INTERVIEW - LAURA'S STORY
We regularly interview people who have experienced loss or burnout. Everyone experiences and responds to hardships in different ways, there is no right way or wrong way to grieve or handle stress. We share these stories in hopes that their experiences will support you in your journey – which ever side you are on – working through the process or supporting a loved one. If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out via our home page.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm a digital nomad! I grew up in British Columbia, Canada. I received a scholarship at the University of Texas at El Paso for Javelin and have lived in various places around the United States following graduation.
Who in your life has passed away? When did this happen?
My husband, James, passed away January 1st, 2017.
In 3-5 words, describe your life during this time.
My worst nightmare.
What helped guide you through the grieving process?
Although friends and family were there for me, I knew this was going to be a very solo journey. I didn't look at any silver lining to what had happened, but I looked at how I could still have a happy life despite what had happened to me at such a young age (I was just 26).
What advice would you provide others dealing with loss?
You may feel like there is something wrong with you, like you must be the only person that feels this way. When I started opening up to people on my Instagram page (@AdventuresAfterYou75), I realized although everyone has a different story, the grief process is so different. Lean on others for support, and know that you are not alone. In many ways I recommend taking time, but with that said, laying there letting it play over and over in your head will not help either. There are no set guidelines for grief. Understand yourself and become your own best friend.
My biggest recommendation is to find what will still make you happy. For me, I knew very early that I would enjoy traveling. I was right, I have loved it! Many widows suddenly do not know who they are without their husband, so it may take time to find out who you are and what will make you happy. Of course, everyone might not be able to travel all the time and that is OK. I have spoken to many people going through grief and travel has been an amazing outlet for them. It allows me to see this beautiful world that James never got a chance to see.
My outlook has also changed a lot about life. The choices that I make are deliberate. I've realized that life can end at any given moment, don't wait for anything if it is something you truly want in life.