We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessi Lestelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessi, what do you want people to remember about you?
Legacy. It’s a word typically reserved for the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. How often do we forget that anyone is capable of a legacy. While I’ve pondered on what my legacy may be, I’ve landed on one world that encompasses it all. My legacy will be simply this: living. Yes, I know, this sounds like I have sarcastically high goals, but bear with me. I want to be remembered for living for myself, for those I love, for the people that I can help, and in the name of my family and friends that I have lost. Through all that I have experienced, my purpose is to help others process what they have lived through and help navigate what they live for. I want to truly live and enjoy life, feel all of its pain and beauty, and, as J.K. Rowling so wonderfully says, “Then greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, as equals, they departed this life.”

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the host of a podcast called “Good Grief, Jessi” where I discuss all aspects of grief, death, and mental illness. Don’t let that scare you, we have lots of laughs, insight, and super cool guests. To get where I am professionally, it has everything to do with what happened personally. Within 7 years, I lost my entire family. This completely changed my trajectory for what I expected to do professionally. Was it easy? Absolutely not. But I have found my voice within the Grief Community, which is an incredibly supportive group of people. I now speak on my experiences, in hopes of normalizing grief (particularly among young adults,) creating a safe space to work through all of the messy emotions that go hand in hand with grief, and building a supportive community of Good Grievers. Grief is not linear, and at “Good Grief, Jessi,” we take it day by day. Follow along to hear my journey!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Best place to eat: Ponko Chicken in Midtown! Their spicy tacos or the Ponko plate is *chefs kiss*

Hang out and grab a drink at Colony Square- Jojo’s Beloved Cocktail Lounge. Plus, Colony Square is a perfect photo spot.

Catch a show at Terminal West, especially if Phutureprimitive is in town.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shanice of Grieving It: I wouldn’t be doing this interview if it weren’t for Shanice! She is on the frontlines of normalizing grief through education and support.

KSU MEBUS Program: Not to be dramatic, but when all was lost, I was found in this program. Keith and Danny saw a light in me before I saw it myself. They gave me a platform to grow and excel in a program that I continue to have a passion for.

Golden Moments Photography: My lifelong friend Rachel behind the camera has been one of my biggest supporters. She captured the essence of “Good Grief, Jessi,” which are now all of my promo pictures!

Painting Hayley: My unpaid therapist, Hayley, has guided and inspired me through her work to become a creative and comfortable outlet for my message. She has helped me create some of the best episodes on the podcast and for that, I thank her!

Website: www.goodgriefjessi.com

Instagram: @goodgriefjessi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessilestelle/

Twitter: @goodgriefjessi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goodgriefjessi

Other: https://open.spotify.com/show/2fZW23Ubi9jayMOGTxgGAy

Image Credits
Golden Moments Photography: Rachel Depner

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