Mike Ergo served in the US Marine Corps from 2001-2005 as an infantryman. He is a licensed clinical social worker for the VA system. In his spare time, he races Ironman Triathlons carrying the names of his fallen Marine comrades on his jersey as well as a flag to honor a local Gold Star family, making sure they know that their loved ones have not been forgotten and they carry them in their hearts forever.

Do you have an exploring death story you’d like to share with Lisa? Please leave a comment on the podcast or contact Lisa at LisaExploringDeath@gmail.com

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Show Notes

  • Connecting to grieve – 2:54
  • Mike’s experience in Iraq – 3:53
  • The feelings he got while on a mission – 6:19
  • His out-of-body experience – 7:11
  • Dealing with the loss of friends – 9:30
  • Discussing PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) – 11:05
  • Things start to take off for Mike – 14:11
  • Quitting drugs and alcohol – 15:24
  • Mike’s surreal dream: a dream of profound love and connection to all – 16:10
  • Competing in the Ironman Triathlons – 23:23
  • Carrying the names of his fallen marine comrades – 29:18
  • The trauma of combat – 35:07
  • What is a Gold Star Family? – 41:30
  • Finding a way to connect with families – 42:19
  • Why transitions were important in Mike’s life – 47:20
  • A card reading for Mike – 50:01
  • Introducing a special guest: Mike’s daughter – 51:40
  • A final card reading regarding the lost of a loved one – 55:50

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One Response to “Loved Ones Are Never Forgotten, We Carry Them In Our Hearts with Mike Ergo – Episode 52”

  1. Jenna

    Lisa’s podcast with Mike Ergo is very moving. I was never in the military, but I have so much respect and admiration for people who serve such as Mike. I can’t even imagine dealing with what he had to go through, and I love his story of how he felt a sense of peace and love in the moment he thought he might die in Iraq. It is also so sad to hear about his post-traumatic stress disorder and how he turned to drugs and alcohol. I can’t even imagine having to deal with losing friends the way that he did. But it was great when he talked about how he used his connection to the Divine to improve his life and be able to manage his negative emotions. I like how Mike was able to discover and understand his connection to the Divine on his own from his experience.

    He had a great idea to honor Gold Star Families. I had heard that term before, but I was not aware of the origin, so I was glad he explained where that came from. That is so wonderful he carried the flag for a Gold Star Family during the Ironman triathlon, and how he carried the names of comrades who had died with him. I like how he says all his friends who died live on in his heart, that is so touching.

    I also think he has a good point about how Gold Star Families at the beginning receive a lot of support, but then people just kind of ignore them and don’t know what to say. Until I heard Lisa’s podcast about why people shouldn’t say “Sorry for your loss”, it had not occurred to me before that maybe someone who has recently lost a loved one does want us to talk to them instead of just ignoring them because we don’t know what to say. It starts to make sense when I think about it that of course people still want people around and to talk to them, sometimes especially when they have lost someone.

    I also like how Lisa said at the end of the podcast that when we are going through grief, it is okay to go through different stages of feelings and eventually enter a state of joy and connection. It is sad how Lisa lost her (adoptive) mother a few years ago, since unconditional love is a very rare thing, and it sounds like that is something she had with her. That is wonderful Lisa was able to spend some time with her right before she died, I am sure her mother really appreciated that she did that.


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