William Shatner on Grief, Growth, and Going to Space.

William Shatner on Grief, Growth, and Going to Space

David sits down with William Shatner to talk about job loss, addiction, divorce, and — because this is the legendary Captain Kirk, after all — outer space. Bill is no stranger to loss and trauma. Today, he shares deep reflections on the ways grief sticks with us, no matter how much time has passed, and why that can be ok. Together, he and David discuss the meaning of a “full” life, preparing for the final voyage, and Bill’s incredible experience of going to space. Finally, David shares 5 insights to hold near when grief threatens to overwhelm.

William Shatner

William Shatner is a Canadian actor, singer, comedian. Shatner initially started off as a stage actor before graduating into television. His career changed completely when he got the role of the iconic Captain James T. Kirk in the cult television series ‘Star Trek.’ Shatner went on to portray the character in the films that followed over the years to become one of the most loved film stars of his generation. Shatner worked in television throughout his life and also wrote some episodes of the TV series titled ‘T. J. Hooker’ that started in 1982. In 2021, at age 90, he is the oldest person who went to space.


In this episode, I am joined by William Shatner. He has had a career spanning seven decades and is best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk of the Enterprise in the Star Trek. He has recently gone into space aboard the Blue Origin. At the age of 90, he became the oldest person to fly into space.

William Shatner and I discuss life lessons and the wisdom he has gained from them. We talk about the natural and essential gift of curiosity. He shares some of his own losses, trauma, and grief including the death of a spouse, job loss, and the grief that follows divorce. 

When the worst happens, it’s tempting to give up but William Shatner shares that the universe has taken care of him his whole life. He discusses the impact of the choices that we make after life’s challenges as well as the importance of learning how to grieve. “Grief needs to be loved and stroked and taken care of. You can’t put grief in a corner and ignore it.”

The nature of life is that there is always change. I often say that grief is love and grief is also a change we didn’t want. And yet, the current continues even after loss, even after a change.


www.tenderheartssupport.com - David's online grief support group, Tender Hearts

www.aboutgrief.com - Understanding loss and grief

www.lossofaparent.com - Death of a parent

www.parentforever.com - Death of a child and sibling

www.griefsuicide.com - Death of a loved one by suicide

988lifeline.org - 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

nami.org - National Alliance of Mental Illness

afsp.org - American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

adultchildren.org - Adult Children of Alcoholics® & Dysfunctional Families

al-anon.org - Al-Anon Family Groups

amzn.to/31AZCPv - Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

actapublications.com/tear-soup - Tear Soup: A Recipe of Healing After Loss

www.elf-help.com/grief_therapy_124048.htm - Grief Therapy, Elf Help Books

Spotify Limited Series - Click here to see all 12 episodes

Grief and trauma can rob us of our curiosity. 

The next time you’re triggered by something ask yourself what would happen if you were curious about it. Instead of closing down, stay open to curiosity and growth.

Addiction is illness.

Bill made an important point about addiction that we see now that addiction is not a choice that we make. So if you have a loved one suffering from or died from addiction how would your outlook change if you saw it as an illness rather than a choice?

Grief does not have an endpoint.

We need to understand that our society can be so illiterate are grief illiterate. Even though Bill’s loss was decades ago, it still touches him.

Job loss is part of life and grief for most everyone.

There is often so much shame around job loss. It’s common for people to lose their jobs. I’ve lost my job and everyone I know has lost their job. Even Captain Kirk lost his job. We are fall, but we also can bounce back.

What if, our loved ones continue on in us?

Bill talks about when he dies he will continue on in all the people who are loved. What if our loved ones do too? How are they living on in you?

Thoughts About This Episode?
Back to Top
Translate »