Episode 23: Grieving in Gratitude + Sitting with the Discomfort

Guest: Rishma Govani

Rishma unveils a heart-wrenching story about losing her husband to cancer and the journey through being his caregiver and knowing that their time together was limited. She described and detailed her husband’s character viewed by many — he was a magnet towards all people. She portrays that her personal grief journey is like that of peeling and unravelling of an onion, with each grief layer looking unalike, and therefore she embraces ‘grieving with gratitude’. She speaks about what it is like to grieve during the global pandemic, there were no traditional rites and rituals performed or known gatherings of family, friends, not being able to receive hugs from her heart connections, and how she had to run a completely different course than what was familiar to her. She takes time to open up her story to share aspects of the grief journey which she has not openly shared before and made some poignant connections with grief literacy. Rishma converses about the multi-roles that she played beyond being a wife and mother, she jumped into advocacy and detective hats to ensure that there was no compromise to her husband’s wellbeing and quality of life. She has learned the importance of soft skills and connecting with empathy. Her key message to the listeners is that: lots of people go through this alone — you don’t have to; be sure to reach out to someone; “reach out to me”; find resources, there are many in the community; each person has their own story filled with their own pain and loss — you are not alone.


Guest Bio: Change agent, Rishma Govani, is a seasoned strategic communications professional with 20+ years of experience in media relations and public affairs in environments with high profile issues and complex stakeholder relations. She is currently the Head of Communications for Global News and Corus Radio, a robust portfolio that includes 55 leading media brands across Canada. As a dynamic, empowered and passionate professional, she is committed to creating real positive change especially in areas of diversity, inclusion and acceptance.

In September 2020, she lost her beloved husband and partner, Aly, to cancer. He is her true north guiding her in the afterlife. She is passionate about normalizing grief, enhancing grief literacy and allowing people to feel comfortable (and even find humour) around topics that are not easy. She is the proud mama of Khalil, Mila and her new fur- baby, Hero, aptly named after his dad. She dares to believe.


Passionate about: Hope House HospicePrincess Margaret Hospital