The death of a loved one presents the biggest emotional challenge most of us will ever face.
Recently, I've gone through my own profound experience of grief as I looked after my former mother-in-law in the final days of her life.I want to share with you how I've coped and used the Thrive programme to deal with the maelstrom of emotions our family has been caught up in.
Why was I there?
You may think it's strange that I was there for the mother of my ex-husband, but we had a close bond during the 25 years I was her daughter-in-law.
Sadly, my first husband now has terminal cancer, so I stepped in to support his dying mother in his place, alongside her daughter.
Peaceful and serene
We worked hard to keep everything peaceful and serene, letting this extraordinary lady who loved fashion, music and colour live out her last days in comfort.
We held her hands, talked to her about old times and sang gently as she took her last breaths. It was deeply emotional, terribly sad and exhausting. But what struck me was how I'm able to use what I'd learned during the Thrive programme to manage my feelings.
I know my emotions are my own and I can take responsibility for them. Instead of dwelling on guilt, hurt and time lost following my divorce from her son, I can choose to focus on the lovely times we shared together.
My attitude can match hers, and I can smile thinking of her funeral - the day the mourners filled a church with so much colour that a bystander would assume it was a wedding, just as she wanted.
Of course, you will feel deep grief when someone you love dies. But you are not powerless against that grief. Taking responsibility for our emotions empowers us, and if I want to feel sad, I know that it's OK to give in to that but not allow it to overwhelm me. I can also choose to reflect positively on my mother-in-law's life and everything we meant to each other.
If you need help...
If you want to be proactive and learn how to be the best version of yourself - so that when life's unexpected events happen you have all the skills to hand and don't need to feel overwhelmed - contact Thrive with Kate
Food for thought
When Todd first came to me, he was in despair.
Although he was a talented chef, he had a terrible gambling problem, and it was ruining his professional and personal life.
He no longer had access to credit or debit cards but would use his wages to go out and gamble between shifts at the restaurant.
His partner was preparing to leave him and planned to take their young children with her.
We worked through the Thrive Programme together, and after six sessions, Todd said to me, "I now believe in myself, and I feel that I can achieve anything."
His attitude and outlook had changed, and he felt ready to put his life back together.
Great news for people who want Thrive Programme™ consultations but can't meet face-to-face! I can now offer sessions via Skype.
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