Life Check Yourself Episode 309 – With Krista St-Germain: How to Transform Your Tragedy and Your Loss Into Your Biggest Gift
Marni welcomes Master Certified Life Coach, Grief Expert, Widow, Mom, and Host of the Widowed Mom podcast, Krista St-Germain. Krista’s husband was killed by a drunk driver. When she finally emerged after therapy, she began working with clients to help them gain the tools to move forward and create a future they were excited about.
Key Takeaways from this Episode:
- Forgiveness as a vehicle of healing
- Processing grief
- Self-care during grieving
- Dating after a loss
- Embracing feelings
A Widow’s Forgiveness [2:35]
Krista describes how she went from tragedy to living into her purpose. She says the first step was understanding that it was real. Her life changed in an instant. But, even through the trauma she says, a small part of her knew that it was possible to take the crappy cards she was dealt and deal herself some meaning in life.
She knew she had to step into forgiveness but it wasn’t easy. It took her a while to realize that the person who killed her husband was not in a good place or he wouldn’t have been on alcohol and drugs in the first place. She needed to forgive him before she could move forward.
There is a difference between forgiving someone so you can let go of the emotional weight and forgiving the person to make them feel better.
Processing Grief [9:05]
Marni asks Krista how she took care of herself during the grief and loss. Krista says, as children, we don’t learn how to process our emotions. It’s not taught in school and our parents don’t know how to prepare us for this. A normal response is to get away or hide from grief but we can only use the avoidance behaviors for so long before we have to put the brakes on and embrace our feelings. Allowing ourselves to feel our feelings is a big part of self-care.
Krista says she did a lot of things to distract herself after her husband died. She would eat a lot and go shopping to fill her time. She had to learn to feel her feelings and not resist them. You don’t get to make the feelings go away. They are always there and they wait for you to be ready to deal with them.
Until you learn to process your feelings you waste energy trying to get away or hide from them.
One of the biggest feelings Krista spends time coaching her people through is when they want to be happy again. But when they start to feel happy again they judge themselves for it.
When to Start Dating After a Loss of a Spouse [16:41]
Some people start dating after a loss because they are trying to fill a void. For Krista, dating felt like a hassle. She didn’t want to do it. She wanted to be whole, complete, amazing, and wonderful before she felt she could give to another person instead of grasping to get what she needed.
Research shows we are not happier partnered than not partnered.
Coming from a place of wholeness, no matter your situation, is the best approach to partnership. Feeling our feelings makes us fully alive. When we don’t have the skills or the desire to be with all of our feelings, what often happens is we get stuck in a stagnant zone, we don’t feel the highs or the lows. It keeps us from taking risks or leaning into new possibilities. We need to take risks to feel alive and to feel love.