Life coaching is immensely personal. That’s why I think it’s important that you get to know me enough to feel comfortable opening up. That way, we can get to the real, hard work of healing your past losses.
So, I’m sharing my journey and struggle with all kinds of losses, how these losses affected me and how I ultimately overcame them.
You may see your own story mirrored in mine. If not in the circumstances, then in the way I handled feelings of loss.
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The first time I experienced a profound loss was when I was seven years old. My dad left our home and family, and my parents divorced. At the time, there were no conversations about the emotions my siblings and I were feeling. This meant that I was left to deal with this pain alone. Like so many of us do, I defaulted to burying my feelings deep inside.
In the following years, my emotions compounded under the surface. In addition to going through the divorce, I was slowly realizing that my father was an alcoholic. I had a swarm of feelings to process about our relationship.
Until I completed the Grief Recovery Method program as an adult, I hadn’t realized how the tumultuous divorce had triggered grief for things that I hadn’t even considered: the loss of normalcy, the loss of feeling secure, the loss of trust in my parents and the loss of my childhood.
As I entered my teen years, these losses ate away at me, but I didn’t recognize or deal with the pain—I didn’t know how. I developed an eating disorder as a coping mechanism, which secretly ruled my life for years.
By the time I was an adult, a clear pattern for how I managed life changes had been set: I would repress my feelings as much as I could. A lot of my adult life seemed to go by in the blink of an eye, because I wasn’t fully living it.
When my stepfather passed away, I was 30. Within a few months, I sold my house and moved in with my mother for financial reasons. The grief from my stepfather’s death mingled with my loss of my independence and self-worth.
A few years later, my father suddenly died of a heart attack. I was a new mother at the time. My son was just two weeks old. Hiding behind my motherly duties, I packed my grief away as far as I could. Still, it felt like a struggle to get from one day to the next. That year should have been a time of deeply felt emotion—mourning my father and celebrating my new motherhood. Instead, I was negative, bewildered and numb.
When my kids were young, my mother moved in with us so I could care for her. She lived with us for seven years until her passing. I carried so many emotions of inadequacy about the kind of wife, mother and daughter I was during this stressful time.
As my kids grew up, my ways of dealing with emotion and loss continued to make my life less fulfilling. For example, I spent many months supporting my nephew after he was diagnosed with cancer. Even though he pulled through, I was emotionally drained as he went through the loss of his health and the loss of his young adulthood. I don’t believe I truly celebrated his recovery, because I was so fixated on what had been lost.
Later, my sister died at age 58 from COPD due to her lifelong smoking habit. This time, I let myself feel—but only the anger. I was so angry at her for choosing to continue to smoke, and this anger felt safer to feel than the sadness. Eventually, through the Grief Recovery Method I was able to forgive her. Forgiveness is a crucial element of the process, and it truly set me free.
Recently, I lost my two cherished dogs, Sasha and Spencer, within a year of each other. I had to mourn not only their lives, but the source of unconditional love they were for me.
Lastly, my children are set to go off to college soon, and then on to their own adult lives. Before doing the Grief Recovery Method program, I would have dealt with this huge life change the way I used to—by trying not to feel any of the emotions around it. I would have buried my emotions beneath layers of rationalization and busyness. I would have suffered for years and told no one.
Now, I feel prepared for this loss. I know how to process my emotions in a healthy way…and even how to enjoy them as a beautiful part of the human experience.
Thanks to the actions I took through the Grief Recovery Method, I feel fully present in my life and live every day with more authenticity, peace and joy.
Change can feel overwhelming. I can help ease some of the discomfort, gently guiding you with compassion. No judgement, just a place to review what has been working in your life and what is no longer serving you.
You know how you want to feel. Or maybe how you don't want to feel any longer.
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