#208 - Tragedy, grief, healing, and finding happiness | Kelsey Chittick

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Kelsey Chittick is the author of Second Half: Surviving Loss and Finding Magic in the Missing. In this episode, Kelsey describes her long healing process following the sudden death of her husband, former NFL player Nate Hobgood-Chittick. She describes her life with Nate before and after football, including her premonitions that something was off about Nate and the subsequent finding that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). She speaks openly about how she handled his death with her children, the trauma and grief they faced in the aftermath, and how she’s found ways to be happy in her new life. She shares deep insights into her healing process, including her experience with psychedelics and how the concept of “radical acceptance” has helped her to find joy once again.

We discuss:

  • Kelsey’s childhood in Florida as an athlete [2:15];
  • Meeting Nate and early relationship with him [7:45];
  • Nate’s unbelievable work ethic and desire to play in the NFL [12:30];
  • Life with a professional football player, playing through pain, and head injuries related to football [17:00];
  • Nate’s final days of football and early retirement struggles [23:30];
  • The tough transition from the NFL to a “regular life” and how Nate found a way to serve others [28:45];
  • Nate’s struggle with his weight and overall health after retirement [34:45];
  • Kelsey’s anxiety and premonitions of Nate’s impending death, and Nate’s changing demeanor [37:30];
  • The traumatic experience of learning of Nate’s death during her own spiritual journey to Jamaica [45:30];
  • Breaking the news to her children of their father’s death [51:00];
  • The darkest days following Nate’s passing and how her children were handling grief [55:30];
  • A new relationship with death, finding happiness, and the duality of feelings [1:02:45];
  • Nate’s autopsy results showing evidence of CTE [1:07:00];
  • The grieving process [1:15:00];
  • Dealing with grief with kids and how children grieve differently [1:19:15];
  • Healing through her first psychedelic experience [1:23:00];
  • The therapeutic potential of psychedelics, meditation, and more [1:33:45];
  • The concept of “radical acceptance” and the peace that comes with it [1:42:30];
  • The up and down experience of writing her book [1:47:45];
  • More.

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