Updated: Dec 14, 2022
As some of you may know, I was widowed November 8, 2019. My husband, George, was not only my romantic partner but also my business partner, creative partner, and best friend. I coped with the grief I was experiencing in the same way George and I had always coped with hard things- by leaning into comedy and community.
Like many creatives and performers, I incorporated what I was going through into my craft- I performed comedy and created content about being a widow, I interviewed mental health professionals who specialized in grief for a podcast, and I facilitated grief support groups. That's how I met my dear friend, grief therapist, and fellow widow, Katie Zicarelli.
So when Katie told me that Wild Ferns (a black and queer owned wellness center that offers massage therapy, mental health therapy, electrolysis, voice coaching and community to individuals who are BIPOC and LGBTQ+) needed help, we decided to team up to lend a hand.
Katie is a therapist at Wild Ferns and shared that the community is grieving the recent death of couple Rizza Benton and Syd Eckhoff. Rizza was the owner of the salon (Roots) at Wild Fern and Syd was a photographer at the wellness center.
From Wild Ferns:
"There are not adequate words to express the heartbreak we are currently experiencing. Wild Ferns is strong and resilient but like our community, we are also collectively heartbroken, shocked, numb and hurting. We did not just lose our teammates, we lost our friends.
We graciously asking you for community support. All donations will go to afford any Wild Ferns' provider in need to take time to cope, breathe, grieve and start to heal before coming back to serve our community.
Wild Ferns Wellness Center expanded in October 2022 and began renting an additional 3300 square feet. Roots Hair Lounge moved upstairs where they created a beautiful salon. Clients loved it and often stayed to relax well after their hair and lashes were finished.
While expansion is great and growth is wonderful, we were still building and working on adding more providers. We were not prepared emotionally, mentally or financially for the loss of our dear friends and their salon. All of Wild Ferns Wellness Center is a labor of love."
Katie and I will be hosting a live grief Q&A on TikTok Thursday December 15 at 5:30/8:30 PST/EST to help raise money for the organization to cover time off for the mental health professionals and other providers as well as help Roots cover rent as they figure out how to move forward.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out by emailing email@example.com