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15 Minutes: Rebecca Feinglos

"I never thought I’d be doing an interview about my work in grief and loss. My path was so focused. North Carolina and Durham are my heart and soul. It’s where I was born, where my parents settled in 1972. I went to Duke and I left afterward, but always with the intention to come back. This is my home.

I lost my mother when I was young and I always wanted to just do good for the world. I always imagined I would be in government some day. I got to what I wanted—being in government in North Carolina and being close to my father. And then everything changed when he died. I think about what it’s been like to be a grieving person in North Carolina; in my generation, we didn’t talk about grief."


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Actors and writers aren’t just striking. They’re grieving too

"When Feinglos asks those in attendance to jot down thoughts about their strike-caused grief, the room goes quiet. Their faces turn from amused to tense and contemplative for a few moments, as people fill Post-it notes before crumpling them and throwing them into the middle of the table. 'Loss of potential,” one wrote. “Delaying life plans because of lack of money. Anxiety. So much.' Another wrote, 'I’m grieving any sense that I’m respected or valued as an artist at all.'

Strikes by both the Writers Guild of America and the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union show no signs of stopping since launching in May and July, respectively. But writers and actors aren’t just striking. They’re grieving too. Feinglos says that because union members are choosing to strike, they may hesitate to describe their experiences as grief, 'and yet, that’s exactly what it is. They’re losing out. They’re feeling a loss every single day not doing the thing that they love.'"

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I Used TikTok and Snapchat to See My Deceased Parents Again

"Then I let out something of a yelp, a particular sound familiar to anyone who has lost a loved one or witnessed someone else getting the worst news of their life. I felt a mix of comfort and bitterness and longing and the approximately 1 million other feelings that go along with grief. I set my phone down on the sink and put my head in my hands to cry and laugh at the ridiculousness of what had just happened, with my jeans still around my ankles.

Over the next few days, I looked at the ghost mirror again and again. I loved seeing my dad’s reflection as my face, and at the same time, I hated it. The filter felt real enough that I got comfort from it, yet ephemeral enough to be devastating when my brain snapped back to remind me that Dad was not actually here. But for that little dopamine hit of seeing him 'alive' again? It was worth it every time."


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‘It’s hell’: How divorce laws are designed to create unnecessary financial hardship for women

"For women, the realities of the processes, procedures, and policies of getting divorced have a more severe impact both on their wealth and opportunity to recover. Women, who initiate 70% of divorces, begin divorce proceedings at an overall economic disadvantage because of systemic inequities. 

Women still earn less than men, making on average about 84% of what men make when working full-time, year-round–and the gap is even wider for women of color. 'Already most Black women [are] in a position where they're making less, have fewer assets, so it puts them at risk before they even finalize the divorce,' Kennedy shared. 'They’re already starting 10 steps backwards because they're taking a hit immediately.'"



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YAHOO: ‘Who are you running to first when you get to heaven?’ trend prompts discussion about Gen Z’s public way of grieving

"In the past, societal norms often dictated that grief should be a private, silent, and often isolating experience. This trend flips that narrative on its head," Rebecca Feinglos, a certified grief specialist and the founder of Grieve Leave, an online grief support community, told In The Know by Yahoo via email.

"We are creating spaces where grief can be acknowledged, understood, and validated — which is really what we need most when we’re grieving." This trend, Feinglos believes, gives young adults the opportunity to foster an online support system. 

“When individuals openly share their experiences of loss, they invite others who may be going through similar hardships to come forward and join the conversation,” she continued. “TikTok, with its vast user base and creative tools, becomes a medium for finding solace, empathy, and community in the midst of grief.”

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HuffPost: I Quit My Job And Put My Life On Pause To Spend An Entire Year Grieving.

“Oh, you should definitely go to the Alps,” the guy said, swirling his cocktail to clink the ice. “We just got back from Switzerland and had the most incredible time skiing.”

I was at a party 1 1/2 year ago, talking to a couple I’d just met. They both were in cable knit sweaters and jeans, her hair bright red and his dark brown. (As I try to place myself back at the scene, my memory of what the couple looked like has been completely replaced by Daphne and Cameron from the last season of White Lotus — close enough.)

 

“No, I haven’t...” My words trailed off as I took a sip of chardonnay to cover for the fact that I had absolutely no idea how to respond.

It was my first time telling strangers that I’d quit my job to take a year off to grieve. At that point, I hadn’t practiced answering the question, “So, what do you do?” I was so used to clinging to my impressive job title that without it, I felt self-conscious.

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YAHOO: Mother's Day Can Be Hard for a Loved One Who's Grieving -- Here's How You Can Show Your Support

When it comes to supporting someone who's grieving the loss of their parent, it can be hard to find the right words of comfort. Even if the death happened years ago, the subject might still feel too sensitive to approach with them.

However, the better we can try to be about communicating empathetically with people close to us whose parent has died, the more normalized grief can become. "Saying something to someone who is grieving is the right thing to do," says Rebecca Feinglos, a certified grief support specialist candidate and founder of GrieveLeave.com. "When we connect with our friends who have lost parents or parent-figures, whether their loss was recent or long ago, over Mother’s Day, Father’s Day — or any day, honestly — we recognize that grief is ongoing."

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UP JOURNEY: How to Get Over a Friendship Breakup (40+ Ways According to Experts)

Friendship breakups can be just as hard and painful as romantic relationships. Not only do you have to face losing someone special from your life, but it can also leave you feeling alone and with a deep sense of loss.

Whether the breakup was mutual or one-sided, it’s often difficult to process why things didn’t work out and move on with your life.

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ABC NEWS: Duke fan continues emotional journey to Final Four in honor of her late father.

This weekend is really driving home our relationship with sports as a community. For a lot of people what happens between the lines is deeply personal. Rebecca Feinglos, a Duke fan who grew up in Durham, has ridden a wave of emotions right into New Orleans."I grew up going to Duke games", says Feinglos. "Duke basketball and my relationship with my dad are like one and the same."For over 40 years, Mark Feinglos worked at Duke as a doctor in the school of medicine and held season tickets at Cameron Indoor Stadium."And like I was at Duke games like in the womb and spent my entire life doing that with my father," Feinglos said. Almost two years ago as the pandemic began, Mark's life came to an end at the age of 72.

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ELLE: Divorce party makes Adele cry at her own concert.

Adele broke down in tears as she continued her Weekends with Adele concerts in Las Vegas. When the singer was interacting with the public at Caesars Palace, she learned that a woman was having a "divorce party" with 13 of her friends after the separation. Rebecca Feinglos and she uploaded the experience of her “UNwed” (single) party. Adele, who split from ex-husband Simon Konecki in 2020, told her: "I know all about heartbreak. I got a little emotional before, now I'm really crying. I have tears running down my cheeks," she said and was really in tears. The moment went viral thanks to the other attendees and in fact, Rebecca's TikTok video looks like the most epic party to come out of a divorce.

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NEWSWEEK: Woman Whose Divorce Made Adele Cry at Her Concert Reveals All About Grief.

At the end of 2021, she quit her job and embarked on a mission—every day in 2022 she was going to do at least one thing to grieve. When Feinglos embarked on what she dubbed "Grieve Leave," she never guessed it would take her where it did.

"It started as an idea a year and a half ago that maybe I might feel better, less overwhelmed in my life, if I spent time focusing on my grief for all of these different losses," Feinglos told Newsweek. "For the deaths of my parents, for the end of my marriage, for leaving a job that I loved, for what we lost during the pandemic. It's a lot of grief. A lot of loss. And I wasn't talking about it."

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THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Her father, a Duke doctor, died as she dealt with pandemic. Now, she must grieve alone.

This weekend is really driving home our relationship with sports as a community. For a lot of people what happens between the lines is deeply personal. Rebecca Feinglos, a Duke fan who grew up in Durham, has ridden a wave of emotions right into New Orleans.

"I grew up going to Duke games", says Feinglos. "Duke basketball and my relationship with my dad are like one and the same."

For over 40 years, Mark Feinglos worked at Duke as a doctor in the school of medicine and held season tickets at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"And like I was at Duke games like in the womb and spent my entire life doing that with my father," Feinglos said.

Almost two years ago as the pandemic began, Mark's life came to an end at the age of 72.

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Experience Camps: Out On Grieve Leave.

The idea of “grieve leave” came to Rebecca Feinglos, age 32, after her father died unexpectedly at the beginning of COVID lockdown. Her mom had died when she was a teen, and suddenly she realized she was “an orphan.” Rebecca separated from her husband less than a year after her father died, and she got shingles at the end of November 2020 due to stress. She felt alone and “suffocated by my own grief.” She decided to leave her job to grieve all of the losses that were consuming her, documenting her Grieve Leave along the way. Below she shared more with us about the journey. 

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METRO: ‘I made Adele cry on stage with my divorce party – here’s how she empowered me to leave a marriage that no longer served me.’

Imagine making Adele cry on stage. Well, Rebecca Feinglos did exactly that while celebrating what can only be described as a seriously iconic ‘divorce party’.

The Grammy-winning star is currently performing her Weekends With Adele shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

To say the shows have been an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement (it is Adele, after all), but one fan was involved in a particularly special moment with the singer.

Rebecca attended the star’s show with 13 friends following her marriage split but, rather than feel down and wallow in her pain, she chose to don a ‘divorced babe’ tiara, a sash, and have the time of her life, feeling empowered by the choice she made to move on from what no longer served her

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LIFEHACKER: Maybe Your Divorce Deserves a Party.

"A divorce party is about celebrating the bravery it takes to end a relationship in a world where that’s so often stigmatized,” says Rebecca Feinglos, founder of the online community and blog Grieve Leave, and whose own divorce party went viral, tells Lifehacker. “Ending a marriage is a huge loss that we grieve, even if we were the person who initiated the separation. In the U.S. and around the world, divorce can be a drawn-out, painful legal process, leading to its own trauma. We can throw a divorce party to celebrate facing that grief and trauma head-on, and to celebrate the strength it takes to make it to the other side of the complicated process.”

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JOIN THE GRIEVE LEAVE MOVEMENT

Share your info to join our Grieve Leave community. You don’t want to miss anything!

Incredibly, NC doesn’t give many state employees bereavement leave | Opinion

"I was a senior advisor in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services when my father died suddenly on March 14, 2020. As I was navigating the burial process in the midst of the COVID pandemic, my manager contacted Human Resources to inquire how many days our bereavement leave policy was, only to learn that this designation doesn’t exist. Since then, I have heard similar stories, like the UNC-Chapel Hill employee who exhausted her paid leave and “worked remotely many days from the ICU” while her mother was ill, only to have no leave left when she died. And, the Department of Justice attorney who described piecemeal leave policies as “a Band-Aid on a bullet hole” when she had just watched her father take his last breath."

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