EPISODE 77: Healing from ‘Stuck Grief’ with Janice Jernigan

Welcome to LEAP, where we sit down with people from all walks of life to hear their transformational stories and perspectives on their grief and loss journeys. 

In this episode, I’m joined by Janice Jernigan, who shares her story about discovering she had ‘stuck grief’ after losing her sister when she was only three years old. As you will hear in our conversation, Janice didn’t know she was suffering from deep grief until she was in her 30s.

Janice Jernigan’s life’s work is centered around deepening connections within, with nature, and with each other. This shows up in her roles as a vineyard and winery owner, inner trailblazer, and best-selling author. 

She and her husband are the founders and cultivators of Serenberry Vineyards in the beautiful mountains near Blue Ridge, Georgia. They are also owners and caretakers of The Vineyard House, an early 1900s farmhouse, where guests linger for an extended weekend while connecting with nature’s simple pleasures. 

Given her lived experience and decades of leading change for one of America’s largest privately held companies, Janice has come to embrace life as an inner trailblazer. This way of being requires a willingness to go into the deepest parts of ourselves to learn, heal, and grow – especially when traversing life’s crossroads and turning points. 

In her courageous and heartfelt memoir, Opening Up to Grief, Janice shares her journey with loss and love, growing up with grief as a surviving sibling since the age of three, and her path to hope and healing. She offers loving guidance for grievers to feel seen and acknowledged, gain insight into their own personal journey, and spark a level of healing that is truly transformative. 

Beyond trailblazing, Janice enjoys exploring nature’s abundant gifts, capturing stories and discoveries through the written word, and sharing meaningful moments with those she holds dear. 

**TRIGGER WARNING** This episode covers sensitive subject matter and is not suitable for all listeners. If this topic could be a trigger for you, listen to this episode with a friend, a sibling, a loved one or a parent so you can talk about any emotions that come up for you. The contents of this episode are not intended to replace therapy and should not be taken as such. If you need immediate help, please call the crisis hotline listed below in our resources.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [4:30] Losing Julie to leukemia at only 7 years old
  • [6:45] Did Janice’s parents talk about Julie and keep her memory alive?
  • [9:30] Holding onto the weight of her own grief and the grief of her parents 
  • [15:20] Why Janice kept her emotions to herself growing up
  • [24:30] Dropping out of high school and finishing her schooling online
  • [31:40] The catalyst that brought her into healing
  • [38:35] Learning she was suffering from ‘stuck grief’
  • [42:10] The correlation between grief and the pain in her body
  • [45:30] Working to change bereavement days 
  • [51:45] What self-love looks like for Janice today

Grief Hotline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Janice here:

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