Grief in Progress
A Podcast Series from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
More Grief in Progress Episodes
Jessica Seaburg was 13 years old when her firefighter father, Kevin Seaburg, died in the line of duty. She says she took on more adult responsibilities, often ignoring her grief to care for her mom and younger sister. Through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Jessica connected with others who had faced the death of a Fire Hero parent, including her best friend, Marisa. She calls this finding sisterhood through the brotherhood of the fire service. These peer connections helped Jessica travel outside her comfort zone to help others in her hometown of Selkirk, New York, and Charleston, South Carolina.
Laurel Van Auken describes what it was like to grow up in a big, rambunctious, loving family where her mom Gail was often the practical joker and fun ringleader at get-togethers. Gail Van Auken died in an accident while responding to a fire call in 2000, and her husband suffered a head injury. Laurel’s aunt, Carole Chisholm, says she and her family knew all too well what it was like to lose a mother. She and other extended family members stepped in to provide needed connections to Gail’s husband and kids, with support along the way from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Mary Hollis understands the importance of connections. Her family, neighbors, and friends provided much-needed support after her firefighter husband, Al, died in 1991. Mary vividly recalls how Al’s fellow firefighters honored him at the funeral service. She says receiving the first remembrance card from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation reassured her that the fire service would never forget her and her children. When Mary met other widows in the Atlanta area and realized they did not have the same connections, she started her own community, the Next Chapter Widow’s Ministry.
About Grief in Progress
Everyone’s journey through grief is unique. But shared stories can be a powerful tool of hope for those who have experienced sudden loss. Grief in Progress inspires listeners with messages of resilience from peers who have found their own ways to cope. The compelling episodes feature one-on-one conversations with spouses, children, and life partners of fallen firefighters—but the perspectives they share will resonate with anyone dealing with grief. Through the generosity of these Fire Hero Families, the open dialogue focuses on contemporary issues of grief and offers strategies to promote healing. Most of all, Grief in Progress inspires new ways of seeing the world and connecting with others after tragic loss.