I am a professional musician turned advanced certified grief recovery specialist. After losing my father and stepfather to cancer, I began a tumultuous grief journey. I fell into a deep depression, lost motivation to take care of my health, created distance in my relationships (this led to my marriage falling apart), and believed no one would ever understand the heaviness of my losses which made me feel utterly alone. I not only lost two of my favorite people but also lost myself in the process. My thoughts and beliefs had rolled into one single narrative: “I will never feel happiness again.”
Desperate to find healing, I read a variety of books written on grief, sought comfort in those who had also lost loved ones and did deep research as to why grief felt so incomprehensible. I was introduced to an unorthodox method of working through grief by The Grief Recovery Institute and that is where my healing journey began. It became very apparent how ill-equipped I was in handling my grief. I hadn't grown up being raised let alone taught to understand HOW to work through loss. I realized if I felt this way, then I knew there were others out there also struggling to grasp the beast that was/is grief.
Now, I have made it my mission to break the stigma around the topic of grief by debunking the myths surrounding how we're expected to grieve, teach people how to ask for/give support and help people release the pain, isolation and loneliness caused by their loss. In turn, those who are struggling are finally able to find healing, peace, purpose and happiness again. I enjoy doing this deep work because it's rewarding to see lives transform in a relatively short period of time. Though I miss my fathers dearly, I am grateful to have turned my pain into my power as it helps me to inspire, encourage and support others in their healing journeys.
Hiking allows me to re-energize myself and protect my peace. When I'm climbing mountains and looking out across the land, I feel centered.
Music is my first love and will always have a special place in my heart. I believe it has healing properties in it of itself. I sing and play guitar to unwind and relieve stress. One of my favorite songs to play is "Hotel California" which was my dad's favorite tune.
There is a freedom that I feel when I ride my bike. My stepfather taught me how to ride at the age of 8 and I've been an avid rider ever since! When I'm on my bike, I feel close to him; each ride is a gift.