Author and keynote speaker Theo Boyd empowers others by sharing her story of loss, grief, healing, and hope. Her unthinkable family tragedy, which she shares in her new memoir My Grief is Not Like Yours: Learning to Live after Unimaginable Loss, A Daughter’s Story, is heartbreaking, yes, but it is also full of love and motivational. I thank her for the strength she shows in sharing her story to help those who need it. I also appreciate her sharing family photos here in this interview. While I only recently met Theo, she is a woman I already greatly admire.
Disclosure: This sponsored post highlights one woman sharing her family tragedy to help others, providing strength and hope to others. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases through links below.
About My Grief is Not Like Yours by Theo Boyd
Theo Boyd had always been close to her parents. Her father was a Texas peanut farmer, rancher, and preacher; her mother, deaf from a young age, was the glue that held them all together. Then one summer day in 2019, everything changed when Theo’s mother died in a tragic accident on their family farm. As Theo began to process this loss, her marriage started to unravel, adding another painful layer to her grief.
Meanwhile, Theo continued to care for her father who was shaken to his core by the tragedy. Nothing could erase the agony he felt from losing his love and soulmate of over fifty years, and one night he chose to escape his pain by ending his life. Theo suddenly had to learn to live without the two people who were her constant love and support—her parents.
In My Grief is Not Like Yours, Theo gives an unforgettable account of how quickly life can turn to grief. Beautifully woven, this book is threaded with memories and raw emotions that are seldom discussed. Theo shows readers how she endured the unimaginable. She walks beside anyone navigating through their grief, helping them feel less alone and guiding them to hope and healing.
Interview with author Theo Boyd
“We are all unique, in life and in death. We are born, we live, we die, and we grieve, but my grief is not like yours.” -Theo Boyd
Welcome, Theo. What motivated you to share your story now?
In 2019, my mother was killed on our family farm. During the days, weeks, and months after this tragedy, I was desperately looking for a way to live again. I wanted to read a book that hit me as hard as I had been hit. I decided that maybe I should just write that book.
I began journaling thoughts, feelings, fears, and anything that came to my mind. I was healing through my writing, and I didn’t even know it.
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. What does the title My Grief is Not Like Yours mean?
During the initial days of my newly acquired grief, I was feeling unheard. Well intentioned people were attempting to comfort me, but with their own experiences of loss. When people would speak with me, offering a comparison, I would look right at them and think, “My Grief is Not Like Yours.” If their mother wasn’t run over by a tractor, I didn’t want to listen to them.
It is during this period that I realized the need for everyone to claim their loss and their grief. My wish for anyone that gets this book is that they will own this title for themselves.
Is that what you want readers to take away from reading this book?
I want readers to feel validated in their grief. If they are feeling unheard, I want this book to give them a voice. If they are feeling lost, I want this book to find them. I want it to find them in the stage they are in and hold their hand to pull and move them forward.
With the THINK POINTS at the end of each chapter, the reader can use this book as a workbook. The questions are meant to help them with the future and guide them as they learn to live again.
You are inspiring. What did you learn anything about yourself while writing this book?
I learned that when you set your mind to do something, you can do it! But that isn’t without prayers from friends and the love of God shining within me.
As I would blog on my Facebook page and use memories to guide me, I learned that I am Joe Bob and Sue’s daughter. I am strong. I am capable. I will help others.
I often tell others, when asked how I even have the strength to get out of bed, “My mission is stronger than my emotion.” My mission is to help others that are going through what I went through and, well, what I am still going through.
How do you pick yourself up when you are feeling low?
I make my bed. That may sound silly to some. I have found that when I do get out of bed and make it look nice – I feel like being up and doing things that day.
Then, I will call a friend to meet me for lunch. This usually makes for a very good day – the love of friends and lunch!
There is no doubt this book kept me moving forward. I had a mission to write it, and now I have a mission to get it into the hands of others. Momma always said, “Hobbies make you happy.”
Your mission is commendable. What would you say to someone whose loved one is spiraling and worries they may self-harm?
Talk to someone! They need to talk to someone professional!
As you will read in my book, my counselor was my lifeline during this time. I cannot stress the importance of speaking with someone that specializes in grief and loss therapy.
I would also make sure that you allow them the space to do what they feel they need to do. If they do not want to get out of bed, don’t force it.
If they want to go to the cemetery three times a day, let them. Often, those of us that are not grieving think that the griever is “spiraling” when really they are just doing what is necessary to heal. Let them!
Healing, not spiraling. Well said. How do you honor the legacy of your mom and dad?
This book! This book is my parent’s love story.
It may be a grief book, but it is a memoir of how they met, fell in love, and lived the extraordinary lives that still leave me speechless. I often tell people that my parents lived extraordinary lives and died in extraordinary ways.
You honor them beautifully, Theo. In addition to the book, you are a keynote speaker, correct?
I am a speaker. I speak about the power of listening and being present to empower others by teaching them how to intently listen to others without offering their personal experience or a comparison.
My keynote title is: The Sound of Silence
My keynote subtitle is: How to understand the importance of being present to empower those around you.
We don’t always have to be talking. It may seem like an oxymoron that I speak about listening, but after people hear this message, they will understand the importance of just being, just being present, listening.
It’s shocking how this simple little thing can empower others to move forward, and it will deepen their feelings of gratitude to you for letting them be heard. In return, you will be heard.
Get your copy of My Grief is Not Like Yours by Theo Boyd
Find this book almost anywhere that books are sold online. My Grief is Not Like Yours: Learning to Live after Unimaginable Loss, A Daughter’s Story is available as an eBook and hardcover via Amazon, Simon & Schuster, and Barnes & Noble, and the audiobook is on Audible.
Connect with Theo Boyd online
Easily connect with Theo Boyd via Linktree. There you can find her book and social media links, and much more.
Be sure to check out her author website, Think Theo, where you can read her blog and book her as a speaker at your next event. Find more about Theo there too, as well as mental health resources.
Follow Theo Boyd on social media too. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.
10 thoughts on “Theo Boyd offers hope through the grief in memoir of unimaginable tragedy”
Thanks for introducing us to Theo and her story. It sounds like we have a lot in common why we write to share our grief. In one of my podcasts I talk about the need for silence. There are no words to make it better, and everyone’s grief is unique to their own heart. Wonderful interview. <3
The silence can speak so much. Thanks Debby for continuing to share your grief journey, as Theo does. You both must confront pain daily as you speak up to help others, and I cannot imagine your strength. Thank you both!
Thank you so much sweet Christy. <3
GRIEF IS TOUGH. MY HOSPICE TRAINING POINTED OUT THE STAGES, BUT EACH OF US MUST GO THROUGH AT OUR OWN PACE AND WAY. THEO BOYD HAS BECOME A BEACON OF HOPE FOR MANY OTHERS!
Yes! Theo really is. Thank you, Jonathan 💗
All the best to you, my friend
More coming down the pike at ya! :D