Speak LOUD

Manly Grief with JARIE BOLANDER

June 30, 2023 Tiffany Barnes/JARIE BOLANDER Season 5 Episode 143
Speak LOUD
Manly Grief with JARIE BOLANDER
Show Notes

Today I’m talking with Jarie Bolander, an author and entrepreneur whose experience runs from semiconductors to life sciences to nonprofits. He runs his own podcast, “Entrepreneur Ethos,” named after his latest book of the same title. Jarie  works to help clients convert concepts to strategies, but for today’s episode, he’s here to speak loud about what he calls “manly grief” and the process of grief for men in our society. 

Caring for a Terminal Spouse

Jarie first encountered an issue with grieving as a man when his then wife, Jane, died of leukemia in 2017. He recounts the two of them trying to prepare in case of her death but that it’s impossible to prepare for something like that. After her death, Jarie felt afraid and confused, and turned to substances to try and fill the void. 

While grieving, Jarie felt alone and like there weren’t many people who were able to support him the way he needed—even he didn’t know what he needed. He joined support groups for widows and widowers but found that the majority were women and that their experiences didn’t always overlap. Trying to deal with grief as a man in this society made Jarie realize that there was a gap for support for widowers and grieving men. 

Grieving the ‘Manly Way’

Jarie found that expressing his grief and sorrow was liberating, and began to think about how to help others, especially men who went through similar experiences. The idea of “manly grief” came from his wondering of how to deal with grief in a ‘manly way.’ He wrote a memoir about his story with Jane, mainly of caring for a terminal spouse and how to help other men who are grieving. Jarie saw a lack of resources from a male perspective and decided  to fill the gap himself. 

As an entrepreneur, Jarie has to see himself in what he wants to be—which is how his book came along. He thought that Jane would want him to write a book so others didn’t feel so alone if or when they went through something similar. The book includes personal accounts of what helped him during his grieving process and focuses on the caregiving spouse. 

Normalizing Stories of Grief

Jarie realized that the more he talks about his grief, the less scary it became. His challenge for listeners is to share their story, too: “I think we need to have these conversations and be thoughtful and compassionate with each other.” Cliche as it is, he says that whatever story you have, it’s important and needs to be told. Somewhere out there will be someone who needs it, too. By talking about your experiences and difficulties, Jarie believes that it normalizes and lessens the shame and sorrow around trauma. 

Listen in to learn more about what modalities Jarie has used in his healing process, what was the most helpful for him when he was grieving, and 

Resources Mentioned

Join Me on Speak Loud Platform

Speak Loud Podcast on the web

Connect with Jarie on his website

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