Meet Sally and Imogen: Grief experts and your guides to storytelling after loss

Published: 24/8/2023
Sally Douglas Imogen Carn Good Mourning podcast
Sally Douglas Imogen Carn Good Mourning podcast

We're Sally and Imogen (aka Sal and Im), co-hosts of the Good Mourning grief podcast and authors. We're passionate about helping people to cope with grief positively, and a big part of that is through the power of storytelling. It's a powerful way to cope with grief, connect to others, and keep their memory alive - all essential things.    We have both lived through the experience of loss. Our mums died suddenly, months apart, in late 2019 and early 2020. Sal's mum, Rose, died from a sudden seizure called SUDEP, and Im's mum, Vanessa, died by suicide.   

It was through our grief and desire to hear stories from others about how they had coped with loss that we met and were inspired to start the Good Mourning podcast. We believe that sharing with others keeps our mum's memories alive, and we feel connected. Through words, we connect with their spirit and find solace in the bond we shared. It's really helped us cope on the tough days.   

An excerpt from our book, Good Mourning: Honest Conversations About Grief and Loss, that shares our individual stories. 

Sally's story

"It was 6:00am on 20 November 2019, and I was brushing my teeth in my gym gear, ready to start my day. That was hardly the scenario I imagined myself to be in when I received the call that instantly changed my life. The words on the other end of the phone slowly said, "I need you to steady yourself. Your mum's passed away."   

Stunned, I could only reply, "Is this a joke?!". Sadly not. My mum, Rose, who was otherwise healthy, died suddenly from a seizure on the other side of the world. Living far away and reeling from disbelief, I jumped on the next flight home, where my long journey with grief began. You don't expect to lose a parent when you're young, and it broke my heart that I couldn't say goodbye to her. I'd never given grief a thought before she passed - I knew it would touch me one day, but I hadn't prepared myself for its eventuality. The utter shock of her death and the pain of grief were all-consuming. I had lost my anchor, my safety net, and I felt I was utterly unmoored."

Sally Douglas and Mum, Rose
Sally Douglas and Mum, Rose

 

Sally Douglas and Mum, Rose
Sally Douglas and Mum, Rose

Imogen's story

"I was in the middle of moving house with my nine-month-old baby girl (also in my gym gear) when I got the call that shattered me to my core. My mum, Vanessa, died by suicide in February 2020. Argh. Even those words on the page don't sit right. Just like that, I was no longer wearing the 'tired new mum' badge. I was now a 'suicide loss survivor'. Where do you even begin with that? Therapy obvs. And lots of it. In the immediate aftermath, I was grief-stricken. How could this be happening? My mum was the last person I would ever expect to take her own life. There was no note, explanation, or goodbye, and I was riddled with anxiety and guilt. I honestly thought that was it for me. GAME OVER. The emotional damage caused by my loss felt irreparable. It was like I was seeing life through a whole new lens of grief and that it was split into "before grief" and "after grief". I wondered whether I would be able to find any light again.

Imogen and mum, Vanessa
Imogen and mum, Vanessa

 

Imogen and mum, Vanessa
Imogen and mum, Vanessa

Navigating grief in the same city but unknown to each other, we each longed for someone to connect with who understood our grief. A chance meeting at a support group led us to a sunny pub garden one June afternoon. We hit it off instantly, and our friendship quickly blossomed, becoming the yin to each other's grief yang. As we shared our experiences as newly initiated "grief club" members, we discussed how little Western society talks openly about grief. We wondered what we could do to help change that.

Fuelled by our experiences with grief and not wanting others to feel alone, we started the Good Mourning podcast to create a space for storytelling and to talk about what grief is really like, telling it exactly how it is."

Latest articles

19 Funeral songs from the 90s to honour your loved one

19 songs from the 1990s to compliment a heartfelt farewell. These funeral songs can bring back memories...

19 Funeral songs from the 90s to honour your loved one

How do I find a funeral notice in Victoria?

How to find a funeral notice in Victoria with My Tributes. A safe platform to honour and connect...

How do I find a funeral notice in Victoria?

Laurie Theresa Harbort

Readers of the Catholic Leader during the period 1955 to 1980 would fondly remember the Uncle John’s...

Laurie Theresa Harbort

Shane Warne’s dad Keith delivers emotional eulogy at state...

Shane Warne’s father Keith has delivered a moving eulogy before he was overcome with emotion when...

Shane Warne’s dad Keith delivers emotional eulogy at state memorial

Can obituaries be private

Wondering how to preserve the privacy of obituaries while ensuring your family's wishes are upheld...

Can obituaries be private
View more articles