Writing from the Roller Coaster

Maybe I will stay inside the ups and downs.

The highs and lows.

After all, the roller coaster makes you a good writer.

Did you know?

It makes you brave.

It makes your hair look crazy too. :)

Your heart beats as if there are two hearts inside of you.

You don’t have time for any kind of small talk.

And you hold on tight.

No drama.

Just lots of back and forth between low and high.

Between grief and love.

Yes and no.

Risk and safety.

But that is when so many people leave the roller coaster.

They are done with it all.

The highs are not worth the lows.

Love is not worth the grief.

Having two heartbeats instead of one takes its toll.

But for those of us who stay, find themselves in the most beautiful skies.

Flying in and out of clouds.

Breathing in the crisp air.

And yes finding ourselves inside the very low places too.

When there, we check in with our soul.

Learn. Process. Feel. And write.

Oh the writing from the lows is magnificent.

I am writing you from there today.

Just experienced rejection back to back.

Basically double low.

Low. Low.

Loss. Loss.

Rejection. Rejection.

When the roller coaster stays down low for longer than normal the heartbeats also slow down, almost as if they are gone.

You find yourself inside the low but also inside the silence.

And when there is only one low and not a double one, the silence doesn’t have time to arrive. Inside the silence you have a chance to find yourself.

You see, you can’t find yourself inside the highs. It’s too wild.

Your mind is too busy thinking about the greatness of the high.

Everyone is cheering you.

And you may even forget your humility. Your mortality.

And your high risk of loss.

Who would I ever be without my roller coaster?

Certainly not a writer.

Not a helper.

I think I would have good hair though. :)

And I would fit in.

Fitting in is not part of our life after loss. Tragedy makes us stand out, whether we like it or not. (Click Here to Tweet!)

With love to all of my roller coaster riders,

Christina

P.S. Registration for the 2019 Life Reentry Practitioner training is now open: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-program-home/

 


Don’t Get on the Anniversary Train

I have been writing to you for many years and I have never written about what to do with the anniversaries of loss.

A wonderful woman reached out to me yesterday and asked me if I would write about this.

So here it goes.

Anniversaries of loss feel like a big train approaching the platform.

Heavy, noisy. Old. Loud.

And you can hear it coming for a while.

You know it’s arriving at a specific time, on schedule.

And you are supposed to get on it.

Ride that train for the day.

Ride its heaviness.

This train is slow.

It takes forever to get to the destination of tomorrow.

But you feel there is no other way to get to the next day but ride the train of the anniversary of your loss.

It is not a birthday.

It is simply a death day.

I am so very sorry to call it with its own name.

I remember riding that train during the first few anniversaries.

Honestly I was nauseous.

Everything came back.

The ICU.

The last tragic days.

The oxygen masks.

My little girls saying goodbye to their dad.

I mean.. talk about torture.

Bring out the knives.

That anniversary train was not fun.

It was all about the death day.

And not about the man I was in love with away from the hospital beds, the morphine and the pain.

It had nothing to do with honoring him.

Nothing at all.

I was honoring death every time I took the anniversary train.

So 2 anniversaries later the train was approaching…my date is July 21st.

And I am standing at the platform.

I can hear it arriving. Heavy, loud. Slow.

And all the death memories were flashing before my eyes even before my boarding.

I had to ask myself is this what I have to go through every single year and is this remembering him?

The answer was a big loud NO.Louder than the train.

I left the platform and ran.

Ran away from the anniversary train.

Where did I go instead?

I went to the beach.

I went to the places we visited.

I talked about him to people who never knew him.

I smiled when I said his name.

Yes it is sad.

Yes there are tears.

Yes it sucks.

I am sorry there is no way around this.

Your heart will fill heavy.

But don’t get on the death day train.

Run away and find the sky, the moon, the sea.

The memories. The journey. The celebration.

On his birthday we would go and sing to his grave.

We would bring breakfast and sit there and sing, and the girls would dance.

They would say. Are you 1, are you 2, are you 3 are you 4…. All the way to his new age.

In a few days he would have been 43, and then in a few days after that he would be gone for 8 years.

The train does not visit me anymore.

There is nobody waiting on the platform.

From where I am standing those anniversaries are excuses to celebrate the life of the man who is the father

of my kids.

The man who taught me how to be a warrior through his 4 year battle with the beastpeople call cancer.

The man who showed me how much he loved life and how much he did not want to say goodbye to his

kids.

Yes its sad, and unfair and not what happens to most 35 year olds but that stream of thought takes meback to the train.

And that is not where he would want me to be.

He said to me once. “Christina look at the big picture. The first couple of years will be tough but after that

you have to make sure you get to live.”

If he knew about the anniversary train, he would smile and shake his head and say it is not where I live.

It is not where my legacy is.

My legacy is inside of you.

And in the lives of my girls.

Go. Go. Go. Remember me, but don’t get on that train.

I am going to ask you the same.

Don’t get on that train, it doesn’t really go anywhere and:

Healing only lives in celebrating the lives of the ones we have lost, not how they died. (Click to Tweet!)

With love,

Christina

P.S If you are a therapist, social worker, coach, nurse, pastor, divorce attorney, biz leader who cares, doctor, oncologist, hospice volunteer, medical field leader and in a profession that serves the people who are suffering from loss, a medical diagnosis, tragedy of any kind, join me for a live video webinar about the Life Reentry Practitioner training on November 6th here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-webinar/


You are NOT late to the Party

I moved from Greece to England when I was 18 years old.

My english was ok but certainly not fluent in writing or speaking.

And I was attempting to get into college.

It took me three years to pass the exams and get language fluency.

And because of that everyone else in my classes, in my dorms and in my everyday college experience were 3 years younger than me.

I used to hide my age.

When everyone was turning 21 I was turning 24.

I was always 3 years late.

Also, always older than all the boys I knew.

And no matter what I did, how hard I worked that ‘3 year later than everyone else’ feeling was always there.

Then for a few years that feeling was gone, I had moved to the US, started my own family and things started to feel ‘normal.’

Then he was diagnosed with late stage cancer and died, and I lost a whole decade.

I nearly lost all of my 30s.

I was 30 when he was diagnosed.

We battled the cancer every day for years.

I was 34 when he died.

And I battled devastating grief for years.

38 when I started to get back on my feet again.

This woman had never been here before.

I believed for the first time that I could be a builder, a founder, an author, someone who had something to say to the world.

But that old voice in my head came back running.

But aren’t you really behind?

Like at least 10 years too late for anything of this magnitude.

You are about to be 40 soon and you want to start from scratch?

Yes I do.

The faint voice of the new woman would say.

No you don’t.

The loud speaker kind of voice would respond back.

And it went like this for the first few years.

The battle of the voices.

I have been quieting the voice of ‘you are late to the party’ for most of my life now.

I am now 46 years old and I finally learned something that I did not know my whole life.

And it’s not it is never too late.

But it is arrive late, and leave early.

In the last 8 years I have lived many lives in one.

I have done work that it takes people lifetimes to do.

And I know that if I was not late to the party I could have never ever become this version of me.

Now I look at my life very differently.

As long as my hands can type, my eyes can see and my brain can guide me I will be creating until I die.

Later than everyone else.

Behind.

With a language that arrived in my life also late.

But I will always have an advantage, I experienced tragedy sooner than everyone else.

And received the wisdom of it at least a decade or two before most people.

The combination of being late with wisdom that comes from tragedy you can almost step outside of time and space and create from there.

Time is irrelevant to people like you and I. However late to the party you feel, know that the wisdom you have because of your loss adds time to your clock. (Click Here to Tweet!)

Infinite amounts.

You are early.

And always will be.

Here’s to creating until our last breath.

With being very late and proud of it,

Christina

P.S If you are a therapist, social worker, coach, nurse, pastor, divorce attorney, biz leader who cares, doctor, oncologist, hospice volunteer, medical field leader and in a profession that serves the people who are suffering from loss, a medical diagnosis, tragedy of any kind, join me for a live video webinar about the Life Reentry Practitioner training on November 6th here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-webinar/


What if they can hear you?

What if you can talk to your child.

Your husband.

Your wife.

Your father.

Your mother.

Your friend, even after their passing.

What if that’s what we are supposed to do.

What if they want us to do that.

What if they can hear us.

What if they can talk to us?

But not unless we are willing to believe that it is possible.

You see they want us to talk to them.

Visit with them.

Our world is hesitant to deeply believe it.

But I am asking you to.

My new book will be asking you to.

I am also going to ask that you also send them signs instead of just them sending signs to you.

I know right? People always ask have you had any signs?

What about. Have you sent signs to them?

When was the last time you spoke to them?

We got a new puppy last week, and my daughter and I went to pick out a new collar for her at the pet store.

As we were at the collar isle, a store employee came over to ask us if we needed help.

And do you know what his name tag said?

My husband’s name.

Which is very rare as he was Danish.

Bjarne.

We hadn’t come across his name in 12 years and there it was as we were about to go pick up the new puppy.

Look for your person, they are always there trying to get your attention.

And don’t forget to signal back to them.

Love travels outside of the physical barriers of our reality. It is a part of a bigger universe than the one we can see. (Click Here to Tweet!)

And if you want to see the people you lost...close your eyes.

With signs and eyes closed,

Christina

P.S. Pre-order Where Did You Go here: www.wheredidyougobook.com


One Day You Will Be Asked To Fly

I was taken aback.

Stopped in my tracks.

I was about to climb again just like I normally do every day.

And that’s when I saw it.

The summit.

The top of my mountain.

I froze.

I sat there.

There was no hill to climb.

Just sky.

I didn’t know what to do with the sky.

What was I to do?

When I crawled in 2006, it took me a long time to get up.

When I got up it took me a long time to walk.

When I walked it took forever to run.

And when the climbing came, I climbed for a whole decade.

Climbed every day for so many years.

Until now.

I had reached a summit and climbing wouldn’t do.

I was so scared that I went back to crawling.

Crawling in circles.

I was begging the universe, I was begging God to let me just climb my way to this next chapter of my life also.

But it wasn’t working.

This was no longer Life Reentry which I knew how to do really well.

This was ENTRY.

This place I am about to go to I had never ever been before.

And all of my ways of living, thriving, being is not going to do.

I truly have to learn how to fly now.

You see when we keep going against all odds and we keep creating a big life we will all get to a summit, and we will be asked to fly.

I have always wanted to get to this place, the mountain top.

The place with the views.

I dreamed of it.

I even bought a house with a view of a mountain top.

I have looked at it.

Gazed at it.

And climbed towards it every day.

Now what am I to do?

Fly?

Fly to where?

The sky?

And as I am writing this, I feel the sky saying to me.

We have all been waiting for you.

Fly and the sky will hold you. Fly and we will fly with you. Fly and the world will fly next to you. (Click Here to Tweet!)

Here’s to your mountain top, your wings and your first flight my dear friend.

And remember if you are in the crawling phase always look for the mountain-top when you close your eyes.

With skies ahead,

Christina

PS. You can now pre-order my new book, my sky. My wings.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Did-You-Go-Life-Changing/dp/0062689622/

Masterclass, audio sounds, notes and book: www.wheredidyougobook.com


Losing My Dog Tyson

He was with me every second of the day.

He was my shadow for exactly 8 years.

He followed me around everywhere.

Even when I would go to the bathroom he would just wait outside the door.

He would place himself at the center of the living room to see which way I would be heading to next.

And he would just look me in the eyes, trying to guess what I would do.

Of course I was his second love, food was always his first. 😀

But he was my first dog love and always will be.

His name was Tyson and I said goodbye to him this last Monday.

And I learned this...

Dog love is like human love.  But purer.  Closer to the universe. Closer to God, source, divinity.  It is almost as if we are held by a force that is constant.  We are seen, by two eyes that never let us go (Click to Tweet!)

My heart was not ready to feel what it felt last Monday.

A complete and utter break.

My eyes were gone.

The helding was over.

The physical extension of my soul vanished.

I always thought we were the ones rescuing him.

He was found in Puerto Rico as a puppy and was brought to Northern Mass where we found him at 3 months old.

We adopted him and got in the car to take him home.

Tyson was/is a chocolate lab and he sat on my lap, wrapped his paws around my right arm and squeezed me as he was shaking all the way home.

And now I know.

He came to rescue me.

To be by my side as I was trying to blend two families with not much success.

By my feet, as I wrote Second Firsts and Where Did You Go.

Founded my Institute, found my identity, my voice, my own path.

When he arrived in my life I had just started writing this blog.

Tyson I know you can hear me, thank you for being with me in my loneliest years.

In my discovery years.

My aftermath years.

And I know why you left when you did.

You believe I can do this on my own.

This new chapter. Without your gaze.

Say hi to Bjarne for me, he always wanted a chocolate lab.

And I will be seeing you…

With real devastating heartbreak for my dog Tyson,

Christina

PS. He left the day before we were going to release the pre-order campaign for my new book. So here I am doing this for the first time without him: PRE-ORDER HERE: www.wheredidyougobook.com


HOPE

It comes in like a lullaby.

Quiet at first but so melodical that you recognize it.

It calms you down and it gets you through another day.

It almost feels like it is coming from really far away, from a different place.

Outside of earth.

I am talking about Hope.

The most precious feeling especially for those of us who have been struck by loss.

For every person who feels the burden of grief.

For every kid, adult, mother, father, sister, brother, friend.

For everyone who has lost the sound of the lullaby.

I am here to tell you that it is still with you.

Hope is a part of our hardest days.

Even when nothing is left, and we feel like we have no more guts, courage or even strength to keep going we find Hope still there.

I think God is Hope. 

I think the Universe is Hope. 

I think knowing where we come from and where we are heading is Hope. 

Knowing what we are made of is Hope. 

And you are made of something divine. (Click Here to Tweet!)

Something so intelligent.

Hope is part of that intelligence and outwardly experience.

If you are having a hard day, week, month, year I am going to ask you to remember that we were made to feel hope in our darkest moments.

We hear the lullaby in the dark.

On the ground.

With nobody there to take care of us. With no money. No plan B.

That is when Hope will come and play her melody.

Only then.

And when Hope isn’t there anymore, it means that whatever is taking place we are able to get ourselves through.

I just wanted to write about Hope today, it’s September.

It’s a busy time. It’s the fall.

It’s a lot of things.

I know you may be on your knees.

And I hope this letter finds you when you need it the most.

With so much hope for every dark moment,

Christina


Goodbye Survivor, I Have Work To Do

I first met her after my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

Her first words were... you should have been the one dying.

It would have been easier.

Then she went on to tell me that I would not be able to raise my kids without him,

that he was the smart one.

He was the strong one.

He was the one with a job.

He was the one who could do it all.

It should have been me with the cancer.

After he died she told me how I should start looking for a job immediately and not think about my dreams.

She told me to be afraid. Very afraid.

She told me that I was not a good parent without him.

She told me I would suffer for the rest of my life.

That I would fail at everything.

She convinced me to get the job I hated. She said...it’s better than nothing.

It took me a while to figure out that she was the voice inside my head making my life after loss much worse than it had to be.

As the years went by I named her My Survivor and I have trained myself and thousands of others to gently show her the door.

My response to her took years but I finally found the strength to talk back.

And, I have been proving her wrong for the last decade.

I showed her that I am one smart woman capable of things that seemed impossible to her after he died.

I showed her that I am one heck of a mom raising my daughters.

I built my own company despite her telling me I was not worthy.

And I have been making my dreams come true regardless of her daily presence, still to this day.

Our Survivor voice does not go away... ever. Never.

As the years go by she gets very skilled, very loud, very convincing but we get really good at shutting her down.  

The Survivor self finds her way in, especially after loss, when our identity is in crisis. (Click Here to Tweet!)

I nearly believed that my life after loss would not be worth living. That was a lie.

So look out for the Survivor trying to influence you.

Start writing her words and sentences down.

What is the one thing she keeps telling you about your life after loss?

Remember she wants you to be safe and run away from life.

Don’t listen.

With a thriving voice,

Christina

P.S. Just a few seats left for our online Life Reentry class that starts Tuesday. Join me and many others who are ready to rid of their survivor voice: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-class/


Loving Again After Loss

Someone asked me the other day on Facebook about my husband, the man I married after my loss.

She wasn’t the first one to ask.

Many people over the years have asked about him.

I mention him in the Second Firsts book a little bit.

But over the course of the 8 years I have been writing to you, I hardly ever talk about him.

I met him during my second year post loss at the local children’s support group I was taking my girls to.

I saw him walk in with his children and I immediately thought he was just dropping off, and not staying.

But he was.

He had lost his 35 year old wife a few months prior.

He sat next to me and I remember very vividly, how he said that it was really nice to meet me.

I mumbled something back and kind of turned the other way.

I didn’t like that I found him attractive.

It made me feel uncomfortable. Mad even.

I found myself thinking about him after I got home.

And the days that followed.

The group was running every two weeks.

For the next group meeting, I remember putting something on that was nicer than normal.

When I realized that I was actually dressing up for him. Shame and guilt came over me.

Over the course of the following weeks we kept meeting at the weekly group meetings.

And making small talk.

One night when I returned home something took over me and I wrote the whole group an email.

Asking if we should all go out for dinner.

To be honest with you, and it is something I didn’t admit to him for a while, my group email was mostly about meeting him and not the others.

But I didn’t dare let that thought enter my mind at the time.

I pressed send.

30 second later, I received an email responding just to me and not the whole group.

It was from him.

His name is Eric by the way.

He thought the group dinner was a great idea and that he was looking forward to it.

We emailed back and forth a few times that night.

That was Monday night. By mid-week we had decided to meet for dinner, just the two of us.

I remember thinking. Is that a date?

I didn’t know what to make of it.

We met at Chily’s. Yes nothing glamorous.

And there was a snow storm coming that evening.

I emailed him and said maybe we won’t be able to meet after all with the snowstorm coming. His response was the first time it felt like this could be something more.

He said “I will find a way to get to you, don’t you worry.”

It felt wrong. I felt married.

But that Saturday evening I got in my car and drove to Chily’s.

He smiled when he saw me and told me I look like Princess Leia.

How dare he be so forward.

I thought to myself.

Was he flirting with me?

The commentary that was taking place inside my mind was comical.

At the end of the evening, he gave me a kiss on the chick and said that he would love to see me again.

I walked to my car and drove straight home.

Something was happening. Butterflies arrived in my stomach.

I remember going to work the next day and thinking about him.

We went on many dates after that first one.

And as he likes to remind me often, our first dates were icy cold.

I would sit across the room from him and not move closer.

Even though the butterflies were fluttering inside my stomach, it felt quite abnormal to hold his hand or be with him in a physical sense.

Eric was the complete opposite to Bjarne (my hubby who died) he looked different, acted differently and he might as well have been his opposite in every way.

It took awhile for me to trust him. And let him in.

It took me at least a year before I let him even pay for dinner.

And it took a lot longer until I really allowed him to become important to me.

It is a scary thing to fall in love again after loss. (Click Here to Tweet!)

You may be wondering why don’t I talk about my relationship with Eric more.

I believe with all of my heart that I would not have the marriage that I have today if it wasn’t for my own personal life reentry.

Which had nothing to do with being in a new relationship.

It had to do with the woman that I became.

The finding of my own identity. My independence.

Who I became because of my relentless need to find myself again is my proudest accomplishment.

Eric and I have now been married for 8 years.

My advice to anyone who is out there considering a new love in their life, is to find the new you and let that new you fall in love.

Don’t fall in love with the old identity still here.

Loving after loss requires you to find your new self.

With butterflies.

Christina

P.S. 10 DAYS BEFORE NEXT CLASS BEGINS. Sign up here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-class/


One Single Thought

I have so many things to tell you today.

I wish I could just drop in at your home.

Have coffee and chat.

Tell you that you will be ok.

Tell you that life is hard but it is also very good.

Tell you that we will lose so much but with every loss we will find our way again to a new beginning.

To a new understanding of what it means to be alive.

And what does it mean to be alive?

It means to have new experiences.

To say yes to what you used to say no to.

To dare to be someone different.

To want things for yourself that you never wanted before.

Then I would tell you that some days you will feel as if the whole world is on your shoulders and one thought brought it all there.

Yes just one thought.

Here is what happens with thoughts.

One thought walks inside your mind and tells you something that colors your whole day. It is almost as if that thought defines your existence.

Let’s say this thought tells you that you will always be alone in your life.

This one thought takes your present life and your future life and with just a few words it destroys them both.

This is a regular occurrence inside the mind of someone who is going through change and loss.

Now imagine this destructive thought being multiplied.

You see, this thought doesn’t just happen once, it happens every day.

And quite honestly, many times a day.

Now you are not just you, you are this thought.

Everything you do comes from this thought.

This is how we die without dying. This is how we get destroyed without seeing our destroyer. A single thought can derail our lives. (Click Here to Tweet!)

A single thought can take us from here and now and drive with us all the way to the end of our time.

I am not going to let this happen.

Not to me. Not to you.

There is really one reason why I still write this letter 8 years later.

To battle these destructive thoughts with you even for a few minutes once every Friday. So I am going to inject a new thought for us all today.

You are capable of living a really good life.

What is a good life?

For me a good life is that I honor myself by following my heart every day.

When I do that my life is good.

When I listen to my survivor self (destructive thoughts) I am miserable.

Now it’s your turn.

What makes a good life for you?

Let’s not allow something that is invisible take away everything that is.

With love and good thoughts,

Christina

P.S. Join my free Life Reentry webinar this Tuesday. Sign up here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-class-webinar/