Karen Austin

Karen Austin

Karen Austin is a student of grief and a lifelong learner in the experience of death and loss.

Hi. I’m Karen Austin.

Hi. I’m Karen Austin.

Talking about death is my jam. It’s my thing. Well. Death and grief. And mourning. And all the inherent shit, including the gifts, that death brings to life.

Am I batshit crazy? No. Death chose me, and I decided—instead of fighting it—to just let it move in and have its way with me. And now I choose it. Because what I’ve learned from it is EVERYTHING.
In October of 2016, my husband Tracy was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. His prognosis: dead by Christmas, but chemo might buy him a few months. He got nine pretty incredible months. It’s a great story and I’ll tell it here. Stay tuned.

Trace and I said “I do” for 20 years. We had a fabulous run. A life-changing, one-of-a-kind marriage. And we had a really, really, really good time. And then he died.

Tracy’s death wasn’t my first ride with grief. My mom died when I was 15. My brother killed himself when I was 22. Back then, I learned about death and grief and mourning by default. I fumbled my way through it. And I did get through it. Badly. Truth? I sucked at it.

Guess what? Nobody teaches us how to grieve. We ALL suck at it.

I don’t suck at it anymore. Beginning with Tracy’s diagnosis, I invited death to come at me. To bring it. To teach me. I invited the experience and the emotion—the grief, pain, despair, darkness, joy, love, laughter and trauma–that comes with it.

Because you know what? I thought I was facing a choice: Go with it or let it break me. There was NO choice. It did both. I let it shatter me into a million little pieces and stayed WHOLE.

I OWNED my grief. I trained myself—using my life experience and the expertise of many others—to thrive in the face of it. And I can teach you how I did it.

Hence this blog.

Welcome. I assume you found your way to me because you get this story and have one of your own.

Death sucks. I love you.

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