I recently interviewed Film Maker, Writer and Keynote Speaker, Rain Bennett for the Mentally Fit Podcast to discuss the power of storytelling to connect and heal.

No matter what we go through in life–from burnout to grief and everything in between–there are others out there who have gone through it before and can share their story of recovery.

One story, told by the right person at the right time, can help someone hear a message they need to hear, and change their life. It gives those who are lost and struggling a guide they can use to recover.

Listen to the full episode below, then share YOUR story of overcoming something difficult at the bottom of this page!



Kinyatta E. Gray – Surviving Trauma and Unexpected Loss of a Single Parent as an Only Child

Kinyatta wrote and published her first book in 2019, a memoir, called 30 Days: Surviving the Trauma and Unexpected Loss of a Single Parent as an Only Child.

Kinyatta’s aspirations to become an author were as a result of a heart-gripping moment in her mom’s final moments of life. She committed to honoring her mother’s legacy by becoming a published author. Kinyatta’s mother wanted to be a published author but passed away in 2018 before realizing her dream.


1) What are your thoughts on the podcast and what Rain said?

Everything that Rain said resonated deeply, he said what I had been thinking and feeling in terms of the “why” behind my decision to tell my story in my first book released in 2019 called “30 Days: Surviving the Trauma and Unexpected Loss of A Single Parent as an Only Child”. I wanted to tell my story as he said to help someone else – this wasn’t a feel good story – it was a real story of pain, despair and how to overcome that and how I turned my pain into purpose. I also enjoyed Rain’s transparency about his wife and his decision to share his journey publicly about his interracial marriage and focusing on having the courage to follow his heart and the fact that his life is going well despite the earlier beginnings.

2) What is your mental health success story?

After suddenly and unexpectedly losing my mother, a single parent in 2018, I experienced major depressive disorder, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.. For a period of time, I didn’t want to live after losing my mother, my best friend, my everything. After several months of intensive therapy and self-reflection, I decided that I had work to do. I could not get that work done dead. The work I needed to do was to honor my mother’s legacy by completing things that she didn’t complete before her untimely death. She wanted to become a published author, but did not before her death. I decided that I would go the rest of the way for my mother and write a book and become a published author. My book was released in October 2019 approximately one year after her death. I have since shared my story and message of honoring one’s legacy, following your inner voice and not abandoning your loved one’s spirit after they have transitioned.

  • What was life like for you “before” ?

Prior to losing my mother in 2018, I lived an ideal life, surrounded by people I loved; children I adored, a loving spouse and I shared an incredibly loving and close relationship with my mother. I had just launched my dream business called FlightsInStilettos, LLC and the future was filled with promise, prosperity and opportunity.

  • What is life like for
    you now?

Life has taken on a whole new meaning. My mother’s death has caused me to view life differently. Most of my actions are calculated because I’m driven by purpose and the desire to honor her legacy while understanding the importance of building my own legacy. I eventually wrote and released two more books within a 6-month time period and my business FlightsInStilettos, LLC (which my mother loved) still exists.

  • What would you say to people who are currently going through what you went through?

Life will be different for you after losing someone you love, however, you must believe that the love that your departed loved one had for you still exists in this universe, and as long as you do not abandon their spirit and find ways to honor their legacy, the loss will become bearable in time.

What’s your success story?

? Share your story of overcoming difficult times and share the strategies you used for overcoming them.