We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Anita “TheGriefDoctor” Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dr. Anita “TheGriefDoctor”, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
One thing that I would say is that when we are feeling “some type of way,” about losing someone or something that we’ve been emotionally invested in, then we are grieving. Grief doesn’t just occur when we lose a loved one, but when we lose our jobs, homes, friendships, relationships, our identities and many others. And what happens is that emotional triggers remind us that we are experiencing grief. We want to cry, become angry, feel a sense of loneliness. Grief is all about our emotions and how we process them, with the understanding that everyone grieves differently.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Again, it was due to the death of my parents and not knowing how I would get through it, I attempted to research what would help me.. Seeing none, I was led to work on this project for my Doctoral project. I worked at the time as a Hospice chaplain, was involved in ministry and was even seeing my own therapist (yes, we learned in Seminary that it’s good to have one), I was out of town attending a funeral and saw how grief had deeply immersed itself into the family, where members fainted, wailed, screamed and cried. After the service I had a conversation with the funeral director about their aftercare support, which I was told that it was an area they were looking to revamp. So I offered some tips.

I then approached and had a conversation with Dr. Gregory B. Levett, Sr and proposed to him about an aftercare support program. We worked on it and begin to offer a bi-weekly grief support service at one of the establishments. Needless to say, the numbers grew and we opened it up to the other locations.
My challenge was whether or not people would acknowledge their grief and be open to sharing their emotions in a room of strangers or would they be accepting because everyone was connected by the one thing that consumed them – grief and loss.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would drive by The Underground because everyone (from back home) wants to know where it is. We would visit The King Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the Aquarium and the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and the High Museum. We would also drive through the different neighborhoods…from Buckhead to Bankhead.

We would also volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen. We would attend church.

We would eat at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, Pappadeaux’s The Cheesecake Factory and the Varsity and wherever they would like to go.

We would try to attend a sporting event, go to TopGolf, maybe even roller skating.

We would ride out and have some fun.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout and thank my family for their support..

The Interdenominational Theological Center and especially my Dissertation Committee of Dr. Carolyn A. McCrary, Dr. Mark Ellingsen and Dr. F. Keith Slaughter, who challenged and stretched me to work through my own grief process as I was writing and researching.

Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Homes and Crematory

Also, I’ve written my first book, “The Mourning After: A 30 Day Challenge Towards Healthy Grieving.”

Website: www.anitagreen.org

Linkedin: Dr. Anita Green

Image Credits
Photographer: Capturing the Moments Photography-Tammi Spivey Peterson MUA: Paige Monee Paigemoneeemua

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