Today we get to hang out with Janet Grillo. At 52-years-old, her life shattered as she entered a world that she never knew. She was once an unsuspecting wife and mother who learned about her husband’s secret life after he mysteriously died. To this day, she still questions whether his death was a suicide, assisted suicide, suggested suicide or murder.
Janet uncovered alleged Mafia ties and multiple affairs with other women. After falling into a deep depression with suicidal thoughts, she came to the realization that she needed to save herself from despair and hopelessness. She realized that she was not alone and desires to help others get through their pain.
In her book “God Promised Me Wings to Fly: Life for Survivors After Suicide,” Janet motivates and encourages others to seek help to find their purpose in life, even when things seem hopeless.
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Janet Grillo Interview
Alexis Newlin: [00:00:00] Hey guys, welcome to the brave podcast. I'm your host, Alexis Newlin, and you are listening to episode 63. Again, thank you guys so much for tuning in every week. I appreciate my listeners and subscribers. I am so thankful for you. So I'm going to dive right into this week's guest. Today's guest is Janet Grillo. Janet has a phenomenally amazing story. Janet was married to her husband for 13 years.
When he passed away. She wasn't sure of the specifics of his death, but through this, she found out a whole slew of things about her husband that she did not know. I don't want to spoil it for you cause I want you to listen to the whole episode.
But she has taken her story and her experiences to encourage others with her newest book. God gave me wings to fly. You guys are gonna love my interview with Janet. I'm actually posting this to on YouTube and that's a new thing I'm doing with the podcast and kind of getting over my fear of being on camera.
And putting the actual [00:01:00] zoom interviews on YouTube. So if you're more of a visual listener, more than audio, I don't know if you listen with your eyes anyway, if you want to see the interview, if you like that more, you can go on YouTube, just look for my name, Alexis Newland, or type in the brave podcast. And the videos will pop up.
Thank you guys so much for tuning in and without further do you, here's my interview with Janet Grillo.
welcome to the brave podcast. I'm happy to have you on. And so you tell people who you are and why you're awesome.
Janet Grillo: [00:01:37] . Well, my name is Janet Grillo and I'm an author. I self published the book called God, promised me wings to fly there's life after suicide.
And now I'm rewriting that book. Because I have a contract with Morgan, James publishing, I'm writing it in first person and I am telling my story, the subtitle has changed. So it's, God promised me wings to [00:02:00] fly a life for survivors after suicide. And unfortunately there's a lot of people that need this book.
Yeah. Really the timing is good for me, but it's also good for other people, for sure.
Alexis Newlin: [00:02:14] Exactly. So let's get into your story a little bit. When did this become a part of your story?
Janet Grillo: [00:02:19] Well, I tell people that my friend's story is different than everyone else's, but our backstories are the same.
Okay. Because we've all had things that have dropped us to our knees. We've all wondered. How do we find hope in a hopeless situation? How can we trust again, especially after betrayal, how do we find God when we think he doesn't want to be found? And all of those questions plagued our mind when we're faced with a tragedy or have gone through a tragedy.
For me, my story is different because on December 13th, 2001, my husband died tragically. And to this day, I don't know if it was a suicide assisted suicide suggested suicide or murder because after he died, I found out that he was living a double [00:03:00] life, had numerous affairs and alleged mafia connections.
So allegedly I was a mafia wife and didn't know it.
Alexis Newlin: [00:03:08] There was no signs to you at all the whole time you were married. This was going on with him.
Janet Grillo: [00:03:12] Not in regards to anything like that. But as I went back and put pieces together he was president of a family owned business. It was an automotive, a core supplier, C O R E.
And they sold used automotive parts to Rebuilders. They had about 200 accounts. Oh, I'm sorry. A hundred accounts. Inter nationally and internationally, but he had one brother that was just responsible for one account out of Philadelphia, but all of those dots didn't connect together until after.
Well, actually, his family walked away from me, 55 members after the last shovel of dirt was pitched on his grave. So I was left to myself to find out why. Who was this man who caught me twice a day and told me he loved me. I had no idea [00:04:00] who the man was that I was married to for 13 years.
Alexis Newlin: [00:04:03] How does that make you feel all of this? After losing him and then finding out that he had this other life.
Janet Grillo: [00:04:10] I was devastated. You know, what's really crazy is that, and I looked at these like God intervention of the way that things happen. My daughter's father, cause my husband who died was actually my second marriage, but my daughter's father remarried and his wife worked in a bankruptcy attorney's office days after my husband died.
She overheard a colleague of hers talk about a friend of hers whose husband died by suicide. The same exact way that my husband died. So she said, well, who is this man? And who is your girlfriend's boyfriend? And who was this man? And she told him the name. And she said, well, that can't be right. He's married.
And they go, Oh no, he's not married. She goes, yes. He is [00:05:00] married for a very long time. And then they said that he had been part of that girl's family for the past five years and had even gone on vacations with them.
Oh, my gosh,
which is crazy. And then my family was my daughter and my son-in-law came to me.
And somehow they got a list of many names. And unfortunately there were people on that list of people that I knew, who I thought were friends of mine. That was very devastating.
Alexis Newlin: [00:05:26] I can't even imagine after this loss and then finding out that the man that you thought you knew was living this way. Loss and betrayal. That's really hard to have happen at once.
Janet Grillo: [00:05:36] Yeah. And not only that with his family walking away from me, so I almost looked at it like it was some sort of a conspiracy. so every time I would try to find something out, like even going to a phone company to research phone records and things I was stopped dead in my track because like the phone company called my husband's company and I didn't have authority to look at [00:06:00] those phone records.
Everywhere I turned I had challenges with the family and it took me years to get my finances straightened out with them. This daughter stole an insurance policy from me. They had someone that was a liaison as an insurance man. Redirect the funds from the insurance policies to his daughters.
So then I had to get a separate attorney and I had to Sue them for my money, but overall it costs me about $125,000 in attorney's fees just to get what was legally mine.
Alexis Newlin: [00:06:35] Wow. Did you have any fear that they would retaliate against you?
Janet Grillo: [00:06:38] Not so much the family in regards to that, but when a friend of my husband's told me. And he had been a really lifelong friend of his, he said, I would never have said anything before he said, but just from phone calls that he had overheard with my husband, , he kind of confirmed that my husband was involved in something illegal, but he didn't know what. And then, [00:07:00] we lived in Wilmington, Delaware, so Philadelphia was a half an hour away.
So that's one of the known places for was headquartered for the mafia way back then. Yeah. But I did have a period of time after I found out some information that I was really scared. I stayed in my house all the time. I lived in a high rise condo and I had a concierge, that no one could get to me unless they came through the concierge in the sense like that.
But I did have a period for several months where I was afraid to leave the house.
Alexis Newlin: [00:07:29] Yeah. That's so isolating, especially after losing your husband and how long were you guys married?
Janet Grillo: [00:07:34] We were together for 15 years and we were married for 13 years.
Alexis Newlin: [00:07:38] Wow. Yeah. So your whole world changed just like that.
Janet Grillo: [00:07:43] The world changed dramatically, , and one of the things that happened to me is that I suffered with anxiety attacks. Okay. And if anyone has ever experienced an anxiety attack, it's a total out of the body experience that you have no idea what is going on with your [00:08:00] mind, your body, with anything. It's not even like you're viewing yourself outside and you can see what's going on.
It's just like A total wipe out in a sense. And when that happens you don't know where to go. I mean, sometimes I would end up in a fetal position. One time I was driving my car when just a simple song, hello by Lionel Richie came on that on the radio, but it was my husband's and my favorite song that was like our song.
And it set me into an anxiety attack. How I ended up in the church parking lot I have no idea. Because I don't even remember driving there. I sat in the parking lot, probably, I don't know, for an hour, who knows how long it could have been 10 minutes, but it might've seemed like an hour, , looking at the church and looking at the rectory.
And I had every intention to just go into the church and pray. I wasn't a Catholic. I practice Catholicism with my husband. But I ended up at the rectory instead and I banged on the door, like a [00:09:00] crazy woman, , begging for help. And the woman came to the door and she says, I'm sorry. No, one's here to help you.
Got it. And I actually ended up collapsing on the stair right there at the door. The Monsignor came running to the door. He was actually preparing to go for an appointment, which he certainly canceled when he saw the condition that I was in. Yeah. And he talked with me and he console me for about three hours.
He said to me that he knew I wasn't a Catholic, but he said not saying that becoming a Catholic is the answer, but you should find out if it's not the answer for you. And they had classes that were starting up that are called RCAA classes, which are called right of Christian initiation classes for adults.
And basically what it does is it prepares you to become a Catholic. And so I went into the room. And I sat there with about 12 other people. Some of us were broken like me and other people had experienced God's [00:10:00] amazing powers. It was a place where, when I didn't have any trust in my life whatsoever after my husband's death and finding out about his circumstances, it was a place where I found truth.
And I felt very comfortable and I felt very secure there. And so from there I ended up becoming a Catholic and I ended up sitting perpetual adoration in our church. Perpetuate iteration is where you would sit like one-on-one with the blessed sacrament. And so every Tuesday or from 11 until 12, I would go and sit with the blessed sacrament one-on-one and I started writing in a journal.
Okay. And I would write directly to God, like, dear God, hear my prayers. And then everything would just pour out of me. And then one day after six months, I said, I wonder what God would say if he said something to me. So I turned to the back of my journal and I wrote dear Janet on the top and love God on the bottom.
, empty lines waited [00:11:00] patiently while I waited anxiously to see if it was crazy or profound. And after about a half an hour, my hand just started to move. It's amazing because, and I share some of those letters in my book. I shared letters that I wrote to God letters that he wrote back to me.
I even have a letter in there that I asked my husband to write me a letter. I sat at his grave on one of our wedding anniversaries and that's so lifelike that when my daughter read it, she literally threw my journal across the room and she says, Oh my God, that Sam, you know, so that's kind of scary when you think about it.
Alexis Newlin: [00:11:35] how did it feel to sit there and waiting for God to like respond to you?
Janet Grillo: [00:11:39] I thought I was being foolish for the most part. Yeah. No, because I'm thinking like, what are you doing? Like, what do you think? You know, like really you're asking God to write to you. That's probably pretty dumb and I really didn't expect my hand to move.
I really didn't. So possibly part of the delay in, in the message [00:12:00] coming to me from my head, my heart and my soul was probably because of the self doubt that I had. but I don't know. I mean, in the end he came through, but the interesting part about letters from God is that when he writes them to you, even though this letter may have been written.
14 years ago. I could read it today and it was like, it was written yesterday. everything's all consistent in regards to that it gives you hope. He sees that you're struggling. He knows that he lets you know, that he's there for you and he'll always be there for you. But one of the letters that God had written to me was dated June 18th, 2004.
And I didn't publish my book until 2018, but in that letter he basically said no, that I've chosen you to do a special task for me. One, I don't want you to take very lightly. One day you will write a book and when that time comes, we'll write it together. Through our words, you will bring many people to us.
It'll be a great [00:13:00] success for you, but a greater success for the people whose lives that you've touched through your words. And I will put the right people into your life to make it happen. And I go, wow, really? God, I was in Mr. Fox's remedial reading class in the seventh grade. Surely you could choose someone besides me, but he said, no, I chose you.
So it's not something that I took very lightly, you know? I had to believe in it. And I had to believe in him because there were so many things that happened to me. I mean, I finally ended up getting money that I deserve, but by trade I was a fine jewelry and diamond broker. And then the recession hit in 2007, 2008.
I ended up still keeping my business for a while, but I ended up having to file for bankruptcy and I lost my house in foreclosure. And so all of those things were happening, but yet I still had to have the faith for whatever reason ever since I've been eight years old, I wanted to live in a [00:14:00] yellow house in Florida.
I don't know why. I didn't know anyone who lived in Florida. I didn't eat in yellow. Wasn't my favorite color. But even today on my vision board that I have, I have a picture of a yellow house and I live in Florida now, but I'm not living in a yellow house. So for me, I know that God has more in store for me until, I get that yellow house, I think all that's kind of cool.
Alexis Newlin: [00:14:23] So what did starting over look like for you? , you're living in Delaware at the time, you have your business and then things are kind of falling apart after your husband's death. What steps do you take to start over and how did you get down to Florida?
Janet Grillo: [00:14:38] Well, the thing of it is, is that for me, is that when I lost my house, my daughter was going through a divorce.
So I ended up moving in with my daughter. My granddaughter was pretty young at the time. So it was kind of a win-win situation in the fact that I was there to support her, with babysitting and just being there for her as a single mother. I certainly [00:15:00] intended to just stay here and I overstayed my welcome and didn't leave until three years later.
, I read the book, the secret by Rhonda Byrne and the secret Ronda says is that you're here and you want to be here. What you do is it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked to the ground. You just stand up and you keep holding onto your dream and you just never let it go. And so what happened was, and Rhonda burns, her sister was living in Australia and she desperately wanted to move to the United States and everything that she put in place, nothing worked.
And finally, she decided to say, you know what, I'm going to sell my house. I'm going to get rid of my gym membership. I'm going to pack my bags. I'm going to sell my furniture. I'm going to do all of this. And then when she did all of that, then an opportunity for her to work in the United States came. So basically what she did, then she was telling me the universe is that I am ready, you know?
And when she was finally ready, then the [00:16:00] university said, okay, now I have this for you. So what I did is I did the same thing as I made a six month calendar. And I put it on my bedroom wall and I counted backwards. And so I knew that in March of 2014, I knew that I would be in Florida. I didn't know how I was going to get there.
I didn't know when exactly I was going to get there, but, someone asked me and said can you do this at such and such time? And I'll say no, because in 48 days, I'm going to be living in Florida. I won't be around. And I just put everything in place as though it was happening and it happened.
Crazy as it seems, but here's the interesting part. Well, when I was driving from Delaware to Florida and I had a friend who was came from Florida and actually he was driving the truck with all of my furniture in there and we're driving down. And when I left my daughter and I weren't on the best of terms we are now, but we weren't on the best of terms then because they overstayed my welcome.
[00:17:00] So, I don't even remember driving from Delaware to Virginia because I was crying so hard, but I was looking for any sign from God to let me know that I was making the right decision. I closed up my diamond business of 23 years. And so I was venturing off into a state where I have one sister that lives like a half an hour away.
But other than that, I had come down and I found a job, but the interesting thing was, is I found a job and then I found a house to rent. And then right after I did that, a weeks later, the person came back and said they would not rent to me because of my bankruptcy. Hmm. So I know man, you know, like it was four years before, but they wouldn't do that.
Even though I said I had a job, they wouldn't do it. So then I found another house to rent and I was all ready to put the money down on it and everything. And I asked my sister, if she would go take a picture of the back yard because I knew it had water. But when she went over there, it was basically [00:18:00]insect infected water.
So that was a thing. So like 10 days before I was ready to move down here, I gave that up and I didn't have any place, but yet everything was scheduled for me to leave. So I reached out and I found another house on Zillow. And it was perfect. It's, a three bedroom house it's on the water, in a nice neighborhood and everything.
And I thought this is perfect. And then the owner came to me and said, I can not rent to you because of my bankruptcy. So I wrote them a six page letter and I said, I'm a fine jewelry and diamond broker. I did that. I have a job, I can do this stuff and everything. And so finally he came back and he said, yes, So I didn't see the house that I was renting and I actually live in now, still live in.
Now. I didn't see that until I actually pulled up into the driveway and not having any sign from God to let me know that I was making the right decision. I was looking on road signs and license plates and everything else, [00:19:00] nothing love than anywhere. And so what happened was, is knowing that I had the water.
Once I pulled in the driveway, I ran out back to look at the water. And then I came back out and I noticed my next door neighbor was moving and I said, how can you move from here? It looks like a slice of heaven. She says, no it's time. And she said to me, did I see the cross in the water? And I said, why?
And she said, no. So we walked back out and sure enough, the owner had put a three foot cross in the water made out of pipe for birds too dry their feathers on. But when I went out there, not only did I see a cross, there was a white Swan sitting right next to the cross. And I looked up in the air and I'd simply said, you put across in my backyard.
I was like, really? But I knew in that moment, right then that I had nothing to worry about. And it's just been. Wonderful ever since. I mean, it's still a struggle. I mean, for me, I self-published my book, [00:20:00] God promised me wings to fly. There is life after suicide, like I said, in 2018. And then the people that God sends to me, like someone came to me just like you and said, can I do a podcast?
And I didn't know her from before. And then at the end of the conversation, she told me that she was friends with a man by the name of Terry Whalen. Okay, great. Terry is an acquisitions manager for Morgan James publishing, and he also wrote Billy Graham's autobiography. Oh wow. A very good person to know.
So I had already written a book before called my victory journal in 2014, but I never did anything with it. And so I was planning on doing something with it, but then a marketing company told me I had to write, God, promised me wings to fly first. So this was my second book that I was going to do, but it was ready, but I contacted Terry and asked him to say, can you just take a look at this, my victory journal.
I don't want to spend thousands of [00:21:00] hours editing it. If there's nothing there. And he said, Oh, we have a minister. In Virginia, he does all the things based books for Morgan James. It says, send me a copy of my victory journal, but also send me a copy of your gut. Promised me wings book too. So a few weeks later passed by and he came back and he said West, Taylor's his name?
He said West loves my victory journal, but he's more in love with God promised me wings to fly. And so they offered me contracts for two weeks. That's wonderful though. All of that. Yeah. So yeah, so it'll be great. So it's actually going to be released by Morgan James worldwide. Which is sort of like, and in August, and then I'll come back probably like maybe in September, October, and publish the victory journal because it's a nice companion with it.
Alexis Newlin: [00:21:49] That's amazing. What's it been like to read, cause you're writing it again. And first person, what has that been like to relive some of your story again?
Janet Grillo: [00:21:58] Well, I have an [00:22:00] amazing editor that Terry Whalen actually suggested for me. And she is a New York times bestseller he's written or contributed to more than 35 books.
And she's also been president of a Christian ministry. So she was certainly the right person for me to do that with when, in my book that you've read, she says first thing we're going to do is we're going to scrap chapters one, two, and three, and you're going to start with chapter four. Oh, you're like what?
And I know, , because in the first book that I wrote, I kind of tell everyone that my husband was associated with the mafia or allegedly associated with the mafia she says, but when you write it in first person and in chronological order, you want that story to totally unfold. You don't want to tell everything right up front.
And so right now she's on she's editing chapter six, but I'm actually. All the way through chapter 13 right now. So we're just doing it, giving her one chapter at a time. It was [00:23:00] difficult for me, like I said, because I had to relive it. So now I had to put conversation in there, like what did I, what was the conversation when we were walking from here to here?
What happened? What did the police say? You know, when he sat next to you and told you about your husband, you know, sort of things like that. And so, I mean, but to have my editor come back and she's absolutely amazing she says, I don't know how you made it writing through there. She says, because I could barely make it through reading it.
So there's a tremendous amount more material and stories in the new book that I'm writing than the original book that I wrote. And as far as the chapters, one, two, three, not everything will be included, but some of it will be included as flashbacks, or it made me think about this or something like that.
So, but it's definitely challenging. I'm through Ginger's name. She's helping me become a really good writer. Yeah, no, I thought I was good before, but she's helping me [00:24:00] become a really great writer. So I value her opinions on everything. Wow.
Alexis Newlin: [00:24:06] You have quite a story, Janet. And so what made you want to go out and start sharing your stories with others?
Janet Grillo: [00:24:12] The reason why I want to share stories with others is because of the suicide factor that, you know one of the things that I had the opportunity to do was be a freelance writer for crown city news out of Sacramento. Okay. When I was freelancing for them, I haven't done it in awhile, but in the beginning when I was freelancing for them I would interview veterans to tell their stories in some of the interviews that I had.
Would be dealing with veterans who had attempted suicide and chose life instead. I just kind of look at that, like if we just had more people who could get through it, , cause I often wondered if you can have two peoples. They would come home from war and one ends up being an alcoholic, a martyr sitting in front of the TV, a drug addict and [00:25:00] committing suicide.
And the other one gets through it and, straps on prosthetic legs. , if they both lost her legs and running the marathon. And I wonder what's the difference between those two people? I truly believe the difference is God. Yeah. If you can do things. And for me, I viewed my life circumstances with the thought processes.
There's no way that God would make me go through this without having something wonderful on the other side, even if I don't know what that wonderful is, but knowing how. I was left behind and knowing the things that I had to go through minus the mafia, , connections are legit mafia connections, just like, you know, the simple thing of when you finally do have the courage to go outside.
, to be in the real world in the sense, , you turn around and you find people pointing at you and whispering behind your back. , like, look at that woman over there, her husband committed suicide, or just when you [00:26:00] think that you've got it together. That you think that you're strong enough?
, somebody comes up to you and says, well, the Dera find out why your husband committed suicide. And it's like, you had to start your healing process all over. And so for me, I just truly believe like, even from that letter from God, he said, I chose you. To do this special task for me, and I'm not taking it lightly, but I think in my heart and I feel in my heart that I know that God chooses each and every one of us for a special task.
He talks to us all the time, but we don't always listen to him. And when you think about it and I mean, my gosh it's the yellow house was when I was eight years old. I'm 71 years old right now. Yet. I still hold onto that dream, but I just know that because of my steadfast way in my belief that my story can help other people.
Not only get through their pain, but also find their [00:27:00] purpose in their pain so that they can make a difference in someone else's life. And that's, that's basically what it is. It's just a snowball effect to make a difference in somebody else's life so that they in turn can help the next person. And now with this pandemic, You know, millions and millions of people are suffering from PTSD.
The suicide is up 22% just for the year, which is crazy. I also ended up interviewing someone whose son committed suicide and he was a veteran. And so this woman had joined up with a man by the name of Howard Barry Howard he's from Chicago, or was from Chicago and he, his son committed suicide. And Howard started a display of 660 flags because on, on average, there's 22 veterans that commit suicide every day, 60 a month, and more than 7,000 a year.
And that that number has [00:28:00] dramatically increased. So Howard made a display of 660 flags in Florida. We have a traveling Vietnam wall, a miniature version of it that display is set up and it's attached to that display. And there might be more out there too. But in talking with one of my sisters, I told her about the flags and she said, That she's seen a large display of flags, but she never knew what they meant.
So what I did is I designed a flag that I said which I call veterans suicide awareness flag. Then I said that when people look at it, they'll know exactly what it means, and it has the 50 stars on the flag. 30 of those stars have a 22 on it. 30 of the stars are purple with a turquoise 22 on it because the colors for suicide prevention are turquoise and purple.
And then I've also introduced two bands of turquoise within the flag. And then I'll have stopped veteran suicide right in the center of it. At one point, president Trump was looking for something. [00:29:00] To be the face of his prevention program, which is the president's roadmap to empower veterans and end in national tragedy as suicide.
All of that was put aside until because of the pandemic, but I will revisit it. I actually grew up five houses away from Joe Biden's family, if you can believe that. Oh, wow. So, so when my book is published, my plan is that when my book is published in August, Then I'll send a copy of my book to Joe and to Jill, along with one of my flags and have it presented to him in hopes that we can do something with it because Jill's a strong advocate for suicide prevention.
Alexis Newlin: [00:29:39] Yeah. Didn't they have someone that they lost by suicide.
Janet Grillo: [00:29:41] One of their sons his son. No, it wasn't. Suicide was no, he had a brain tumor. His name was yeah. To my knowledge, no one in his family has suffered from suicide. Yeah. But it's nice to have them know me. I don't know if [00:30:00] it's going to get me a good seat anywhere, but I call them up and I say, this is Janet Grillo.
He knows who Janet gorilla was. So that's kind of cool. Yeah, that is really cool.
Alexis Newlin: [00:30:09] I love that you took this really difficult time in your life and are now using it to empower and encourage others, especially our vets. , I feel like are just some of the most forgotten people. , I used to work with military when I was a rec therapist in Arizona.
they are so passionate about serving their country. And then when they have PTSD or if they lose a limb and then the military is like, I can't use you anymore. They're like, I don't have any purpose. My family doesn't, I can't talk to my kids. I'm traumatized all the time.
And they just kind of feel so lost. And many of them. Look to suicide or substance abuse. And so , I've always had a heart for veterans.
Janet Grillo: [00:30:47] Yeah. And you know what the crazy thing is is that men that I talked about, Howard Berry, who started the 660 flags, you know, I decided that when I had this new contract from Morgan James and the fact that my [00:31:00] book would be offered worldwide.
I thought, well, you know what, I'm going to give Howard a call because I want to tell him that I'm going to add that portion. To my book, just to let him know. Well, he just died on June 17th, 20, 20, and June 17th is my birthday. And so I kind of looked at it like, okay, God, you're telling me that I'm supposed to take over.
Where he left off.
So you're going to take over what he's doing.
, well, I'm going to take over with the concept of knowing it, but I just don't want it to kind of stop or something like that. So I know that the good part about everything is we don't know where all this is going to go. I'm I'm getting ready to tomorrow I'll be changing my company, which is called journey of hope survivors.
I'm changing. It was an LLC, but I'm changing it over to a nonprofit. So I'm going to be working with people so that I can be able to give back more for that, and then working with people with with PTSD. So there's [00:32:00] lots of things in plans. I've got an amazing coach that I'm going to be working with as far as like the marketing aspect of it.
So there's some really big things in, in my future. I'm doing is I'm also in through LinkedIn is where we met that. I searched under just in the search engine. I put suicide and people only to find out that under suicides, there's 187,000 people connected with suicide. Through LinkedIn.
And so there's even over 3 million if you put in mental wellness. But, so my goal is, is that once the book is published in August, is that I'll be signing setting up book tours throughout the United States. But prior to that, I will be connecting with people like yourself in all different cities.
So when I go to a state to do book signings, I'm also going to be setting up speaking engagements within each of the cities where I go.
Alexis Newlin: [00:32:56] Yeah, I was going to ask you that. Have you done speaking yet?
Janet Grillo: [00:32:59] I guess [00:33:00] I do speak all the time. Yeah. You know, to do that, but you know, this way I'm joining with forces of like people who are also wanting to do the same.
And basically, you know, the goal is to just not only say help save lives, but to give people hope and to give people a purpose and, and basically turn their pain into purpose.
Alexis Newlin: [00:33:21] I love that. Can you talk a little bit about journeys of hope your business?
Janet Grillo: [00:33:25] The journeys of help survivors , I wanted to come up with a name and this is just in the past couple of months that I came up with that.
I wanted to come up with a name that I could use as an overall name for the projects that I'm doing, and I think everything, you know, if they say that you should have one word that describes you and I kind of toyed with that word to say, is it victory? Is it this? And I always just keep coming back to hope.
You have to have faith. And you have to have hope and you can have, you can't have hope without faith. Faith is basically believing in the [00:34:00] unseen, but you know, as we document the things that are happening, I'm just amazed. Like for example, how God is working in my life is I received an email from LinkedIn about six or seven months ago that said, this man has sent me a message through LinkedIn.
Well, I went to his profile page and I pulled up the message column there. And I didn't have a message from him, but LinkedIn informed me that I did have a message. As I was looking at his profile, I noticed that he is a grant specialist. So I reached out to him and told him I was an author.
And I said, do you ever work with authors to get grants? Because grants are money that they, you don't have to pay back basically, but it's helping support the cause and what you're doing. And he said, yes, he does that all the time. And so now I'd been working with him for the past seven months to get grants, for my business, because it's expensive, , when you have to go out on the road and you have to do different things and stuff, but that [00:35:00] was definitely a godsend.
Alexis Newlin: [00:35:02] Yes. It was well, how amazing that you just wasn't didn't even message you and then boom, you guys are connected and he's helping you now.
Janet Grillo: [00:35:09] Yeah, but that's not the first, I mean, it's happened. It's happened a lot. And I go, like, even the coach that I'm getting ready to work with, she's from St. Petersburg, Florida.
And it was someone came to me and said, Oh, your name popped up on my. LinkedIn and, you know, I don't know why, I don't know how it is, how it happens, but it's kind of crazy, but you have to look at those things as God sends, because you don't have any explanation for what's happening.
Alexis Newlin: [00:35:34] No, you really don't.
All right, Janet. So one of my final questions for you is when did you decide that you were brave?
Janet Grillo: [00:35:43] When did I decide that I was brave? Hmm. I guess there's two, there's two ways to look at that. When did I decide when I was brave? And when did I truly know [00:36:00] that I was brave? Yeah. You know, because there's two different answers to that question.
Yeah. I discovered that I was braved really in writing my book and and the reason why I say that is because. All of that happened over a period of years. Yeah. So you put it in your book and I see how many times I fell down. Yeah. And twice, as many times as I stood up and I keep coming back, my family's always called me a dreamer, but my dreams are still big, but I don't share my dreams.
Like I'm sharing with you with my family. Cause they would say, Oh, your dreams are just too big. But I know that I. I know that I'm brave. More so after I give talks. Yeah. I discovered my bravery in a sense, because after I give a motivational talk, I've discovered that I'm helping other people to stand up [00:37:00] because people have come up to me and they tell me like, they would say I was raped when I was five years old by an uncle.
But I never told anyone. My sister was considered to be retarded way back when, because they called him retarded back then. And she said, mother locked her in a closet. And we didn't know that. So what I'm finding is by being vulnerable and sharing my story, which is raw, and I'm not afraid to hide any of it.
I'm finding that it touches the lives of other people. And I become more brave as I discover I'm helping others do the same.
Alexis Newlin: [00:37:41] Wonderful. I love that vulnerability opens so many doors people to say me too. And it blesses so many people when you choose to be vulnerable.
Janet Grillo: [00:37:49] Yeah. And the, and that's, and that's crazy.
Cause people would say, Oh, you're telling that. And I said, you know what? I'm telling everything. Yeah. This is it's going to affect anything that we've had happened [00:38:00] in our lives. Maybe not the mafia wife connection or something. You know, maybe not, not too many people can tout that they've, you know, allegedly a mafia wife or something like that, but everything else, we've all had things that have dropped us to our knees.
We've all wondered how are we going to get up again? And we all wonder where, where is God, but in many times, as I reflect back in my writing, because. I can see it more in black and white on paper. You know, I recognize the fact that in the times when I was. The most out of control. Wondering where is where in the hell is God basically?
Why isn't he answering me? But I know, and I understand that if he answered me at the time when I was out of control, I wouldn't have been able to listen. Yeah, exactly. Wouldn't have understood it. I wouldn't, you know, so I had to go through that and I know that whatever I've gone [00:39:00] through emotionally, I know a lot of people are doing the same and that's why if I can help someone get through something a little bit quicker to know that they can help somebody else.
And, and don't be afraid to share your vulnerability. Yeah. Doesn't make you any less of a person.
Alexis Newlin: [00:39:17] That is beautiful and such sound advice, because we are people who now in the social media age, want to put up a persona of like, who we are, is this perfect persona. But when we share our brokenness with other people, it helps you connect
Janet Grillo: [00:39:29] or they go like, wow.
Oh really? I had that too. It's something like that. Yeah. Yeah. So it's good. And actually, Through podcasts. And now through zooms, I mean, the podcast are a little easier to do it because people can't see you. But other me, if people do see me as a result of that, but, you know our life has changed. I mean, podcasts are more important now and people listen to it and, and they just.
Are welcomed the fact that people are [00:40:00] really there to share their true story, that you're not cutting it. And I think by asking questions that we really don't know the question that you're going to ask allows us to be more honest in our answers of what we're giving.
Alexis Newlin: [00:40:13] Yeah. That's true. Janet. Thank you so much. This was an amazing interview. I loved hearing your story and our guests are going to absolutely love hearing your story and being encouraged by it too as well. Where can we find you? We're like where's all the places people can find you your website. Yeah,
Janet Grillo: [00:40:30] you can go to my website is Janet Grillo, author.com.
So a any T G R I L L O author.com and my book the. The old book that I wrote, that self published book that's been taken off of Amazon dude, Janet Grillo, God promised me wings to fly. You can go in there and you can actually pre-order the book and do that. And then down the road of working with someone to set up [00:41:00] my website so that I'll be able to offer, even offer autograph copies for that.
Alexis Newlin: [00:41:06] Well, I will be sure to put all of that in the show notes, people can find it and buy the book and follow you.
Janet Grillo: [00:41:10] Okay. That would be wonderful. All right. Yeah. Thank you so much. I'm very grateful that you found me and I'm very grateful that
Alexis Newlin: [00:41:18] this has been such a blessing. I'm so sad that the hour is almost up.
This has been so good.
Hey guys. Thanks so much for tuning in today's episode. I just love.
Janet. Whole story. So I'm going to put everything you need to get ahold of Janet in the show notes. Be sure to check those out. If you don't know where show notes are, I just realized this something people might not be familiar with. Show notes. Basically give you an outline of what the podcast is about how to reach people. There's even some fun stuff in there. If you want to purchase some things like I have t-shirts you can buy that's listed in the show notes.
There's , this great place called Klingons junction that I love to go to. And if you're ever in Kings canyon or near that park in California, [00:42:00] Awesome. Coffee shops. Stop there. Anyone who I have as a guest, their info is listed in the show notes.
You can do a Google search for the show notes for the brave podcast. , depending on. If you have apple or Spotify, where ever, listen. They should pop up when you click on the episode and they should have shown up to come with them. So, if you want to ever find out about the authors or or any of the things that I have that I'm offering.
They're in the show notes. .
So ask number one is ratings ratings really help. Me understand what you guys are loving about the show. And they also helped get the show, some exposure and actually want to read a rating. I usually don't do this. I'm reiterating that someone left and this was so great. This was from Tamika.
And she said inspiring the podcast is so wonderful and inspiring. It's like sitting down to have coffee with a friend. The guests on here have amazing stories and share nuggets of wisdom, no matter where you are in life. I had opportunity to interview Alexis for episode. 22. She was a joy to [00:43:00] talk with. I know this podcast will encourage you no matter what your current walk of life or season. Thank you so much Tamika for leaving a wonderful review. I love getting things like this. They really, really helped me.
, number two is subscribe. If you want you to get on the email list and find out more about the brave podcast, you can go to www.braveoneministries.com, go to contact us, put your email info in there, and then boom, you were on the mailing list. finally. Number three would be share. If you find something you loved hearing today and think it would benefit another person. Share the episode with a friend, it also helps get the word out. And so that's how I found out about podcasts is from hearing from other people. Awesome way to spread the word about the podcast. Thank you guys so much for tuning in. I appreciate you so much and we will see you next week with a whole new episode. Thanks, goodbye.