Podcast #142 Get Griefy: A Magazine For Those Living with Loss and Actually Living – Kera Sanchez, Founder of Get Griefy

When Kera’s mom died unexpectedly at age 57, just a few days after Kera had just had a baby, the duality of grieving and mothering dropped her to her knees. Out of this grief and in the year that followed, Kera found resilience in the stories of so many others dealing with loss. While still a full-time high school teacher, she launched a magazine called Get Griefy, packed with stories that move and inspire. As the Get Griefy mission declares: “Our commitment is to go beyond the conventional narratives surrounding grief and loss, acknowledging that life after loss is not only about mourning but also about embracing the strength to live fully.”





Diane Hullet: Hi, I’m Diane Hullet and you’re listening to the Best Life, Best Death Podcast. And today I’ve got a super fun guest with a really neat new project that I can’t wait to hear about. Welcome to Kira Sanchez. Thank you so much. Oh, I love that you described it as fun. That’s the goal. I think it is really fun.

Well, even just the look of it is fun. So let, let’s kind of dive in and talk about it. Your new venture is called Get Griefy. Get Griefy. Get Griefy. And tell us about Get Griefy and tell us how you got that started. 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah. So Get Griefy is a magazine for those living with loss, the grief community, but it is aimed to inspire and allow people to see that there is still joy left to be had in life, even though we’re living with profound loss.

And I just want to highlight the stories of grievers who have done remarkable things with their grief. Um, I know sometimes that grief does not get the attention that it deserves, especially in like major media outlets. And oftentimes the only time they ever touch on something as if something super tragic happens, or if it’s like a celebrity, right.

And there was like, really not a whole lot of in between. And It was frustrating to me because there’s so many people out there doing incredible things, and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, so I just figured I would do it myself then, you know, and so that’s, that’s where it kind of came from.

That’s where the idea stemmed from, 

Diane Hullet: yeah. In your copious spare 

Kera Sanchez: time. Yes, exactly. I, that’s, that’s another thing. I’m also slightly mentally unstable because I do all of these things in my spare time. I’m a full time high school Spanish teacher, so, um, I, I don’t know. It just means that much to me. But yes, I also, um, yeah, I, I’m pushing through the grief a little bit.

It is a way for me to cope. Um, because I, I lost my mom unexpectedly in 2022 in the summer of 2022. So it’s been coming up on two years now, but this is definitely my therapy for sure. And I do do therapy as well on the side. So I’m not saying work through it, but, um, it helps me. It’s definitely a healing process.

Diane Hullet: You, well, you really created a creative outlet. And I think it’s interesting that you, you kind of said right from the get go, you said, look, there’s these major trad tragedies that get coverage. Then there’s celebrity tragedies that get coverage, but what about all of us who are walking around with various levels of grief, whether that’s through the death of a beloved or other levels, there’s so many reasons that we have loss as humans, and I think you’ve taken that experience and you’ve So I’m going to talk a little bit about the experience of the loss of your mom and said, how do I put this into something creative?

And how do I let people know all that’s happening for the people who are grieving? I, you know, it’s funny when I got into this kind of field about four years ago, I remember, you know, the phrase was kind of like, we’re a death phobic society and you know, that’s kind of, we don’t talk about it. But then someone said to me really early on, you know, even more than death phobic were grief phobic.

And I thought that was so well put. And then recently Dr. Sarah Kerr said, you know, it’s really that we’re dysfunctional around death. And I thought, well, and we’re dysfunctional around grief. So I don’t even know that we’re phobic. We just don’t know what to do with it. And we’re so uncomfortable. So I think having a way In like your get griefy.

I don’t know whether to call it a magazine. Is that what I call it? Get griefy Z? Yeah. 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah. It’s, it’s definitely a magazine. Um, but I think it’s also evolving to be a little bit of a community on Instagram. And so, but yes, the main, the main meat and potatoes is a magazine for sure. 

Diane Hullet: Yeah. So to create this magazine that creates a channel and a space for all of that, I think is really, really fabulous.

And it’s very different than a grief group, for example. So, so it’s a zine. It’s the, can you get it in hard copy? Is it digital? How does someone access this? 

Kera Sanchez: So right now it is digital and it’s going to be provided for free. Um, however, I’m working out ways that I can get it printed. Um, however, uh, on demand printing is not the most affordable option.

So I don’t know. We’ll see. Um, I’m hoping that if we do do on demand, my Amazon copy that’s coming in soon. is the ticket because that just makes it more accessible to everyone. It’s a little bit more expensive, but yeah, I’m still kind of like in the process of playing with things and troubleshooting and seeing where it goes, but I definitely think it’s important to provide print just because people are going to be in there.

They’re going to be featured and that’s a, an honor and I want them to be able to purchase like a souvenir, you know, so we’ll, we’ll see where it goes, but I am really. I’m really focused on trying to make sure it remains free for the online version, because I think that it needs to be accessible for everyone.

Diane Hullet: So, yeah, I think, I think that’s amazing. I mean, one of the things I saw, like if, if picture this listeners, if you haven’t seen it yet, you know, it’s a very colorful, you’re almost flipping through these colorful pages that are like autobiographies of people, partly their stories of grief, but also partly what they’ve done since also what they’ve created in terms of community or creative activities that people can participate in.

And it went on and on. I mean, there were just pages of people doing remarkable things. And so it’s inspiring and it’s moving and it’s got both You know, the sort of story narrative level, but it’s also got the, what can we do together level? 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah, for sure. I remember when I first started, some of my friends were giving me a little bit of constructive feedback and they’re like, Kara, that’s a lot of people in one issue.

Like, are you sure you want to have that many people every time? And, I realized then there is literally that many people that I could fill those pages with every time. There’s that many people out there that are doing that many beautiful things. So it’s, it’s remarkable. It really is. 

Diane Hullet: It really is. Give us like, I don’t know, highlight two or three of them that pop into your mind right now.

Kera Sanchez: So, um, the reason it kind of started to begin with is because with my other project that I’ve legacy letters, I was able to Post Instagram lives with people telling me a little bit about their grief journey. And there was five women in particular that just like stood out to me that I was able to kind of form like a friendship and a bond with from those experiences and those conversations.

And so, um, those are like my cover ladies, I would say, but I have Gracelyn Bateman from Luna Peak Foundation. Uh, Natalie Weidman, um, she suffered a, the loss of her son and she then also created a guided journal and also a book about creative comfort and how, um, she feels like God comes to her in creative ways.

Diane Hullet: And back up for one sec, what’s Luna Peak Foundation like? Oh, so, uh, 

Kera Sanchez: Gracelyn, her and her aunts created a foundation for different types of books. And some of them touch on cancer and things like that, but others touch on grief. Um, so they have like a variety of, Uh, publications, they do, um, their own publishing and then they give those books away to cancer, like, wards, um, for the, the patients that are there.

So it’s a really, really incredible organization. Because her aunt had childhood cancer and then Gracelyn suffered the loss of her dad. So they kind of put those two ideas together and, um, created that. Angie from Butterflies and Halos has created, uh, beautiful, Like greeting, grief cards, and stickers, stationery, things like that.

Uh, Tara Cardell, Losses Become Gains, she has a podcast, she has a grief community. And then, um, one of my closest friends is Kimberly, from Hopefully Kimberly. Um, she lost her husband to suicide, and now she is just like gung ho about mental health awareness, especially in education, um, for teachers and things like that.

She’s also a teacher. So those are like my, my five that I, I started with. And then from there I branched out, but I feel like they’re worth noting because they’re kind of the inspiration behind the project as well. So, 

Diane Hullet: yeah. Amazing. So, so back up and give us like, sometimes I ask people do this at the beginning, but we just sort of dove right in to get griefy, but like, back up, like, what’s your story that led you to be a full time Spanish teacher and then launch Legacy Letters Journal and then get griefy?

Like, what’s your Say more. 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah. So, um, teaching is my blood. I, my parents were both teachers, but, um, yeah, my mom in the summer of 2022, she was going on a vacation that she had planned for many of her friends. And it was like 30 people and it kept getting delayed due to COVID, but they were finally getting ready to go.

And it happened to be five days after. Um, I gave birth to my youngest daughter. Uh, luckily my mom was there. She was able to meet my, my latest little baby. Um, but on her trip over to Italy, she was not feeling well. My dad said that they wanted to take her to the doctor in the morning. And the next thing I know, I’m in the nursery in the NICU with my daughter and my phone kept ringing and my dad called me and let me know that my mom died.

And I was like, wait, what? Like, how does that even happen? Um, and I was just completely. Like thrown off my bearings. Like I didn’t even know how to handle it. And I call it like duality with the capital D because here I am holding my newborn and then processing the fact that I’m never going to see my mom again.

So yeah, it was just, you know, the first six months were incredibly challenging because I was on maternity leave and as much as I needed that time. To be home with my baby and process and not be at work. It was also just challenging because I think maternity leave and that, that newborn stage, that postpartum stage is incredibly isolating and brings on its own challenges within itself.

So trying to juggle that and grief was definitely, um, a difficult task, but after a couple of months and I got back into work and I just pondered a lot about. The fact that I’m never going to talk to my mom again. And there was a lot of conversations we didn’t get to have. And so that’s where everything started in terms of creativity and pouring my grief into creativity is because then I created a guided journal about all of the conversations that you never want to leave unsaid in terms of what you want to tell your children or your nieces or your nephews, your grandchildren, you know, whoever.

So I just poured all of, all of those prompts into a journal and published it. And then. From there started advertising and on Instagram, building a community, talking about my grief online. And recently I published the second version of that, which is more of a grief and memory journal, but both broken down very similarly, very specific.

Whimsical, quirky prompts that. You know, it was written in the style in which I teach, like I have very big complex topics that I need to get across to my students and I broke them down in a similar way and just bite size bit by bit. And so that way it makes it manageable and it’s not overwhelming for people to fill out.

And then yeah, Get Griefy came to me the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was in the shower and I was like, Aha, I have an idea. And so I just like ran with it. Um, and and like under three months I published the first issue. So I just, 

Diane Hullet: I don’t know. You’re like the Anarchizer Bunny. Yeah. You just go, go, go. And yeah.

So people can find out about the first piece at LegacyLettersJournal. com, there’s a lot there, and they can follow you, or they can find out about the magazine at GetGriefyMagazine. com. Do you think it’s, it’s like a, I’m wondering if it’s a younger generation that wants to be more public with their experience.

Kera Sanchez: I think so. I think, well, you know, I think the whole movement about mental health has helped a little bit because it’s like de stigmatizing that. And, you know, one of the biggest revelations for me is that my mom, when I was, you know, Like three months old, her dad died. And I know that that crushed her, but she never really talked about it growing up.

I only have one memory or maybe two of my mom, like really crying about it and just being sad. I remember she was watching her wedding video and she was dancing with her dad. And she was like, that’s grandpa. And I was like three. I didn’t remember really him at all. And I just remember being like, so confused.

Like, why is she crying? Cause I didn’t know who he was. And then, um, I do remember one time going to the cemetery with her, but like, After that growing up, we really never had those like deep conversations on like how to live with the fact that a parent is gone. And I just expected my mom to live forever.

She was that type of person. Um, the apple does not fall far from the tree. My mom was also the Energizer bunny and just was go, go, go, did, did, did. And so I just never expected to be in the position where she was suddenly gone at 57 years old. So I just think that that’s. For me, what drives like a lot of the conversations, because you just never know when your time is up and it’s, I think it’s, it’s easy to be like, Oh, that’s going to happen when I’m older or when I’m sick or, you know, but that’s not always the case.

So it’s, it’s really important to discuss. 

Diane Hullet: Yeah. I think it’s, it’s really interesting how discussing your mortality really impacts your sense of being alive. Or as someone said to me the other day, he said, you know, it’s like your mortality is the basis of your vitality, you know, he was just enjoying that play, but there is something truly about that that brings forward this gratitude and this awareness that it’s all pretty finite.


Kera Sanchez: Yeah, 1000%. And like, that’s what I really want to celebrate with the magazine is that as much as it, you know, it stems from grief, it’s really about living, you know, and so that’s, that’s the important piece is how do we continue living. And I know that like, when we’re grieving, you don’t want to be told.

But from somebody else, Oh, they wouldn’t want you to be sad, blah, blah, blah, blah. But we all know that to be true. And in our heart of hearts, we know that that’s truly is the best way to honor them is to continue to live like a fruitful and successful life. And so that’s, that’s kind of what I want to highlight and just remind people to do.

You know? 

Diane Hullet: Yeah. And there’s something about taking it into the realm of creativity that I just love. It’s, it’s very, um, I don’t know. The creative process is such a way of moving through things. And you know, it’s funny. There’s a great way I’ve heard the creative process described, right? In five steps.

Right. And like, number one is I love this. And number two is I hate this. And number three is this is crap. And number four is. I am crap. And then number five is I love this. So there’s this, I always crack up when I think about that because I always hit stages of the, Oh, this is crap. I am crap. You know, this is, this is not working out the way I had planned.

And it’s fascinating how, when you stay with something creative, you’re going to hit those blocks, but then Almost always for me, it comes back around to, I love this, whether it’s, you know, drawing, painting, creating a new course, creating a magazine, like whatever it is, there’s these different places that creativity can take us.

But I think that’s why it’s a process and that’s why it moves things. 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah. A thousand percent. Yeah. I, I, I, someone, I think it was my aunt. She in grief. For a while, it kind of just like sits inside your body and it can become cancerous. Like you need to find a place for that grief to live. That’s not inside of the meat jacket, right?

You don’t want to be inside, you know, you want to put it somewhere where you can still observe it and it’s still a part of you, but it’s not living in you anymore. And so I think that’s, that was also important because You know, I’ve been on like a little bit of a journey and myself and like, I did Reiki for the first time like a month ago and You know, that was something that was mentioned.

And it’s like, you cannot let this live within you, the negative parts, right. Um, forever, like you can’t let the anger sit in there forever or the frustration at the universe, like all of that stuff. Like you kind of need to let some of that go. And so I do think that that. The creation process has helped me do that for sure.

Diane Hullet: I guess maybe because creating is in part surrendering and the what you’re talking about moving grief is in part surrendering. 

Kera Sanchez: Yeah. 

Diane Hullet: Not a word I’m fond of. 

Kera Sanchez: No, no. Yeah, I, I’m the ultimate control freak, so that’s really hard for me, especially in education nowadays, uh, to realize that I am not in control of 120 of my students.

Like I can lead them to the water, but I cannot force them to drink. But yes, I agree. The surrendering part is the most difficult part of anything in life. 

Diane Hullet: all. Yeah. Yeah. So what, what’s gonna happen for get Grief episode? Not episode get griefy magazine number two 

Kera Sanchez: So I’ve already announced my cover and it’s Blair Kaplan Venables from the global resilience project If anyone has not heard her story, it’s quite remarkable, but she has created Kind of a similar situation.

She’s created books, um, about stories of resilience. So it’s not always grief based sometimes. Um, it’s about just tough situations that people have lived through, but her whole community is about, you know, building your resilience. Muscles and how to move through really difficult situations. And so, yes, I will be telling her story and she’ll be on the cover.

I’m very excited for it. Um, and then I just, you know, I, oh my gosh, I have so many really interesting, colorful stories that I cannot wait to tell. So. I’m very excited. 

Diane Hullet: Well, I think, you know, this reminds me a little bit of, you know, the big billboards that say pass it on, you know, big billboards. They said like kindness, pass it on or compassion, pass it on.

And they usually have a, a famous person up there with them. The one I saw the other day was. Dolly Parton and it said, kindness, pass it on. And I, there’s something about that, that you’re really, you’re trying to create both community and inspirational stories that are passing something on, passing on a sense of resilience and a sense of hope and creativity in the midst of really big challenges.

Kera Sanchez: Yeah, definitely. How 

Diane Hullet: do you see the online community growing? 

Kera Sanchez: Um, you know, so people have asked that. And honestly, like, I’m just like manifesting and thinking out loud of all of the different things that I would love to eventually do. And then hopefully it happens, but I would love to have in person events.

I’m picturing like One day I get griefy prom or something like that, where we could all get together and dress up. And I would love to have like the griefy awards and just like all sorts of things. Like I would love that so much. Um, but again, I’m just getting started and, you know, getting my feet off the ground and because I am really committed to offering it for free digitally, like it requires funding, right?

So that’s kind of where I’m at right now is how do I Um, make sure it stays and remains affordable for people, but also like it sustains itself and we can do things like that. So I 

Diane Hullet: don’t know. I love it. Griefy prom. I’m in. Yeah. 

Kera Sanchez: Right. I would love it. It’d be so fun. 

Diane Hullet: Well, thank you so much. I love your, I love how you took a really challenging thing and found a way to move it through yourself that also then moves it for other people and shows them some possibilities.

What a, what a great way to spend time. 

Kera Sanchez: Oh, thank you so much. Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. 

Diane Hullet: Well, and time isn’t even half of it. Time, effort, inspiration, creating the look, all of it is just, um, a labor of love. And I, it really shows. Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Well, thank you. So tell us again 

Kera Sanchez: where we can find out about you.

So, yes, if you want to learn more about the magazine, that is getgriefymagazine. com and then on Instagram at griefymagazine. Um, and then if you want to learn more about like the personal side of things, I post more, um, just things about me, my grief journey, my mom, on at Legacy Letters Journal. And then same with the website, uh, www.

legacylettersjournal. com. 

Diane Hullet: Fabulous. Well, I think, I think we’re going to hear more from you. I think that your tentacles and your creativity are going to keep putting things out in the world that are going to come back and, you know, keep an eye out for where this woman goes. 

Kera Sanchez: Oh, thank you. Thank you for manifesting that for me.

Diane Hullet:

Kera Sanchez: hope so. 

Diane Hullet: I hope so. Let’s make that happen. 

Kera Sanchez: Yes. 

Diane Hullet: As always, you can find out more about me at Best Life. Best death.com, and thanks so much for listening.

Picture of Diane Hullet

Diane Hullet

End of Life Doula, Podcaster, and founder of Best Life Best Death.

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