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The Filter | A Lesson on Grief and Resilience

Is it possible to break through the mental fog of loss?

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Above image credit: Oscar Orozco, a Filter guest, poses with his late grandfather at his graduation. (Collage by Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Flatland)

The Filter’s season finale is about grief. We grapple with the vague feelings created when the pandemic continually upended life, and our daily rituals stopped or had to change. We lean into what grief is, what it feels like and how to come out on the other side. 

Oscar Orozco, a grief counselor at Kansas City Hospice, explains how to navigate those feelings of loss, whether it has to do with losing a person or a routine. Trauma recovery coach Grace Yasmine shares her story of losing her dad, grandmother, brother, mother and son in a short period of time. Coming to grips with grief showed her how to embrace the good and the sad. 

What we read and listened to: 

Here are a few fascinating reads and listens we found during our research for this episode. Dig in and let us know what you think! Tweet us at @vickyd_c and @fentywise. 

  • Vicky interviewed Oscar Orozco last May as studies showed that communities everywhere were experiencing compounded grief and communal trauma. This report partly inspired this episode. Read it here
  • This blog entry by psychological experts helped us get our heads around much of what you hear. In the American Psychological Association April 2020 post entitled “Grief and COVID-19: Mourning our bygone lives,” psychologists explain the mental processes and how our bodies try to cope with profound senses of loss. It even offers ideas on activities that help our brains process changes the pandemic imposed on us. 
  • We featured clips of this TED Talk by neuroscientist Zoe Donaldson. Her talk “Lost in Loss: A Window into the Grieving Brain” explains “the neurobiology underlying these bonds and what happens when they are lost.” 
  • How do we talk to kids about this sometimes-uncomfortable subject? NPR’s Life Kit gives us a 24-minute explainer with six succinct tips, plus some resources if you want to learn more. Check it out here

Get to know the hosts:

The Filter - Ieshia Downton | Illustration by Yup Yup Design
Co-host Ieshia Downton | Illustration by Yup Yup Design

Ieshia Downton (she/her/hers) is the co-host and creator of The Filter podcast and social media coordinator at Kansas City PBS. She is a Kansas City native with Caribbean roots and an interest in cultural storytelling and reporting. Before joining Kansas City PBS, Ieshia contributed to KC Studio magazine and un’ruly magazine as a feature writer. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, with an emphasis in magazine writing. 



The Filter - Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Illustration by Yup Yup Design
Co-host Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Illustration by Yup Yup Design

Vicky Diaz-Camacho (she/her/hers) is the co-host, producer and creator of The Filter podcast and the community reporter for Flatland at Kansas City PBS. Raised in El Paso, Texas, a border city in the Southwest, Vicky’s roots as half-Mexican and Puerto Rican inform much of her reporting, which tends to focus on culture, race and health. Before joining Kansas City PBS, she interned at NPR and worked as a Kansas City Business Journal data journalist. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Journalism focused on news and editing and is a University Daily Kansan alumna. 


Production team credits: Ieshia Downton, Vicky Diaz-Camacho, Naina Rao, Felicia Diaz, PJ Kelly and Ana Parra.

Theme song credit: Aysia Berlynn and Primary Color Music.

The Post Haus is an audio production company in the Lawrence and Kansas City area.
Production support for this podcast is brought to you by The Post Haus, a full-service post-production audio agency. Find more information here. (Courtesy)

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