On July 11th, 2019 I learned my Nan had inoperable cancer in her abdomen.
On July 13th, I got on a plane and flew home to the UK.
The 48 hours in between?
I led 2 x group coaching calls, a guest mastermind spot, and a 1:1 VIP day.
Six weeks, and six flights later (I flew back to Canada to film a course in between, obviously) I kissed my Nan goodbye in Beechcroft Green nursing home for the last time.
On August 27th, we had our final goodbye at her funeral.
Seven days later, I had my first day of enrollment calls for Squirm-Free Sales Masters. I spoke with five business owners that day, and enrolled three.
Early January 2020. Within a week of touching down in Canada to spend time with my husband, I got a call from home.
My Grandpa. He’d been fading away to dementia for some time, but had died suddenly from an infection.
Thank goodness I got to see him one last time over Christmas.
I shed tears with my Mum over the phone.
Then I wiped them away and started my day.
January 27th, 2020. My Grandad, this time. He’d had a minor stroke over New Year, but was doing well when I’d seen him a few weeks’ earlier.
There was no way I could get home in time to say goodbye. That day, I recorded a voice note and sent it to my Mum over WhatsApp to play to him in the hospital.
Then I got a coaching call. Then another. And another.
A few days later, I collapsed in the shower. Blinded by thick, heavy, painful tears, I slipped awkwardly, twisting my ankle.
I sat there, under the water, sobbing uncontrollably until my skin pruned.
Then I got up, put cold water on my face, frozen peas on my foot, and started my calls for the day.
I have been stemming the flow of my own grief for 10 months now. And it’s been exhausting.
The sadness, the guilt, the regret, the grief has been sitting in a box (quite literally — I still haven’t brought myself to open the box of thimbles left to me by my Nan) since last summer… and more and more keeps going in that box.
I’m not stemming the flow any more.
I’m allowing myself the space to be a person (who experiences the full spectrum of emotions and life) as well as a service provider.
- That means protecting my own time and space to process, just as fiercely as I protect my time and energy inside my business.
- That means putting grief on the calendar, as well as launch schedules.
- That means sometimes turning down requests without an explanation, other than just a “thanks for thinking of me”
- That means learning to lean on my team and allowing myself to be fully supported.
So, if you’re experiencing grief, or anything challenging in your personal life right now, and are still feeling the pressure to “show up and serve” like normal…
I want you to know you’re not alone.
I know those big expectations you have for yourself to “just keep swimming” come from a good place.
A place of selflessness. A place of service.
And I also know (first hand) that trying to “Dory” your way through grief is only a short-term solution.
As one of my favourite childhood books says “Oh no! We’ll have to go through it…”
And, whatever it is you’re going through… you will get through it.
But only when you let yourself.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.