We all deal with loss in our lives eventually – some of us a lot sooner than others. Often unexpected, like a needle scratching over the record player while playing your favorite happy song, and then your world turns silent. Suddenly everything feels in slow motion, while the world around you keeps spinning at a speed that leaves you reeling and dizzy.
Rob passed on a business trip, 5 hours flight away from us, in the prime of his life. He was 45, fit, loved to surf, loved life and most of all his family. Then a brain aneurism unplugged him, just like that. We had been married for 12 years, our boys’ were 10 and 8.
I had minutes to gather myself before I shared news with our boys’ that had no sugar-coating. We cried, I held them, their screams pierced through my heart… “Who’s gonna look after us now?” Flyn asked. “Me. I will look after you!” I responded. I realised later how important it was for all of us, even myself, to say this out loud. “I’m only 8 and I’m not gonna have a daddy anymore!” Jed sobs. It breaks me. I hug him.
Little did I know that our years prior had been preparing me for what was to come. Allow me to highlight some of the most important ones for you:
Firstly, Rob was the one who taught me the concept of choices, long before I delved into the self-development world. He always made a big point about how we choose what we focus on.
Secondly, I had been practicing as a Mindset Coach for over 7 years at the time of Rob’s passing, which has given me so many tools that I had absorbed over time. Now I had them available to put into action more than ever before.
Thirdly, Rob & I had a couple of chats over the years. Those “What would I do if something was to ever happen to you?” chats. Both of us had the same answer for each other: “I want you to take the boys’ & create the happiest life possible!” We both meant it. That’s what Love is. Love just wants you to be happy, it’s that simple!
This was now the moment. I knew what I had to do. My brain switched to functioning mode. Everything seemed to be “ticked off” a list that presented itself. The flying across the country with my boys’ to identify Rob’s body. The funeral, the wake. 3 days later I walked our little one down the aisle to his first Holy Communion, tears streaming down my face.
Then I started choosing, became more and more aware of the choices I did have, rather than looking for what wasn’t there anymore. I noticed how people reacted to me, how they were puzzled by my choice of choosing happiness, when I was “supposed to be grieving”.
What they didn’t know was that grieving became a ‘side product’; my main focus was happiness. Each day. Every day I chose happiness for the boys’, for myself. That’s what we had promised each other. That didn’t mean I wasn’t grieving, that still happened throughout – and still sometimes does.
I decided to write a book about our journey. And what was meant to be a Love legacy for Rob and giving some people hope along the way, turned into a no.1 bestseller that ranked in the top 100 of Australia. This is when I realised, I had something the world needed. I offered a different approach, an outside perspective, an opportunity to heal and allow joy back in.
After our 2 months journey around the world, I came home to Australia and founded a global movement with the same title of my book, since this is what our life had become all about: Loving Life after Loss.
I knew I had to offer the world tools to not only cope with their grief, but to find their hidden gifts within adversity. Healing is a choice; and so is happiness!
Grief is just as unique as the person experiencing it. Yet what we all need is somebody to hold space for us along the way. Somebody who sees us in our healing journey!
I have become an expert in providing that space; it has become my purpose – and most of all, I have become the Mum in Shining Armor – my boys’ love what I do and are never shy to tell me.
For more information or to get in touch, please visit MarieAlessi.com