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Love . . . and  Grief . . . and Love

Love . . . and  Grief . . . and Love

Following a national media release regarding the launch of It All Belongs, one of Roy’s first official media interviews was with Portia Booker (a.k.a. The Grief Grantor) on e360 TV. Booker, a Kent State alum referred to on their website as “Portia the Producer,” has navigated not only the world of broadcast journalism to emerge as a multimedia producer, podcaster, and author but also life as a young professional whose loss of both parents within ten months of each other launched her mission to reshape people’s perceptions of grief. Booker was especially interested in Roy’s assertion about love and grief being born at the same time, with grief hibernating while love emerges and permeates every aspect of one’s life



“Grief and love to me are twins,” Roy said in their hour-long interview. To me, whether you’re talking about love between a parent and a child or spouses or dear friends or siblings—or a perfect job or something else that just thrills. When love is born, I believe grief is born at the same moment. But grief goes into a kind of hibernation and just waits. It’s going to come out sometime; it will one day wake up and dominate your life.”


As it turns out, however, the converse can also be true. “Love can also hibernate when grief is at its strongest, and as grief finally subsides, love can re-emerge, sometimes in a different form.”


Climbing Out of the Grief Pit

Noting that many of the people she has interviewed through the years seem to get stuck in what she calls a “grief pit,” where if they lose a spouse, they close themselves off from embracing new love.


After Judy died, several people asked me if I would ever marry again, and I said “No, I don’t believe so,” Roy shares in this interview. “I had over 41 years with Judy, and nothing can come close to that. And now I still say that’s true. No two people, or two experiences, can ever be the same, but they can both be incredibly wonderful.”


Although he never intended to marry or ever love again, Roy’s relationship with June, a friend of Judy’s, was developing quietly in its own cocoon as Roy climbed out of the grief pit Portia describes: “I really dealt with my grief,” he adds, “minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.” Comparing navigating devastating grief to swimming, he adds, “Some days you swim, some days you tread water, and some days you sink. I’ve been in all three of those stages at different times. It’s not a linear recovery.”


Roy says that while group and individual grief programs are available and good for some people, those options weren’t for him. Instead, he chose to confide in a few close friends and his trusted journal, detailing his climb from his “grief pit” toward hope—and his new life with June, whom he married in 2019. “The love I have for June is so entirely different and so wonderful and so blessed,” Roy says. “For me to be loved by two incredible women and to love two incredible women in one lifetime, it’s a source of gratitude that’s hard to wrap my head around sometimes. June told me that one of the reasons she fell in love with me is my promise to Judy to publish this book. It’s been a five-year project, and we released it on December 1.”


Following the death of her mother, Booker released an audiobook Finding Grace within Grief: Her Transition…My Transformation, a vulnerable personal narrative about her mom’s transition prompted the questions within her: “What if grief is not what we think? What if grief is about us letting go of the societal narrative, and embarking and embracing our own narrative of what grief is?” that led to producing her current show, The Grief Grantor, on e360TV.

Watch the full interview