What I Know For Sure About Grief

KateE1 Lily Cummings Photography

The best way to describe my experience with grief is like having my head in the clouds, only my entire being is not just in the clouds, but of the clouds, floating around half-numb, half-deeply stricken with a pain that is uncontrollable and at times unbearable.

If that sounds horrible, that’s because it is, and it is nearly impossible to predict when a wave of depression will come along and take me out with its force, knocking me under for days or weeks at a time, giving me no other choice but to rest, slow down and surrender.

I used to try and fight it, telling myself my deceased loved ones would want me to be happy. Stay positive, remember the good times, don’t cry, it will be ok.

I have love and compassion for people who have not experienced a great love and loss, and have no idea what to say or how to react to losing someone so dear to suicide. But just like you would not tell me to try and control Mother Nature and the ocean, please do not suggest I can control my grief.

Believe me if I could, I most certainly would. It does not feel good. Like a surfer being taken out by a huge, powerful wave, you simply and literally have to ride it out.

I never thought I would be an “expert” in healing from and dealing with grief, but after two of the loves of my life both killed themselves in one year, I’ve come to understand grief more than I’d care to.

If you are or have been experiencing grief, here’s what I’d like you to know:

You are not going crazy, you are recovering: 

The intense, uncontrollable feelings of pain, confusion, shock, fatigue and exhaustion were foreign to me. I remember leaving work one evening, walking into a coffee shop, ordering my drink and sitting down at a table to relax. Seemingly out of nowhere, I started sobbing. There was no stopping my tears. I missed him. I didn’t understand why. I couldn’t bear to think of the amount of pain he must have been in to jump off a bridge out of nowhere, unknowingly transferring his pain on to those of us who loved him so much. I cried knowing I would never see him again, touch him, look into his eyes and smile, hear his voice, hold his hand.

It was all too much. And there I was, sitting by myself in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan, surrounded by people, feeling isolated and alone—that same feeling my two friends must have felt when they took their own lives at such a young age.

When I reached out to friends and family, I got the, “I’m sorry, you’ll be ok,” response. I felt more alone. They couldn’t feel my pain. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody, but was it normal to be feeling this sad?

Whatever feelings are coming up for you are “normal,” and are there to help you heal. As the saying goes, “You have to feel it to heal it.” Try to embrace your emotions, rather than fight or control them. Find a friend or support group who understands what you are going through, and try to remember your loved one is now at peace.

Stop judging: 

Some days I think to myself, “Shouldn’t I be feeling better by now?” Even though it’s only been five months. I get irritated that all my body wants to do is rest. Really, another nap? I have things I want and need to do! How much time is it going to take to get over this?

The answer is, all long as it takes.

It isn’t about getting over something, it is about creating a new normal: 

Surviving the death of a loved one, especially a sudden, traumatic suicide isn’t something to “get over.” We have to accept that we will never be the same person, and that’s ok. Opening up and sharing your story will help both you and others heal. You can choose to turn your pain into your purpose, and offer some sort of peace and comfort to others.

Easy does it: 

Be extremely gentle with yourself. If this means not getting out of your pajamas and staying home all day doing nothing then so be it. No judgment. Radical self care goes a long way when it comes to healing and dealing with grief. Bubble baths, healthy, nutritious meals, walks in nature, journaling, spa treatments and naps are always on my agenda.

If we want to be supported, we must learn to support ourselves first. Check in with your body, head, heart and soul, and ask, “What do you need to feel better/great/happy/cared for?

Grief is different for everyone: 

Comparison is never a good idea, but especially when healing from grief. One person may deal with their pain by staying extremely busy and active while another may need to stay in bed for a week. There is no right or wrong, good or bad when it come to healing, unless you are causing harm to yourself or others.

You are not alone:

There are dozens of professional organizations available to those of us who need grief counseling. All it takes is asking for help. People want to assist us in our recovery.

The Empowered Woman Workshop



We totally get it.

Do you want to experience freedom from debt, poor relationships with yourself and others, suffering, grief, stress, overwhelm and anxiety?

Are you ready to call in your dream career and/or relationship, and experience financial freedom and true abundance?

Now is your time.

With more than a decade of combined leadership and life coaching experience, my dear friend, Dana Gatziolis, and I will help you achieve your goals, release fear, and gain the confidence to step into your power so you can create contagious joy and a deeper sense of peace for yourself and others.

We’ve created The Empowered Woman Workshop to give you the guidance, inspiration and motivation to help you improve the quality of your life and relationships while connecting you to your spiritual side.

You will learn vital tools and tips, and tried-and-true methods that produce measurable results. We know–we’ve been using them on ourselves every day!

At this exciting, weekend-long workshop, we will create the space for you to have fun and open up in a completely non-judgmental, safe environment.

All you have to do is sign up, trust and expect miracles!

Life is meant to be spectacular. Let’s do this!


May 14-15, 2016. Nashville, Tennessee. We will begin promptly at 9 am on Saturday and go until around 2 pm on Sunday.


We know you, babe. You’ve been thinking about, talking about and praying about your big vision and dream life for longer than you’d like to admit, but you’ve been playing small. Not sure how to move forward. Feeling stuck.

In this transformational event, Kate and Dana will help you to step into your power, own your purpose and start doing what it is that you’ve been dreaming of.

Dana and I will show you how to…

+ Step into your purpose, passion + power
+ Release self-limiting beliefs and the old story that is holding you back from stepping into your greatness
+ Get paid to do what you love by following our results-driven, practical + spiritually aligned system for sharing your message and work with the people who want and need it most
+ Use your gifts and your “mess” as your message – how to use what you’ve been given to serve in big and purpose-filled ways
+ Become unapologetic about the great work that you are here to do – and be compensated for it!
+ Experience quantum shifts: raise your self-worth in order to raise your net-worth
+ Become a confident and heart centered leader, whether you’re doing it as a coach, business owner, hair dresser, teacher, mother…whatever!

During the workshop, we will be sharing the practices, methods, meditations, and techniques that we’ve been using for years in order to create the lives and careers that have served us beyond our wildest dreams.

We will help you connect with the deepest part of yourself – the part that you’ve probably been hiding from for a while. You will find that your strength resides within that powerful side of yourself and will leave the workshop confidently able to move past fear and lean on love no matter what challenges or opportunities you’re presented with in the future…

No matter how many times you fall.
No matter how many doubts creep up – because they always do.
No matter what.

Because when you are equipped with a spiritual tool box that we are going to give to you, you’ll be able to manifest a life / business / career / relationship that you are wildly in love with.

This isn’t just a workshop, it’s an experience of connecting to yourself in a way that you’ve been longing for. You’ll learn to tap into the wisdom of your inner guide over the noise of the world around you and your own limiting beliefs and doubts. By learning to use this miracle mindset, you’ll go forth with confidence, no longer a victim to the fear that holds so many of us back from living out our dreams and purpose!

While this is a deep training, it’s also a LOT of fun! Get ready for the time of your life!


The workshop will be held at Atmalogy – a beautiful cafe and event space in the heart of Music City (Nashville, TN).


The Empowered Woman Workshop is for women of all ages. We welcome teens, college students, young professionals, and women of all ages who are ready to step fully into their greatness. If you crave more purpose, passion, and meaning in your life, but you lack the confidence and direction to get there – then THIS is the workshop for you.


We are so excited to offer this value-packed event for a (one-time only) low investment of $150. The workshop is valued at over $1999, so this is a complete steal. Don’t miss out!


Is travel / meals / lodging included in the price of the workshop?
No. Travel plans, dining and lodging is all up to you. We know that everyone has different preferences on where to stay, what to eat, and how to get here. Upon signing up, you will receive a guide with multiple suggestions on where to stay, where to eat and parking information (if you’ll be driving).

Is this workshop going to be held again at this price?
There are plans to have more Empowered Woman Workshops in the future, however, this is the ONLY time that it will be offered at such a low investment price. Jump now so you can take advantage of this one-time opportunity.

Is it ok to come alone?
Yes! Both Kate and Dana have attended many workshops / retreats / events without knowing anyone. They’ve found that the experience is almost better that way. You’re much more open to meeting people who you may not have met if you had a friend with you. Be prepared to meet lots of like-minded soul sisters. This is exactly how Kate and Dana met – at a very similar weekend workshop!

I have another question that is not listed here…
No problem! Email dana.gatziolis@gmail.com or kate_eckman@yahoo.com with any questions.

Hope to see you there!



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