Widowhood is so often an extremely isolating experience. We think there’s something wrong with us, or that we’re the only ones going through something that is actually very normal and common in grief.
We conducted a Q&A session with Mom Goes On members with questions from women who are considering joining, and I knew I had to share this with you on the podcast.
Even if you never join Mom Goes On, I invite you to listen to these women talk about their stories, and I hope you see yourself in their journeys. And if this is exactly what you needed to take the leap, I can’t wait to see you inside.
Listen to the Full Episode:
If you want to create a future you can truly get excited about even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to apply for Mom Goes On.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Why these women decided to join Mom Goes On.
- The most unanticipated benefits these women have experienced from being in Mom Goes On.
- Why they’ve found group coaching more valuable than one-on-one coaching.
- How big the group is, and what the calls look like.
- What a coaching session looks like and the types of topics that are covered in them.
- The work that’s done outside of coaching sessions.
- Why they’ve found my coaching and Mom Goes On especially useful.
- The hesitations they experienced about joining Mom Goes On and how they dealt with it.
Featured on the Show:
- Interested in small-group coaching? Click here for details and next steps.
- Join my free Facebook group, The Widowed Mom Podcast Community.
- Follow me on Instagram!
- If you are a Life Coach School certified coach, I’m working on an Advanced Certification in Grief and Post-Traumatic Growth Coaching just for you. If this sounds like something you would love, email us to let us know you want in on the interest list to be notified when it launches!
- I send out several pick-me-up emails each week including announcements and details for free live coaching sessions. Enter your email in the pop-up on my home page to sign up.
- If you’re looking for an easy way to remember the most important memories you shared with your person, you need Memories that Matter, a digital journal with 100 prompts for making documenting your memories simple
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, Episode 175. What it’s like to be in Mom Goes On: your questions answered.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief, to grow, evolve, and create a future you can truly look forward to. Here’s your host, Master Certified Life Coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey there, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I had a good idea. A while back, we did a Q&A session with members of Mom Goes On. Some who are currently in the program, some who were in the master’s program, some who have graduated from the program. And, I wasn’t there.
They answered questions from women who were considering joining, and then, I watched it after it was, over since I wasn’t there, it was so valuable. And, I want to share it with you as an episode of the podcast. So, I know you won’t be able to see these women, but I really want you to listen to them talk about their stories.
Even if you’ve never joined Mom Goes On, I want you to listen, because so often it’s isolating. We think that something is wrong with us. We think that we are the only ones going through something that is actually a very normal and common part of grief. So, I am excited to introduce you to this episode of the podcast, and let you learn from some of the amazing women that have done Mom Goes On or are in the program.
And, I hope you see yourself in it. And of course, if it feels like a good thing to you, and it’s something that you want for yourself and are ready for, I hope to see you in the program. Because that’s where the meaningful work is done. If you like the podcast, the podcast is nothing compared to what we accomplish inside of Mom Goes On. So, I hope you love this episode. And with that, we’ll get into it.
Jamie Galyon: I’m Jamie Galyon. If you have already applied for the program, and you’re receiving texts, those are me; I promise. They’re not a robot, they really are me. So, text back, I’d love to chat.
So, I started in the Mom Goes On program as a participant, back in November 2019. Pam D. and I started at same time. And I just never left. I just love it so much, that I decided to stick around. So, I went from being a participant in the program, to now being a mentor and occasional coach within the program. And now, I’m also still participating as a client and part of the team.
So, since I am now a member of Krista’s team, and we wanted you to get a members perspective, I’m going to let the ladies on this little panel answer the questions from you guys. And, I’ll just kind of moderate. But before we do that, a little orientation, in case you haven’t been on a Zoom™ webinar before.
We would love to answer any questions you have about how the program works, especially how it feels to be a member, or anything that’s holding you back from joining us. We aren’t going to coach you today. And, we’re going to try to avoid giving advice because that’s not our role. It’s really more about how the program works and how it feels to be a member.
So, if you have any of those questions, you can ask them either in the Q&A box or in the chat box. Just be aware that if you ask in the chat, everyone on the call will be able to see it, including the other joiners, members. And then, the Q&A box is where only the panelists and myself can see it. So, if for some reason you don’t want everyone to see it, just use that Q&A box.
Okay, so it looks like we have quite a few people in. Panelists, do you want to take a second to introduce yourselves, and just where you live, when you lost your person, age of kids, that type of thing. Who wants to go first? You want me to call on you? Okay, Pam D., go.
Pam Demke: Okay, my name is Pam Demke, I’m from southern Manitoba, Canada. I live almost on the Canadian-US border. I lost my partner and redemption love, Albert, on January 23, 2019. He had a UTI and it went septic. The doctor before that said it was all in his head. So, that’s not a good story.
I have two adult children, 28 and 25. Albert has his own children, he has three adult children. I’m not in contact with them or his family, at all. We both got divorced and found each other, so that was awesome.
Jamie: Great. And, when did you join? I mean, I know that.
Pam D.: Oh, sorry. I joined November 2019. I’m one of the original people. And yeah, I stayed for two and a half years. I actually just left this last June. So, great experience.
Jamie: And, we miss you, already. All right, Carrie.
Carrie: Hello, my name is Carrie. I’m from rural upstate New York. My husband, Mike, passed away November 23, 2020, from suicide. We have three kids, that are currently, 19,17, and 13. And, I joined June of 2021. So, right around the seven-month mark.
Jamie: Perfect. Thank you. Pam B.
Pam B.: Hello. So, I’m Pam, so unusual to have two Pam’s on a call. So, my husband, Doug, passed away in August of 2020, from pancreatic cancer. Our twin girls at the time, were 12 years old. And, I joined the program in May 2021, after getting connected with someone else, actually, and her husband. And, shared with me that it’d be a good experience.
Jamie: Perfect. Okay, so do any of you want to share, like, why you joined the program? What the reason was?
Pam B.: Yeah, I’m happy to share. So, through this friend, she connected me with Krista’s podcast. And I remember listening to one of my first podcasts, and Krista talking about if you’re sort of surviving and not thriving, and that so perfectly captured how I was feeling.
I was making it through the day, and people seemed to think I was doing a great job, and all the rest. And I’m like, this can’t possibly be all that there is. And I remember thinking, driving, was so out of my ability to even conceive what that would look like. But I was intrigued, because, you know, I was 51 when my husband passed away, and I was like, pretty sure I don’t want this to be, you know, all there is. So…
Carrie: I’m also happy to share. I think it was a combination of two things. One, is I immediately started counseling after my husband passed away. And my main concern in counseling that we were addressing, was how to support my kids.
And the advice that I was given was, the more that I could ground myself and take care of myself, the more I would be available to help them. And it was around that same time that I had found Krista’s podcast, and I listened to the one on post-traumatic growth. And, that sounded really appealing to me. So, I went from there.
Pam D.: Okay, I’ll go. I was actually really lucky, and got hooked up really quickly. I was in, I was having like coaching with another coach. And I told her, like the day that Albert died, and she immediately started giving me resources. She went to a Life Coach School with Krista, and thought that that was the best fit, because she wasn’t really able to, you know, do the same things Krista could.
So, I started listening to your podcasts, like immediately. And I binge listened while I was working, because I never took any time off work, which to me, at the time, makes total sense. But yeah, and also, I was in a place in my life that I didn’t really want to survive Albert’s death. So, I’m happy to say I’ve survived.
So, it is a huge thing of the program to let you see what your life can be, or the potential for your life.
Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And Jane has been able to join us. Jane, do you want to introduce yourself?
Jane: So, I’m Jane, I live in Los Angeles. And I moved here from New Hampshire after my husband died, because my kids, our kids, live out here. So, I wanted to be closer to them. So, I came out here, then. I lost my husband in August 4, 2017. So, it’s been almost five years. And I moved out here… That was the first big decision I made. I made it pretty quickly.
I moved out here in the fall of 2018. My kids are 40 and 37. And I joined the program in October of 2021. And the reason I joined is,… The biggest thing that I had going on, that I was having trouble with, is I was dealing with a lot of anxiety; never really had struggled with that before. And so, I just wanted some help with that.
And I wanted to… I just wanted to not feel so sad all the time. And I wanted to get more comfortable with myself moving forward, and making some of these big decisions on my own. And those were the main reasons why I joined the program.
Jaime: Perfect. Thank you.
Jane: Yeah, yeah, of course.
Jaime: Okay, ladies, what else do you want to share about the program? What have you enjoyed most? Or, what has been the biggest unanticipated benefit for you? Anyone want to join in on that one?
Carrie: Yeah, I can share on an unanticipated benefit. It was Krista teaching us about tapping, and bringing Melanie in to do for tapping calls. I’d never heard of tapping. And, not only do I feel like Melanie was very helpful, and I did wind up buying the app.
But even having Krista, during the master sessions, going through how to set up your own. Like, I call it “freelance tapping”; where I can do it at home for myself, using the basic pattern of it. That has been incredibly helpful to me.
Pam B.: Yeah, I’ll weigh in here, Jamie. And I see there’s a question about somebody working full time, and not sure how they’ll benefit from the program. So, I would say one of the biggest benefits that I heard, and I’ve heard Krista say this, and when she initially did, I thought, I don’t really buy it.
Was that the group coaching is actually more powerful than one-on-one coaching. And I have found that to be so true, because there’s so many times when people bring something up that either I think, yeah, I was struggling with, and I didn’t quite know how to put that into words, or I didn’t even know I was struggling with. And when somebody mentioned that, I thought, oh, wow, that feels really true for me, too.
And so, I have found that incredibly helpful to address the sense of just not feeling like the only person, and totally alone in being widow. I didn’t know any other widows my age, where I live.
And the piece to the question about, you know, working full time; so, Krista records all of the Zoom calls, and I actually find that I do better if I watch… Sometimes I watch the live ones, but I more often, watch the recorded ones, because I find I can go for a walk and really focus on it. As opposed to, you know, being at home and being distracted, and that kind of thing.
So, while there’s absolutely benefit to being coached, there’s a ton of benefit to be gained from listening to the coaching of other people. And in some ways, since you’re not on the hot seat being coached, it’s a little easier to take in all the information that you’re hearing from somebody who is often facing a pretty similar situation.
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Pam D.: I agree with all of that.
Jane: Yeah, me too.
Pam D.: Yeah, that is very true, what Pam just said. And it’s, I don’t know about the rest of you, ladies, but I filled up notebooks of stuff while I was going through… Even listening to other people getting coached, I would, you know, take notes, and then later, plug that into similar situations that I was dealing with.
Two things that I really got out of the program, that I enjoyed the most about the program was, you know, kind of realizing at a point during the program, that all of the tools that we learned, and the life skills that we gained. Of course, they’re very applicable to our, the grief process, and kind of creating another, a new life now, without our person.
But they’re just so useful in everything in life that you have to deal with. So, that was like a total bonus. When I entered the program, I was really zeroed in on the grief process. And, that’s all I had my attention on. But I’ve now discovered so many things that they’re useful for.
And then, the other thing that I didn’t even expect at all, was the community of all of these women. I never… Like Pam, and like a lot of, probably most of us, I didn’t have any friends or even family members, besides my mom, who was an old lady when my dad died. I didn’t have any friends that were going through what I was going through.
And, I hadn’t joined any other grief groups. So, this was really a completely unexpected perk, of having all these other women. That it was just so comforting to know that I was not alone in what I was going through. And that it was very typical, what I had been experiencing. And, there were other women that were doing it.
It was inspirational to see everyone’s situation, and what they were having to deal with. And it kind of made me go like, okay, you know, if they’re doing it, I can do this too. And so, that was really wonderful. And in fact, there’s about five or six of us, from the group that I started with, that we still meet regularly.
Every four to six weeks, or so we, just get a Zoom going and just have fun, just chatting and checking up on each other, and seeing how everyone’s doing.
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely.
Jane: I feel like some of my best friends are from the group, now.
Jaime: So yeah, yeah, that was totally a nice bonus.
Jane: Yeah, definitely.
Jaime: So, some questions that are kind of more in my realm as the team member, I’m going to answer real quick. So, how big is the group in general? We have about 90 members, right now. That’s regular members who are in their first six months, and also masters members.
And, that’s what the ladies on this call are. We’ve already been through this first six months and decided to stay on. So, that’s both of those. But the calls in general, are typically 20 to 25 people getting on the call, and four to six of those being coached. So, it’s always a nice small manageable group.
And, in your first two months you get an extra call each week; that’s just with the people that start at the same time as you. So, those calls are typically no more than 10 to maybe, 12 people max.
And then also, as far as, can you get coached even if you’re not on a live call? The other way we get coached is in our online community. So, you can always go there and tell Krista whatever’s going on. And she will get back to you. It’s just more of a, like, slowed down process, which is actually sometimes kind of nice. Because you have time to think about what you’re saying, and think about what she said, and you’re not kind of in the hot seat.
And then, the other thing about coaching calls is, if you’re only able to make part of the call, if you can take a 30-minute lunch break during the call, you just let us know ahead of time what part of the call you can make it on. And, that’s when she’ll coach you. So, if you’re like, I can make it but I’m only going to be there for the first 15 minutes, she’ll just coach you first.
So, and as all these ladies can attest to, we have people take calls from their desk, or their car, or wherever else. So, we will take a call from wherever you are at.
Ladies, we have a question about what a session looks like, and what topics are covered? Does anyone want to answer that?
Jane: Sure. Well, I mean, it’s just in the Zoom format. So, it’s like one person is being coached at a time. And normally, that person…You can see Krista and you can see that person, and everybody else is able to watch. If you don’t want to be, you can always like leave your video off if you don’t want to be seen.
And they are, let’s see, I mean, I really always enjoyed being coached. I mean, it wasn’t always… I think I would describe it as; sometimes I really loved it. Sometimes, you know, I was really uncomfortable. Sometimes, I felt very vulnerable. Sometimes, I was mildly embarrassed.
But the thing about this, like, what I was saying earlier about the community, the thing, the really overriding thing about being coached, even in front of all of these people, is that you get some support. You know, women are chiming in on the chat. So, you never are judged. I mean, it’s just not…
It’s a very safe space. And it’s a very safe community, to literally be completely honest, and put everything out there. Nothing is off the table; there’s nothing that you can’t say. I mean, we’re talking about our most intimate, horrible, terrible feelings and moments. And so, I mean, it’s just you’ve already like established, you know, this is gonna be a real thing. It’s like, for real, it’s like very honest, very real, very raw.
But never, it never feels bad at the end. It’s just always really a great experience, and very helpful.
Carrie: Yeah, I would agree with everything Jane said, and maybe a couple things to add. One of the things that I think is really neat about the coaching sessions is, so, you know, you’ll fill out a brief form ahead of time and say, yes, I want to be coached. And if you know a topic you want to be coached on, you can put that into the form.
But you get on, and most of us have the experience of things are moving so quickly, that the thing that was really pressing three days ago, no longer is, and that is no problem. And so, Krista can shift on the fly, and go to a new topic. And so, you don’t have to feel badly about, you know, oh, I changed my mind or something else feels more important.
And I just want to reinforce what Jane said, like when we say everything is on the table. It’s like, oh, my gosh, I want to, you know, throw my kids out the window, because they’re driving me crazy. I have questions about how to navigate sexually transmitted diseases. Like, I don’t know how to go on a date. I don’t know how to navigate dating sites. Like, my in-laws, I just want out of my life.
I mean, it’s really, like it gets really to the stuff that people really feel; it’s not Pollyanna of, you know, only the stuff that seems like it’s “appropriate”. And as Jane mentioned, there’s just this, you know, through the chat, there’s a sort of outpouring of support from the other women on the call. Which is, it makes it so much easier to put that really hard stuff out there and own it, when you know, you’ve got a group of women who are just sending you all sorts of virtual hugs in the process.
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Pam B.: And, you can tell by this call how well we’re all trained. So, see? Everyone mutes themselves when they’re not the one talking. So, what it would typically look like, is Krista would be unmuted, one other person would be unmuted. They talk about, like Pam and Jane said, like absolutely anything that they want to talk about; from grief related, not grief related, anything you want.
And then, when they have kind of reached the end of that coaching and Krista has wrapped it up, that person would mute themselves again. And the next person that, you know, Krista would call on, it’s their turn. And it might be completely unrelated.
So, as far as structure of the call goes, that is the structure. I’m not going to say there’s no structure, there is. Like, it’s kind of one-on-one coaching, with everyone benefiting from it. But there’s no structure, as far as like, today, we are going to talk about money. And today, we’re going to talk about kids. There’s no structure to that, you can ask about anything you want.
So, and then, we also had a question, ladies, about what other work, or activities, or practices, are done outside of the coaching sessions? Does anyone want to talk about workbooks or online community?
Pam D.: I’ll talk about workbooks. It’s overwhelming, and I did maybe 20%. I’m just throwing it out there, really honest. But anyway, like I went through all the workbooks and everything. I have horrible handwriting, so I wanted to do it on the computer, and I didn’t. But even though I wasn’t a huge participant in the workbooks, I definitely got all the lessons that I read.
And being on the live calls, or being on the recorded call, or listening to the recorded calls, you get 100%. And I would have gotten 110%, had I done a lot more work with the workbooks. But they’re all in a pile, right there.
Jaime: Can always can go back to them.
Pam D.: I always can go back to them. So yes, when and if you do receive the workbooks, don’t be overwhelmed. Krista always says; you’re never behind. You’re never behind. You’re never behind. So yeah, when you get all the paperwork and everything, it does seem like a lot.
And, some days you’ll be able to do it. Some days, you won’t be able to do it. But yeah, to be honest, I did both 20%. I’m doing good in life.
Jaime: Yeah, that’s great. So, the way that we say it, Krista and I will say it, is like, it’s like Netflix®, right? Like, we give you a lot of options, and we don’t expect you to sit down and watch all of Netflix, right? So, there’s the coaching calls, there’s the workbooks, there’s the online community, and you’re going to kind of figure out what your balance is.
So, Pam’s balance was, she was on almost every single call, and the 20% of the workbook. Is anyone else here a workbook, like aholic? Because I think I did every single page in the workbook. Jane?
Jane: Yeah, I was one of those people. Yeah, I just… When I started this program, I talked to Krista and I didn’t sign up right away. You know, I found out about it, I got a pretty good sense. By the time I called her I had listened to a lot of the podcasts. So, I had a pretty good idea of what we were going to be learning.
And then, when I talked to her and found out how the programs run, and what’s involved and all of that, I kind of mulled it over for a few months. And I even talked to you, Jamie. Do you remember that?
Jaime: Yes, I do. I do.
Jane: Yeah. And I was like, umm, I don’t know. But then, when I finally did decide to do it, I decided that I was just going to really do it. So, I am one of those people that took the six months and, you know, just stayed on. You know, as much as I could, I kind of organized my life so that I could stay on the lesson plan.
And I think that I could, I mean, it’s a pretty fast clip. So, you know, I could go back. And we do have… When you graduate the program, you do get sent, you know, a self-coaching workbook that you can continue to use going forward. Which I sent to a printer and had it, you know, I actually have the physical form of it. And I have notebooks, specifically for work that I do out of that self-coaching model.
I have gotten a little slack on that. And there are certain tools that I think I can improve on. I’m very good at the self-coaching model. I use that one a lot. And, you know, the thought downloads and all of that.
But anyway, my point, I guess I’m rambling a little bit. But my point is that it’s really fun, actually. You just have to approach it like you’re learning new things, and you’re just getting practice doing, using them. And you can always keep practicing into the future. There’s going to be no shortage of, you know, life things that you can address, through the tools of the workbook.
So, I actually really loved the daily lesson.
Jaime: Yeah. Well, and I love that both, Jane and Pam, are on the call because it’s perfect example of like, you know, everyone finds their own way, and figures out what’s works for you. Whether it’s a, I did every single page, or 20%. Or, you know, one of my best friends in the group has admitted she has done hardly any of it.
So, Carrie, did you have something to add?
Carrie: Yeah, so there is like daily pages that you can fill out, and I never was able to work that into my schedule. And so, then I was starting to stress myself out, because I’d feel like I was behind even though we’re never behind. But what I found, is that every few days, I would just sit down and immerse myself in it, and do several days at a time.
And so, there’s different ways to do it, if every day is not doable because of your schedule.
Jamie: Yeah, perfect. Perfect.
Pam B.: Hey Jamie, just one more thing to add, because something came up about, you know… So, her sessions look like the free coaching sessions, and I’m not an expert on those. But what I would say is, you know, I’m kind of somewhere between Jane and Pam, in that I did a lot of the workbook pages up front, and then I definitely tapered off.
But the piece that, for me, was really helpful was when topics would come up in the coaching calls, I understood the context of Krista’s coaching, because I had the frameworks. I had the worksheets that I had gone through, so I had done some of that work.
So, it made more sense to me, in terms of, you know, maybe it wasn’t exactly my issue, but there were pieces of what was coming up that were really applicable to me. And, I understood how to make that adaptation. And I’m going to guess, that without any of that learning and that context, that it would be more difficult to make use of what comes up in the coaching, the free coaching conversations, because it’s all kind of a little new.
Jaime: Yeah, yeah. And that’s exactly where I would have gone with that question, too, actually. So, the format of Krista coaching one person, that is very true. The only difference is that, in those calls, it’s like this; where we can’t see any of you, and you can see us, that’s how the free coaching sessions work.
But in the group sessions, we can all see each other; it’s kind of Brady Bunch style. So, you know, you can kind of wave at your friends. But as far as like, the effectiveness of those free coaching calls, it’s a great taste of what coaching is. But once you’re in the group, that coaching can be so much more effective.
Because, like Pam said, we’re learning the tools. And we all have kind of this universal language; you’ve heard the model said a couple times here. Or, someone will say the manual or, you know, there’s kind of this coaching language we all learn. And because you’re getting coached within that environment, you can move a lot faster because we all have that sort of language.
And then, it’s also a lot less time of Krista sitting there going, so, does anyone want to get coached? Because we sign up ahead of time. So, she knows, you know, she puts out the list of exactly who’s getting coached on that call, ahead of time. You know whether you’re getting coached, you know what order you’re getting coached in.
So, the calls are just much more effective than even those free coaching calls. So, check out the free coaching calls, but just know that within the session, within the group, it’s even more effective.
And then, as far as, how much advance notice we have on coaching calls? We put out our schedule, for the whole month, about this time of the month for the month before. So, about the 20th to 22nd of the month before, we’ll put out the whole schedule for the next month. So, you can get it on your calendar and plan for it. So, at least that way, it’s not the day before or the week before that you’re finding out when calls are.
So, I think we’ve gotten most of the live questions answered. Oh, very top one. So, I know Pam D has been coached before. Has anyone else been coached other than Krista? No?
So, Pam, can you answer why Krista’s program was more effective for you?
Pam D.: I think because she knows exactly where we’re coming from. If I was to have like… My other life coach, excellent person; got really good results with what I was dealing with, which was family issues. And, she just did not feel prepared for grief.
So, knowing that Krista has gone through the same thing that we all have gone through, I know that she’s genuine. I know that she’s not guessing on how it feels to have ‘widow fog’. I know she’s not guessing on the trauma it feels like when you go down a road, because I had that every time I went down the one bump, like on the gravel road out here.
I went too fast and Albert got hurt; hurt his back. And that was trauma for me every single time. Anyways, hoo, gonna cry. Anyways, they fixed that bump this year, so I’m so happy. But anyways, I don’t think I would have taken somebody who had never had a significant loss like a partner or a husband, as seriously as what I take Krista.
Because she actually knows. And she doesn’t fool around, there’s no fluff. She’s not mean, she’s straightforward, you know. And, I can always count on that. And so, in that way, I really did, and still do, trust exactly where my conversations go with her.
Where coaching goes with her, because she actually does know the basic situation. She might not know the cancer, she might not know the suicide, but the grief, you know, she knows what that is. It’s not your parent dying. It’s not your brother or sister. It’s your significant other.
And for her, it was her redemption love. For me, it was my redemption love. And it just makes a difference knowing that somebody else has gone through the exact same thing that you have.
Jaime: Yeah, yeah. And since you, you know, started to get a little emotional, can we talk about that? Who here has cried on a coaching call? Okay, so oh, you better raise your hand, Miss Pam.
Pam B.: Oh, yeah. When we all started, we were only nine people.
Jaime: Yeah, there were nine of us.
Pam B.: So, very often, we would get coached, like, almost every single time or every second time, and I ugly cry. Jamie ugly cries.
Jaime: I do, it’s true.
Pam B.: Like, it’s not pretty, but you know what? It’s genuine. And I got a lot of stuff out that I couldn’t when I was Public Pam, for my job. So, having this forum, where you know, 90% of the time that you’re going to cry, and just having the free will to do that, and nobody judging you. So, yeah, ugly crying is good.
Jaime: Get it all out. Right?
Pam B.: Get it all out.
Jaime: Yes, go ahead, Jane.
Jane: Yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And I don’t know if this is everyone’s experience, I suspect it is everyone’s experience, at least to some degree. That there’s a lot of people in our culture, a lot of my friends, a lot of my family, not everyone, but a lot of them who just were like, really way too uncomfortable with any of that; what we’re calling ugly crying, or any of that.
They just were so anxious to have me just be happy again. And they could not comfortably sit with… They were not okay with me not being okay. So, having a space where I could really just be so real, and not hold anything back. And not worry about making anyone uncomfortable, and, you know, just to be totally myself in all of my horrifying sorrow, was just such a huge relief.
And honestly, was not available to me, with the exception of just a couple of really good, close friends. Just, most of my family and friends were just, you know, that overwhelmed them. They just couldn’t really experience that. So, it was really great to have that.
You know, and I didn’t hold anything back.
Jaime: That’s right. Yeah. Well, and for me, you know, it was even that, like, Krista doesn’t stop because you’ve started to cry. Like, she’s one of the kindest people I know, but she doesn’t stop helping you make progress just because she hit something that made you cry.
And it was helpful to me, to not get the, you know, head turned sideways; Oh, never mind, I’m sorry. And, have her pull back. Like that instead, to some extent, a lot of times she talks like you’re not even crying. Just keep going. Right? So, perfect.
So, anyone want to talk about what your hesitations were, that, you know, before joining? Like, why you held back, if you did? Or, anything along those lines.
Carrie: My big hesitation was the cost. I was worried about the time commitment being like, suddenly single parent with three kids, and a job, and a house, and animals to take care of. You know, I joined at seven months, and I was midway through my widow fog. And I was like, can I even really handle this?
My children will tell you I struggled a lot, with memory and focus. So, I was like, is this really the right time? But it was, and money well spent.
Jaime: Yeah, and how’d you do handling how much time it was?
Carrie: Like you said, I wound up not being able to do it every day, but I would find like an hour just sit down every third day, and I could easily keep up with the workbooks. It’s doable.
Jaime: Perfect. Anyone else?
Jane: Yeah, I would concur. That was sort of my biggest hesitation, too, was the money. I was a little bit like, gulp, that’s a lot of money. You just want to make sure that it’s not going to be a waste of your money.
So, I wasn’t really too concerned about the time, I’m older, and I’m probably older than most of the gals in the program; my children are grown up. So, I probably have a little more time than some, although I’m definitely very busy, now that I’m doing all the things.
Yeah, but now that it’s done, I mean, I… Even a month into the program, I was not, I was, like, no longer worried about the money, like that. I was just sort of like, okay, great. This is definitely well worth it. So yeah, I think that the money and the time, it’s a good investment in yourself. And it is really, the thing that has allowed me to turn a corner.
You know, I mean, I don’t have things all figured out, for sure. And I don’t, I mean, I think I was crying this morning. You know, I think I definitely have, you know, have my moments. It’s not like, I’m just la-di-da, like now.
But boy, I just feel like I got like, I got like the confidence restored in myself that, you know, I can do this and I can be successful moving forward. And I can create a life that I really can get excited about. And that I can experience anything; that I can be sad, I can be happy, I can be anxious, I can be challenged, I can be excited. I can feel all of these things at the same time, and it’s not a problem.
Like, I know, now, how to manage all of that, and really understand that this is… I mean, I feel, I almost feel, in a way, even though this is such a terrible way to learn this, it’s; boy, have we ever had to get real about life, haven’t we? You know, and really, really define our authenticity in a whole new way.
And just, my days of having any superficiality about myself or my life, are way behind me now. And that’s a pretty exciting place to be at, I think. I’m very happy to be in that place. And I don’t think I would have gotten there, without this program. That definitely, firmly grounded me in that new place.
Jaime: Yeah, and you kind of addressed it that like, I feel like a lot of us have a different definition of what living a life we love looks like. Like, I think before this program, a lot of us thought, like, we will have successfully gotten to whatever that goal line is, when we are happy 99% of the time.
And a lot of learning this program, is learning it’s all about the entire roller coaster, and that we can handle those “negative” feelings, too, right?
Jane: Exactly. And so, you get to live life more fully because, you know, when you’re not sort of like; oh, I don’t want this terrible thing to happen. The worst thing that, the almost worst thing that you could imagine ever happening to you, has already happened. And you’re moving forward with it. So, it’s a good place to be.
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely.
Carrie: Yeah, I would also say I, you know, I was a little, I struggled a little with the cost. I think that’s not uncommon, for women to want to spend money on themselves. So, I was like, I’m not really sure I’m worth that. As I mentioned, I struggled with the idea that I would get value out of group coaching.
I was like, no, no, no, no, no, my situation is unique, and nobody’s gonna get it. And I’m not going to benefit from listening to anybody else. And, that could not have been further from the truth.
And I think that third piece, for me, was that I wasn’t sure that the things that I thought I was struggling with… Like my big thing was oh, my gosh, what is the purpose of my life now? Like, everything has just been turned upside down. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t know why.
And I thought; I don’t know how getting coached as a widow, is really going to help me with that. And I think, you know, one of the things that we’ve talked about is that the motto Krista always says, “The model’s always working, and it works for the things that you don’t really expect it to be working for.”
So, yeah, I think those are my big three at the time.
Jaime: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, someone submitted a question ahead of time. And just to remind all the people watching, keep sending us questions. We’re answering them as they come in.
One of the questions, ahead of time, was asking what topics we cover in six months? So, I would love to know, you guys don’t need to be able to list all of them, because we all have things that strike us differently. But what are some of the topics we covered that really struck all of you? That were the most helpful, or that you maybe didn’t expect to cover, and they were helpful?
Pam D.: In-laws.
Pam D.: In-laws was a big one. But one of the surprising things that I could work through the program, was Albert and I owned a business together. I had my own business, but this was his dream. It was a collision business. And Krista coached me through closing that business.
I didn’t sell it, because that was during COVID. And there was absolutely nobody who wanted to buy a different business during COVID. But yeah, so I went from three months of being I’m a failure. I’m a failure, if I actually let his dream go.
You know, and running the business was stressful, to getting to the point where; no, I’m good. He’s dead. I don’t know anything about auto body. And COVID is at its height; we’re losing money. And I’m not a failure if I close down this business, so I did.
So, that’s a huge surprise to me. Because, you know, you think grief. It’s not all about grief; it’s about life. And my relationships with other people now, is way better because of this program.
That’s just the biggest thing that hits me about this program, is the business and my relationships with others.
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s a good reminder for all of us, that sometimes issues that we’re working on take multiple coaching sessions. Because I remember, multiple calls where it was the topic. So, what else ladies?
Carrie: I would also add, like there’s all these little exercises within the workbooks. And the one that like stood out to me was, she had us write down our widow story. And, I wrote mine down. And then, I went back, and I looked at it, and I realized, like, that wasn’t my story. That was his story. And it just like, it was like, being smacked across the face.
I was like; Holy crap, I have totally lost myself in this. But it was also wonderful, because it was like this little wake-up, of like, what was that like for me, and the last 10 years? And, how did that impact me? And it allowed me to, like, give myself permission to focus back on myself. Like, he’s not here anymore. Yeah, that was his story. But what was mine?
Jaime: Yeah, absolutely.
Carrie: It’s powerful.
Pam B.: Yeah, yeah. Another one that came up, for me, early on, was the life insurance money. And, you know, the double-edged sword of life insurance money. And, sure, that’s a good thing, right? And I remember thinking; like, oh, my gosh, I don’t want to touch that. I don’t want the money. And so, all the stuff around that, that I found was not all that unique.
I’m also thinking about your question a little differently, Jamie, in terms of like, some of the things that I find myself using daily now, from the work. And you know, one of the biggest ones for me is, this is the part where…, and Krista talks a lot about the brain working to keep you safe at all times.
So, anytime you’re stepping out, or doing something different, or new, then, you know, your brain is going to kind of poop all over you, to give you all the reasons that it’s a terrible idea, or why you’re going to fail, or why you’re a terrible person, or anything else.
And, you know, this, her phrasing of; this is just the part where…, my brain is trying to keep me safe. This is just the part where…, it is, you know, I am going to think about all the times when I have failed before. That’s not because of what’s in front of me. That and the manual that we’ve talked about, I think, you know, of expecting people to show up a certain way. And when they don’t, we get disappointed.
But I think those are two that I keep coming back to literally, on a daily basis.
Jaime: Yeah. It’s amazing how often a little tiny piece of a coaching call will end up having such a big impact. Because this is the part where… I mean, the first time that came up, I was like; oh, that’s magic. Like, it’s such a small phrase, right?
So, just to make sure we’ve talked about all the topics; the way that the workbooks or the materials work, is that on month one, you’re learning some of the basic tools of the program. So, we’re working on feelings, and we’re working on the self-coaching model.
And then, in month two, we’re working on increasing intention. Which is changing beliefs and thoughts, really slowly and purposely, so that it doesn’t feel like just false positivity, which is not what we’re shooting for. It’s about truly changing some core beliefs.
And then, the other four months you can do in any order you want, and those are all about relationships. So, relationship with yourself, relationship with others, relationship with time, and relationship with the physical.
And so, between all four of those, we work through pretty much everything. And that’s being a widow and just a human, in general. So, as far as topics go, that’s kind of the way that all works.
So, is there anything any of you wish you had known about the program before you joined? Anything that was a surprise, or that you weren’t expecting?
Jane: I mean, I think you’d have to take a leap of faith, to join the program, honestly. Because you have to get your own point of view about how it’s going to be. But I really didn’t know how satisfying the work would be. And I think the thing that surprised me about the program, was how much comfort I took from being so well understood.
I didn’t anticipate that. Like, I didn’t know that that was going to… That was not a result, that I was thinking about ahead of time, from the program. But yeah, I just, you know, it was just so satisfying. And, you know, another thing, that I wanted to say about it, that, I guess you could say this was unexpected, too.
But one thing that we really worked on a lot in the program, and that I continue to work on a daily basis. And it goes back to that piece about; your mind is going to give you the evidence to support whatever it is that you’re thinking.
And so, if you’re thinking like; I’m going to be a failure, I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know what to do. Which is really, a lot of what we’re faced with as new widows, is like; oh, my God, I don’t know what to do about, you know, X, Y, and Z. I never have done these things before. I never had handled this stuff before.
So, learning how to trust yourself, and to shift your point of view that you’re going to make a decision, and you’re going to make the best decision that you can, with the information that you have. And, that’s going to be the right decision. And if it turns out that there’s a better decision down the road, then you can always make a new decision.
But you really don’t have to worry anymore, about, I’m so afraid I’m going to make the wrong decision. The only wrong decision is no decision. So, you know, that was just some of the best advice that I’ve ever received. Was, you know, to just do my homework, but don’t go crazy overthinking stuff. And just start getting out there, and taking steps, and figuring it out as I go along.
Because that’s the only way I’m going to learn, is by doing. And, you know, it’ll come to me. And I was so backed off on taking some of those big steps. So, that was huge for me. And, I didn’t really know that I was going to be getting that.
Jaime: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Carrie: Yeah, I would say I didn’t expect to develop just, a really close and trusting relationship with a group of 90 women, who I’ve actually never met in person. It has been, you know, I had a bike accident a few weeks ago. And I posted something about it in Slack®, because it was related to, you know, my worries about my being irresponsible. I’m a single parent, now. I’m going bike riding. What about my kids, etc.?
And I had all these people just reach out to me, and they’re like; oh, my gosh, are you okay? I mean, and friends did, too. But like, only my really close friends. It was just so striking to me. And, that’s happened on a number of things. It is this incredibly supportive, like, we are here for each other because we so get each other. And, I didn’t expect that.
Jaime: Yeah, I feel the same way. I was just looking at the four of you and thinking, like, there’s such specific things for each of you that I feel, you know, close to you about. And it’s not unique to the five of us, like I feel that way about all 90 of us.
So, Arlene, I see that you raised your hand, if you want to type a question in the chat, we’d be happy to answer it, whatever that is. Carrie, did you have something to add?
Carrie: Yeah, I think that question was, is there anything that we wish we had known before we started? And, I don’t so. There’s nothing that surprised me, where I was like; well, I really wish I had known that before I signed up.
Nothing would have changed my mind and make me say I wish I hadn’t. So, I can’t think of anything that would have been helpful ahead of time. But if we have a moment, there is two things I would say, which is, I mentioned in the beginning, that part of the reason I joined was as a means of trying to support my kids through this.
And maybe it was Jane or Pam, had mentioned earlier, that this stuff is not just applicable to grief and widowhood. Like, I’ve been able to incorporate it into my parenting and even the tapping, when my, you know, 13-year-old is crying. Because it’s her dad’s birthday and she’s upset. I can just sit down and I tap for her. So, it’s like all the skills that I’m using is also helping them, even though they don’t actually know it.
And then the other thing is, I joined, right after my husband passed away, a whole bunch of Facebook® groups for suicide widows. And there was a place for that, for me, in the very beginning, to connect with people who absolutely got what I was going through.
But the difference in those sorts of groups, versus what I was getting out of Mom Goes On, was like this attitude difference. And there’s a lot of bad stuff associated with having your spouse commit suicide. Like, the emotions that come up with that, like the anger, and the guilt and the, you know, regret, and all of that.
But I didn’t want to dwell in that. And that’s what those Facebook groups were doing. And it’s a great place for people to vent and be like; here’s where I’m at today. But it became negative for me. And I wound up, like, blocking them. And I found Mom Goes On to actually be, it’s like, a very common language. We all have the coaching language that we’re using. But we’re all there with the same goal of trying to move forward, and to enjoy life again.
And that was a huge, like, reality check for me. Like, what do I want to allow in?
Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. So, Arlene, you said that you’re wondering what you’re joining, when we’re talking about joining. So, the whole call is about the Mom Goes On group coaching program that Krista runs. So, you’re welcome to listen to Krista’s podcast for free. She does Facebook Lives™ for free. She does Ask Krista Anything for free.
But when you apply for the program, which you can do on her website, then once your application is approved, then you can join the Mom Goes On group coaching program. And, it’s a six-month program that’s just about truly learning to love your life again, and giving you all these tools, that these amazing ladies have been talking about.
So, definitely more than I can give you in a two-minute talk, but if, when you apply, you get the chance to watch a training that Krista did, that explains all about it. So, feel free to go there.
Pam B: Sorry, I need to drop my kids off. So, I’m gonna just hop in and I think answer the final question. So, first of all, thank you for putting all this together. Thanks for great questions. It’s an investment in yourself. And you know, the way I looked at it was, it’s expensive. And there’s a reason it’s expensive, because there’s incredible value to be gotten out of it.
I’m equally happy to answer any questions that are helpful. It is an amazing community. It is the thing that has allowed me to look forward to what’s ahead, instead of just, you know, sort of shaking my head and disappointed at all that I have missed in losing my husband. So, I highly, highly recommend it. And I recognize everybody’s got different financial situations, and what I would say is, when you can make it work, you’re absolutely worth it. So, thank you, guys.
Jaime: Thank you for being here, Pam. Say hi to the kids. Ladies, anything else to add, before we all have to run?
Carrie: No, we covered it all.
Pam D.: So, I just second with what Pam says, that’s all. If you can make it work, you will not be disappointed. And you will have tools and skills that will you’ll be able to carry forward for the rest of your life, that will help you in anything going forward, and will also help you manage all of your relationships much better.
So, that means you’re helping others, too. Because if you’re managing it better, you’re helping them manage it.
Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, I appreciate you ladies being here to help me answer some questions, and I’ll talk to y’all soon. Bye.
If you’ve liked what you’ve been hearing on this podcast, and want to create a future you can truly get excited about, even after the loss of your spouse, I invite you to join my Mom Goes On coaching program. It’s small group coaching, just for widowed moms like you. Where I’ll help you figure out what’s holding you back, and give you the tools and support you need, so you can move forward with confidence.
Please don’t settle for a new normal that’s less than what you deserve. Go to CoachingWithKrista.com and click “Work With Me” for details and next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.
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