Kids & Family
Giving Sunshine with Jason Clawson
In this episode, we speak with Jason Clawson and get a dad’s perspective for the first time on this podcast. He shares how his family took a horrible tragedy and turned it into something good.
Four years ago, Jason felt like his life was going right and that he and his family were living the life they were meant to live. They were building their dream house, he was a clinical director at a recovery program, his young boys were thriving, and his 40-year old brother finally got married. His wife had also lost 100 lbs. after having weight loss surgery and was feeling amazing.
A month after his brother’s wedding, his wife found a lump in her stomach that was growing. They began a journey of talking to doctors about what was going on, and they were stumped. Their life was on hold as they waited for answers. One day, they received a call that his wife should consult an oncology surgeon because she had spots throughout her body.
His wife underwent exploratory surgery with a partial hysterectomy where the surgeon found a large lump near her colon. The surgeon told Jason that his wife had stage four colon cancer.
This moment was life-changing. He couldn’t believe that this was happening to them. His mind began to race about how their family would navigate this. The surgeon told him something that he will never forget, that cancer has a way of enhancing your life and you will get through this. He was stunned in the moment and angry about this for years.
This experience was the hardest that they would have to go through in their lives. As he is going through this, he had to show up for clients at work and be the best for them. When he got home, he took care of his wife and children. By the end of the night, he was exhausted. But he knew that this is what he was supposed to do, no matter how hard it was.
Even though his wife was given two to three years to live, nine months later his wife passed away. When the funeral was over, he realized that this was the time that he needed his family to rally around him and support him. He and his five and eleven-year-old boys were all struggling and he felt like there was nothing he could do to make everything better.
Jason decided that he wasn’t going to wait around until things got better. He wanted to show his children how to get through this experience and to grieve in a healthy and happy way. He texted 13 people in his circle and shared his struggles and asked for help. They showed up and wanted to help him.
After this, life became a little easier. They created a system where he could reach out for support with just one word. His support team was grateful for the opportunity to help him heal and checked in with him regularly. He realized that people wanted to help but just didn’t know how to do so.
He ended up quitting his job for the summer and dedicated it to creating happy memories with his boys. They created a bucket list of activities and one of those was putting together sunshine baskets that they could deliver to anyone who had lost a loved one. They helped others grieve while they grieved too.
Today, they have delivered sunshine baskets in 24 states and created a cause called Giving Sunshine. They launched a Kickstarter so they can reach more people with what Jason calls “therapy in a box”.
Discussed in this episode:
About Jason Clawson:
Jason Clawson is the co-owner of Giving Sunshine, which is on a mission to help support, heal, and get others to connect with their own healing teams. Giving sunshine provides therapeutic care packages for those going through difficult experiences. He is a licensed therapist, a widower, and the father to two boys.
Connect with Jason Clawson:
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