Radical Resilience: How to Live Well in a Sick World

Processing Grief

May 20, 2021


Over the last year, the United States has seen the largest number of deaths since the Spanish Flu. The pandemic has come through and taken the lives of over 500,000 Americans, leaving the country in a devastating state of grief. Hosts Susanna Barkataki and Dr. Neelam Pathikonda welcome writer, activist, and dear friend Malkia Devich-Cyril to this episode of Radical Resilience for an open conversation about processing grief.

Malkia understands the concept of grief better than most. After many devastating losses in her life, the most recent one being her wife and the love of her life, Malkia has had to learn how to adjust to life during the grieving process.  

Currently, we are experiencing mass grief, not collective grief, says Malkia. She explains that the two types of grief are separated by the actions of reparation and reconciliation. For our country to truly metabolize grief in a collective way, we need to hold those responsible accountable. She suggests that we will continue the cycle of generational grief as long as nothing has been reconciled.

Grief is a part of life and it carries a negative connotation, but it does not always have to be that way. In this episode of Radical Resilience, guest speaker Malkia will share many of the ways that she has learned to cope with grief from a place of joy and celebration.


“It would take a wall almost 9x the length of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. to list the name of every person in the US who died of COVID. (01-29-01:38)

“We are talking about generational grief. Not only the loss of individuals in a natural order, but deeply unnatural and traumatic loss. Which scars generations of people, scars people on a collective level, as well as on an individual level.” (09:43-10:01)

“When there is no reconciliation, when there is no reparation, then grief remains lodged in the body. Whether it be the individual body or the collective body.” (12:12-12:22).

“Without action, mass grief turns to apathy…it turns to alienation…it turns to amnesia.” (12:34-12:38)

“Grief is one face of love. Grief is not inherently sorrow, it’s also joy.” (20:06-20:12)  

 Journal Prompts for this Episode:

In what ways does grief show up in your body?

What are some of your most beneficial resilience strategies to help process the pain of grief?

What would you like your loved ones to know about how you grieve and what ways to best support you?

Medical Disclaimer:

We want to remind you that any yoga wellness or health advice presented is not meant to replace the advice of your personal physician or other healthcare professional always seek competent medical care.


Check out Malkia Devich-Cyril on her website  

The Relentlessness of Black Grief

For more information about the Stages of Grief and the Process of Grief

Click here for Stress Reducing Meditation and Tips for Radical Resilience in #COVIDLIFE. Please review and subscribe. To your radical resilience!

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