March 22, 2023

Maggie Bauer - Losing a Sibling by Su*cide

CONTENT WARNING: Please note that this episode contains depictions and stories of siblings lost by suicide, homicide and/or domestic violence. We understand that some people may find these triggering, activating and/or disturbing. Maggie Bauer lost...

CONTENT WARNING: Please note that this episode contains depictions and stories of siblings lost by suicide, homicide and/or domestic violence. We understand that some people may find these triggering, activating and/or disturbing.

Maggie Bauer lost her brother Chris by suicide, it has been 10 years and it still hurts that her brother is no longer on this earth. She knows that her grief journey is going to last a lifetime, and recognizes that the most challenging thing of all is advocating for yourself. Maggie decided to become a grief recovery specialist, and this has given her more language and understanding of how to take steps and move through her grief journey, and she has helped people understand the meaning behind grief, feelings and physical experiences.

In this week's episode, Maggie will be sharing her and Chris's story, why you should treat therapy as dating and what questions to ask your therapist to ensure that they are going to help you and give you tools to move through your grief journey, the difficulties that she has, how she has honored Chris and the advice she has for surviving siblings and for her younger self

Season 3 is brought to you by, a virtual platform to commemorate and honor your sibling relationship. Create your free profile and start building beautiful commemorative web pages that can include photo and video galleries featuring you and your sibling.

In this episode I’m covering:

  • Intro [00:00:00]

  • Maggie and Chris’ story [00:01:18]

  • The missing piece of the puzzle [00:08:15]

  • Maggie receives “The Call” [00:14:31]

  • Giving yourself grace and finding the right therapist [00:23:03]

  • Difficulties in Maggie’s grief journey [00:33:42]

  • Becoming a certified grief recovery specialist [00:37:52]

  • Honoring Chris [00:44:55]

  • Changing the language around suicide [00:54:49]

  • Advice for younger Maggie and for surviving siblings [01:01:34]

For full episode show notes and transcript, click here

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Twitter | @survivingsibpod

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[00:00:00] Maya: Welcome to the Surviving Siblings Podcast. I'm your host, Maya Roffler. As a surviving sibling myself, I knew that I wanted to share my story, my brother's story. I lost my brother to a homicide in November of 2016, and after going through this experience, I knew that I wanted to share my story and his story. It's time to share your stories now. The Forgotten mourners, the Surviving siblings. The story that is not told enough. Season three of the Surviving Siblings Podcast is brought to you by sips, a virtual platform for you, the surviving. To commemorate and honor your sibling relationship, visit sips today to create your free profile and start building beautiful commemorative webpages that can include photo and video galleries featuring you and your sibling. Now let's dive into the episode

[00:01:09] Maya: today. I have another very special guest with me. Her name is Maggie Bauer. Maggie, welcome to the show,

[00:01:18] Maggie: Maya. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. And you know, this is an affirmation of, of having my voice heard and, and being enough, being enough and being able to share on a larger scale. So I appreciate that. And today I get to talk about my big brother, Chris Christopher, Daniel Bubby, CB Dans. Chris died by suicide a decade ago. So August 22nd, 2012. And so with that information, I wanna back up and I wanna paint a picture of who he was. He's my big brother. He was nearly a foot taller than me when he grew his beard out.

[00:02:05] Maggie: He had a little bit of red in it. He had light brown hair, sometimes blonde sandy hair, short and blue eyes. So I, I want that image in people's heads when they think about the person. My brother that died and growing up, Chris was super high energy. Really high energy, and he did end up having some diagnosis. He had a learning disability, had a d d, he had. I didn't even understand that until I was an adult, like a late, like way into adulthood. Even what that meant that those were mental health, uh, diagnosis. I didn't know that he was just my big brother. That was super high energy that, you know, built a coy pond in the shape of Minnesota in our backyard all by himself.

[00:03:01] Maggie: That's cute. Yeah. So that's, that's who I want people to think of. He was a carpenter, so he found a career that facilitated what he needed, you know, the energy that he needed to get out. He is a father, you know, he's somebody's, he's not just a statistic. Mm-hmm. . And I think that's just so important for us to remember that we can talk about the statistics, but when we do, we have to remember that it's somebody's loved one.

[00:03:32] Maya: Yeah, I absolutely love, love, love. I've seen you speak before Maggie, and that's why I'm so excited to have you here today. But I love that you say that, and I think that as we're diving into this very fragile topic of suicide, it's so important to remember that. So yes, painting the image of your brother so we can all envision him, feel him, know him as best as we can, right?

[00:03:58] Maya: Mm-hmm. , as you tell this story, I think is so important, and I think a lot of people are gonna connect with that. So thank you. And by the way, I used to live in Minnesota at some point, so another thing we have in common, but absolutely, thanks for sharing those details. It's so important.

[00:04:12] Maggie: I remember from a previous podcast that you and Andreas had a really memorable experience with some horses in Minnesota.

[00:04:19] Maya: We did. You have such a good memory. We absolutely did. Yeah.

[00:04:22] Maggie: Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So, you know, our, our childhood was, we lived in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. And it was pretty normal, that average sibling relationship. We snuggle, we cuddle on the couch, we fight over the remote, we, you know, build legos together.

[00:04:43] Maggie: We run around the house, fight, argue, wrestle, play, make up, you know, all those wonderful things. And then when Chris died, I was 28 and he was 31. And I felt like we were just getting into our adult friendship and then that was completely taken away. And I never wanted to be an only child. I always wanted a brother.

[00:05:20] Maggie: I always wanted to share my life with him. We even talked about when my parents passed away, you know, what things he, my Chris was gonna get. The, the grandfather clock that my mom had given her father and my grandfather had built. So when Chris left, it was complete shock and devastating to our family.

[00:05:42] Maggie: And what I do wanna touch on about suicide in general is that it is a general term and then everyone's situation is, is specific to that person that died by suicide. When we look at celebrities that die by suicide, we really only see a glimpse of, of one thing. We only see a portion of their lives. And the same thing for me.

[00:06:11] Maggie: I only saw a portion of my brother's life. I was living in a different state when he died. So you have imagery that you've talked about, about grief being a backpack or grief being in a car. Mm-hmm. . So let's take another step forward and say that. Once I've identified what my grief is, I've got to figure out with Chris the why.

[00:06:39] Maggie: And to me that was a puzzle. And in the early years, again, I'm in year 10, but in the early years this puzzle was extremely difficult to put together. Yeah. So we already talked a little bit about the diagnosis Chris had as as a kid, and being a carpenter the summer that before he died, there was 10 days of a hundred degree heat before he died.

[00:07:13] Maggie: He also had fallen off a ladder that summer and there potentially could have been something to do with Lyme's. Again, this is speculation. I'm not sure it has been just brought up in the family, but I can sit there and take all these little puzzle pieces and try to put them together. But Chris did not leave a note and he did not.

[00:07:38] Maggie: We did not in our family have any idea. We were completely blindsided. So that piece was very, very difficult and I had to decide several years in to stop asking why.

[00:07:55] Maya: What was that? What was that pivotal moment, several years in, or was there something pivotal that happened or kind of gave you that inspiration or that kind of moment where that said, stop asking why Maggie?

[00:08:10] Maya: Like what, what happened? Or was it just an evolution for you Kinda if you could share that with us.

[00:08:15] Maggie: I think it was both. It was both because I knew, I knew that it was going to continue to tear me up and that I wouldn't. Ever find all the answers. I knew that. And I also went to a training for work and there was a nurse of neurology,

[00:08:36] Maggie: Mm-hmm. , and she was presenting and presented things to me a little bit differently than I'd ever thought about them before. And I thought, okay, how, you know, how can I apply this to my personal life with Chris? And, and that's, that's what helped me figure that out. I recently had somebody that's kind of become a mentor to me and she said, you know, maybe Maggie, the missing piece is advocacy.

[00:09:02] Maggie: Mm-hmm. . And I thought, okay, you know, that's, that's really beautiful. I don't ever know if my puzzle will be with Chris will be complete or not. And I just have to, I had to come to an acceptance of that.

[00:09:15] Maya: I think there's gonna be so many people that are gonna listen to your story, Maggie and Chris's story, and get that because. You know that's, that's where my phrase of like, I don't really believe in closure. Like that's not really a thing. It's kind of an icky word for me, . There's just answers, right? And we get to a point, this is what you're describing so eloquently. We get to a point where we have enough answers where we can say, you know what?

[00:09:40] Maya: I'm not gonna have all the answers. And that's what people are seeking in this closure experiences and of closure. It's not that you get to a certain point, and I love that you shared that there was, it was kind of twofold. It was your own evolution, but then also hearing from this nurse and you know, this neurological information very fascinating, I think will be quite helpful.

[00:10:00] Maggie: Yeah. Yeah. The last time I saw Chris alive was in June and the family had met down there for an extended family's wedding. And you know, I just went and got a haircut with him. He got the haircut. And hung out in the hotel, in the hotel room and met up with family that we hadn't seen in a while. And Chris wasn't always, I, I'm the more outgoing social person.

[00:10:29] Maggie: Absolutely. And he was more introverted. And, but that night I just saw him kind of, you know, walking around, chatting with family that we hadn't seen in a while, just having these heart-to-heart conversations. And it just made me smile, made me happy. And so we drive up from Iowa back up to Minnesota, and it was the four of us, my parents and I, and Chris.

[00:10:54] Maggie: And he just was hilarious. He was just goofy and silly, and it was just so much fun. And the next day he hopped in his big red truck and was headed out somewhere. And I just said, all right, see ya. Bye. And that was the last time I saw him. Last time I saw him alive. And sometimes I think about the fact that I didn't say I love you.

[00:11:21] Maggie: And now what I realize is he knew it. He knew it. Just because I didn't say it that time didn't mean that I missed many opportunities before that. Right. So it was, it was, it has to be okay because that's what happened. He called a bunch of people before he passed and I wasn't one of them. And I have to be okay with that.

[00:11:48] Maggie: A friend said, maybe you would've figured something out. Well, we'll never know.

[00:11:54] Maya: That's a, that I I totally understand why there's so many whys though as you're unpacking your story, because it's very interesting that he was call like friends or other family members. Is he who he was calling?

[00:12:06] Maggie: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Even people. So I lived in North Dakota at the time and he even called friends of friends that were. My friends.

[00:12:17] Maya: And was there anything particular that he was saying to them or anything that they afterwards kind of came to you, Maggie, and said, oh, this was not Chris, or this was a little out of character for him, or They were just phone calls.

[00:12:30] Maggie: Yeah. What was it like for them? They, they were just, they were phone calls. Yeah. If there was more to it. No one has ever admitted that to me.

[00:12:39] Maya: Right. Yeah. But I think you just said something really important prior to that when you said, you know, maybe I would've noticed because you're a sister, right?

[00:12:49] Maggie: Maybe. Maybe. Yeah. And I think that, you know, I took a training after Chris died and it was from the organization Save, which is Suicide Awareness, voices of Education. And so it gave us the signs. And so then again, looking back at. My understanding of why Chris was having some financial challenges. He was having challenges with his town home.

[00:13:24] Maggie: He was having relationship challenges and he also owned his own business. And as you and I both know, that's extremely challenging, especially when you don't have mo like a support team behind you that understands how to run a business. Absolutely. So these are more of the why's that I had to put together and it took, you know, this training for me to, to understand that.

[00:13:52] Maggie: And that's part of the reason of coming on this podcast is saying like, how do we do some prevention? And it's not, it's not always possible. It is not always possible. I recognize that.

[00:14:07] Maya: But I think And you just saying that though, Maggie is. Kind of, I would imagine for those who have lost a sibling to suicide by suicide, just hearing that, that it's not always right. We can't carry this around with us. Right. And I'm sure, I mean, we're listening to your story, that's what you did. So just in you saying that I think is huge.

[00:14:31] Maggie: Oh, yeah, yeah. Within each family member, there's different levels of guilt. And at the time I was thinking about buying a, with acreage with a friend, and I didn't tell Chris about it, even though I knew that he was having, he was struggling.

[00:14:49] Maggie: In my mind, it was just, he's struggling it. I had no idea that it was, this is too difficult, I can't do it anymore. I would be better off, like family would be better off without me, which of course is never, never, never true or the answer, right? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. The day, the day that he passed, I got the phone call from the person that he was dating at the time, and I didn't pick up the call right away.

[00:15:23] Maggie: I was on the phone with a friend and then the person called back. So obviously I'm, I'm gonna pick up then, cuz that's abnormal. And yeah, she didn't tell me the whole story. She just said that Chris wasn't breathing. And I think the police were there, were coming. And so a lot of times we hear about how we got the phone call, but I was the one that had to call my parents while my mom, she was at home.

[00:15:53] Maggie: My dad was at work. And that was so difficult because remember I lived nine hours away. Yeah. So I did speak with a detective as a matter of fact, and he reminded me, To drive safely because my parents didn't need to lose another child while driving home. And I was just kind of put off by that. But at the same time, I think it's kind of what I needed to hear because I had a nine hour drive in front of me to come home to the reality that I would never see my brother again.

[00:16:29] Maya: That's a lot of time to think about why, why, why, and think about a lot of things. Yeah. So, yeah, I, I can understand that because these detectives, like, they see this stuff all the time, so I know that they're desensitized a little bit, but at the same time, you hope that they're telling you something and you have kind of different reactions.

[00:16:52] Maya: You're like, how could you say that? But it's like, oh yeah, I definitely should drive safe because I just got the most traumatic nu of my life. So, exactly. Yeah, I can, I can definitely identify with that and. , my heart goes out to you because calling your parents is very difficult. Mm-hmm. , as everyone knows, my mom called me, but I called my dad and that was the worst thing ever.

[00:17:12] Maya: So yeah. My heart goes out to you. That's very challenging. So you had to drive nine hours by yourself Yep. To get there.

[00:17:19] Maggie: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And then, you know, attempt to sleep, but that's really not, not possible. And then the next day, and since we're in the age of social media and it's, it's not gonna change or go away, I was notified that there was some type of post put up about Chris being gone.

[00:17:37] Maggie: So then I felt obligated to make my own post, which then extended family got the news that way, which is regretful. It's unfortunate. But as we all know, in those early hours, you, you don't always say or. What you think would be ideal in that situation. Number one, because you've never been in it before, and number two, it's, it's the most stressful experience of your life.

[00:18:06] Maya: Yeah, very, very well put. Maggie and I connect with this as well because I was the one that eventually had to put a post out on social media because I'm the social media person besides my brother. Mm-hmm. , he was more into it than me. And family had different reactions. Some were just were happy to know and they were like, oh my gosh, how can we help?

[00:18:25] Maya: Like, we're on the way. My mother was angry. My father didn't care. He was just trying to come from Africa. You know, everybody deals with that differently. I don't regret it because people were already like gossiping about it and stuff, and I wanted to put it out there and say it on my own terms. But to your point, there's, you just don't know.

[00:18:44] Maya: It's the most traumatic thing you've gone through and it's a fog, so you're just doing the best that you can. So I think it's really important to talk about that too.

[00:18:52] Maggie: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So then, you know, nine days later I, I go back to North Dakota and I'm working with adjudicated youth and also, so two jobs getting paid to research wild horses in a national park.

[00:19:10] Maggie: So kind of different jobs, both very like mobile and active and working with the youth. Again, a moment of I would've done it differently was how I told people at work. You know, I just call 'em and I'm just frantic, like I can't come in. I've got a pack and basically just repeating over and over again that my brother's dead.

[00:19:33] Maggie: So then when I come to work, all the teenagers know I wasn't prepared or ready to tell them, but they knew, and that actually ended up being an okay thing because these kids were sent to this location by a judge to get rehabilitation. So they finally had a staff member that had this terrible experience that maybe they'd had a similar one.

[00:20:01] Maggie: And so in that, a couple of the kids, you know, sought me out and we had heart to hearts about it. And I created a grief group with one of the therapists, and that was the first one that I created for the kids because I knew that they were all there because partially because of grief knew it. I know it in my heart.

[00:20:24] Maggie: Yeah. Three days after Chris died, I had an interview to become a social worker. So I'm on the phone with these two ladies and, you know, it went well. And at the very end, I, I just said, you know, look ladies, my brother just died. I don't know, you know, what's gonna happen with me going to grad school or not.

[00:20:48] Maggie: And I decided to go a different route. And I think that was what was right for me. But yeah, it, it is interesting how, how life works out, maybe not in ways that you think it will and how something that seemed like a mistake in the past really actually ended up turning out in a positive way.

[00:21:09] Maya: Yeah. Life is really interesting like that, and that's what we talk about a lot on this podcast, over, we're talking about it today too, that that was a lot that you had to go through in such a short, compact amount of time. Like, I can't imagine driving nine hours. I didn't even have to drive an hour , so my gosh, Maggie, like, I'm still unpacking that. But

[00:21:32] Maggie: yeah, I'll be honest with you, I was, I was slapping my leg so hard that I felt pain cuz I needed, I needed that. I needed to not like be in my head so much and just have like some type of like physical feeling.

[00:21:51] Maggie: Because I knew I had this, this long drive ahead of me and yeah, got home and my parents sat me down. We all sat on the couch together. My mom just, just so tight up against me on one side. My dad's so tight up against me on the other side and Chris's dog on the floor basically in my lap. And, and then, you know, that's when I found out, you know, kind of the method and that kind of thing. And it was, it's, it was so much 10 years later to go back to those moments. It's difficult.

[00:22:25] Maya: Yeah, I, I'm really glad that you mentioned that. Obviously I don't wish this to be difficult for anybody, but it is. You lost your brother by suicide and with these tragic losses, it's doesn't matter how much time goes by, because when you go back to that moment and you relive it, we talk about it and we're talking about it right now.

[00:22:45] Maya: It's tough, and I think it's important that everyone listening, all these amazing surviving siblings know that. And we give ourselves, you know, I never, I say this on a lot of episodes, I never really understood what people meant by give yourself grace or like give yourself time. I was like, what are you talking about?

[00:22:59] Maya: I'm going a hundred miles an hour in my life, and I think you're a lot like me, man. Yes.

[00:23:03] Maggie: So, yes. Yep. You get that. Reflect on that. That is for sure. But I have had to learn how to give myself grace. I don't want anybody to tell me to do it or how to do it. But then I had to recognize it within myself of just be like, oh, Maggie, you know, you're pushing so hard to be somewhere in your grief journey that you're not ready for.

[00:23:30] Maggie: You're not there, so stop pushing for it because that's just gonna make you feel even more stuck than you already feel. And it it, I mean, there's no way for anybody to tell me. How to do it or what to do or what not to do. I mean, yes. And again, a theme with, you know, all of your participants on the podcast is therapy.

[00:23:56] Maggie: So I was seeing a therapist before Chris died because I was working with challenging teenagers and sometimes they'd say really inappropriate or scary things and I'm like, okay man, it's not something you call home and talk to them about. So, so, you know, luckily I had that professional support and then a few years, I mean, I don't know, year six is when I went back into therapy.

[00:24:25] Maggie: So, you know, some situation happened and I was like, I don't really like myself right now. Why did I act that way? Okay, I need to continue to work on myself. I've been doing it in different ways, but now I need somebody that is a professional. And I did emdr, I did brain spotting. And those modalities of therapy may not be what's right for everybody, but I was ready and I put the work in and it was very positive.

[00:24:57] Maggie: If my brain is a filing cabinet, my brain kept pulling out the file, even though I didn't see my brother when he died, my brain made up what it looked like and it would over and over and over again, pull that file out. And again, I just had to say, Nope, this isn't helpful. This, this doesn't serve me in any way.

[00:25:21] Maggie: How do I get rid of it? Okay, well it's not working, doing it on my own. I'm gonna seek help. And I did. And it was, it was difficult, but a positive experience for me. And I know we've also, you guys have also talked about the fact that it's kind of like a dating app. And you've gotta find the right one. . Yeah.

[00:25:42] Maggie: Well, I interviewed my therapist. Have you lost an immediate family member? Do you have training in grief? Like, you know, what is that training? What is your extra training that you have? And, and I found luckily the right match for me.

[00:26:01] Maya: Okay. So I love this advice that you're giving, Maggie. This is huge because we've never had anybody talk about it in that way, but, and as you know, we've had therapists on, but I love that you ask them these questions because that's so important.

[00:26:17] Maya: You know, I mean, there's counselors out there that are, you know, they specialize in grief and things like that, and so you can assume that they're gonna know. You were at a place where I think you really knew what you wanted and what you wanted out of therapy and the connection that you wanted. So I think that's a really huge takeaway already in this episode for our listeners, in identifying what kind of therapist you want.

[00:26:42] Maya: Like it's a two-way relationship and you have to connect with them. And if you feel like you're not gonna be able to connect with them and they're not gonna understand you, it's not gonna work. I'm gonna tell you that right now. It's not gonna work. And so I love your advice. Hot tip in this episode on therapy from Maggie. Interview your therapist. I love that. I love it.

[00:27:04] Maggie: This person, that person knows my deepest, darkest secrets. They better jive with me. I better, I better know that they're smarter than me and they're gonna be able to help me. That's what I need to know. Are you capable? Are are, do you have the qualifications?

[00:27:22] Maya: And I think a lot of people struggle with this, especially when you're going through grief because you just want help and you want somebody to listen. And so I think, again, I think this advice is completely priceless.

[00:27:33] Maggie: Yeah, Maya, that's another good point is that you and I can relate to each other because of our personalities and there's another, there are other categories of people, so she was the third person that I'd reached out to and she's the only one that responded.

[00:27:50] Maggie: So I reached out to two therapists beforehand and got radio silence. What if I had stopped there? Because I felt rejected, even though, like I, I have a strong sense of self. Gosh, I'm reaching out to this person and this takes so much effort and then I hear nothing, and then I hear nothing again. Well, luckily, you know, third time's a charm and it worked out.

[00:28:19] Maggie: But that advocacy piece is, is something that it's not for everyone. I have found my purpose after I'm no longer, I mean, I am Chris's little sister, but nobody gets to see that relationship anymore. There's no physical witnessing of that. So then I'm gonna hold his candle. And there have been times where I've held it so high that I've kind of, you know, shrunken in the background and I've had to adjust and say, okay, find some balance, Maggie.

[00:28:59] Maggie: You know, find Maggie again. And I recognize that advocating for yourself in grief is so challenging. Doing grief work in general is probably, for most of us, the hardest work we're ever gonna do in our lives. If we choose to do it. Some people choose not to do it, and that's their choice. But I have worked my ass off, you know, I can thank my brother for becoming this better person, but unfortunately it's without him and that just hurts 10 years in, it still hurts.

[00:29:43] Maya: Right. Yeah, I, I completely understand, and I think you bring up, again, so many great points, Maggie, but we have very, you and I both have very strong, outgoing personalities, and not everybody is going to be more extroverted like us and really advocate for themselves. I can't tell you, and I'm sure you've heard this more.

[00:30:05] Maya: I can't tell you how many people have told me, well, you know, I reached out to a therapist, they never got back to me. And so they feel defeated. I mean, you are describing what I'm sure so many of you guys listening have gone through or are going through and you know, like we, like you mentioned, we said on on many other episodes, it's like dating.

[00:30:21] Maya: You have to find the right person, but you also can't give up. It's like when you're trying to find your partner, you know, you, you have to keep hope and advocate for yourself and stay open, but also protect yourself from the therapist. That's not, it's, it's not any different. It's a relationship. It's a very intimate relationship that you articulated so perfectly.

[00:30:39] Maya: They're gonna know, like if you do the work, you know, really deep and you dig in, they're gonna your deepest, darkest crap. I mean, that's really how it's, and so you, you need to make sure that you're advocating for yourself. And I love that you brought that up and I really love that you're saying that, you know, this has kind of made you the, you know, a really great version of yourself, a beautiful person, but.

[00:31:04] Maya: That's the silver lining. The, again, the crappy part, the, the downside and the devastation is that Chris isn't here anymore to see that. But I, I'm spiritual, you know, most of us are that have lost someone significant and I think he sees it, but it doesn't matter because it doesn't, it doesn't. Right.

[00:31:24] Maya: Because we know that innately, our intuition knows that, but we still want 'em here. We still want 'em here. Right. See this?

[00:31:32] Maggie: Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:31:33] Maya: So, Maggie, I I just wanna take us back for just a second, for, for the listeners that are here and are listening, you said when you got the call, the call we never wanna get again, that's just such a, a term in this community. I had no idea when I first started this journey of sharing my story. But when you got the call, you said his girlfriend didn't really share a lot of details and so when you arrived, you knew he had passed, but it was you and your parents and his dog. But is that when you receive details and what, share with us what you're comfortable sharing about how he passed. Especially for those of us who have, who are listening and have lost my sibling by suicide.

[00:32:17] Maggie: Yeah. Because this is public and because his son might hear this someday I'm going to choose to not say the method. Mm-hmm. and sitting next to my parents, my father told me, and what was interesting was on that very, very long drive.

[00:32:37] Maggie: My heart literally like my heart area, and my body felt like heavy and, and in pain. And so I thought that something had happened with his heart and it hadn't. Yeah. It was, it was devastating news and yeah. I think that's all I'm ready to, to share about that.

[00:33:02] Maya: Yeah. No, I, I understand. Especially with him being survived, not just by you, your parents.

[00:33:09] Maya: He has a, a child.

[00:33:11] Maggie: Mm-hmm. .

[00:33:11] Maya: How old, how old is his son now?

[00:33:14] Maggie: 14. He will be 14 at the end of this month.

[00:33:17] Maya: Oh, well, happy birthday. Yeah. Yeah, baby Chris. So I wanna continue with your journey, but I do wanna ask you this question because this is a, a topic that comes up all the time. How has your relationship been with his son and your parents, with his son?

[00:33:34] Maya: Has that been able to move forward and have you been able to stay connected or has that been a part of the difficulties in your journey?

[00:33:42] Maggie: It's, it's absolutely been a part of the difficulties. Kris's son's mother lived in Minnesota after Kris died for a few years, and then she decided to move out of state and bring Kris's son with her.

[00:33:57] Maggie: And there were times after Chris died that we weren't allowed to, to see his son for whatever reasons that I won't actually, maybe I'll never know. Right. So yeah, absolutely. Definitely challenging family dynamics with that peace. Chris's son and his son's mom came to Minnesota this summer and he got to see my father, so his grandfather for the first time since the funeral.

[00:34:34] Maggie: Wow. And it was, everybody talked beforehand. We all talked about the fact that we are gonna be positive and loving and put differences aside and the experience. We went to the Mall of America and got got to ride rides. Go out to eat afterwards. And it couldn't have been more positive. It couldn't have been more and more wonderful.

[00:34:59] Maggie: And so hopefully that gives people a little bit of hope that things can be repaired and again, you know, took a decade mm-hmm. and, and it, it still is an ongoing effort.

[00:35:14] Maya: Of course, of course. I mean, he's 14 currently. I mean.

[00:35:19] Maggie: He's 13 going on 14. Yep.

[00:35:22] Maya: Baby, baby, baby, you know, young when this happens. So I that's a lot. But Maggie, absolutely. You, you touched on another point of this podcast and, and my message, and I feel your message too, is to give hope and you know, if Yep. You know, even if it's a decade that's hopeful. You guys are killing me on this season because I don't always get like super emotional let's, I like dive into my story, but I am like getting choked.

[00:35:49] Maya: I'm like literally getting choked up over here because the hope is what gets me, like really at the core gets me, me emotional. But I think it's important that we give people hope and that is such a positive, positive in your story. And I'm really glad that we were able to at least dip our toe in that part of the story and totally understand he's a child and we need to keep his privacy. That's so important.

[00:36:10] Maggie: And that's mainly my mom that continued to keep that relationship going. Actually it was on hundred percent my mom. And luckily for me, I feel like I won the mom lottery and, and that was part of the reason why for her Kris's death was so difficult because she was such an engaged, loving, intuitive, always there for us mother.

[00:36:35] Maggie: So for her to have this experience happen to one of her children. Was kind of completely devastating. And for her, she is a difficult time forgiving herself, but I hope that there will be a time in her life that she'll be able to do that. Right. On her grief journey. Exactly right. Because we have to stay in our own grief lanes and that's hard to do.

[00:37:03] Maggie: And I've had to work through my own guilt and my own forgiveness, and everybody will do that in their own time.

[00:37:12] Maya: I agree. I absolutely agree. So let's go back, by the way, mold America, not very farm, all that. Like I remember that from my childhood. So that was also making me a little, like emotional, being there with my brother. So this is, this is a, a, a happy, like prosperous future, hopefully with the relationship. And I thank you for sharing about your mom too, because complicated family dynamics, it's tough. It's really tough. So bring us, bring us. Back to where we were, Maggie, and your story, because I know that you are a certified grief recovery specialist and you did this quite early, like this is early in your grief journey. Can you tell us a little bit about that as you're kind of continuing your story?

[00:37:52] Maggie: Yeah. Yes. I did the, the educational piece with Save and just understanding the signs of suicide and I encourage people to, to look back and or not look back, but I encourage people to really look into the signs. So that's one piece of it.

[00:38:13] Maggie: And then the second piece of it, it was just a year later, after Chris died, I became certified as a grief recovery specialist. And within that certification, I was then given more language and understanding. These other experts had taken the time to put a handbook together and help me figure out how to take steps through my grief.

[00:38:43] Maggie: And the word recovery within the grief recovery method is about feeling better. It's about being able to talk about our loved ones without, you know, falling into an emotional heap, being able to remember the positive and the silly and the fun memories without us just not being able to speak because we're crying too hard.

[00:39:13] Maggie: So that's how I envision recovery. And it's also a lifelong journey. So I was certified a year after Chris died, and then I, uh, created an l l. Thinking that hanging my shingle, that people would just come flock into me. Right. I mean, I found this amazing thing that really helped me in my life, and then I'd be able to help so many other people.

[00:39:46] Maggie: And I did clarify because I am not a licensed mental health professional. This is, you know, peer-to-peer education. It's also, as you and I know, like we've got the life experience to talk about this. Absolutely. Yeah. You know, my, my grandma died when I was three and I remember her alive. And so I feel as though a lot of my life has the theme of grief in it, where not a, a lot of other people have that theme in their life.

[00:40:17] Maggie: Mm-hmm. . So here I thought, okay, I'm gonna become a grief recovery specialist and really help people understand the meaning behind grief, the feelings that happen to us, the physical experiences. We know that there are threads of grief that people experience, like we'll just say it here, over and over and over again.

[00:40:40] Maggie: And you and I also know that every grief experience is uniquely ours. And so being a grief recovery specialist, I'm able to differentiate the two and say, gosh, here's some common things that happen, but tell me your story. What makes your story unique to you? What needs to be validated within you? And understanding, you know, what behaviors am I doing?

[00:41:09] Maggie: And again, this is about me. What behaviors am I doing to avoid grief? I went from not a whole lot of shows to watching a ton of shows.

[00:41:22] Maya: I connect on that too. That's interesting that you did the same. It was like I wanted to distract myself so much. So like I was never like a Netflix and binge kind of person, and then I was like binging, like, and, and it was such a fog during that time that I, you know, we watch Netflix before bed and stuff.

[00:41:41] Maya: Like no big deal now. A healthy balance now. But I like see all these shows that I've watched in the past and Nike, I don't even remember them. I'm sure you guys go through this too, or have been through something like this. Some people read a lot, some people exercise a lot. Some people eat a lot. Some people drink a lot.

[00:41:56] Maya: I mean there's all different forms of this, but Oh my god, I so get you on the show thing. So get you on that.

[00:42:02] Maggie: Yep. So the term with the grief recovery method is short-term emotional relieving behaviors. So let's just pick something benign like gardening, whatever activities you're choosing to do to avoid your grief.

[00:42:21] Maggie: Let's just have an awareness about it. I'm, I'm not here to judge anyone. And on top of that, I judge myself so hard that, and I recognize it's not helpful, but just having that awareness, okay, once I work past that, then I can figure out how to be intentional about grieving. Once my grief isn't the driver of the car, once my grief is not running my life and I feel outta control, how, how do I gain back a little bit of saying, okay, you know, maybe I do choose to go into a grief experience by listening to a song that Chris liked.

[00:43:04] Maggie: It's such an active process if you, if you choose it to be.

[00:43:08] Maya: I'm connecting so much with that, and I'm sure a lot of you listening are as well, because. When you keep yourself busy and our, I guess our thing was shows and you know, I had some, I mean this is harmless, but you know, it wasn't really the most productive thing.

[00:43:23] Maya: But it worked for me at the time during the fog of what I call the first year. But you know, I had some really unproductive and negative behaviors too, which I shared on season one. You know, I drank, there were issues, I had things with that. I mean, it's just, it's a reality and when you decide to share your story, you gotta share it all.

[00:43:41] Maya: I mean, you need to at least so people understand and can connect. So unhealthy and healthy behaviors aside, I mean, they both happen, you know, you do it to distract yourself, I think, you know, but what you are saying is really key here, Maggie, because if I'm gonna intentionally go my brother creating music videos, which I'm sure all of you know at this point, It took me so long to go and watch one of those because I knew I was going into intentionally like grief, feeling situ.

[00:44:11] Maya: I was gonna feel everything. And I went through that experience with my husband, which I shared, and it was very traumatic. It was a lot. But I wanted to share that with him because he never met my brother. And that was an intentional thing. It was, you know, it's intentional. If I listen to like Googo dolls, that was like his, his jam.

[00:44:32] Maya: He like, loved that when he was a kid. He evolved later in life. But if I listen to one of those songs, I know I'm going to feel all the things like, so I, I think what you're saying is something we really haven't talked about before, but, or if you're going to look back on some pictures or a memory or a video or something, you go in consciously and you don't always know how you're gonna react.

[00:44:53] Maggie: Mm-hmm. ,

[00:44:54] Maya: you really don't,

[00:44:55] Maggie: you know how I know I'm healing is because when a Facebook memory comes up and it makes me smile, I love that. You know, my dad recently sent a video of the four of us at the cabin, and I don't know, I mean, I probably watched it a couple minutes after my dad made the video and then I hadn't seen it in 10 years.

[00:45:21] Maggie: And man, to hear his voice again. Mm-hmm. , it was, it was really wonderful. And yeah, it still stings a little bit and yeah, it's sad and yeah, there's still grief surrounding that until the day that I die, Chris will always be my brother and I'm going to always miss him. But how do I create a life that honors him and honors myself?

[00:45:53] Maggie: So last September, 2021, my fiance and I bought a 32 acre. And we joked that before we even got the keys and, and signed for the house, that Chris would've been in the driveway waiting for us. Mm-hmm. . And there's a creek on the property, a marsh and a creek, and my fiance named that Chris's Creek.

[00:46:17] Maya: My heart is like melting right now, but is so sweet and congratulations by the way. You have so many exciting things happening in your life. That's beautiful. Oh my gosh. I love that.

[00:46:26] Maggie: Right. And and it's taken so much to get to this point, being able, so we have 32 acres and it, it is a hobby farm. We have horses and my long-term goal is to continue to teach educational classes on the farm and utilize nature and the animals to help people process their grief.

[00:46:47] Maya: I love that. I love that. I need to come visit you now. That's an, we'll have that conversation another time, but Oh my gosh. I was an a, I had a horse growing up, an avid horse rider, which you mentioned earlier, but oh my gosh, I love your mission. That's beautiful. Congratulations. I feel like this is just the beginning for you with that.

[00:47:04] Maggie: Me too. And, and that's another thing, that's another really important point, is that me comparing myself to you or anybody else kind of kills my own creativity. And I've had to really step back from that because, you know, I'm in my late thirties, I should be here, I should be doing this, I should be further along.

[00:47:28] Maggie: And that's another one of those pieces in my grief journey and, and that negative thinking that I've had to reroute and just say, mm-hmm. Like, that's, that's not helpful. Like, stop it.

[00:47:42] Maya: I'm always very grateful to my therapist, Maggie, because he taught me. In my twenties before losing my brother. Cause I was dealing with a lot of the trauma from my, you know, parents.

[00:47:53] Maya: Mm-hmm. working through that and just own, own traumas that someday, who knows, might be a podcast or book. We'll see. But I'll share that as well. Cause you know, but when she starts sharing, you get braver. You know how that is. But he told me should, I'll never forget this, it was very early and now I've been seeing him for over, over a decades and he told me, should is a dirty word.

[00:48:14] Maya: We do not use that word in here. You know? And of course it comes up and I say it and he'll just kind of like, look at me. But that was, I didn't know at the time what a gift that was because he was so spot on and he used it. And when we were talking about like my parents and when I was saying they should have done this or they should have done that and I was in that 20-something mindset, right?

[00:48:36] Maya: Like really processing everything that had happened that was really, you know, not right when I was young, but. That was a game changer for me. So what you're talking about, and I hope you guys get so much out of this as well, another hot tip here should, is a, it is a dirty word. It really is a dirty word when we're thinking like this, right?

[00:48:55] Maya: I should be here in my grief journey. I should be here in my professional journey. I should be here in my personal relationship. Everybody has a totally different story. No two stories are alike and that is accurate for grief and it's accurate in other areas of our life. And when you start to compare and say should, hmm.

[00:49:13] Maya: Such a gift hearing that. And so when you're saying that, I'm like, oh, I connect this so deeply. I hope you guys do too.

[00:49:18] Maggie: Yeah, yeah. It's, it's hard not to do it, but there's so much value in recognizing that you do and being able to shift your thinking.

[00:49:28] Maya: I agree completely. I agree completely. I think there's so much wisdom in that.

[00:49:32] Maya: I just, I wanna congratulate you again. So many exciting things happening in your life. I. No, and I, I'm a very spiritual person, so I know Chris is with you, and I love that you have something on the property named after him. It's so beautiful. Something I want to kind of dive into, or you know, maybe backtrack a little bit, is the fact that you have spoken publicly about your brother and this experience. Tell us a little bit about that, because that's how I saw you speak before and you spoke beautifully.

[00:50:02] Maggie: Thank you.

[00:50:02] Maya: Tell us about when it was where you spoke. Tell us a little bit about that and tell us about how your parents felt about it. I think that's, that's a big part of this component too. I would love to hear that. I'm sure all of you guys would too.

[00:50:14] Maggie: I am a beautiful blend of both my parents. My mom is more introverted, private. You tell her a secret, she's gonna keep it till the day she dies. My father, who was in international business in sales and extroverted and a really good storyteller, and so I kind of got. The, the public speaking gift from him.

[00:50:37] Maggie: And shortly after I became certified, I realized that, you know, being able to share the story of just being able to get a grip on grief is, is the name of one of my talks. And it helps people understand early in grief and what are all the aspects of it. You know, if we are able to talk about it and have language around it, then maybe it makes it less scarier or less difficult to deal with.

[00:51:06] Maggie: And my parents have absolutely, they've supported me from, from day one. Both of 'em have, have, and I was the one that asked them to go to local grief groups in, in order for us to get support, which is unique. Usually it's the parents dragon. Their child to it. Mm-hmm. and I, as the child was saying, Hey, if you guys wanna go, please come with me.

[00:51:33] Maggie: If you don't, I'm going by myself. And it took me a while to, to find a group that, that actually supported siblings, which is like the compassionate friends. I also have spoken for them. I've spoken locally in Minnesota, regionally and nationally. And it's a way for me to stay connected with Chris in my way because Chris was introverted and I'm extroverted.

[00:51:59] Maggie: And so it's my way to, to stay connected to him and to remind people that their lives matter. Chris's life matters and it did matter. And you know, we are gonna continue on this healing journey our whole lives if we choose to. And I wanna share that story with people.

[00:52:23] Maya: Yeah. I connect with you so much on this, you know, that , and I'm so glad you brought up the compassionate friends because they've been so great to me as well.

[00:52:32] Maya: I'm connected in the local chapter here and, you know, connecting more on a, a national basis and there's lots of great groups and I've spoken for other groups as well, but I love how supportive your parents have been and just you being true to yourself. And I, I, a fellow extrovert here, my brother was an extrovert and my two sisters are introverts, right?

[00:52:56] Maya: So there's not always, there's mixture. We know my story already, you know, there's mixture on the feedback there. But I do this because I feel like I'm channeling my brother. My brother was even more extroverted than me, which people look at me kind of sideways when I say that. They're like, how is that possible?

[00:53:09] Maya: I'm like, trust me. Like he was, if he could be in front of a camera 24 7, he would've done like Big Brother or something. He's like so extroverted, but. I, I feel like that's me. Like I, I connect with what you're doing for, for Chris and for the community because that's me carrying on his memory and giving back.

[00:53:27] Maya: It, it keeps him alive, but I feel like it's like giving to him and it's sometimes indescribable. And so I really, I really understand and I think, you know, and seeing you talk, and I wanna talk about where to find you at in a few minutes so people can connect. But you, you've just shared your story eloquently and it's been so amazing sharing here because this is a very difficult topic.

[00:53:54] Maya: Okay? Losing your sibling is difficult enough, but losing them by suicide is difficult. So I again, want to thank you for speaking so openly about this because it's difficult. You're absolutely. I wanna ask you just a couple more questions, Maggie, because again, like we're saying, suicide, this is something we're seeing very publicly, a lot right now, very difficult.

[00:54:17] Maya: People are connecting with these stories, but there's so much why and mysticism behind it and things like that. I wanna ask you, as someone who has experience with this, who lost a brother by suicide, how do you feel about the terminologies that are coming out and how do you feel about people speaking about suicide?

[00:54:35] Maya: Like what do you feel is acceptable? And what I mean by that, I'm sure you already know what I mean, but is, you know, people used to say things that I think were triggering for some people who lost someone, you know, by suicide.

[00:54:49] Maggie: Even the word triggering. Let's shift the word, the usage, the word to activating, right?

[00:54:57] Maggie: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yes. So, Again, so grateful for this platform so that we can talk about it and that maybe the media is going to figure out that the most benign way of saying it is died by suicide. We're gonna take out committed, it's a loaded word, and the connotations are different depending on who you are.

[00:55:21] Maggie: In the grief recovery method, they say completed. And I've had people come back to me and say, you know, that's activating for them. Okay, so let's just have it be what it is. Let's not use a different word. Another piece that I wanna talk about is, and, and I feel qualified to talk about it, and I bring this up in my talks.

[00:55:48] Maggie: Mm-hmm. , there is a difference between the living person, the, the, the grievers having suicidal ideations versus. Wanting to be with their loved one who is dead, yearning to be with their loved one. Mm-hmm. . So if you ask them, they didn't, they wouldn't have an active plan, but it hurts so much they don't want to be here anymore.

[00:56:18] Maggie: There were days and days and days and days when I would wake up in the morning after having terrible night's sleep, probably having nightmares and waking up and saying, I'm alive. I have to do this day, I'm here. Gotta start it all over again. Yeah. So I want to be able to, to recognize the difference. One is a part of, of can be a part of grief and the other one, that person, you know, hopefully finds the help that they need before.

[00:56:58] Maggie: They take action right when their, their own mental health is compromised. You know, that's another way of, of saying it. You know, their, their mental health was compromised when, when that happened.

[00:57:15] Maya: I think that's a really eloquent and accurate way of putting that. Right. You know, we grew up, I mean at least I did. I mean, we're around the same age, Maggie, and we heard this terminology, oh, that person committed suicide. You know, so I think it's really wonderful that you're bringing awareness to this cuz it's important. And I love that you're saying activating and you know, cause everyone says triggering all the time.

[00:57:43] Maya: Like activating like, oh that just clicks so much more with me. I hope it does with you guys as well because it just does this triggering is just like, you just feel like it's so negative and like someone's gonna have like some kind of. Freak out or episode and like. It's just, you wanna take all of that aside and you want to be accepting and like let people feel what they are feeling.

[00:58:04] Maya: And so I really love that. I love that you said activating and, and that's a thing that we're working towards and bringing into society. How do you feel about the term that people use? You know, some people are comfortable saying, you know, my brother, my sister, my whomever died by suicide. But some people are preferring to say unlived or unlive. How do you feel about that?

[00:58:28] Maggie: I think it depends on the audience that they're talking to. With my work with children mm-hmm. , they, depending on the age, need things to be kind of concrete. So we don't get to say, you know, that they passed away like that. What does that mean to a kiddo? Mm-hmm. . You know, we can explain death, not necessarily through a loved one, but through a pet or through something else.

[00:59:01] Maggie: I don't know, Maya, that's the first time I've actually heard that and

[00:59:05] Maya: Oh really? It's, it's, it's quite popular yet in the community, but, but very recent. It's like, it's not like this has been around and you didn't hear it. It's, it's a recent. Term. And when I say recent, you know, it's not been around for five, 10 years, maybe people were using it, but it's becoming more popular.

[00:59:21] Maya: So I was really curious about your opinion and your take on that. But I think you answered this really beautifully, Maggie, because you're right, children are gonna go, but how Maggie? How, but how did they die? Wait. Or how passed away? Passed by where? You know, like that's kids depending on the level that they're at.

[00:59:40] Maya: So if you say something like Unlive to a child, they're like, you know, but if you're talking to an audience where that's acceptable terminology and they understand it, I think you answered the question perfectly, but this is a term that that's coming up because the word suicide is activating for people. That's why it's become it.

[00:59:59] Maggie: It's absolutely activating for people. And even within my immediate family, there was one of us that didn't wanna use the term, so that person sure said that it was a work accident, but the truth. Which is also my truth, needed to come out and I guess until society creates a better word for suicide, that's the word that I'm going to use when I hear unlive.

[01:00:26] Maggie: The opposite to me is alive and, and how do I get that back when I hear dead? That's final. That's concrete. So yeah, I guess it does depend on the audience.

[01:00:40] Maya: Yeah, and I think can be generational too. I, I really think that's something that's happening as well. But really curious about your opinion, and I relate to your opinion on that too.

[01:00:50] Maya: Maggie, you have shared so much with us. This has been incredible. I'm so sorry for your loss. A decade is a journey and what I'd love to ask before closing an episode, I think you know this already, is what would you tell Maggie a decade ago when you lost. Chris, what is one piece of advice you wish that you could give yourself?

[01:01:15] Maya: I think you've sprinkled so much knowledge throughout this and really dropped some incredible knowledge and you know, I, you guys have probably gotten so much out of this. I know I have, but what, what is something maybe we haven't talked about that you could go back and talk to 10 year ago, Maggie, and say to her, after losing your brother Chris by suicide.

[01:01:34] Maggie: That it's okay to be activated. That when you hear about other siblings complaining about their sibling or other siblings that did lose a sibling, but have other siblings, that it, it's okay to be activated by that and you're gonna just have to work through that. Because I'm in the category of being alone and will have to deal with my aging parents on my own instead of with my brother, which is what I, you know, thought was gonna happen my whole life and.

[01:02:11] Maggie: I would go back to Maggie of 10 years ago and just give her the biggest hug, just the longest, longest hug and just say, you will make it through this. You will move forward. Your life will never look like what you thought it was going to look like. And the sooner, Maggie, you become okay with that, the sooner you're gonna be able to continue to work on your grief journey.

[01:02:44] Maya: I think that's a beautiful message. It's getting emotional again, Maggie, you've got this effect on me. Well, this is a very difficult topic to talk about and I appreciate you just opening your heart and soul and your commitment to this community as well. And. Yeah. I was like, as you were telling that, I was like, yeah, tell her she's gonna make it.

[01:03:04] Maya: She's got this, you're gonna do it. It's not the same. I didn't think at, you know, 36 I was gonna be living the life that I'm living, but so much positive is in my life. I miss him every day. I miss my brother every day. I know you connect with this, but you know, I made it. I'm, I'm living and it's okay to be grieving and living simultaneously, and your message just resonates.

[01:03:29] Maya: I hope you guys got just as much, if not more out of that. Um,

[01:03:33] Maggie: we're living and we're thriving, just Yes. Right. Andreas and Chris being gone.

[01:03:40] Maya: Yes. Mm-hmm. And I, I hope people listening to your story know that they, they can do it too, and in their own journey. Absolutely. And their own. Maggie, where can we find you?

[01:03:52] Maya: How can we connect with you? I know you've done some talks, they're out there and I know you're on Facebook, so tell us how you're comfortable and we'll, we'll tag those in the show notes too so you guys can follow.

[01:04:01] Maggie: Yeah, absolutely. You can find me, Maggie Bauer On on Facebook, you have MB Grief Recovery page on Facebook.

[01:04:07] Maggie: MB Grief is my email. And I also have a website, which is Old , a little outdated, but you can still find me

[01:04:24] Maya: Perfect. And we'll tag it all in the show notes and we're also gonna tag additional resources because it's absolutely important. So Maggie, we'll connect on that as well.

[01:04:34] Maya: And thank you so much for being here today, Maggie. This has been incredible. And again, I'm so sorry for the loss of Chris. You've done an incredible job in, in honoring him, so thanks for being here.

[01:04:45] Maggie: I appreciate you, Maya. Take care.

[01:04:48] Maya: Thank you so much for listening to the Surviving Siblings Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode as much as I did creating it for you, then share it on your chosen social media platform. And don't forget to tag us at Surviving Siblings Podcast so that more surviving siblings can find us. Remember to rate, review and subscribe to the podcast. And don't forget to follow us on all social media platforms. We're on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at Surviving Siblings Podcast. All links can be found in the show notes, so be sure to check those out too. Thank you again for the support. Until the next episode, keep on surviving my surviving sibling.

Maggie BauerProfile Photo

Maggie Bauer

Bereaved Sister

Maggie’s beloved brother Chris died from suicide in August of 2012. Chris was Maggie’s older brother and only sibling. After the shock, numbness then intense pain decreased, Maggie moved back home to Minnesota where she found some resources including the Grief Recovery Institute® and became a Grief Recovery Specialist ®. Her local chapter of Compassionate Friends has been an extremely valuable resource for her as well. Maggie attended the Minneapolis chapter of Compassionate Friends for 8 years and is now on the steering committee and the sibling loss facilitator. In the years since her brother’s death, Maggie has spoken to hundreds of people about the loss of a sibling and general grief and in 2022 received the national Karen Snepp award for her advocacy as a bereaved sibling. Her goal is to help people get a grip on their own grief so they can live a full life again.

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