Toby Dorr
Episode 27

Episode 27

Toby Dorr: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Fierce Conversations with Toby, the show where we discover the silver lining in life’s most difficult stories. I’m your host, Toby Dorr.

Toby Dorr: In today’s episode, we’re going to explore how to step up, fill an empty niche, and make a difference in the world. Our guest today is Hannah Rumsey, creator of the podcast Friends Missing Friends. Hi, Hannah. I’m so delighted to have you as a guest here today.

Hannah Rumsey: Hi, thank you so much for having

Toby Dorr: You are welcome. So I like to ask, um, all of our guests a question that kind of give us a peek into who you are. And that is what’s your favorite color and what does that say about you?

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, um, so I have a few different ones.

Toby Dorr: me too. I do, yes.

Hannah Rumsey: That’s amazing. Yeah. I’d love to hear what yours are too. Um, but yeah, my, I think my favorite color is green. Um, a close second is blue and, and then lately I’ve been into, which has surprised me. I’ve been into like, wearing like yellow and orange,

Toby Dorr: Oh yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: of what I’ve been in the past.

Toby Dorr: Uh huh. Interesting. Interesting. So, my favorite colors are pink and orange and purple. Which are really the colors that you use in your podcast, kind of. So, the orange and the purple. So, yeah, that’s pretty good. Yeah, I have a hard time picking just one, too. But if I had to pick only one, it would be pink.

Toby Dorr: I just love all shades of pink. So,

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Yeah. I, I also love pink

Toby Dorr: Yeah, yeah. I think pink, you know, it’s a color that most people shy away from because they think it’s too girly, but pink is so powerful. There’s so many shades of it. It can be deep. It can be bold. It can be soft. It can be sweet. You know, there’s just so many ways to go with it, which is one thing I love about it.

Toby Dorr: So

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: can you tell us about a crossroads in your life that pushed you in a different direction?

Hannah Rumsey: Ooh, wow. Yeah. Um, so this is just in general, like any kind of crossroads, um. Yeah, so in college, well, I, I played trumpet, uh, from middle school through college, and then in college, um, I was suddenly having all these, uh, everything kind of culminated at once. It kind of had a, uh, A mental and physical breakdown,

Toby Dorr: Uh

Hannah Rumsey: uh, hurting my body and I was anxious all the time.

Hannah Rumsey: So I stopped and then that was a crossroads because I was like, okay, well, I’ve been doing this since I was like 12 and now I’m 20 and, and what the heck am I going to do? uh, I just kind of like, uh, went to psychology and, and went down that road and then that switched a few years ago. So it was like a couple crossroads

Hannah Rumsey: over 15 ish years.

Toby Dorr: so you definitely had a crossroads a couple years ago, uh, when you lost a friend, and that kind of set you in this different direction. So, tell us a little bit about that experience.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, absolutely. So, um, in 2015, I was 23, I believe, um, and one of my closest friends just suddenly passed away and I found out on Facebook, um, it was her birthday. So I went to post a happy birthday message on her wall. I actually posted it.

Hannah Rumsey: And then I went to just scroll and look at the other posts and. I didn’t see any other birthday message, I just saw rest in peace messages.

Toby Dorr: Oh, my.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, so, uh, it, it, it’s one of those things, like, that’s the first time I really learned the, what I’ve read in books, you know, when you just go totally numb.

Hannah Rumsey: Because, I didn’t feel anything for like five minutes, because it, I was just like, well, it can’t possibly be true. I just talked to her last week. You know, that

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Hannah Rumsey: doesn’t really

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Hannah Rumsey: And I, I read, I like, there were articles people were posting that announced her, you know, passing. And I would, I read one and another and another and another. I read like 10 of the articles that were like, um, you know, she, she fell off a balcony, she

Toby Dorr: Uh huh.

Hannah Rumsey: And it wasn’t until like the 10th article that. Uh, it was kind of like a dial, like a volume dial turning from silent to screaming.

Hannah Rumsey: Uh, all of a sudden it all came flooding in and I just fell to the ground and I started, I started screaming.

Toby Dorr: Yeah. I think our body does kind of numb us for a

Hannah Rumsey: Yes,

Toby Dorr: to give us a time to collect ourselves.

Hannah Rumsey: absolutely. Yeah, it’s a defense mechanism,

Hannah Rumsey: I think.

Toby Dorr: I think so, too. I mean, it is tragic to have someone that you love pass away. And it’s even more tragic when they’re young and when it’s unexpected. Uh, and you kind of felt that there were You started looking around and there were, uh, there were options offered for people who lost parents, people who lost children, but you didn’t find anything for people who had lost friends, how to deal with that loss of a friendship.

Toby Dorr: So, uh, you decided to step in and do something about that.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, and it took several years

Hannah Rumsey: for me to get to that point. And yeah, it’s like, even to this day I can’t really find anything. I think I found one other friend related grief thing on Instagram. But I haven’t been able to find anything else, and I still can’t really find anything on the internet, and it’s one of those things where I’m sure they’re out there, but they should be easily accessible.

Toby Dorr: should be, because, you know, when people are searching for something and they just lost a loved one, they’re, you know, it shouldn’t be hard for them to find support, the support that they want. And so you have created this beautiful podcast, which I was just a guest on. My episode was just released this week, and I absolutely love it.

Toby Dorr: But it’s called Friends Missing Friends. And, um, Your podcast description says that you talk with those who have experienced the death of friends, grief experts, and more to normalize the complex grief of losing a friend and a world that doesn’t often understand. Together we can cherish and remember the friends that we miss.

Toby Dorr: I think that’s just beautiful. And I love that you found a place to create where there was a gap. So, You know, you have, um, found a lack of information and decided to fill that in and make a difference in the world. And I think that’s just beautiful.

Hannah Rumsey: Thank you.

Toby Dorr: There were a lot of directions you could have gone. You could have written a book, you could have, you know, posted on social media.

Toby Dorr: How did you land on the podcast idea?

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, that’s a great question. It was, uh, During the beginning of 2020, I think the idea came to me. Um, I’m also working on a book, but that’s going to take much longer.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s like the, it’s, um, you know, one of those things where the, yeah, the idea just came to me. I was like, Oh, podcast. I think friends, missing friends was my first title idea.

Hannah Rumsey: And you know, then you cycle through other titles and you’re like, actually, I didn’t like the first one.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, you know, sometimes your first idea is the strongest. It’s the best.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: Sometimes it

Toby Dorr: I, know when I was think contemplating doing a podcast and this word just kept swirling in my head, fierce, fierce, fierce. And I couldn’t stop thinking about that word. And then when somebody said, well, you should do a podcast.

Toby Dorr: And I, I said, what kind of title could I use with the word fierce? And the person I was talking to said conversations, fierce conversations with Toby. And it was like, of course. That’s it. So, you know, I just love it Yeah, but you know, sometimes you just get that nudge and you know, that’s the right choice

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, and especially if the nudge doesn’t leave you, like you just said, it just kept swirling around in your brain. Um, and so yeah, the idea for the podcast kept swirling around in my brain and, um, I mean, I always feel like, you know, someone told me that a plant uses the most energy to first burst out of the seed.

Hannah Rumsey: Um,

Toby Dorr: I love

Hannah Rumsey: beautiful? I

Toby Dorr: That is beautiful. I love that. I love that

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, so starting is always, always the hardest, I feel like. And then over time, you know, it gains momentum. Um, so starting the podcast and like, declaring that I was real, you know, that it wasn’t just an idea, was the hardest thing, I think. But I, I do think it’s a podcast. for friends made by friends because my friends just kind of swarmed and helped like I had one friend compose the music one friend did the artwork another friend gave me advice and it’s just like one friend edited my trailer

Hannah Rumsey: and so it’s just it really like I felt so supported and I love that it was like friends did that because then

Hannah Rumsey: it’s about

Toby Dorr: That is about friends. I think that’s awesome because really your podcast is about The beautiful relationship between friends. And, um, I, I think it’s beautiful. And I was going to ask you about your, uh, the theme song on your podcast. So I’ll just go to that now, since you

Hannah Rumsey: oh sure

Toby Dorr: you know, I had so much fun with the music for my podcast and I actually had a friend of mine who composed it for me as well.

Toby Dorr: So tell me about your theme and how it came about and your, and your friends who helped you with it and what your theme song communicates.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, I really, I just wanted it to communicate, um, like a soothing, calming, uh, I know I wanted it to be guitar, uh, just like kind of like accepting healing music.

Toby Dorr: yes,

Hannah Rumsey: that’s sort of the idea I had and I, I told my friend that and he’s, he’s a great composer so he just kind of ran with it and I, and I was just like, it’s perfect, no notes.

Hannah Rumsey: I love it.

Toby Dorr: yes, yes. That’s true. You know, I, I love my theme song too. And

Hannah Rumsey: Oh,

Toby Dorr: she’s got a music studio and she plays in symphonies and things like that. She plays the flute and. When she gave me her, um, the file and I listened to it the first time and I thought, Oh, I like this.

Toby Dorr: And I listened to it the second time. And then I listened to it the third time. And I said, that flute is asking a question. You know, you could just hear it asking a question and, you know, then I sat down and talked with her about how she put it together and the, and actually I’m doing a whole podcast episode, which releases next week, actually about the, the thought behind the music, and I just thought it was.

Toby Dorr: So perfect. And I really think music, you know, kind of sets the frame of mind when you come into something new. So I love that. I love that you had a friend so appropriate to create that music for you.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: What steps were you surprised about when you started putting your podcast to life?

Hannah Rumsey: Uh, what steps was I surprised about? Um, I guess I was surprised at how Supportive people would be, which is funny because it’s not like, it’s not like I thought people would be like, that’s stupid. How

Hannah Rumsey: dare you? But like, just, you know, I would, like, when I first started asking for guests, I had to ask basically friends and friends of friends,

Hannah Rumsey: um, just to start, you know,

Hannah Rumsey: and everyone was like, oh, my gosh, of course, like, let me know how I can help.

Hannah Rumsey: Um, and it also just like, kind of reminded me and reinforced the idea that, um, Like, away from an individualistic type of belief

Hannah Rumsey: system, where it’s like, I have to do everything myself. Kind of the who, not how,

Toby Dorr: Yeah, right.

Hannah Rumsey: like, oh, like, I can just, like, find people to help me, and, and I don’t have to know everything.

Toby Dorr: That’s amazing, isn’t it? And such a blessing. I think that’s such a blessing. Yeah, I have a really good friend who does the production of my podcast. So I just do the recordings and I send him the files and he does all the editing and the put and publishing them and, and it’s such a blessing because I know I could do that if I had to, but The fact that I don’t have to, and I can really concentrate on just having the conversations I want to have and finding the people that I want to bring on my podcast just makes me be able to produce something that’s so much better.

Toby Dorr: So. I love that when you can share duties and you have friends that help you with that. That’s awesome. So I remember my mother’s death as beautiful and peaceful. You know, we knew it was coming and we, she died in her home and we were all there. And I think it was really a beautiful testament to all the love that we had for her.

Toby Dorr: And you know, we let her go peacefully and surrounded by all of us.

Hannah Rumsey: hmm.

Toby Dorr: That’s not the way a lot of deaths occur though, but none of us can avoid death. And I think it’s just beautiful that you provide an outlet for such a difficult and an ignored topic. Nobody wants to talk about death, but when I listen to your podcast, I hear beautiful stories that inspire me.

Toby Dorr: And I think that You know, that’s such a gift to the world.

Hannah Rumsey: Thank you so much.

Toby Dorr: You’re welcome. So which, what podcast story that you’ve done so far has kind of stuck in your mind?

Hannah Rumsey: Oh, gosh. That’s a great question. Um,

Hannah Rumsey: There’s a lot, but, uh, one that really started a big shift in me was, uh, I think actually even my, uh, I mean, yours, of course, but I, I, I don’t know. I’ll talk about that in a moment, but like the, uh, going in order, like the first episode I did, um, was with this woman named Anna and, uh, it was the first time I had really had a deep, uh, Deep conversation with someone who had lost a friend and, uh, she told me how, like, yeah, I absolutely feel like I am not allowed to, um, Be open and loud with my grief because I’m just, I’m doing air quotes, just a friend and I can’t complicate the, uh, you know, the grief of the family.

Hannah Rumsey: And while, like, boundaries are, of course, like, you should be, like, aware of them and you should be respectful and careful of them, I feel like it’s gotten to the point where we’re so scared of crossing a boundary that we just say nothing.

Toby Dorr: Ah, interesting. I think that’s true. Yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, so and that that really made me it was one of those moments where I was like, oh my gosh, I’m not alone I’m

Hannah Rumsey: not crazy Yeah,

Toby Dorr: four of my podcast, I talked to a friend of mine who lost her son at five years old in a plane crash. And we talk about how people don’t know what to say to the grieving Mother, you know, and so she would talk, she talked about how she was in a grocery store and she started down an aisle and it’s a small town.

Toby Dorr: So everybody knew everybody. And there were some women in the aisle and when they saw her, they turned and left the aisle because they didn’t know what to say. And I think it’s so important to be there for people who have experienced a tragedy and a death of a loved one. And just you You know, we need to be more aware of things that you can say so that when you turn an aisle and see someone you don’t feel like you have to walk away because you don’t know what to say.

Toby Dorr: And I think that, you know, it can just be as simple as, you know, I’m here, and I support you. You don’t have to offer anything in particular except to just let them know that you are there. So that’s, that’s so true. And I think, so you talk about, um, death doulas and that you had never even knew such a thing existed.

Toby Dorr: And I didn’t either, but I kind of pictured as some kind of beautiful hospice type worker that doesn’t dispense medicine, just dispenses love. So tell me what you’ve learned about death doulas.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. I’m, I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard of it, but, um, it might be, uh, a fairly new thing as far as in the course of history. Um, but yeah, you know, just like you said, they dispense love. They’re there for the family and the person who’s, uh, who’s dying. Um, and they also, uh, talk to the person who’s dying and help them come up with a legacy, something they

Toby Dorr: Oh, I love that idea. Yeah,

Hannah Rumsey: Whether it’s a project or, you know, whatever, it’s probably different for everyone, but, um, Yeah, just really, like, help them to ease into, just like we ease people in birth, ease them into a beautiful death,

Toby Dorr: Yes, I love that, you know and death is a part of life And we shouldn’t be afraid of it and we shouldn’t be it shouldn’t have this big forbidden taboo thing around it because

Hannah Rumsey: Right.

Toby Dorr: we can’t avoid it and and I I know from the experience with my mother’s death that

Hannah Rumsey: Mm hmm.

Toby Dorr: You know, it can be beautiful and it can be peaceful, peaceful event.

Toby Dorr: It doesn’t have to be some tragedy. And

Hannah Rumsey: Right. Yeah.

Toby Dorr: I just think it’s such a blessing for me to have experienced that. And, um, you know, not every death is that way. Not every death we know is going to happen. Some tragic things happen.

Hannah Rumsey: Mm

Toby Dorr: that death is a part of our existences You know, it’s nothing it’s not something to be avoided and forbidden to talk about so I think that’s beautiful and your podcast, you know, i’ve listened to several of them and they give people an opportunity to share their own experience and I think there’s nothing more powerful than to learn from someone else’s experience because You hear how someone else went through it and that kind of triggers, oh I could do it that way too.

Toby Dorr: So I just think that’s a beautiful gift to the world.

Hannah Rumsey: Thank you.

Toby Dorr: So tell us a little bit about your friend. What was her name? Was it Lauren?

Hannah Rumsey: Lauren, yeah.

Toby Dorr: Uh huh.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, I, I, I’d love to. Um, so we met at a music camp. Um, um, you know, I played the trumpet growing up and it was a summer music camp, um, that was six weeks long. And we met in the registration line. So the very first day and. It’s one of those memories that’s crystal clear, um, where, you know, my mom is, my mom was in line with me.

Hannah Rumsey: I feel like she was always trying to help me make friends because I was pretty, pretty shy.

Toby Dorr: Yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, so she just randomly picked her Lauren because I think she was in line right in front of us. I think she tapped her on the shoulder and then Lauren turned around and Lauren was with her mom and my mom You know and her like very cheery voice was like, what’s your name?

Hannah Rumsey: This is my daughter Hannah, and I was like, oh my god And I just remember like Lauren’s smile because I was embarrassed at first, but then Lauren just had this really, like, sweet, eager smile where she was, like, thrilled, actually, that this stranger had just introduced a new friend to her,

Toby Dorr: Uh huh.

Hannah Rumsey: um, which was really special because that also, like, put my guard down almost immediately, like, oh, like, she actually So sweet. She’s not like embarrassed for me right now. She’s actually happy that this happened and she wants to be my friend. And we like, uh, ran off to explore the grounds together. And, uh, it was like, by the second day when we met up again, It was almost, you know, when you have the implicit understanding of like, Yeah, you’re gonna be my person.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Mm

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, and like, uh, we spent every, most of the days of the rest of the days together, so, uh, 42 days of many, many hours

Hannah Rumsey: together. And that was the only time we spent together in person, actually.

Toby Dorr: so after the camp, then you just stayed in touch, but it was by phone or email or messenger or something. Yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: Yes, and actually to correct that she did visit once, but it was that same year, you know, a few months

Hannah Rumsey: later and just for a couple of days,

Hannah Rumsey: but then after that, it was all like, we would text Facebook message Skype

Hannah Rumsey: pretty regularly

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Hannah Rumsey: know, over the years, it would get less and less frequent.

Hannah Rumsey: But, um. We would talk for like four or five hours because we had to catch each other up on six

Hannah Rumsey: months of, you know, stuff. So we were always really, like, up to the very end, really close. Like, she actually was going to Skype me as soon as she got home from Spain, but she died in Spain.

Toby Dorr: Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s pretty tough. And someone, to lose someone in the prime of their life, too.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah,

Toby Dorr: So, you know, I think what you’ve created is a beautiful testament. It’s a legacy to Lauren, really. So I, yeah, I think that’s beautiful. I think that’s beautiful. What advice would you give for someone wanting to start their own podcast?

Hannah Rumsey: Oh, um, yeah, I would say, um, Just start, like, after you, you know, have an idea of what you want to, have a pretty clear idea of what you want it to be about, just start recording, um, cause you can always not use it, you know, uh, I think, it was that fear of like, oh my gosh, it has to be perfect

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm.

Hannah Rumsey: not like it’s being immediately like, you know, broadcast live, so, yeah, just start recording, whether it’s on like a, Recording, um, software, uh, there’s lots of options out there now.

Hannah Rumsey: Um, uh, and then just see what happens, and I feel like it can evolve over time, you know, into something that feels right and feels ready. Okay.

Toby Dorr: true. I think that’s true. You know, and I found, um. Starting a podcast was really a lot easier than I thought it would be. I mean, there were some things I had to set up. You know, my recording software and things like that. But, you just get people into your space and you just have a conversation with them and give them the ability to tell their story.

Toby Dorr: You know, I just think, I believe in the power of stories, and I think all of us have stories to tell, and even though you may have three people come on who have similar stories, they’re all going to be different, and each story is going to reach a different group of people. Because it’s just about the connection that they have with the person telling the story.

Toby Dorr: And so I think when we provide an opportunity and a tool to bring stories into the world, that we are just creating a healthier place because you never know who’s going to hear the stories that you bring. And what a difference it’s going to make in their life and you may never know Somebody may hear one of your podcasts and it just changes their life in such a tremendous way And they go on and are inspired to do something Magnificent.

Toby Dorr: And we never even know it,

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah,

Toby Dorr: the beauty of podcasting. I think.

Hannah Rumsey: yeah, the ripple effect is, uh, yeah, you can never really necessarily know it. And I, I agree that stories are so important. I mean, like all, all of my hobbies and interests revolve around storytelling. Like I love podcasting, I love writing, I love movies, I love TV, I love, I love books and they’re all because they’re stories,

Toby Dorr: That’s right.

Hannah Rumsey: I feel like our, our, the bedrock of humanity is stories and

Toby Dorr: I think you’re right. You know, I think, you know, way back when, when we didn’t have anything, we had, we sat around in the evening and told stories

Hannah Rumsey: Yes,

Toby Dorr: and that’s how we learn. That’s how we learned everything. And I think it’s stories are so powerful. And I really think that’s what podcasts do is just give you another avenue to.

Toby Dorr: Send stories out into the world so that they can do their thing.

Hannah Rumsey: I agree. And I was, it’s funny because I was thinking the exact same thing. Like, we’ve lost that sense of community, I feel like,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Hannah Rumsey: specifically go out and find that storytelling community. Um, and instead we’re getting our stories from a glowing box,

Hannah Rumsey: uh, aka the

Toby Dorr: right. Uh huh. That’s right.

Hannah Rumsey: is fine. But like, if that’s the only thing that it just, it doesn’t have that same sense of community.

Hannah Rumsey: Um,

Toby Dorr: I think the stories you get from podcasts are like from real

Hannah Rumsey: yeah, exactly.

Toby Dorr: TV shows are dramatized and sensationalized and often unbelievable. So, I just think it’s just a way to, to connect more people, to bring more people together. I think it’s pretty powerful. I think podcasting might be the best thing that, um, the whole internet has created, because I think it’s created a lot of negative things too, but I think podcasting is the saving grace.

Toby Dorr: So

Hannah Rumsey: I agree.

Toby Dorr: cool. Yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: And I love how

Toby Dorr: know, and you can listen to a podcast when you’re driving in your car, when you’re. Cutting your grass or doing anything. And it’s not like you have to go sit down in front of a TV and turn it on and not do anything else for 30 minutes. So I just think it’s a beautiful tool to share stories with the world.

Toby Dorr: And I love the stories that you’re sharing because they’re so needed. No, everyone avoids your topic, so

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Toby Dorr: you’re welcome. So you talk about how hosting your podcast has helped you to grow. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Um, so many ways. I think part of it is like, um, Just actually really talking to people for long periods of time. I mean, without the, uh, the platform of a podcast, it’s kind of a hard ask to be like, Hey, do you want to talk about death for an hour?

Toby Dorr: Right, right.

Hannah Rumsey: really have

Toby Dorr: sit down for coffee and talk about death, right?

Hannah Rumsey: There wasn’t that much of that, but like this, you know.

Hannah Rumsey: I’ve been able to talk about death for many hours now, uh, you know, and, and not just death, but life and like people’s friendships and stories and,

Hannah Rumsey: um, that in itself, just getting to share and notice similarities, um, and other people’s stories has helped me feel less crazy, like I said, um,

Hannah Rumsey: less isolated, uh, more connected to humanity, um, and also like I, when I first started the podcast, I was very, um, Insecure about my friendship with Lauren because we didn’t have the label of best friend, so I thought that I didn’t have ownership over my grief because it didn’t have a label.

Hannah Rumsey: Like the highest label, you

Toby Dorr: Right, right.

Hannah Rumsey: And I think a lot of that is our society, um, and a new book has come out called Platonic, uh, where it talks about the science of how our society does not value friendships as much as romance.

Toby Dorr: Oh.

Hannah Rumsey: an actual thing, and I was

Hannah Rumsey: like, this is where I’ve been noticing, and I thought it was just me, but it’s a real thing.

Hannah Rumsey: Um, and so because society doesn’t value it, and because there’s only really one label for it, like best friend, and because I

Hannah Rumsey: didn’t have that label, I thought, well, clearly I’m not allowed to feel as deeply as I’m feeling,

Hannah Rumsey: and I’m just clinging to this thing that maybe wasn’t as real as I thought I was. Um,

Toby Dorr: That’s, that’s tough but it’s so profound, too. You know, and I think about my relationships that I have in my life now, and I’m lucky to have a group of six women that, uh, we were put together as a writing group, uh, uh, people, women who are working on memoirs, and met on zoom. We start out meeting once a week on zoom.

Toby Dorr: And that was two years ago, more than two years ago, and we’re still meeting. So, you know, it was an assignment for a group we were in and we just continued on and and once a year we get together for a four day weekend and have, we have helped each other through so many things and it’s so important.

Toby Dorr: And so I kind of think of them as sisters. Uh, they’re beyond friends, you know, they’re sisters and, but we’re not blood related. So you’re right. It’s kind of, there’s not really a word for it. There’s not a word for those deep friendships that Are so important to us and you know, you met lauren at a time in your life where Things made an impression.

Toby Dorr: So I think some of those friendships that occur during that age in our lives are deep and You don’t have to see them every day in order for that friendship to not be a big part of your life so And of course with the way the world is today. There are a lot of people who have friendships That aren’t in person because people are so spread out and I know with my pod sisters.

Toby Dorr: Um, We don’t live near each other. We meet, you know on zoom, but we’ve managed to create these really deep profound relationships So you don’t have to have them next door to be Super close and I think that’s just beautiful

Hannah Rumsey: Thank you. Yeah. And I, I agree. Like that, the age I met her, I was 17, she was 14 going on 15. Um, I was incredibly impressionistic and you’re, you’re still figuring out who you are and your personality is still forming and, and she really like. Not so much like molded my personality and that she unlocked parts of my personality That I was maybe didn’t know were there like we’re ashamed of She is like the to this day like the goofiest silliest person I’ve ever met like just like lived life to the fullest.

Toby Dorr: Uh huh.

Hannah Rumsey: I like the example I use is we were walking through the grounds and at one point she just started galloping like a horse And neighing really loudly and like throwing her hair and stuff and I just like joined in next to her. We were both like galloping, like people were looking at us like we were crazy, but it’s one of those things where like, because I was with her, I was, I, I didn’t feel shame.

Toby Dorr: Yeah. You had permission to, yeah.

Hannah Rumsey: exactly.

Toby Dorr: Yeah. I do think friends bring out the best in us and um, they’re so important. And for a lot of years in my life, I really didn’t have any close friendships. I mean, for the majority of my life. And now that I have created these really strong friendships late in my life, I just treasure them and I realize how much I missed by.

Toby Dorr: Being too busy to really cultivate any strong friendships. So I do think friends bring a lot to our life and I love the whole format of your podcast. I think it’s delicious.

Hannah Rumsey: Oh, that’s so nice.

Toby Dorr: So what’s one question you wish I’d asked?

Hannah Rumsey: Um,

Toby Dorr: Is there something you’d like to share with us that we haven’t talked about? Yes. Uh huh. Yes.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah, well, I do want to say that, like, I, you being on my podcast was so special, um, you know, I had read your memoir, um, and it, just being able to talk to you about it was incredibly meaningful, and that, learn more about your, uh, your relationship with Lisa, and, And everything, um, like, gosh, like, I re listened to the episode last, last week and it came out and I was like, oh my gosh, like, what a deep, like, meaningful conversation and, and just about how you were talking about, like, the unexpected sisterhood, which is in your subtitle of your book, of the, of the women you met in prison and how, you know, you spent every, pretty much every moment of every day together.

Hannah Rumsey: So it was almost like you were married is what you

Toby Dorr: Uh, right. Uh huh.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Um.

Toby Dorr: certainly was. And you know, I, I love that podcast and I, you know, we recorded it quite a while ago and then it just came out this week and, and I listened to it and I thought, I said that, wow, I love this, you know, and, and, uh, I’ve, I’ve shared it with everyone I know. I said, you guys have got to listen to this podcast.

Toby Dorr: So, and this weekend I had to go to an event, a luncheon. Uh, for a re entry program in Washington, D. C. And on the way home, I told my husband, I want you to listen to this podcast. And I, you know, connected it to the car and we listened on the way home. And he said, that’s pretty good. a pretty good podcast.

Toby Dorr: So, you know, I just, I just love it. I just love it. It’s my favorite interview I’ve ever done, I think.

Hannah Rumsey: Wow, that means truly so much to me. Like, wow, thank you.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, you just, you just were so soft and gentle in the podcast and just made it safe for people to share, you know, the deepest hurtful things. And it was a beautiful place to be. So I loved everything about it. So thank you so much for that.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah. Thank you for being on it and, and being so open and vulnerable and really talking about like life’s deepest pain and deepest joy is like, I wish we went there more often, you

Toby Dorr: I do too, because I think it makes us deeper, richer people. You know, when you just live on the surface, it’s just, fun, but it’s not profound. And I think getting deeper really brings out the best of us all.

Hannah Rumsey: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: So I just love that. Well, thank you so much, Hannah, for being a guest on my podcast. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Toby Dorr: And,

Hannah Rumsey: you.

Toby Dorr: I will put, I’m going to put a, there is a link to your, my, me being in your podcast on my website. So,

Hannah Rumsey: amazing.

Toby Dorr: if anybody wants to hear that podcast, or you can go to Hannah’s podcast, friends, missing friends. And I was episode 18, I think. Yeah. So excellent. Thank you so much, Hannah.

Hannah Rumsey: Thank you for having me.

Toby Dorr: You’re welcome.

Toby Dorr: Thank you for joining me on Fierce Conversations with Toby. Your support and listening means so much to me, and I hope today’s conversation makes a difference in your world. If you would like to support this podcast, there are many ways to do so. I found these ways tend to help the most in getting our message out into the world.

Toby Dorr: Number one, subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you listen to, or watch this podcast. If you can leave a five star rating or a like on this episode on YouTube, that helps even more. And if you leave a comment or a review, that helps the most. The next way you can support Fierce Conversations with Toby is to join our Patreon at patreon.

Toby Dorr: com slash fierce conversations. All tiers come with a downloadable digital gratitude journal created by me and membership in a private Facebook group that I also lead. Most importantly, 10 percent of all proceeds from your subscription will go directly to donating my workbooks to women in prison.

Toby Dorr: Finally, sharing the link to this show with your friends, family, and anyone who wants to listen is appreciated more than I can say. Thank you again for joining me today and supporting this show by listening to it and sharing it with friends. Fierce Conversations is created and hosted by me, Toby Dorr, produced by Number 3 Productions.

Toby Dorr: The theme song that you’re hearing now, Groovin was composed and arranged by Lisa Plass. Lisa also plays the flute for the theme with Carolyn Parody on piano and Tony Ventura on bass. Find out more at tobydore. com. This is Fierce Conversations with Toby. Escape your prison.


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