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November 21, 2022 43 min

If you’ve been worried about bad things happening to the people you love, is it possible that an actual bad thing might bring temporary relief? Obviously, the answer is “no not really,” but in this conversation with author Mary Laura Philpott, we explore the weird complexity of the anxious (and loving) mind, and the hoops we jump through to ensure our own survival.

Mary Laura’s latest book, Bomb Shelter, traces her son’s epilepsy - from being woken up early one morning to the sounds of what would turn out to be her son’s first seizure - out into the anxiety many of us hold for those we love, from the people in our care to the wider world, to pretty much everything ever. As always, we close with our guest’s current working version of hope. Don’t miss it. 


Announcement: want to become a grief-informed therapist? Registration is open now for Megan Devine’s 6 month grief care professional program. Details at this link. 


In this episode we cover: 

  • Tools for writing about difficult things, including distance, numbness, and turning yourself into a somewhat fictional character
  • Why airports should have crying lounges
  • The anxiety & relative effectiveness of protecting everyone you love from harm
  • Mary Laura’s version of hope, applicable even while the world melts and her kids leave home

About our guest:

Mary Laura Philpott, nationally bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink and Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, writes about the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life. Her writing has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, among many other publications. Find her books (print and audio) wherever you find books. 


Find her at, on TW @MaryLauraPh, and on IG @MaryLauraPhilpott


Additional resources: 

Announcement: want to become a grief-informed therapist? Registration is open now for Megan Devine’s 6 month grief care professional program. Details at this link. 


After a life-altering loss, feeling anxious about the possibility of more loss is #PerfectlyNormalGrief.


Want to start writing the story of your life (and your grief)? Join the next open session of the Writing Your Grief community


Megan’s first book, It’s OK that You’re Not OK, has an entire section devoted to discussing anxiety, including tools to manage your feelings when the worst has already happened. 

Get in touch:

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Here After with Megan Devine. Tune in, subscribe, leave a review, send in your questions, and share the show with everyone you know. Together, we can make things better, even when they can’t be made right. 


Have a question, comment, or a topic you’d like us to cover? call us at (323) 643-3768 or visit


For more information, including clinical training and consulting, visit us at


For grief support & education, follow us at @refugeingrief on IG, FB, TW, and @hereafterpod on TT


Check out Megan’s best-selling books - It’s Okay That You're Not Okay and How to Carry What Can’t Be Fixed

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