Is Instagram The Next Tinder or Plenty of Fish?

Life After Loss with Diane Parker

A few months since my last post and its been quite the journey – yes more self discovery!

I have been reviewing and changing the way I am going to bring my skills to my clients for my business. But I have also been on a personal journey of self discovery!

I went on a marketing course in March. We had to do exercises to find where our ideal clients might be. To hold a presence and to let more younger people know about my services, I joined Instagram.

My purpose was to connect with those who carry the pain of their loss(es) in order to help them heal their hearts through my skills as a therapist and Grief Recovery Specialist. If not in my area, seek out someone close to them to contact.

I am so very glad that I did do the training in The Grief Recovery Method. GRM teaches you about the need to Replace Your Loss! Opening yourself up after a significant loss is not easy! Especially if you are trying to heal that pain of loss by looking for another love to “Replace” your loss with. I can clearly see how vulnerable people on this platform could be taken advantage of, especially by those who ‘seek out’ those looking for love in their lives.

Nothing wrong with trying to find someone new for you, and yes, not everyone is doing that. I am sure that there are equally some genuine good people out there, perhaps lonely, looking for someone to share their life with.

By doing the Grief Recovery Method training, I healed the pain of loss that I had held in my heart from the death of my husband. I ‘let go’ of my ‘hopes dreams and expectations’ of our future together. Once I did that, I found such peace that I can look at his photos and laugh about the things we did during our 31 year marriage. Yes, I have moments of grief, but in those moments, I grieve and it passes.

As I started sharing my story on Instagram, I started to get messages from men. I asked how I could help with their loss(es). While most of the time the conversations were polite, they soon started asking if they could connect with me through email etc. At this point I kept them in the conversation part of Instagram. I know I could just have said ‘no’ to all these conversations, but I am here to help. Some of these just might be genuine! Especially with men who take a little longer to build a connection before sharing their pain.

If can relate to this? Are you looking for someone to heal your pain that you are holding in your heart? If so, please stop and address that pain. Please find a Grief Recovery Specialist in your area or contact me; email: Diane@Lifeafterlossiom.com I will help you find someone to support you. Then if you are luck enough to connect with someone in the future, you will be coming from a different place. From “I need you in my life” to “do I want you in my life”. A better quality question and more empowering.

There are some smooth talkers out there! Widows and Widowers beware! Embrace the future your heart desires after healing your pain of your loss(es). You will be much stronger to have direct conversations!

I can share with you, that having addressed ‘the pain of my loss’ that I often wondered if I was approached; would I feel guilt of thinking of another relationship after my husband? Interestingly I discovered the answer to be no. As you can guess one conversation continued for a while for that to be the answer. Where that ever goes, who knows, but I do count this as a gift for me to know that its okay for me to think about a future with someone else by my side.

With Love

Diane x

Suicide and Those Left Behind

I recently met with a Client from years ago for a coffee catch up.  I am so very proud of her and all that she has gone on to achieve with her life, fulfilling her hopes and dreams out of extremely difficult circumstances.

She said that I now “pop up” in her life as something has happened that she needs guidance on.  This time, it was a friend who had died from Suicide.  After a lengthy discussion, it also turned out that in an extended family way, I was connected to her friend through her son, and his father.  My client was obviously extremely shocked and then horrified that I had found out this way, but it had only happened a few days earlier and of course the immediate family were trying to “make sense” of what had happened.

About a week later, another friend of mine shared that his friend had also committed suicide.  Whilst my heart breaks for those who did not feel that they could reach out and talk through with someone before these deep rooted feelings lead them to take their own life, what about those who are left behind?

Instinctively people will hop on what I call the “wheel of life” Blaming themselves or others, Shaming themselves (I should have…./if only I/they had) or justifying themselves to themselves or others  …..)  This is usually part of the emotional isolation that people will retreat into while they try and “make sense” of what has happened and trying to understand why?  Focusing on the cause of the loss, increases that isolation for those  left behind.

In the Grief Recovery Handbook they ask the following  painful question.  Would you miss your loved one any less if he or she had died some other way? The answer is always no.

As for anyone who has experienced a loss would be asked the question; of what is left emotionally unfinished for you as a result of this death?

Whatever the tragic circumstances, perhaps leading to the need for jury verdicts, media coverage or lawsuits – when that is all over, you are still left with what is emotionally unfinished between you and your loved one. For anyone to say do what you need to have “closure” is unhelpful and inaccurate.  To have peace with the unfairness of it all and acknowledge that we have been affected by the circumstances of the death will happen for you when you decide you are ready to become emotionally complete.  The Grief Recover Method programme will help you do just that.

Then there is Guilt!  A misused word applied to grief.  Did you yourself intend any harm to your loved one? NO.  Guilt implies harm – its in the dictionary!  Any time that you feel what we have come to learn as “Guilt” remember the true meaning of the word!

Perhaps there is an image that you are struggling with, especially if you found your loved one.  Which was a very traumatic experience for you.  Trauma and PTSD are general terms about the impact of Loss.  Grief is the natural emotion that we have towards those losses.  Labeling those losses as trauma and PTSD moves you away from your recovery of those losses.  You will find a whole chapter in the Grief Recovery Handbook devoted to helping you with this subject as it covers such a wide range of associations.  Defined n the Oxford English dictionary Trauma – psychic wound, unpleasant experience that causes abnormal stress, linked now to PTSD.   You may need the support of a therapist while also completing the GRM programme.  Please do ask for help and support.

I know from my own experience dealing with “trying to control” my feelings and emotions after I first lost my husband was extremely tiring, exhausting!  I felt frustrated that I could not “shift” that energy!  (as someone who is an advocate of NLP this was extremely annoying that I couldn’t change my state – or if I did, it would only be for a short time).  I kept visualising my husband lying in the ITU, then laid out.  These images at that moment takes over all other happy images and memories.    I was mentally and  physically drained by the time I found and completed the Grief Recovery Method.  I slept so much better afterwards.  The GRM helped ease the pain in my heart and so when I looked at his pictures (which I found extremely difficult), the pain had eased.   I came to learn was because my heart had to heal.  My heart was broken, not my head!

We get a lot of misinformation handed down by generations from one to the next.  People will teach what THEY know which was most likely what they themselves were taught.  If you are struggling, perhaps even asking what is “wrong with you” please know that there is nothing wrong with you.  Go and find a Grief Recovery Specialist to help you relearn how YOU do grief.  because you are unique, one shoe does not fit all!

Equally, if you are reading this and have had feelings towards Suicide please please go and reach out to anyone, just talk to someone.  Find a therapist, they are taught to help without judgement, blaming or shaming.  If you are feeling ‘out of control’ speaking to someone is you doing just that. You are taking steps to help yourself and take back your control of you.  Or just want to talk please   phone the Samaritans. Their number is 116 123.

Tomorrow I am co-hosting a talk on the Grief Recovery Method with my friend, Dianne Lewis.  If you would like us to come along and talk to your group/office, please let me know.  email Diane@mlaiom.com.  The more we get people talking about their losses in life, the freer it will become.  Less fearful to share and say, “I am grieving, will you listen to me?

 

 

 

 

Lets Talk About Divorce/Relationships

Hi I have recently been talking with a few people about their relationships, some have lead to divorce.  Some of these people were still heart broken as they “had know idea” of what their partner was thinking, until it was “too late”.

I for one do not think that any thing is too late – until it is! Death is pretty final, right?  But some of these heart broken people have gone on to new relationships, some are still struggling, why?  Unresolved grief.  Some of these people had not identified that they had had a “loss” in the sense that they did not recognise that they were grieving! Loss of trust, loss of hopes, dreams and expectations of their future together.

Some carry the guilt of making the decision to end the relationship, and in some cases then rushed into new relationships (especially if their new partner was the reason for the break-up of the previous relationship) without first healing themselves.

To anyone with knowledge of The Grief Recovery Method, it would be apparent that these people have been taught to “replace the loss” and had not finished processing their loss.  This is where the Grief Recovery Method will help you with those relationships, to find peace leading to closure.  After that, should you need to “clean up” your current relationship, you can do the process again with your relationship with your new partner.

Think about this, if you are ‘still angry’ with your old partner – and they have moved on, who is that affecting?  How is that impacting on your health?  Are you sleeping? You may have had well meaning friends saying “Oh there is plenty more fish in the sea”.  These people have learned to replace the losses in their lives.  They want to support you and think this will help ease your pain, but it will not.  Why?  Because it was your heart that was broken, not your head!

Life in fear of your feelings no more, reach out to someone and work on having closure so that you can be at peace.  Give it time??? Time is not a healer – action is!  If you had a puncture, would you sit in front of the wheel saying give it time – the air will go back in!  I’ve put a plaster on the hole!

In the Grief Recovery Method, you are taken through steps to understand how you feel and have been taught in respect of loss.  We are taught how to “acquire” things but not what to do if they are then lost.

I am really enjoying seeing these people have their light bulb moments, healing their hearts and finding peace. Of course the effect of immediate family members can also be healed when doing this work.

This is an extract from a recent feedback sheet.

Di has helped me and my family regain our closeness and made me realise that I am only responsible for making myself happy!

Di showed me that issues in my past can affect my present and future and helped me to address things that I didn’t think were causing me pain.  Thank you for helping bring our family back together..

I love my JOB!  Can’t really call it that though – I have too much fun helping people create their own peace.

 

My first blog

Finally I am getting around to doing this task!

Well being – at Nedbank Private Welath

After managing to get a few lessons from my Webmaster, here I am, finally posting my first blog.  You can find out more about me from the main website, but this is a place for me to just share my thoughts.

Being “on my own” after 31 years has proven so many difficult challenges which I have had fantastic help and support with.  The first thing I would say is if you need help, find the brave person in side and just ask someone.  For years I though I had to do everything myself – I should know, but the truth is we don’t.  If we take that deep breath and say “can you help me” it is truly amazing what doors open with the right kind of people who walk into your life.  I am always in gratitude of these people, who became close friends.

My first experience of the right person sliding into my life and has continued to be there for me, supporting, guiding and sharing my journey completely is Di Lewis.  I asked for help for my massage clients who were experiencing meltdowns on the massage table.  I wanted to find something to help these clients, and NLP crossed my path and with that Dianne.  Di has been with me every step of the way on my journey, and we often work together.  Again she is the reason why I ended up doing the Grief Recovery Method, knowing the pain I was in having lost Andrew, and 3 months later, my little sister was diagnosed with cancer.  Now we offer talks together on the GRM.  My gratitude for this lady is never-ending.  We were brought together at the right time to support each other.  Actually asking for help though can be a challenge, if you are not used to that!

One of the first that I reached out to was Lynn Kelly from Nedbank Private Wealth.  There is a scheme called Investors in People which Nedbank Private Wealth are proud owners of the Gold Award, and have been for many years.  They work with staff and their well-being.  Lynn understands that in doing this, that the staff will feel more supported and therefore appreciated resulting in happier workers.  She had me come in a few times for bespoke talks which really helped build my confidence at presentations.  Pictured above.  Training me too, ha ha.

The next big “impact-ers” in my life is my lawyer and friend Mark Humphrey of Long and Humphrey.  Mark along with his wife Joyce cared for and supported  me and my husband in our last years together like I would never have imagined.  Mark helped us organise my husbands Will and estate, before and after his passing.  I would highly recommend him if you yourself have not yet had a Will made.  I was grateful that Andrew had sorted his Will, I just hope that he was happy with my funeral arrangements.

After my loss, my next concern was my financial future. Typically I have dipped my toe into trying to build wealth in the past but things had not gone to plan.  I was even told that I was too old to get a pension!  Thank goodness I found Julie Owen through another friend, Russell Collister.  I knew that Russ was very experienced in the financial world, but not in the area that I was looking for support.  Thank goodness for Julie.

Julie Owen helped me by first giving me a book to read called “Enough” by Paul D Armson.  Even the gesture of giving me the book I knew that I had found the right person to support me.  Julie was interested in me – not what I potentially had (or didn’t have) in my financial pot.  The book and Julie work on the premise of working on your own financial plan to work out “how much is ENOUGH” for YOU!  Wow, big pressure off the expectations that I had had gained over the last 10 years of what I was supposed to earn/create as wealth.  Finances had always been an issue for me.  My hubby would say its not money you hate Di, it’s the lack of it!  Of course he was right.  I had so many plans I wanted to create with him, and I still do!  I have always felt rich in every other aspect of my life, the love I have know, the children we have had and the beautiful place that I live.  This one area of my life really alluded me.

I set about the tasks that Julie set me – and read the book.  I then did the Grief Recovery Method on my finances!  You can do this method on anything that you are struggling with as it helps identify your patterns of behaviour.  As with most people, we do have patterns that we would like to end!  All of this helped me get a new perspective of my relationship with money/finances.  What was interesting was that I started off “on the subject of money” and it soon came around to me!  The language changed part way through.

So why have I identified these four people in particular?  Because there are a few things that my hubby and I did that if we had had the knowledge I believe we would have done a few things differently.

As he was ill, and while not always displaying this, we knew it was “there” we decided to save our funds for holidays to create memories for our sons.  After all these are the only things that we ever leave behind of meaning.  What does someone think and feel of you when you are no longer here?  It would have been good to have had a good savings plan, paid monthly that would have helped either one of us – should one pass before the other.  He would not have managed to get critical health, but I have now.  I guess it comes down to what makes you feel secure in order that you can just stop worrying about the “what ifs” for you.  We had life insurance while the mortgage was with us, but that stopped when the mortgage was paid.  A small amount each month would have helped me (or him if I had gone first) if we had just look into continuing this or a similar plan.

Ideally I know that if we had spoken to of Julie Owen before his passing, we would have still had the holidays to create the memories, but a comfort blanket.  What I didn’t realise is that there is no longer a Widows pension.  That sucks!  So if you loose someone and have no plans in place you are expected to just get back out to work.  How productive do you really thing that you will be under those circumstances!  Really, call Julie Owen! 07624 466788

Do you have a Will?  Andrew and I had parts of the Will sorted.  We were in the middle of sorting some other things out like our bank accounts, when he passed.  A friend Brian Stott advised him to put all our accounts into joint names or just use the single ones for “pocket money surprises”.  This saves money with probate or delays to access their account.  Now I know that may seem callus but here is why.

My lawyer Mark said look at his bank statements, go through them to identify what bills he has that you need to cover/take over.  That was the first problem.  Andrew had gone paperless!  I did not have access to his aps or log in for the accounts to see this information.   I went down to the bank and fortunately a friend was behind the counter.  She took me into a room to a manager to discuss my needs.  A lovely chap who when I shared my predicament looked almost shocked as the reality of what we are now creating crossed his own mind!  Of course he couldn’t help until the probate had happened but guided me as best he could.  I also think he changed a few things at home! Even if you do not want to share this information with your partner right now, put the information in a place that can be accessed if you die – or in a sealed envelope with a lawyer! Along with your Will!  01624 651951 is Mark’s number or Long & Humphrey.com

As for Lynn and Di I am grateful to them for their continued support.  Both of them help me with not just their love but contacts for work.  Not everyone wants to say I need help – I need to talk to someone, but really do – ask your trusted friends who would they go to for support? Here is a quick list for you to just have somewhere safe at home that will help your loved ones.

Your Will – a copy or the name of the Lawyer to contact.  I personally would advise you to use a non family member to be your executor as that can be tricky and not save money if the Will is contested.

Your funeral – How would you want your funeral to be?  What songs would you want?  Interned or cremated? Black or colour attire?  Eulogy.  I often think it would be fun to do a video and start it with “only joking” I’m on holiday in paradise!

Your personal documents – tidy up your financial affairs and have them in one place.  Put instructions if you feel it would help guide those who are grieving and trying to sort this out for you.

My Webmaster said to not write more than 2000 words or you will get bored reading this….sorry I have no idea how long this is, but I do hope that you have found some useful information here.