Jen Downer is a photographer in Portland, Oregon. In her words, she’s a photographer “who is on a mission to celebrate families and individuals as they are. She strives to give people a comfortable experience, while capturing their moments, connection and spirit.” Having spent some time on the client side of her camera, I can say with authority that she does all of those things.
I didn’t invite Jen on the show in her capacity as a photographer, but as someone who has walked through a lot of grief, and has some things to say about how people interacted with her during those time, in both good ways and ways that left a lot to be desired. In this episode, we talked about how to go beyond, “I’m so sorry,” how to really connect with someone who is deep in grief, and if you are the one grieving, how to help people communicate better with you.
If you’ve ever been unsure what to say, or felt like you said something that just landed not well, this episode should help you in those encounters in the future. While we don’t offer any simple answers, there is a lot to think about here and insights that will help you figure out your own go-to scripts for these conversations.
Listen to Episode 6 with Jen Downer now by clicking the little arrow in the play bar below (if you don’t see it, reload the page), or head over to iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
Do you still have questions about how to communicate with someone who is grieving? Leave a comment or send me a note and let me know!
- Holiday Nurturing Note sign up.
- Episode 2: Interview with Jamie Van Zanen.
- Episode 3: Interview with April Johnson Stearns
- The book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (affiliate link)
You can find Jen and learn more about her photography work here: