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New today: Musician and producer Raphael Saadiq on grieving for his siblings.
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This last week at Death, Sex & Money has been such a great reminder of why I love what we get to do together. 

After my conversation last week with a listener named Krystal about her pregnancy loss, we heard from so many of you who were moved by her story. Some of you shared your own stories of loss with us, and headed over to our collaborative spreadsheet to share what helped you through afterwards. A male colleague of mine reached out about his own stillbirth story from 20 years ago, and then another friend, a guy who's not a parent, told me how much he learned by hearing about pregnancy loss up close. And on Friday, I got a Twitter DM from a listener in Maryland, who reached out to say she was having 25 trees planted in the Chippewa National Forest in memory of Everett, Krystal's son.

All the while, we were working on this week's new episode with Raphael Saadiq. I have loved his music since I was a kid. It's sexy and grooving and bright, the kind of thing you turn on when you want to shift your mood. As I learned by talking to Raphael, that's intentional. "Because of what I went through with my family, I don't need anything just dark. I really love the light," he told me. I put together a Spotify playlist for you of my favorite songs that he's made, both as frontman and as a producer and songwriter. After you listen to this week's episode, click over and enjoy.  

I love that we can share all this with you, and that through the show, you are finding ways to share with and support each other. It feels fitting that this is happening right as we are reminding you again that to make our show, we depend on listener contributions. If you appreciate what Death, Sex & Money adds to your life and the community we've built together, please consider pitching in to support it. You can make a contribution right here thank you!

Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money
Raphael Saadiq began his career as a backup bassist in Sheila E.'s band, and went on to become a major figure in R&B⁠—collaborating with artists like Solange, D'Angelo and Mary J. Blige, and releasing his own solo projects as well. His most recent album, Jimmy Lee, is named after his older brother who died of a heroin overdose. Today, hear my conversation with him about grieving Jimmy Lee and the other siblings he's lost, dating in his 50s, and why his brothers called him "Little Old Man" as a kid.
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Here at WNYC Studios this month, we are celebrating the power of the podcast. And we're asking all of you to celebrate along with us and consider becoming sustaining members of the Death, Sex & Money community. That means that every month, you chip in a little bit of money⁠—which really helps us plan for the year ahead.

To hit our goal, we need 200 of you to sign up and put your money where your ears are. And if you do⁠, Bonus #1: We'll send you a snazzy phone wallet to stick on the back of your phone (see image above for what it looks like). Bonus #2: Anna might call you to say thanks and ask how your summer was! Seriously! So please, sign up to become a sustaining member today. We really appreciate it. 
Your Stories: "It Felt Like Becoming A Member Of A Secret Club"
We've gotten a lot of responses to my conversation with a listener named Krystal about her son Everett's stillbirth. Some of those have been in our collaborative spreadsheet, where you've been adding your suggestions for coping with pregnancy loss grief. We've also heard from many of you in our inbox:
"Baby news is bittersweet for me at the moment because I recently lost a baby in the 17th week of pregnancy. This experience has made me realize that miscarriages are not a subject that we talk about a lot. In the weeks since, a surprising number of women in my life have told me about their miscarriages: a close friend had a miscarriage in week 12 only last summer (which she has never mentioned), another one had an early miscarriage years ago, my grandmother told me about two miscarriages she had, another good friend told me about an ectopic pregnancy she had…none of them had talked about these experiences to me before, which I find quite astonishing. They could relate to my feelings of grief and sadness. In particular, they understood the difficulty in grieving for a child that was much more real to me than to anyone else and the separation this has created between me and my partner and me and my immediate family. It felt like becoming a member of a secret club."
 
—Judith, 36, Germany
"Just got finished listening to Krystal's story, which brought back some pretty painful memories of a sad time in our lives. It was over 25 years ago but the feelings of sadness never really go away even though you learn to live with them after awhile. My wife and I waited until several years into our marriage before deciding to have children; we were in our mid-30s at the time. We were surprised and overjoyed to learn that she was pregnant with twins (boys, as it turned out). 

Everything was going fine until about week 25, when she woke up one day not feeling quite right and spotting a bit. She never really felt better and then started having contractions. We got to the hospital and truly, right up until the time that her doctor told me that we had lost them, I thought everything was going to be all right. But it wasn't, of course, and they were stillborn. I don't think I've ever sobbed so uncontrollably in my life. Just as bad as losing the boys was trying to comfort my wife while fighting through my own grief. Of course she was devastated, but I was feeling pretty broken up as well at our loss and at seeing her so hurt. I wonder if Krystal's husband was feeling the same thing. I suspect he was.

We have since had two other boys. They are adults now and it's been a wonderful (and fast-moving!) thing to see them grow and thrive. But I'll always wonder about my other sons and what they might have become."

—Marc, 61, New York
"My ex-wife and I had a very early miscarriage (8 weeks) between our two children. We don't mention it unless the discussion moves in that direction. We both consider that we have another child in heaven but I don't think of him very often. We tried again and had our second fairly quicklyso quickly that this child could not have existed if not for the miscarriage. That fact has always been some comfort.

Given how early the miscarriage was, the fact that we had children before and after, and being the male
I don't feel this in the way that families who have 40 week (or early childhood) losses feel. My heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with the loss of a child at an early age (and all child loss)."
—Tom, NY

Listen to This: Audio We Love

This week, we want to recommend two stories about mental health: the first is a new investigation from The Takeaway in partnership with The Intercept, about the death of a man named Efraín Romero de la Rosa. Efraín was an ICE detainee who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Last July, he died by suicide in one of the country's largest privately-run detention centers in Georgia, after spending three weeks in solitary confinement. The investigation asks why he was left alone for so long, even when other detainees raised concerns. “We told [the guard], ‘Something is happening,’” one says. “We told him, ‘Can you check him?’ And they didn’t even care. You can see, they didn’t even care.

Writer Jaime Lowe spent years in therapy, but in all those sessions, she never really addressed one specific moment of trauma from her childhood: her experience of being sexually assaulted at 13. So, as an adult, she decided to try cognitive processing therapy to help her heal from it—a short-term, high-intensity psychological treatment usually recommended to patients recovering from PTSD. And she asked her therapist if she could record all ten of their sessions together. Those recordings aired last week on This American Life, and they're worth your time. 

Next on Death, Sex & Money

Vickie and Sissy Goodwin got married in 1968, and settled in their hometown of Douglas, Wyoming. "I thought I would just like to be a nice little WASP-y lady, you know, and not stand out at all," Vickie told me. But several years after they got married, Vickie's husband, Sissy started wearing women's clothing in public after years of doing it privately. "I had to come out and and be myself," Sissy says. Next week, I talk with the Goodwins about their evolving marriage, combating discrimination and more.
Trying to jump back into work after the three-day weekend like...

Happy September!
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