer ONLY my own perspective & thoughts  based on my life, beliefs & experiences, but that's all it is … this ladies opinion.  I also read an origoanl prose piece I wrote recently comparing my grief to the ocean... this took me outside my comfort zone for sure but I am glad I shared it in the safe space with other grievers! As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!You can find & CONNECT WITH ME at:The Leftover Pieces InstagramorThe Leftover Pieces Podcast WebpageLife after suicide loss is nothing short of a wasteland of the leftover pieces of your shattered heart, of your former self. Join Melissa, a mother who lost her 21 year old son Alex to suicide, as she has real conversations with other loss survivors, awareness advocates & mental health experts looking to explore the questions we all seek the answers to. Come along as we delve into areas such a trauma, hope, stigma & shame; all while learning to live with grief -not get over it. We hope you will your grief 'toolbox'  with useful tools and finding,& learning to love, your new self … & more.If you or someone you know is struggling PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe
Tools Part 1; Books, Apps & Podcasts Oh My!
Jan 17 2021
Tools Part 1; Books, Apps & Podcasts Oh My!
Today I head "Down The Rabbit Hole" to discuss some tangible "tools" that I would recommend taking a look at in the quest to find your own. This is a follow up to a previous episode, one of several to come, where I get more specific on some of the "tools" that have (or still do) serve me well in this suicide loss grief space I live in. Part 2 will be published in a few weeks! As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!The BOOKS I discussed are: Your Grief, Your Way: A Year of Practical Guidance and Comfort After Loss by Shelby ForsythiaDying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a SuicideThe Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der KolkThe Ultimate Guide to Chakras: The Beginner's Guide to Balancing, Healing, and Unblocking Your Chakras for Health and Positive Energy by Athena Perrakis PhDThe Audio books (on AUDIBLE) that I discussed: It's OK That You're Not OK Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand by Megan DevineNight Falls Fast Understanding Suicide  by Kay Redfield JamisonCracked, Not Broken Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt by Kevin HinesInside Out A Memoir by Demi MooreThe APPS I recommended you take a peek at are: The Insight Timer The MightyAudible Instagram & Facebook (?) for grief communitySome PODCASTS to get you thinking or to let you zone out: The Leftover Pieces; Suicide Loss ConversationsThe Mindfulness & Grief Podcast Support the show
Rejoining the Land of the Living; Mary's Brave Life
Jan 24 2021
Rejoining the Land of the Living; Mary's Brave Life
In this episode, I have a serious conversation with a warm, funny & insightful lady! Mary has experienced a lot of loss - both of her parents to suicide, her first child dies at 3 months old & her brother-in-law also ended his life... just to name some of her life traumas.  Spread over a lifetime, by her forties it had all taken a serious toll on her & she found herself living inside depression & devastation. She was just "existing". Then one day, she looked outside ... and made a choice to rejoin the land of the living."Mary Barras is a dynamic motivational speaker who shares her message of triumph after tragedy. She has endured both her parents’ suicides and she is spreading her message that 'Devastation is Optional'. She also shares her tools to get out of deep depression. Mary lives in Austin, TX with her 15 year old son, Jonas & their dogs, Mugsy & Sparky." FIND MARY HERE:  Mary's Website - where you can read about her & even book her for a speaking engagementMary's Instagram - FOLLOW HER for uplifting quotes & tidbits PLUS she pops on LIVE regularly to just chat!!! :) Mary loves to spread & encourage KINDNESS!! How can anyone argue with that? Mary's Facebook Page If you or someone you know is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXT--->TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
What Am I Watching (aka "Binging"); My Thoughts & Recommendations
Jan 31 2021
What Am I Watching (aka "Binging"); My Thoughts & Recommendations
Today, I go "Down the Rabbit Hole" to discuss things I have watched, binged or still want to watch with regards to suicide, loss & grief in general. These are everything from movies to series to documentaries; and can be watched on various platforms. THIS IS NOT A DEFINITIVE LIST of what I have watched NOR all of the subject matter  ... just some that I chose to share today. Some of these titles are about suicide loss, but most just about loss and grief and how the characters deal with it in such different ways -- just like we do. I admit my taste runs to dark comedy or very real (head on tackling) subject matter so my list will be heavy that direction.  I would love to know what you have watched that has distracted you or kept you company or held your heart as you grieve.As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!As I say at the end of the episode, there some really great conversations with some dynamic people coming in the next few months. Please reach out to me if you know of someone that I should talk to or if you yourself would like to have a conversation around the suicide loss and grief space. Instagram is probably still the best way to contact me or directly through email. Here is the list of the films, series or other that I talked about AND as I said, I have listed next to each where I think (hope) you can find it to watch today ... but you, like me, may be relegated to "Google" a title and find out where it is currently since this seems to change often! The first 4 deal with suicide loss specifically"A Million Little Things" (ABC series, currently Amazon Prime has past episodes) "13 Reasons Why"  AND "Beyond the Reasons""Audrie & Daisy" (Netflix) "Suicide; The Ripple Effect" look on Facebook at the page of the same name"Pieces of a Woman"  Martin Scorsese film on Netflix"Surviving Death" 6 part docuseries on death  on Netflix "Lila & Eve" movie on Netflix"Dead to Me" -  Netflix series"Six feet Under" - HULU ( an old HBO series)"Afterlife" - movie on Netflix"Virgin River" - series on Netflix"Memory of Water" - movie "Rabbit Hole"  - movie"I Know This Much is True" -movieThis one IS a LINK ... International Survivors of Suicide Loss Documentaries   on the AFSP websiteIf you or someone you know is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXT--->TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
Unpacking My Unconscious Mind; Transformation to a Radical Life
Feb 7 2021
Unpacking My Unconscious Mind; Transformation to a Radical Life
In today's conversation I talk to Emily Dziedzic of "A Radical Life with Emily". She is a Neurolinguistics Professional, a Master Certified Coach,  who works with clients in 1:1 Breakthrough Coaching to transform so that they may get out of the places they are stuck (especially in their grief) to leave behind non-serving emotions and step into  their own radical life...whatever that means to them.I have done this work with Emily and can hands down say it was one of the most transformational processes I have been through in my grief journey. I have gained tools that will serve me for the rest of my life. Emily explains how and why it works and even delves into the neuroscience of it all.  This is truly a great conversation. FIND EMILY DZIEDZIC HERE: A Radical Life with Emily Website   According to Emily:  "The most radical thing we can do in our life is to live a life we love. A life that is congruent for ourselves. A life that lights us up and fulfills our purpose . . . A radical life is a life where you dare to pursue exactly what you want for your life. Whether it’s leaving a relationship, starting a new career endeavor, setting boundaries, or acting on your wildest dreams, you deserve to design a life you love. You know heartache and loss and understand the fragility of life and now it’s time to get to living."Emily on Instagram Content that any griever or intentional soul will benefit fromEmily on Facebook More of the above. She has a great new blog as well! If you or someone you know is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXT--->TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover Pieces
Teasers, Plans & Hopes; We are just getting Started!
Feb 14 2021
Teasers, Plans & Hopes; We are just getting Started!
Today, I go "Down the Rabbit Hole" to kind of reminisce, appreciate where I am AND look ahead (just a bit).  My plan has always been to grow this podcast organically as it calls to me & to talk about things that matter - to me, but also to you.  I can't believe I am 19 episodes in … I truly love bringing this podcast to you … all while wishing I never has a reason to bring it to you!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  As with everything you hear on my podcasts, please take that which serves you & leave the rest. I hope you will find something of value & I am so sorry that you need to be here, but so honored you are here. Talk soon!Please reach out to me if you know of someone that I should talk to or if you yourself would like to have a conversation around the suicide loss and grief space. Instagram is probably still the best way to contact me or directly through email. I am already scheduling people into this Spring so it's not too soon to reach out!  Let's have a conversation  Let's keep talking   Let's be there for each other.  Let's make a change. TALK SOON! If you or someone you know is struggling  with suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out & talk to someoneThe National Suicide Lifeline is there for youIN a crisis you can also TEXT--->TEXT the word "HOME" to 741741 in the USAin Canada TEXT 686868in the UK TEXT 85258And Grievers, I am always here. You can find me on Instagram at The Leftover PiecesSupport the show