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A St. Louis content creator navigates grief in ‘Let’s Not Rot’ series

Kait Granger, Content Creator and Poet, is using her platform to document her grief and encourage viewers through their own. Photographed at her CWE Apartment on Monday June 3, 2024.
Theo R. Welling
St. Louis Public Radio
Kait Granger, content creator and poet, is using her platform to document her grief and encourage viewers through their own.

The intro to Kait Granger’s recurring TikTok series is the same. It includes the day and a memorable phrase:

“Let’s not rot … because my mom would be pissed if I did.”

“Let’s not rot,” which is the name of the series Granger debuted in 2023, was a 2 a.m. thought. It was also the most honest representation of how Granger felt in the midst of profound grief. In late 2019, Granger’s father murdered her mother, Bobette. After her mother’s death, Granger was going through the motions of life but with no palpable sense of joy — a sense of rotting.

“As I started thinking about, ‘OK, what do I do to get out of this? Because I don't want to live like this forever. And I know, that's what my mom would want for me. She'd want me to move on and to live a life of purpose for me and for her,” Granger, a St. Louis content creator, told St. Louis on the Air. "That's when I was like, ‘OK, this word ‘rot’ is really what I feel like and it describes my experience so well, so I'm just going to say, ‘Let's not rot.’ Let's not do that, and let's live instead.”

“Let’s Not Rot” features short, vlog-style videos in which Granger showcases the often mundane moments of everyday life. The spoken word voice-overs that accompany the moving pictures, however, are akin to an inner monologue, allowing viewers access to Granger’s most intimate meditations on grief.

“I grew up in a household where my words were invalidated and my words were dangerous, so a lot of my ability to communicate and to process has always been through writing,” said Granger. “When I thought about creating the series and finding a way to express myself and share my story, the only way I felt comfortable with was writing these voice-overs and these poems.”

Despite the series being a way for Granger to process her own grief, her vulnerability has resonated deeply with thousands online. She’s amassed over 300,000 followers on TikTok, with a few of her videos gaining millions of views. Her comment section has become an alcove where viewers feel safe detailing their own coexistence with grief. This digital connection has also translated to life outside social media.

“I've seen so many people in public that have come up to me and have been like, ‘oh my gosh, your content means the world to me,’" said Granger. “I've had countless DMs saying that my content has validated areas of someone's life who have never been validated, and I've had some that are like, ‘your content saved my life.’ It's been absolutely crazy to think that just talking and being vulnerable on the internet can be so meaningful across the world.”

As “Let’s Not Rot” continues to grow, Granger is carrying on her mother’s legacy and keeping true to the promise she outlines in each of her video intros. And though she still navigates her grief daily, Granger has a restored hope in her ability to live a robust and fulfilling life after the loss of her mom.

“Just a couple of days ago, I went back to Day One, and the second sentence I said was, ‘I don't think I'll ever be OK,’ and I don't believe that anymore,” said Granger. “I do believe that I'm going to be OK. And that would have never been the case if I hadn't gone through this journey.”

To learn more about Granger’s plans for the future of “Let’s Not Rot,” how the series allowed her to connect with someone impacted by the 2022 shooting at CVPA and how “small things lead to bigger things” when navigating grief, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or by clicking the play button below.

A St. Louis content creator navigates grief in ‘Let’s Not Rot’ series

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Ulaa Kuziez, Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Roshae Hemmings is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Roshae Hemmings is a production assistant for St. Louis on the Air.