Recently, while taking a moment to reflect, I had an epiphany…
Although I’ve been posting regular blogs and most of you know I am a Beyond Loss Expert, you may not realise WHY I am so passionate about assisting all who have suffered any kind of loss to move beyond it and create their better everyday life.
I am going to take you back to Sunday the 10th of July 2011.
My husband slept in and now at 8:30am, I’m up and starting to look at what we can have for brekkie.
Andrew is walking down the stairs to take the rubbish out, and as he opens the back door he yells out “Bloody hell, Dan is passed out at the back door.” Alarm bells go off as I run down the stairs, hitting one or two of them, as even though Dan our 27-year-old son, does at times drink too much, he always makes it home to bed.
Dan is lying there, asleep in the fetal position and we start to push him: Dan, Dan wake up. He has saliva coming out of his mouth, but he won’t wake up.
“Dan, Dan wake up, wake up. Please wake up Dan.”
As we roll him onto his back, his legs stay in the same position.
I start to panic inside as my thoughts go everywhere…………… Frigging hell, surely that is not what rigor mortis looks like? No no no he is not dead. My baby (by a minute) cannot be dead. Shut up, you watch too many crimes shows. All is good, the ambulance is on the way and they will get him to hospital. They will make him better.
The paramedics did quickly arrive, and within seconds they say the words no mother, no parent, ever wants to hear. “Sorry ‘mam he is dead, probably has been for a few hours…………”
We found out much later, that his lungs had failed him.
He was only 27. Parents are never meant to bury their children. What does one do in that situation? What would you do?
I did everything that I now advise others NOT TO DO. I chose survival and went straight back to work. At the time I was a CFO of National Leisure and Gaming LTD. A publicly listed company.
Eating more, Drinking more and Working even harder.
My CFO lifestyle was unhealthy, on many levels and the stress of it all, was taking its toll, long before Dan passed. Have a look at these photos. They are my 2007 and 2017 passport photos. Look at the 2007 photo. As you can see, I am carrying more weight. I look more masculine and I have not even got my lipstick on properly. Now, I realise just how disconnected I was from the real me.
And my eyes certainly confirm that. Every time I look at the picture, I hear the words “Elvis has left the building” except it’s “Karen, has left the building.”
Can you relate? Do you ever feel disconnected? Do you ever feel that you’re successful though deep down you feel empty / unfulfilled?
What has changed within me over the ten years? Why am I so different?
I can tell you it’s not just the lipstick!! Why do I look ten years younger in the 2017 photo, considering it’s ten years later? Especially when you consider that most people age after losing a child! I now feel that Dan’s death was always meant to have been my wake-up call.
But I did not allow it to be. As it was easier for me to stay in survival and just carry on. That is after all what we are all advised to do ~ Give it time, keep busy, just carry on! So about 15 months later, I was given another life changing choice to make when life threw me another curve ball. The company I had given my life to went through a merger. I was offered a lesser role, with less pay and more responsibility or redundancy.
This time, I chose me and took the redundancy. This was my first step towards unwrapping the Gift of Loss.
Leading me on a journey of learning how to Become My Own Best Friend and to design a Life that I Live and Love each and every day.
Along the pathway I noticed that we are taught to acquire things and people, we are not taught what to do when the things and people are lost to us. I noticed that we all experience many loss events and that it leads to grief and suffering. And whilst our friends and family have the best intentions, they move on, leaving us to suffer in silence.
No wonder this has led to $trillion alcohol & pharmaceutical industries as well as such a massive increase in suicides. It does not have to be this way. That is why, I became a Beyond Loss Expert and created The Gift of Loss 5-Step Process.
That is why I wrote this. To let you know that if you or any of your friends are grieving and suffering there is an easier way. A way that leads to them unwrapping the gift of loss and designing a life that they live and love each and every day.
Thank you for reading why I do what I do. And why I am so driven to make sure no one else has to walk one step along the pathway that I had to walk.
Until next time, stay well and remember to reach out if I can assist you in any way.
With love and gratitude,