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March 10, 2024 45 mins

Meloney, a first-generation BVI islander from Tortola in the Caribbean, shares her unique cultural background, heavily influenced by her Jamaican roots. She highlights the diverse religious and cultural landscape of Jamaica, including the presence of various ethnicities and religions. Despite being predominantly Christian, Jamaican culture is a fusion of different beliefs and practices.

She delves into the intersection of Christianity and African spirituality in her upbringing, emphasizing the blend of Christian teachings with African rituals like Obia or Voodoo. Meloney recounts her experiences with death, particularly the tradition of "nine nights" celebrations before funerals, where families gather to honor the deceased with food, music, and storytelling, turning grief into a celebration of life.

Reflecting on encounters with spirits, Meloney shares anecdotes from her life, including sightings of black bats symbolizing departed spirits and eerie experiences in church. She discusses the significance of facing mortality and the fear of unfinished business, drawing from personal struggles and losses in her journey toward mental health advocacy.

Meloney candidly discusses her battle with bipolar disorder and the impact of witnessing classmates' suicides. These experiences prompted her to create a safe space through her blog, "The Between and the Rocks," where she promotes mental health awareness and offers support to others facing similar challenges. Additionally, Meloney is a serial entrepreneur and a devoted mother, cherishing her role as a parent despite past traumas like miscarriages and the loss of her child's father.

In the face of grief and loss, Meloney finds solace in memories and acknowledges the bittersweetness of remembrance. She concludes by emphasizing the importance of embracing life's uncertainties and cherishing every moment, guided by the understanding that while death is inevitable, the way we choose to live is within our control.


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