Clover Stroud: The Rituals of Grief

Everything Happens with Kate Bowler

Oct 17 2023 • 47 mins

So many of us have experienced a before… and an after.

My friend, the lovely writer Clover Stroud, had her before and after at a young age. When she was 16, her mom was in a horse-riding accident and suffered a serious brain injury that left her severely disabled until she died… 22 years later. The suddenness of that accident layered with the ongoingness of that level of caregiving bonded Clover and her big sister, Nell in remarkable ways.  Then, Nell unexpectedly died.

The grief of losing her sister is captured in Clover’s beautiful book, The Red of My Blood—a book that captures the visceral feelings of grief. The pain. The beauty. The staying wide awake to the life that’s in front of us despite it all. The “how do I go on parenting with all this grief?” The “give me a sign” feeling we crave when our loved ones are gone.

In this conversation, Kate and Clover discuss:

  • Kids who have to grow up too fast due to tragedy and who we become because of it
  • How some people have to live in ongoing trauma or extended grief due to caregiving or chronic illness
  • The unexpected glimmers of beauty that can sustain us amid the ache of loss
  • Why we need rituals to hold us together during deep grief

Kate went to visit Clover at her farm outside of Oxford in England to talk about the things in our lives that almost destroy us but also form us in some remarkable ways too.

CW: cancer, traumatic brain injury, horse accident, death of a sibling

Watch clips from this conversation, read the full transcript, and access discussion questions by clicking here.

Follow Kate on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly known as Twitter)—@katecbowler.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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