Who Am I Now?

When I dropped off my daughter to college last week, it was as if my whole world was demolishing.

All the buildings that made my life, were falling apart.

I could even hear the buildings falling.

The rubble.

When your life is changing there is an audio of the universe moving things around.

The maneuvering stops time.

Or it feels like it does because our lives are about to take a turn.

My two daughters and I just stood there hugging in the middle of the parking lot.

We knew everything was about to change, and it was hard to move outside of that moment.

You would think that having gone through big tragedies would make these moments easier.

I thought it would.

But it didn’t.

We stood there crying, not saying anything.

It was as if our souls were doing all the talking.

We became this unit when their dad died.

Inseparable. Until that moment.

One of the things I prayed for was to stay alive long enough for my kids to at least make it to 18 years of age.

When their dad died, they were only 4 and 6.

I used to worry, what if something happened to me too?

And I would say, let me get them to 18.

Just let me get them there.

I didn’t realize how much of my life after was about just getting to here.

Who am I now?

The words echo inside the universe.

Searching for their answers.

One thing I know for sure is that when one big thing in your life moves, many others follow.

Where the buildings have been, something else will be build.

And right now it looks like a desert.

I am not who I have been. And not who I will become. I am change itself. (Click Here to Tweet!)

With life lessons,

Christina

P.S. I am doing a free video intro class to what is Life Reentry. I hope I get to meet as many of you as possible: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-class-webinar/


The Room Walker

You are one tiny thought away from a completely different life. (Click Here to Tweet!)

But we live inside a room with no windows.

A room that keeps us thinking this is the only room.

There are Infinite rooms.

I didn’t really understand this fully until the last couple of years.

You see, all of us are capable of occupying many rooms.

Some of us can live in many different ones at the same time.

Others can move linearly from one room to the next.

And some stay in the same room forever.

These rooms are separate life paths.

Separate relationships.

Careers. Dreams.

When we go through a devastating loss we are told the room we occupied all this time is no longer available to us.

This is harsh, but true.

We are then told to pack our things and move into a different room.

Yes.

But.

A lot of us go back inside the room and try to stay.

We think that we can make it work.

Sure it is darker than before but it is better than a new room.

Or no room at all.  

Our mind lies to us.

It tells us this is the only room that exists.

Exploring is a waste of time.

And we stay.

Stay in the dark room.

The lonely room.

The room with no future.

The room of ghosts. Silence.

In there, the loneliness lady lives.

In there, the anniversary train visits.

In there, the room becomes the Waiting Room.

At this point, the lock turns.

The door closes more permanently.

We go to bed. And we die there.

Yes so many of us never find our way out.

I am going to now pull you out of this picture.

Give you a bird’s eye view.

Imagine I can take you up from your room, like a drone would.

See yourself inside that room, laying on the bed.

As we pull higher up, you start to see all the other rooms right next to yours.

Some of them are big.

With incredible views.

Others have many rooms in one space. Floors even.

And they connect to other rooms.

We keep going higher up.

And we see a whole city of beautiful rooms with many lives, and new dreams, breathtaking landscapes.

I am going to stop us for a second right here.

Take it all in, it is the truth.

The truth your mind has been trying to hide from you.

You have so many new possibilities.

There are so many choices.

Now we are going to go back, back to that room.

We descend slowly, with tears in our eyes, knowing how we nearly missed all these other rooms and lives we could have had.

You are now inside the old life, in your room.

You look around you and you now know this is no longer your life.

You grab your things. Not all of them, just enough.

And walk out.

Your next room won’t be visible at first as you come out of the old room.

But keep taking the steps.

All of a sudden you will see not just one new room but a few.

You will learn that in this next chapter after your loss, you have choices.

Options. You get to choose from a variety of rooms.

You get to be a room walker.

As you keep moving forward you find out what I found out.

That your life belongs to many rooms, and your keys in your pocket can open more doors than you ever thought were possible.

To thousands of rooms,

Christina

P.S. I heard your voices read your messages and I am bringing the Life Reentry class back. Live weekly with me teaching it alongside two incredible practitioners. We open registration here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-class/We have 100 spots. I hope you grab yours. Class starts September 25th.


Do Whatever it Takes to Get Through This

“Do whatever you have to, to get through the pain after I am gone.” my husband said to me a few months before he died.

“Whatever it takes.” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what it is you have to do, if it makes you feel better then do it.”

I didn’t always follow his advice but it did help me feel less guilt when my choices after loss were not perfect.

When we lose someone we love, it hurts like hell.

And I don’t know how he knew to tell me this then.

But the pain is so unbearable that we have to do whatever it takes to get through it.

You will make decisions you will regret.

And you will say and do things that you wish you hadn’t.

So what?

When your person vanishes from your existence and your heart is crushed, you have to do whatever you need, to keep on standing. (Click Here to Tweet!)

Don’t be ashamed.

You are still good.

You are just hurting badly.

So I am going to give you a few examples of my “whatever it took.”

And then I want to hear yours.

We will use WIT for short.

Ok here we go.

Some of my WITs:

-I went out on a few dates with someone I didn’t see a future with after he died, but he kept me company on the phone and asked me how my day was.

-I had a few too many glasses of wine the year following his loss.

-I spent more money that I should have on things I didn’t need.

-I didn’t eat for a year or two. Then I ate everything.

The list is long. But you get the picture.

Now it’s your turn.

What are yours?

Write them down, release them from shame and know that you had to do what you had to do to get through.

I will be doing a big post on this on our Facebook page here so everyone can share their WITs. You are not alone in this.

No shame in doing what you have to, to get through your loss.

With life and so many WITs,

Christina

P.S. Do you have a copy of Second Firsts? If not here is where you can grab yours: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Live-Laugh-Again/dp/1401940838/


What is the Meaning of Home After Loss

I have been writing about life after loss for almost 8 years and it just hit me today.

After loss, tragic loss especially, the feeling of home is hard to find.

You never feel at home again.

You move houses.

You look for new beginnings but nothing is quite like the home feeling you had before the loss.

When you felt like you belonged.

When everyone was yours.

And you were theirs.

I don’t talk about it much, but living with my stepdaughters has always made me feel like my home is not my home.

And I will leave it at that.

But here is the unexpected gift of it all.

I carry my home inside of me.

I am my home.

You can find me mostly at home walking the streets.

Writing.

In my car driving.

In the darkness of a movie theater.

At the beach.

I took my home with me.

I do live in a beautiful home overlooking mountain tops.

But the views have become more my home than what’s inside of it.

And now that my own girls are so grown up.

One of them is going to college, the other is close behind, when they are not at home I find myself not wanting to be there either.

But here is what I know.

Happiness now means the insides of my own mind. (Click to Tweet!)

It means that my thoughts, my feelings are my home.

Even when I fell in love again and married the most wonderful man, my happiness was an inside job.

I had become an island.

And I stayed an island.

Now dear friend, I must tell you that happiness that stems from you is the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world.

You never run out.

You don’t need someone else to make you happy.

Loss may be devastating for the traditional lives you used to live. But a magnificent builder of lives you never thought were possible.

May you have the feeling of home everywhere you go. A thousand places, a thousand homes made by you.

With life,

Christina

P.S. If you are a therapist, a social worker, a pastor, a life coach helping people after loss please apply for our six month long Life Reentry Practitioner certification program here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-program-home/

It starts January 15th, we have an incredible payment plan and we are putting together one heck of a class. I look forward to our interviews with all of you: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-program-home/


The Monkey Bars

It’s not a dance.

Or a musical piece.

And it’s not a walk on the beach.

It’s a bruise.

A gasp.

A torture.

I am talking about life.

Not even after loss, just life.

I think the first time I realized life was hard was when this girl at my middle school grabbed me from the monkey bars and threw me on the ground.

Nobody rushed over to help me up.

Nobody told off the girl.

Everyone kind of looked away.

My teacher called my mom to come get me earlier.

And I remember him telling her, it was nothing.

I was holding back all of my tears.

Trying to look like it was nothing.

But it was a very shameful embarrassing moment I remember very vividly.

Earlier than that I remember my kindergarten teacher pulling my hair in front of the whole class.

I wanted the earth to open up and take me in.

I can go further back or I can go forward.

Plenty of torturous shaming hard life moments where the self gets trashed, shaken and ashamed.

I know you have had moments like mine, some of you worse.

And they have all been invisible and kicked into nothingness.

But here is what I know now.

Life can be a dance but not the type you might be thinking. It’s not a disco dance. But the drumming type. (Click here to tweet!)

Drumming to the beat of the bruises the gasps, the tortures and the human spirit.

Listen to this.

Feel the rhythm and the beat.

And step into it.

This is where we belong.

And when you drum like this, nothing can defeat you.

The drum sounds like this in words. I can do anything I want

The drum feels like this in feelings. I am hurt but I will not surrender, I will never give up

The drum moves like this in actions. I am going to keep climbing against all odds.

The drum loves like this in compassion. Give yourself a break, you need it

The drum understands in gratitude. Grateful for all the falls, the pull downs and the bruises

And the drum sounds like your heartbeat. Vibrating through the universe in eternity.

Dear girl, who pulled me down from the monkey bars, I forgive you.

May you hear your drums.

And dance to it.

When you do, nobody can pull you down from the monkey bars.

With life,

Christina

P.S. Today we open registration for the next practitioner program that begins January 15th. Apply here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-practitioner-program-home/


60 Selves and Counting

It has been 12 years.

He passed 2:00 am EST on July 21st 2006.

If I could count all the selves I have been since that night I would probably count at least 60.

The first 4 came in and out really fast.

I will tell you about them later on.

There were 40 or so the first 3 years.

Then 4 every year for the next 2 years, one every 3 months or so.

After the first 5 years I evolved a little slower than the beginning.

Maybe 2 new selves in a year.

And now in the end of my 12th year I can say that I have been with this self since January.

7 months and going strong.

This self is the most equipped to stick around.

She is persistent.

Resilient.

She thinks she is the self that can outsmart all the ones before her and stay the longest.

You see, evolution immediately after loss is quite intense and fast.

We change rapidly.

It is almost like you are reborn.

You know I call it reentry.

But nobody really tells you about this.

Grief is an evolutionary experience. It hurts so much it changes our DNA. (Click here to tweet!)

It changes our thoughts. Our emotions. Our taste buds even. Yup.

Everything we were made of, gets unmade.

Pain of the soul is evolutionary.

I look back at all 60 selves and each one of them was different.

The first one came along in that hospital room, she walked me out and gave me the strength to make the calls.

The second one helped me tell my girls about their dad.

She stayed for about a week.

Got me through the funeral, the kids sleeping with me and moving the beds around.

Then number three came along and got me running outside, and moving my body when I thought I would lose my mind.

Number four, helped me take the girls to the UK for their first adventure without their dad. Number five got me through the holidays.

Number six got me my first job since his passing.

And it goes on, all the way to now. They all did their part.

It has been easier to think of myself as 60 versions of me.

I understand what happened better.

Loss brings rebirths. Plural yes.

It is time to start looking at grief and its aftermath as a reentry of selves.

How many selves have you been since your loss?

Write them down.

Tell your family about them.

They will get to know you and understand you better if you do.

Most people around us keep thinking we are still that person before the loss happened, and here we are 60 versions later. It is time they knew. :)

With 60 Christinas and counting,

Christina

P.S. Here is a highlight video of the selves that helped me do this work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cjh4wfAZI4


The Blades

I often think about kneeling on the ground to pray.

I don’t do it.

But I have the feeling of it.

It’s hard to be strong all the time.

Knowing that nobody can help you.

People who are strong, are strong endlessly.

I have never met someone who was strong for a few days and then wasn’t.

Have you?

Once you are strong, you are strong forever.

How does strength feel?  It hurts like hell. (Click here to tweet!)

I would go as far as to say, it feels like a blade. 

You have to walk with it, speak with it, live with it.

The blade is situated inside your heart. 

But nobody can see it from the outside. 

You just look strong.

You don’t complain.

You don’t look hurt.

You go along with life almost as if you are bladeless.

On the outside it looks like strength.

From the inside it feels like pain.

Strong people hurt. Endlessly. Quietly.

I know you are one of them.

The strong person. With the blade in your heart.

Talking to someone about the blade is not easy, is it?

We think it is easier not to say anything about it.

After all, you are getting by fine.

Why speak of the blade?

I am like you, I hide my blades. And yes. There is more than one.

I hide my blades from everyone.

I don’t want them to think I am not strong.

But today I am telling you about them.

So you can do the same thing.

Tell someone about it.

I bet they have a blade too.

With vulnerability and blades,

Christina

P.S. Make the Life Reentry class yours. Purchase it here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-on-demand/


The Permanence of NEVER

I wasn’t a writer before he died.

But grief turned out to be the great word maker.

A great obliterator.

It shook me to get these words out.

When grief found me inconsolable it gave me a pen and said write your way out, console yourself. Get yourself beyond the insanity. (Click to tweet!)

But I didn’t write anything the first 4 years.

I had a diary, and wrote some of these words there.

But nowhere else.

The words started to stuck up. And up and up.

All of a sudden they started to spill out.

The words taught me that there was no going back to who I was.

Only who I could become.

A mixed blessing, that grief is.

Isn’t it?

Grief imposes itself on our DNA.

Did you know? 

The becoming after grief is unstoppable.  It unlocks us from the old life and throws the new keys across the far away horizon.

Where we have to search, adjust, write our way to them. We start the quest towards the keys we never wanted.

All we seek to find is a way to break back into the old life.

At first we think it is possible. So we ask and scream, and yell.

But all we hear are the echoes of never again.

I remember when I realized that what happened was permanent.

You would think it was the first months or even years.

But it was much later.

There are things only time can show us.

My daughters’ loss of their dad was so vast and so destiny binding that I only managed to see it’s havoc as time moved us forward.

On our way to finding the new keys.

I had to travel nearly 12 years into the future to see what never again meant.

I saw birthdays, kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school graduations.

I saw house moves. Health scares. Aging.

And life happening for a long time before I felt the permanence of never.

Never means eternity.

You see now?

Only words can capture what really happened.

Without them, all of it would be lost on the way to the new horizon.

The words kept track of all my nevers and made my new becoming a little more familiar.

May your nevers be captured along the way to your new keys as well.

With new keys and thousands of nevers,

Christina

P.S. My Life Reentry class yours forever. Register here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-on-demand/


Life After Loss Spins You Around Like a Tornado

I was having dinner with a good friend the other night and I was sharing a few more thoughts that I usually share and it hit me.

It just literally hit me over the head.

I had stopped sharing my personal thoughts and feelings with others.

I was used to sharing the superficial self.

After the dinner I was trying to figure out when did that start happening?

And why.

It has been happening for years now.

It started when I had to change faster than the people around me because of the loss.

It was like I was spinning while everyone else was walking by.

You see the spinning after loss doesn’t include the walkers of a routine life.

So when the spinning slowed down and I was able to join the walk, trying to explain how dizzy I was from the spinning was not easy.

The walkers had never experienced a long spin cycle.

Spinning for as long as you and I have, alters everything.

When you join the walk again you are no longer a walker but a spinner.

Spinners don’t walk like the walkers.

We make circles around the walkers.

So then life goes on, without really talking about what’s inside our spin.

And now and again you will meet another spinner and say more than you normally say.

When one spinner can see the other the superficiality drops.

And you can talk from inside the spin.

When you are able to spin with someone you no longer feel alone.

And you don’t have to pretend to walk anymore.

I am not here to tell you not to share your thoughts with the people in your life who love you.

You can if you want, and I do sometimes.

But know that it is only natural to feel as if they don’t get it.

They can’t.

They have never span like you.

Life after loss spins you around like a tornado, nothing is the same after. (Click to Tweet!)

My life after loss, has had many tornadoes, some I created, some came to me.

Spinning is part of life now, even after you healed, reentered and understood what happened to you.

Now you must learn to be in the spin and find other spinners to share your heart out.

Anything else is not worth your time.

You are my spinners and I am yours.

And I am so grateful for that.

With lots of spinning,

Christina

Join the Life Reentry on Demand class here: https://lifereentry.com/life-reentry-on-demand/


Honestly, Life After Loss Feels Like Boot Camp

You can be with as many people as possible but the you inside of you, is alone.

You experience everything as one.

Every emotion is not felt through you as a group or as a family.

Even if everyone feels the same grief or fear, it is not felt together.

The emotion doesn’t get shared.

The load can only be carried by you.

The grief can only be processed by your heart.

It is you that has to get out of your comfort zone.

No matter how much love, support, attention and care you have, you are doing this alone.

This is why I am speaking to you in this manner.

The only thing I or others can do is witness you and love you.

The you, is the only real guide of your life.

The only place you have to master.

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary

With grief, it is not the loss you have to overcome but how you can command yourself through it.

How you can pick up yourself from the floor after a whole night of crying.

Find the strength to pack up their things from the closet.

Sell their car.

Get yourself to work.

You see, it is always about how YOU can do this.

Nobody else can do any of this but you.

What am I asking you to do here?

I am asking you to train yourself.

Honestly, life after loss feels like boot camp. Military style. It hurts like hell. And you have to keep going. (Click to Tweet!)

Everything is stopping you from life reentry and yet you have to scream through it all to make it.

So when they come to advice you about what to do, you look them in the eyes and smile.

Put your hand on their shoulder and say thank you but I got this.

Because you do.

It is your screams. Your tears. Your panic attacks.

It is your mountain and nobody can carry you there but your heart, your legs, your brain and your own mind.

The you inside must do it all.

I am sorry. I wish it was different.

The good news is, you are the mountain.

And you have nothing to fear.

Life after loss is under your command.

With many mountains and summits,

Christina

P.S. Finally the Life Reentry class is on Demand. 6 weeks. 6 videos. One big group.

And it is forever yours, to take the journey as many times as possible. And I will be there inside that group to see your grief cleanses, and your plug ins and your many reentries. REGISTER HERE