Cariad Lloyd is a comedy writer and performer, a part of comedy sketch group Austentatious and also creator of the GriefCast podcast. GriefCast has been running since 2016, with each episode featuring a different comic who, like Cariad, has lost someone close to them, whether that be recently or a long time ago. But you don’t have to be grieving to appreciate these heartfelt chats and the goodwill behind them. GriefCast gives a fascinating insight as well as perhaps a bit of comfort for those going through similar situations.
1) Why is GriefCast an important project for you?
My Dad died when I was 15 and I found it very isolating. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. It’s so important to me to make something which allows grievers to not feel alone. To connect with each other and to realise we are all different and united in our grief. I wish I had something like this when I first went through it.
2) Did you have any reservations before starting the GriefCast podcast?
Yes! I didn’t think anyone would want to listen. Death, grief… these are topics people normally want to avoid. But I wanted to prove that it could be interesting, funny and still remain sensitive to the topic.
3) How, in general, do you think grieving differs in comedians/performers?
I don’t think it does really. I just think comedians know how to use humour to deal with pain, so they might make jokes slightly quicker than a non-comedian in a painful situation. But I think we all do that but perhaps non-comedians might feel more guilty about it, where as a comedian knows it will be a way of coping with the situation – to laugh at it. That’s what we’ve done all our lives.
4) Do you benefit from the podcast as much as you feel your guests do (if you think they do!)?
Yes, it’s helped me so much to talk about it. I didn’t for 18 years and I think now I almost can’t stop. I think we both benefit from an honest chat about what grief can do to you. It feels less isolating to remember we all go through it in one way or another.
5) What has been the most surprising thing that you have learned through talking to these people who have lost loved ones?
I don’t know about surprising but it’s certainly comforting to share so many experiences. Every story is so different but so many times I find myself saying, yes me too! And that’s not what I expected would happen.
6) Why should people listen to GriefCast?
If you’ve ever experienced Grief, if you’re ‘in the club’ as we say, it will make you laugh, cry and feel less alone. If you’re not and your life is blissfully death-free, it will make you laugh, cry and understand why sometimes your loved ones feel alone even though they’re not.
7) What’s next for you?
More GriefCasts and more Austentatious and eventually some sleep please.