In this episode, Toby Moore shares with me a very personal story of his dad’s death and the effects of it. I’ve known Toby for a while now. He is a very charismatic member of the Brighton community, organising Tedx Brighton, and one of the founders of the content creation company Yappa. I think it is very easy to see people as a product of their achievements, and ignore the very human things that go on behind the scenes. I find Toby to be one of the most honest, altruistic people I know and really appreciate his ability and willingness to show vulnerability.
Talking about death can be really difficult. I remember when my grandad died I was in my early 20s and it was my first proper experience of losing somebody I was close to. I found it really traumatic and didn’t really know what to do about it or how to process it. As with all these difficult emotions, I think it is important that we create the space to talk about them. I think we have a tendency, particularly in the UK, to bottle things up, and that just leads to the emotions seeping out in different, and often quite damaging ways.
Since then I’ve lost other people, and it is never easy - but losing a parent is one of my biggest fears. While I think it is something I can not really have any conception of until it happens, I think hearing other people’s stories is very important.
In our conversation Toby and I talk about:
- Losing a parent
- The difficulty of talking about unfamiliar emotions
- The strength that can be found in grief
- How can we acknowledge death better as a society?
- How does your relationship with different aspects of your life change when confronted with your mortality
- Choosing the life you want to live
To find out more about my mental health journey around the UK with Ministry of Change check out my website: www.theministryofchange.org