Chicks Talking Shift

Growing through Grief Special Guest Series with Erin Browning - Free Gift Link

February 24, 2021 Angel & Alecia Season 1 Episode 5
Chicks Talking Shift
Growing through Grief Special Guest Series with Erin Browning - Free Gift Link
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

(Audio from video podcast)
“We’re so resilient as humans. Sometimes hearing someone else’s story is a perfect reminder of the resilience we share as a common bond.” ~Erin Browning


Loss is a form of change. Grief is a response to change. Change is uncomfortable and often triggers growth.  Growing through grief is possible when we seek healthy perspectives and resources to help us move out of the chaos of darkness and into the light.

Erin Browning joins us in our Special Guest Series and shares her touching story of loss and healing.  This optimistic conversation gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to grief...

  • The rawness of the grieving process - allowing its expression
  • Social expectations - sifting through your needs and what others expect
  • Seeking higher truth in the heavier emotions - managing the pity parties
  • Self-care while grieving?! It’s possible but may look different

So whether you’re grieving a loss or struggling with uncertainty, this uplifting show offers a sense of support and encouragement for your precious journey.

Peace Up & Big Love!
Angel & Alecia
Wayshowers for The Awakening
Free Shift Gift Download - 20 Pearls of Wisdom for Grief

Erin Browning on Instagram
Erin Browning on Facebook

Link to Angel's book Dedicated to Destiny

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welcome to Chicks Talking Shift I’m Angel and I’m Alecia and today we are talking with a special guest here on our special guest series a woman named Erin Browning a very good friend of ours who's recently gone through a massive life change she's experienced loss not only of her significant other but of love in her life and this conversation it really explains a lot of what we're all experiencing on many different levels how about it Alecia yeah absolutely so really kind of the purpose of this show is is how to create awareness around dealing with death and loss and transformation and there's so much of that in the air just on a global perspective and so I think it's a really really important show we talk a lot about what support is like when you go through this type of loss self-care during a time of crisis and we also talk about pity parties that come around with big loss and and grief and working through a sense of victimization and practicing self-love and really kind of continuing just to show up in the in the in the hardship as well as dealing with social expectations through law really great conversation of course we navigate through the six stages of transformation which might be another tool for you for anybody who is experiencing loss or going through a grieving period of your own so enjoy this conversation as I know we did well and as always we're always looking for the silver linings there are plenty as Erin shared with us today enjoy the


hello everybody welcome back to chick's talking shift I’m Angel Carlton and I’m Alecia rice and Alecia you are in the light today look at you yeah look at that I’ll probably fade in and out it's uh it's a bit of a partly cloudy day so there'll be a little bit of this and that today we have one of our really good friends with us on our special guest series and we're talking about a topic that many of us can relate to especially after and during the year 2020 and that is the feeling of loss the feeling of grief and even death how about that Alecia it's something that a lot of people are dealing with on a lot of different levels whether they've had a loved one that's passed recently whether due to covet or something else or but the truth is I mean most of us have suffered a sense of loss and grief since the pandemic because so much has changed so very rapidly so I think it's probably a topic that most people will be able to relate to I totally agree we've all experienced some level of loss and we'll be able to relate to Erin's story in our own lives in some way so let's go ahead and introduce our guest hello Erin welcome to hi Erin hello hey how are you all right how about yourself good good we're so happy you're here yeah thank you for having me it's been really really cool to learn about your story and how you have beautifully and so eloquently shared it on facebook and social media it feels like a book in the making I I just want to say thank you for having the courage to share your story and especially with us today so Alecia you want to tell our listeners our guests a little bit about our special guest today oh definitely this is one of the loves of my life right here she's one of my girls we've been friends for a very long time and we've had a lot of adventures together and have gone through a lot of ups and downs during life Erin wears I just she fascinates me because from my perspective she's a cliff diver right she's one of those chicks that when her heart calls her to something she just jumps and figures that she's going to be able to deal with anything no matter what's waiting on her on on the other side for and I so so admire that about her now she's got a she's got a really really textured background she's got a masters and as a speech pathologist I’ve known her to be a national speaker educating medical professionals and and others on differently wired brains aging dementia kids with autism and adhd and she does this work so beautifully because she's such a heart-centered person and so Angel I think one time you might have done a little bit of numerology on her and she was what her a nine which I think you said is a humanitarian which I think totally suits her exactly it fits her to a t and I’ve had the honor of meeting Erin on a couple of different occasions on our goddess girl retreats that we've uh that you've actually organized Alecia so I have had some really cool moments with you Erin and that I cherish so you are you are the ultimate humanitarian and animal lover people lover lover of life huge heart and we're just ecstatic that you're here so what are you up to these days what have you been doing so it's funny as you talk about that the as you describe the number nine and the humanitarian I laugh a little bit because when I went to send you all my bio I was like what what is this if you would have asked me that say seven weeks ago I would have said oh no that's my bio one of the things that I’ve said for years is when I solely operated as a speech pathologist I would say I’m a people therapist a lot of times people specialize in pediatrics or adults or one particular thing and I said that's not really me so I’m very much a people person um not that I’m an extrovert but that I really want to make a difference for people that's where my heart lies so I’ve recently entered into a two-year educational experience and became an ayurvedic health counselor so I do some work in traditional ayurveda but I also really specialize more in breath work and one-on-one sessions with that I have said because ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand and everybody says well what kind of yoga do you do and I said I’ve been really busy with the yoga of life that has been my my blanket statement for years now I’ve been very busy and I do also practice yoga but I don't have like a set thing so that is difficult to talk about sometimes but currently what I’m doing um I still have my my foot in the world of speech pathology a bit and I’ve been fortunate enough to build a caseload of patients that I really feel like I can make a great difference with I work in a rural community and that has worked out beautifully for me but largely my work at this point is breath work and arya veda on a one-on-one level again if you would have asked me eight weeks ago I would have told you that I was getting ready to launch online courses what has happened is number one covid came and my courses had to get revamped because they were totally irrelevant when you're dealing with courses about self-care and you don't even address the fact that our whole world has been flip-flopped that doesn't make sense so I had to scrap where I was start over and then you know seven weeks ago my partner passed so now those courses are irrelevant to me maybe someday they will be on the forefront of what I’m doing but right now I am healing myself first and foremost and taking care of myself and also serving and the way I’m serving is through one-on-one sessions with people who want to go deeper into breath work that's are you vedically inspired everything that you just said really pertains to the shift because you are right in the middle of it not just the collective shift that we're all going through but really on a very deeply personal level so that's one of the things that you refer to as that life recently threw you a curveball but do you want to share a little bit about what your recent experience has been that shook the ground underneath your your feet and brought you to a place of reevaluating and really nurturing yourself first and foremost before even your professional life seven weeks ago now I went to work it was a normal day it was December 7th everything seemed all right had a good day I texted my significant other and we were not married he was my life partner we have been together five years and we lived together so I texted him on my way home you know what what do you want to do for dinner we'll talk about it when you get home everything seemed fine came home we had some conversation we went out for a nice meal we ate mexican food we had a margarita we came home we watched reality tv I’m obsessed with kate chastain we had a great evening we were intimate we had good conversation we had a beautiful evening together and he like I said in hindsight he made one comment that he had some indigestion and maybe we shouldn't eat mexican food again but that isn't the thing that generally pushes one to go to the er because you have a little indigestion especially with no major history of heart disease he went to bed um I came into bed a little later he was still awake or woke up I don't know but we said our good nights and our I love yous and hugged and kissed and and he said if I if I’m not comfortable and I toss and turn because my stomach is upset then I’m gonna go to the couch and about 45 minutes later I heard a and I’m gonna call it a moan because I don't have a word for it but it is a guttural sound and I woke immediately went into the living room and found him at that point unconscious I went to him and started you know to shake him I think screaming Dave Dave realized I needed to call 9-1-1 so I grabbed my phone called 9-1-1 and then proceeded to pull him off the couch onto our floor and Dave was a big man so I’m five three if I’m giving myself a little extra credit and he was you know 6'3 200 and some odd pounds and I pulled him onto the floor and began cpr and it didn't work when I reflect upon this and get out of like the minutia of what happened in those moments there was something a little bit bigger at play I knew very clearly that this wasn't going to work I tried the emts came very quickly they tried I knew the entire time at one point I even said how long are you guys going to keep doing this to him because it was just super clear to me that it wasn't that he had transitioned yeah out of that you know the details of just the evening something bigger at play it was very clear like there was no iffyness about it and in that loss there's been a moment where I’ve realized too he would have been a horrible patient he would have been a horrible person uh differently abled person he just was he lived this huge full very physical very communicative and I can't imagine how he would have coped with any of them very well Erin do you mind me asking about your feelings at that time cpr paramedics the realization he's gone how did you describe those feelings so at that time I was in utter shock one of the paramedics actually knew me and knew Dave he asked where Dave's son was and I said he's with his mother he's in Florida he said okay and they got right to the job and none of it was adding up for me it was very surreal for a couple weeks it was very very surreal um but in that very moment it just seemed nothing was adding up understandably so shocking the shock and you knew in some way your life will never be the same from that well yeah yeah that's an instantaneous feeling I think that hit me was now what I mean in fact in the in the hours after I went told Dave's mother what had happened I called Dave's ex-wife so that she could because she and Dave's son were visiting her parents and so I called her and then I came home and I just started like pacing around the floors just all over the home and throwing things away and cleaning that's that's I do that to avoid things I clean I I don't know why that's my go-to thing but uh yes isn't that strange it's like we have to occupy ourselves because there's this void we don't know how to fill it we've never experienced this void before it's an incredibly awkward there's no right or wrong rhyme or reason when that occurs so as a conscious woman which you are and a well-seasoned practitioner this obviously has put you into a state of overwhelm at this point and it's really difficult to function in that place but what surprised you two things surprised me the first thing that surprised me was my immediate tendency to buck self-care I mean I even said to a friend self-care is [ __ ] now mind you if you go look at my instagram I’ve talked about self-care for two years this is such [ __ ] no self-care there is no such thing as self-care what I realized was and I did not know this at the time but what I realized was I had practiced self-care when life was easier so all of these things are now automatic the things that were sustaining me were coming a little bit easier like I knew I needed to walk a lot that became a thing that I did to care for myself and I’m and I’ll lead into the second thing here in just a second but like I knew I needed to drink water like hydrate walk move my body sleep I knew I needed to do certain things and I had to they were paramount to my well-being but it was not breathe I needed to breathe and I found myself not being able to do the breath work practice so I found myself like a horse you know how a horse goes yeah that's what I was doing I was just breathing like a horse and I’ve learned um over time where in some of my work that they do that the horses do that to regulate themselves ah what they're doing is regulating their system so I was like ins in the animal of my body so much that the thought of self-care just didn't compute it's so interesting Erin because everything that you mentioned is very very basic survival things what it feels like to me is all the fluff about how we have a tendency to think about self-care sometimes the bubble baths all of that sort of thing all of that really falls away because you're just in survival mode and I’m resilient enough to make it that it's a brilliant design we humans are brilliantly designed the other thing that surprised me greatly was I had this outpouring of support that I did not anticipate I was just blown away and so for people who don't have that I don't know how they get through there's got to be some source of support that it was amazing to me how much support I had from friends from community from David's friends from my family you know I had a friend we'd only been in physical presence with one another three times ever she stopped and came to my house for a week because she felt like our culture doesn't do that we we do a quick funeral we do a viewing and we go back to life three what three days bereavement leave and she said in so many other cultures that it's at least a full week and so that was a huge outpouring of support I don't know what I would have done without it let me say I’ve not lost anybody I haven't lost anybody real close to me so I’m kind of naive as far as death and loss and grief and even how to try to support others not having any of my own experience to tap into and so you talk about a circle of women surrounding you I was so touched by the beauty of her offer and this and the and the spirit that she offered it with that I was so taken with that I will always remember that and it showed me how important it can be to even make that offer I never seen a model like that before so that your experience with her changed me the way that gina interacted to in terms of elevated consciousness she was observant enough that she would watch me and if I would start to like look at some things that maybe were Dave's things she would come over and say do you want to move this somewhere else or can I help you do something with that she never was intrusive about it but she basically like Marie Condo'd three rooms of my house for me in the time that I was there it just felt natural she watched my cues it was an amazing gift I wouldn't have had that support if Dave and I had not been who we are yes we have worked to cultivate that in our community we did a lot of volunteer work in the community for the autism center we knew people in the community he knew he grew up there so I met people through him but just the the way that we try have tried to live over the past few years cultivated support for me yeah I kind of saw it as it was almost like fairly instant karma from my perspective because what I saw you and Dave put out in the community with being of service and creating so many great things to stay active and supportive in your community that what you put out came right back to you and there's a lot of people that aren't involved like that and may not have very large families that you basically get what you put out and so that was one of the things that was really obvious to me very quickly with your circumstance is that with all the love and the attention and you know educating people and the presence that you guys put in the community it was right there back supporting you yeah and you most needed it and I and you didn't have any idea that loss was coming and so to see that come back so quickly had to feel very like you were cocooned yeah it was love again a different kind of love but love there's almost as many types of love as kind of like they talk about the eskimos have a hundred different names for snow and so you have really been working through a lot of the different facets of love through this experience yeah that's very true so true can I read you guys something absolutely this is about consciousness and shifts right so I don't want to spend the whole time like in the minutia of my emotions and this was like a week after Dave had died this is what came out of me the art of my life that I’m ready to see right now I’m ready to tell a new story it's time to get clear on my lack of brokenness my wholeness as a human because of being loved and accepted with faults I am done writing that old story of hurt and pain that came from mistreatment from another time that caused me to feel less than this old story is no longer allowed to flow through me or flow from me I am here I’m ready I’m willing to believe that the entirety of me is valuable and lovable I accept and I allow Dave's love to be sufficient and I know that it fed me perfectly for so long the infinite love of god carry it at all to love and be fully loved is here even as it's gone from my life in this moment in time now there's just more I can experience a different way of being of loving myself and I can feel certain in the wildness of the unknown there is more to come for me I don't know what but in this chaos there is a stability that cannot be lost knowing the love that he and I shared wow wow that is so beautiful that is so beautiful and that's that was a week after he died that was the first time I'd put in pen I'd put pen to paper now let me be super clear that is not where my head is every minute of every day but I go back to that that's where I circle back and I circle back and it's a conscious practice to circle back to that love it's a practice healing in itself is a practice and as I talk about often the six stages of transformation that we go through when events like this occur in our lives first one being realizing oh my god my life is never going to be the same the second one is releasing in your case a huge release took place and loss and now you're clearly in this rebounding stage which is what we all go through during times of change whether the change is good bad however you want to label it and so in this rebounding stage Erin what are some of the practices because I noticed in your writing your writing is very healing it's like reading this beautiful love story novel what you just read to us was incredible what other practices are you adopting for the self-care that year that you decide the self-care that's terrible exactly one of the things is clearly to remind myself and I actually have a visual reminder that I wrote and I put on my mirror that says this is not linear as much as it does happen in stages there's so much like I can feel all that in one day and I can have the moment of rebound and then go right back to realizing I have that is one clear practice is to remind myself this is not linear and they're very basic self-care practices and what has happened is as I’ve healed I’ve been able to pull more things in that I was doing before I am walking nothing extraordinary just walks I am writing and I tend to set intention that I’m going to try to be as present with Dave as I can be when I write and I do that every morning now if you are looking at my social media I don't generally write and then immediately put it on social media because I try to make a practice not to be on social media when I am emotionally charged and so I feel like it just makes a little bit more sense to have a layer in between those things so I’m writing very intentionally there is one self-care practice that I actually just picked back up last week again it was one of those things that I had learned long ago it's called abianga and that is an ayurvedic practice it's been very difficult to get warm so I got some specific oil that helps with uh invigorating uh pitta or that fire in you and and helps kind of increase the warmth and I'd massage my own body head to toe and just basically bathe myself in love with that oil and then leave it on for about an hour and then shower it off they're super simple practices lemon water with a little bit of coconut oil in it and then I added in turmeric last week too to decrease inflammation you know those have been like the key practices and connecting like allowing myself to connect and ask for connection if I need it with friends even when we are in a weird time in our world just reaching out as needed and I remember just speaking with you shortly after all of this occurred you were talking about doing yoga this oh I need to do yoga I need to do but all you can do in your yoga practice was simply just lay there yeah I cried I just laid in god yes and that's that was beautiful because that's that is a form of yoga as well yeah you know I came and stayed with you for a little while and we talked about the fact that you're a real on it kind of chick oh you're a businesswoman you're an entrepreneur and you're you've got a busy life and so you're usually you're used to just navigating your life however you need to but one of the things that you talked about was that it felt like your brain just wasn't working and the fact that you're not a list maker traditionally but you had to make lists to make sure that everything was dealt with because you weren't feeling so secure that you would just be able to remember it yeah simple stuff I mean I’ve always been able to function at a level where I don't have to like write down every email I need to send I know a lot of people do that and have those checklists but that has not been a way I’ve ever operated in the world and I started having to do that I I set a alarm in my phone to give my dogs their medicine yeah I was afraid I was going to forget to give the dogs the medicine yeah well you know one thing that was super helpful when you came and stayed with me Alecia you came with like a toolbox of let's do these things and some of the things that we did were really highly spiritual things and some were like spiritual but we just watched a movie yeah and that was helpful because I was in this space of not even like turning on the television I I felt more normal that week than I had in a while so if um someone's watching this or listening to this and they are supporting someone dealing with grief and loss having some tools in your toolbox it's not a bad idea well the thing was is that when I when I came up I had no intention whatsoever except to love you and support you and be with you wherever you were I came as a space holder because that's holding space is one of my superpowers so I knew that I would be seeking spirit while I was there and and just observing you and where you were didn't have any intention of pulling you out of the grief and your process but as I was there some things started bubbling up in me that felt like they could enhance your process to meet you where you were and something that would feed you and nourish your spirit and your mind maybe in different ways I cherish that time that we were together Alecia doing what she does best you really do bring a lot of gifts to the table and that that is definitely one of your super powers is just knowing the right thing to be for people just beautiful one of the things that I’ve learned when someone passes that's really close to somebody to be a support system for them is just to try to do regular chick check-ins it got to the point with Ern when I was checking in with her the common phrase of so how you doing today that wasn't appropriate because I knew she was all over the map I mean one minute she can be okay the next minute she can't be but I was I was trying to figure out how do I check in with her without asking for all of the complexity and the textured things that she was feeling but I really more than anything was trying to take her take the temperature of how are you today and so one of the things we came up with is just so when I say how are you just give me a one to ten that way I know where you are on the scale of things predominantly and so it helps me understand do I need to push a little bit more do I need to try to enter the space a little bit more to be there for to draw her out a little bit or is she just doing really well and it's like okay I just go ahead and give her her space so that was one of the things that we we talked about how do you check in without really taking a bunch of energy from them or expecting them to write a whole lot or or get that standard uh response oh I’m fine I’m doing okay as good as can be expected you have no way of gauging so I love that it's a great tool so Erin I really want to ask you about something that we all experience in times of loss like this or the grieving process when some this type of shocking event occurs and that is the pity party the victimization the poor me why is this happening we know you're experiencing it's a natural part of the process how are you navigating through that and processing that part of transformation right now um so writing is a big piece of that for me and when I am writing I I tend to go through a process where I just allow emotion to come out first and process through that I’m angry I’m sad I’m overwhelmed and I actually have a specific process that I use for this all I go through a whole series of emotions and this is the higher truth in that and I try to just let that flow out of me and write that and then hang on to that higher truth because while it is helpful that we acknowledge and be in those emotions I fully believe that there's a level of like spiritual bypassing that is toxic to our world right now and I’m an emotional creature so that has like pushed my buttons for years like no I do feel angry and here's why I feel angry so I try to go through that acknowledge that express that and here's the next layer goodness and that's great uh energy management managing that ego which really can get the best of us during these times just kind of beating ourselves up for thinking I could have done more or

there oh definitely moments of that because it was a couple weeks maybe three after Dave died I had cpr training at work and quarterly we have to go in and we have to do chest compressions and breathe with the mannequins and there's a computer that tells you how accurate you are press a little deeper press a little faster press a little deeper 82 whatever you have to hit a certain percent to pass as I did that so number one the day that I did that it just just tears just kept coming and kept coming and then there's this moment where you look at that and you think 93 percent god would that other seven percent have saved him oh boy but you can't stick in that right you can't stick in that and so logically you go talk to the doctors that tell you the statistics for cpr in those sorts of circumstances are very low that people actually get resuscitated at all so that's a logical way to reason through that and then also again and what now and I’ve already done the cpr training I was able to push through that if ever needed again I could be of service yeah well and I remember for us you know we talked that day after after you had to do that I was taken that you went ahead and went through that because sometimes those things can drain off some of that energy really and make you even more resilient and more strong from having gone through it so here's what happened that same day I also had the first step of the covid vaccination yes and so that night I attributed it to a covert vaccination but I had a reaction and I trembled to the point my teeth were chattering I was cold I got in a hot bath I couldn't get warm I just shook and shook and trembled and that as I keep talking back the animal of our body that's what animals do when they release trauma so I will tell you I have had step two of the coveted vaccination and had zero reaction whatsoever so what I believe it was my nervous system releasing trauma that had the trauma of performing that cpr and the loss that occurred after it and all of that that was stored within me it's true I mean that's how the body deals with trauma and so potentially just more release right I would I would think that there a sense of victimization could rise why me you know what am I going to do that or even self-judgment about what you either may or may not have done right that night like through the cpr or even maybe going back through time and history of things that you were or weren't of that sort of thing you can you talk about that a little bit yeah that's been huge and really for me that manifests most two layers one that doesn't come up as much but I’ve looked at life as a whole and like well I had this loss and I had this loss and I had this loss like when's it enough when's the loss going to be enough for me to get whatever I need out of this experience you lost your dad when you were real young you were like 20 right yeah yeah so you started life off having lost life I had that moment but that doesn't occur quite as much the self-judgment which is just my patterning has occurred a whole lot more I’ll give one example Dave he used to work in bars a lot he traveled on the road with bands a lot he was at he partied he was the drinker the life of the party all those things he still was a good partier don't get me wrong he was still the life of the party he was not he was he was not a teetotaler oh thank goodness he was so fun he had such a big personality but life had shifted drastically and he made some choices to shift that way to accommodate me there have been moments where I’m like did I do this was I so hard on him and I made him stop living the party life that it broke his heart which is not logical that is what rises up from time to time and I guess in a sense that is a victimization type role like it's just more of an internal why did I do this how how could I have done this better so that has been a big one that I’ve had to fight hard and literally I just have to tell myself this isn't true Erin stop it it's not true he told you this wasn't true I asked him this when he was alive do you miss that and he would say oh my god are you an idiot of course nobody wants to live like that nobody wants to spend every evening in the bar no I don't miss it it's always a good thing to hold up the mirror and ask yourself how did I play a role in this event that is changing my life at any time we're undergoing transformation because we we do play some role in the outcome of the transformation for sure you have to discern in your case yeah you looked at yourself yes it's like do I have any ownership of any of this and then shortly after you were able to say no shut up not true that's not what happened and good for you there's one other thing I'd like to talk with you all about because I think women often tend to be fixers so the night that Dave died at dinner we talked about this first this was the first round of conversation of the fixing and he said I just need to talk to you about something this evening and I need you to stop trying to fix [ __ ] and I was like what and he said darling I’m a grown man if I can't find the socks that I want because this was an example that had happened he wanted a particular pair of skiing socks I knew where they were he didn't know where they were and I’m scrambling around trying to find them he said I’m a grown man it is my job to know where my socks are not yours you don't need to fix that you don't have to fix these things so he gave that as an example you've got to quit trying to fix everything it's going to wear you down so we had that whole conversation at dinner about halfway through our reality tv night he had his hand on my leg and instead of it just resting my leg he squeezed my leg and I looked over at him and there was just an instinct and I said are you okay and he looked at me and he said lover what did we just talk about you gotta quit trying to fix [ __ ] he said stop looking at me and trying to figure out something wrong that you can fix or something in the house that needs done he said you have to stop he said and even if there is something wrong with me there are just some things you're not going to be able to fix in this world and I said okay that's some great advice for women

we put our energy into so many things that really are not our responsibility we have better places to put our energy it's so true around death there's a lot of tradition and there's a lot of social expectation both from the tradition of obituaries and funerals and things related to that and Erin you mentioned the fact that that you lost your significant other one of the things that I’ve learned through your experience and having to write an obituary when you're you know a full-grown adult calling someone a boyfriend when you live together and you've got a deep relationship and you're a little bit older it doesn't feel like it honors the relationship quite as much as it should what I’ve learned from you is the fact that when you go to write the obituary or where you go to talk to people about it especially people that don't know there's no good term for how to refer to your partner I mean you can say boyfriend which you know as I say is a little bit doesn't feel quite right you can say partner which is fine but in some people's mind when you say partner that means in a homosexual relationship which isn't an issue for me whatsoever but sometimes you don't necessarily want people to know that because that's not what it was there's no good word if you're married then you they they call you a widow and so that was kind of one of the sad things that I found that there wasn't a very good word to honor the depth of a relationship that a couple can have when they live together and and aren't married so I just kind of wanted to bring that into the space because being one that really hasn't suffered so much death in life especially of a partner a spouse that you really kind of blindsided me a little bit and and it just really kind of stuck with me yeah it definitely is strange it is something that continually goes through my head as I tell people even like with societal expectations oh it's just her boyfriend not yeah her husband right well let me say Dave would have been married like that I had a marriage prior to our relationship and it did not end well it was messy it was ugly for me that wasn't something that I at this juncture in my life was willing to go into a legal marriage he and I had talked many times about a conscious commitment ceremony he was raising a teen child for the past three years we would say well let's just get through one more winter let's just get through one more winter because children tend to take up a lot of space the the kid was 13 14 15. there's a lot happening and that was the priority that's what we said every year so we didn't get married for a variety of reasons but it's definitely odd there should be better language for it but I don't have that language someone's smarter than he has to make that up even social expectations about how we're supposed to grieve oh yeah I’ve had a lot of expectations about being quieter in grief really so so so tell us about those assets yeah if you're on social media at all and especially in like a business facet where you are part of your business so you as a human are serving other people and so you're putting yourself out there in somewhat of a vulnerable way so there's definitely always nonsensical people who are gonna tell you to be quiet that's a big one don't be don't be loud about this why are you sharing your grief I even got a message last night from it was actually an affirmative message but it was from a girl who told me that someone after her mother had died this person like called her on the carpet and said that's all you post about anymore you might want to reconsider what you're posting and the girl was like what and she said so for her it was like this whole reversal of her saying I’m so thankful to see you posting because it makes me feel okay that I think these things yes well almost through your example you're giving her permission yeah so that has been a thing with the societal expectations going back to work has been really tough I don't know if it's what other people expect or if it's what I expect of myself I haven't been able to discern that yet but just the re-entering normal life because it keeps going and I had I remembered that from when my dad died but again I was 20 and that life was very different at 20 than at 41. I remembered that I felt very much like at a certain point I wasn't done with this but everybody else seemed to be yeah you're in a bit of for a period of time stand still and then as you're out of standstill kind of going through slow motion but yet the world's still going regular speed out there and you know other people have grief too it's been another difficult thing is to watch other people in the world grieve and and sometimes expect me to help hold their grief like there have been many grown men crying yes which is fun and difficult so it's a very interesting dynamic because we all experience loss differently yes I think sometimes there's a misconception that we're even though we're losing the same thing that we are experiencing it the same way definitely an individual thing to go through grief it's not something you can really experience with other people it is a internal process that has to take a place it's easier when other people are around but everybody does handle it differently we go through in our own way it could be humor laughter people like to laugh things off to make themselves feel better just somewhere to put that energy is really what that process is all about I had someone send me a message and she said she's a few years out from the death of her spouse and she said I didn't realize what a [ __ ] I had been to my friends until like two years down the road and she said it's just because I had all this love and this loss and nowhere to put that energy and it came out as just mean to her friend she was like I’ve had to go back and apologize to all my friends because I didn't even realize I was doing that well it's one of the signs of grief right I mean irritability anger shock numbness sadness anxiety difficulty concentrating I mean all of those things and they're going to manifest in each one of us in different ways and so it's not lost on me that because of the pandemic and because the way it has shifted so many things you're on the micro level to the personal level with loss but yet there's also like you reference there's a there's kind of an umbrella of grief and loss right now I think that's going on you know in our country going on globally and so there's a collective loss and and a certain grief that we're all all experiencing from the loss of normalcy our typical routines and the and the rhythms of our life that grounded us and gave us comfort before very similar in your way like you had a routine while Dave was alive and then all of a sudden that's interrupted you know and then special events weddings concerts travel all of these traditions there doesn't seem to be any certainty landing yet as far as where we're headed how we're going to get there we miss out on that a lot and we're looking for some comfort and some stability and I know that Erin that's one of the things that you really enjoy working personally with people on is helping them find stability when they're spun out or their their world is turned upside down and and so if there's really kind of an above as above so below and as below so above right now isn't there yes that's fascinating that is work I do I’m doing a lot for myself right now of calming the nervous system and I’m a full believer that you have to get to a point of study before you can experience true joy but to really feel like that joy that lights you up from the inside out I think there has to be a level of stability and steadiness internally before you can get to that that piece what is so powerful is that there are still moments where I can find that stability even in this chaos and that's the gift yes that's the whole point of the rebound stage and and you're right you said it earlier it's not linear you don't go from one to the next to the next to the next it is a cycle and you spiral up and down the cycle of change constantly anytime some catalyst or some event occurs or an encounter or an epiphany or whatever it is that puts the change in motion I’m I’m fascinated just watching your journey unfold like this the stability which is what comes out of rebounding in a healthy way which you clearly are Erin rebounding you're doing all the right things you've got that self-awareness going you're yeah through the uh the emotions my my question for you is as we enter the next stage of transformation which you alluded to in finding those little little pieces of joy that's an indicator that you are entering the reinventing stage your life has completely transformed what does it look like now what are the silver linings as Alecia likes to call them and how are you reinventing yourself do you have a vision of what your life will be have you even visualized what life can be and in its greatest form without Dave at your side what does that look like for you at this point I don't have a great vision what I clearly know is that I will write more I’m going to write more that's probably all I know right now Angel that's that's perfect that's perfect because you're still coming out of it but that's what you have to look forward to because as you're stepping into the writing I think that is part of how you're being reinvented and you're just on the cusp you're getting little pieces here and there of the joy of the new Erin that's coming into the world as as this incredible writer of this storyteller whatever it is you want to reinvent yourself as but that's what you have to look forward to as you go into that next stage of resurrecting to this highest self of who you are Dave is still at your side he's not physically with you you can't hug him and hold him and laugh with him well you can you just can't hear his laugh but his energy is just always there and I firmly believe that I firmly believe that as a as a highly spiritual being and have been studying the human spirit for forever just been fascinated with it since I was a child I have a pretty good understanding of it but from reinventing yourself to resurrecting to your higher self and then the final stage being respond which is the responsibility to give back which I feel like you are already doing you're already just by sharing your story uh with Alecia and I you are helping others heal through their loss and through helping them through their grief so you're already undertaking this responsibility of giving back paying it forward using your story to help others so thank you so much for being a part of chick's talking shift and sharing your story Erin this has been absolutely incredible what closing thoughts do you have or takeaways in addition to all the great stuff that you've already shared with us all of the loss and all of the grief that we individually and collectively encounter in our lifetime we are so resilient as humans sometimes hearing someone else's story is a perfect reminder of that resilience that we that we share as a common bond really and I think that that is just something during this particular time on earth that we can hold on to is we've we've got this we don't have to fix it we've got it great advice Alecia what closing thoughts do you have my friend well I’ll tell you I mean one of the things that Erin's reflected back to me so well over time is I think one of her favorite phrases is get in it oh goodness it is and and the thing that I’ve really learned from you especially through this era it's one thing to get in it when life's flowing along and you're building on it and the days are sunshiny and and you've got your comfort and your routines and your self-care and all that but what you have shown me is that you get in it especially when things are difficult and when things get rough and life gets kind of messy and so that's been I think one of the gifts that I’ve seen through you on social media that it seems that a lot of other people are saying as well is that first of all you're such a fabulous writer definitely keep writing because you have one amazing gift there sister and because you are such an emotional person you you lead with your heart you always have and you feel so deeply and you love so very very deeply and so the thing that really comes through in your writing is your authenticity and there is a deep sense of vulnerability and when you talked earlier about people oh mentioning to other people well how long are you going to post that on social media that's all you post about anymore it's very difficult to be vulnerable in that environment especially these days and also to show up with such an authentic voice and so for me that's been one of my takeaways from you is that you hold up a mirror to me and help me question myself how can I show up with more authenticity and how can I really tap into my sense of vulnerability especially when I’m not feeling vulnerable but how can I touch that place a little bit more because I think that's where our bonds and our connections come as you as as humans and so I so deeply appreciate that you have stepped into that space where many other people might not necessarily understand why but it's a difficult place to be in your you're in a very Brene Brown space right now and it's very very magnetic and I think just visiting your story and what your process is and kind of how you bring that yin and that yang to to the surface and the fact that you'll go in these dark places in these shadowy places and these painful places but at the same time you're working the other side right you're trying your best to come out with the silver linings and even though this can be true you're trying your best to act from this place and so mad props to you sister it's not an easy path that you're walking but you're doing it with so much elegance and grace I hope you realize that because I think that it's sad on a lot of people's souls well said wow beautiful I ran into an interesting quote that that it feels very true to me and it says when you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in that's what the storm is all about it is you think about a stone that's been tumbled through the storm it gets smoother and smoother and that's that's what's happening with many of us as as you said uh earlier on on the macro level we're we're all going through this massive storm smoother on the other side I think we're all in the rebounding stage right there with you Erin learning how to reinvent ourselves now because life is certainly not going to be the same for many of us and your life has added another layer to that level of loss so thank you again for sharing your story you can learn more about Erin at and of course we'll put the links in the comments below so we appreciate you tuning in today thanks for joining us leave a comment hit the like button share this episode with friends who are experiencing something similar there might be some nuggets for them absolutely and remember had a wings out let's fly right over all this stuff I love it all right thanks ladies do you take care Erin love you bye

Erin shares her story
Erin's feelings the night of the event
What surprised Erin?
The outpouring of support
Many different expressions of love
Erin reads a poem she wrote
The 6 stages of transformation
What are Erin's self-care practices?
Abhyanga/Ayurvedic massage
Navigating personal pity parties
Erin has to do CPR training
Self-judgement/doubt/victimization after loss
Women as "fixers"
Social expectations on how we're "supposed to grieve"
Symptoms of grief
Grief is a spiral
Checking in with a friend who's grieving