Ep #182: The Tipping Point in Grief

The Widowed Mom Podcast Krista St-Germain | The Tipping Point in Grief

There is a tipping point in grief that some widows reach quickly, while other widows never reach it.

Most widows feel sad, lonely, or disheartened when they think about their life without their person. Those who reach the tipping point just aren’t okay with staying there.

The life you want that might be hard to imagine right now is worth fighting for. Don’t give up on that. This is the tipping point in grief, and this week, you’ll hear why crossing it matters. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

I’m teaching a brand new masterclass called Breaking Through a Grief Plateau, happening on Thursday, December 8th, 2022, from 1pm to 3pm Central. This is where you’ll learn how to identify if you’re in a grief plateau and then break through it, and you can click here to register!
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:

  • What the tipping point in grief is.
  • Why some widows reach the tipping point in grief quickly, while others never reach it. 
  • How both options of reaching the tipping point or not involve discomfort. 


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.
  • Ep #8: Post-Traumatic Growth
  • Ep #168: Tornadoes and Post-Traumatic Growth
  • Click here to register for the Breaking Through a Grief Plateau workshop!

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 182, The Tipping Point in Grief.

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’ve been thinking about today’s subject quite a bit for you. So it’s going to be probably a shorter episode than normal but hopefully very powerful. So before I tell you about the tipping point in grief, a couple of other things I want to tell you. I loved doing the Happier Holidays workshop, it was really fun to do. It was fun to create, it was fun to deliver. And so I’ve decided we’re going to do another one but this one’s not going to be about the holidays, this one’s going to be about breaking through a grief plateau.

I pulled the women inside the Widowed Mom Podcast Facebook community and asked what topics would be most useful. And breaking through a grief plateau was the favorite, hands down it got the most votes. So this class is going to be two hours long. It’s going to be Thursday December 8th from 1:00 to 3:00pm Central. It will be recorded so if you can’t attend it live you can always get the recording. It will be a very low cost opportunity for you to get some help.

And the intention of this class will be to help you identify when you’re in a grief plateau and then break through it.  So many of us are stuck in grief plateaus and we don’t even know that we’re stuck there. Now, a grief plateau is a term that I coined. So you might not hear it anywhere else and that’s okay. A griefs plateau is exactly where I was stuck and I didn’t have a term for it, I didn’t even know that I was stuck. I mean I knew things didn’t feel like I wanted them to feel but I just didn’t have any language to support where I was.

And now I have seen it happen so many times that I know what it looks like and I know what I call it which is a grief plateau. So you can go to coachingwithkrista.com/griefplateau. And you will learn all about it and that is where you can register. So coachingwithkrista.com/griefplateau and you can register for our breaking through a grief plateau masterclass just for widowed moms like you.

And then also I realized as I was preparing for this podcast that one thing I have not done really ever is I’ve read a lot of podcast testimonials which I love and please keep them coming. But I haven’t really read very many Mom Goes On testimonials and shared with you some of the victories that people post inside of Mom Goes On. So I want to share a couple of them with you before we jump into the tipping points in grief. And I want to do this because one, I want you to remember that just like with podcast episodes where I invite widowed mom guests to come on and tell their story.

These women are amazing and so are you. There is nothing that they have that you don’t have in terms of ability. They might have a little more desire but if they can do it, you can do it. So as I read these testimonials I want you to imagine that this is possible for you too. And also I just want to continue telling you, I mean the podcast is amazing. I love doing it. I think it’s very powerful and helpful, the content that I develop for free is quite powerful, but it is just the tip of the iceberg, it is nothing like having a coach who can show you what’s going on in your mind.

It is nothing like having the support of the community that we have, and the actual tools, and going through the whole experience. And so I think it’s valuable for you to hear more about what that’s like. So I’m not going to give any names but I’m just going to read a couple of testimonials. So this one, I love this one so much. She wrote, okay, I completed week one, day one in the first month’s workbook and I just realized that the anxiety that’s keeping me from moving forward with my life is actually guilt about leaving my life with my husband behind. This is like some kind of magic.

And I love that one so much because literally week one, day one was the first day in her workbook and her mind was already blown. And what I love about this and I’m not going to mention her name because I didn’t ask her permission. But what I love about this too is that this person is not a stranger to coaching. She actually does know about thought work. This is not new to her. So it was really fun for me to see that.

This woman, I have been cheering her on so hard. I don’t even know if she knows how hard I’ve been cheering her on. But she wrote, I have just finished listening to podcast 180 about money drama. I sent a note to my adult daughter who objected to my spending this money on coaching and restated to her that this has been money well spent and that I don’t want to hear about it from her again. I’m sure I’ll hear something but I will brace myself and not let it affect me.

This woman is one of our older members and I’ve just been cheering her on because the technology has been a challenge and we’ve been working with her, supporting her just as much as we can, and rallying around her. And so just hearing her say essentially, stick it, daughter, I can make my own decisions about money. I love it. And then also she had posted later about really just kind of seeing that her daughter’s just probably scared about her and how she’s spending her money and just doesn’t really understand.

And so I think she has some more compassion and it’s so much easier when we have compassion for people. So I just love that one too.

And then this person wrote, the other day I was looking through my Mom Goes On binder and out came my mindset and skill score card. I was looking at my starting scores and thought, I’m curious what my scores are today. So I went through it and really surprised myself of how far I’ve come. I know I’ve learned so much but sometimes when I get in the mundane of life, I sometimes think holy moly, I’ve got a long way to go still. But when I really reflected and I looked through all the work I have done and I just sit in what I know is true about me today versus the start of the program.

I know I’m doing some pretty hard and great work on me. So I started with ones and twos and now I have a lot of sevens, eights and nines. It was also so helpful to see where I need to keep focusing on because I had a couple of five and sixes. It was good to not look at the gap today but look at the gain. And also cheering her on. So we created a mindset and skills score card back in May. And man I love using it because the people who are using it regularly, so you do it at the beginning, you do it in the middle, you do it at the end.

It’s so easy to track your growth and see your progress and dang it’s powerful when you do that. And also it’s such a great expansion exercise because even when you think you might not have any more progress to make in a particular area, the mindset and skills score card just shows you what else is possible, really helps you see that more is possible. And then the last one I want to read.

Today I ran the Monterey half marathon, it was beautiful and really, really hard and fell like the perfect way to honor the two year anniversary of my husband’s death and the journey I’ve been on these past two years. Even when it’s hard, just keep moving forward even if the pace is slow. And that one is just so relatable. It’s beautiful and it’s really, really hard and just keep moving forward even if the pace is slow. Love it.

Okay, so I am so proud of you, the woman who wrote those you know who you are, I know who you are. I’m so proud of you and everyone in the group, I’m so proud of you, so, so proud of you and so, so honored to be your coach. So okay, and listen, if you want to come join our program you need to apply by the way. And I think I told you this before, but November is a really great time to do that because I decided that anyone who enrolls in November, I’m just automatically giving you seven months for the price of six.

I want it to be super easy for you to get support over the holidays and not have to pressure yourself about doing everything in the program during the month of December. So the sooner you join the sooner you get access and you get that extra free month at no additional charge just to make the holidays easier for you knowing that you can get going in earnest in January. So go to coachingwithkrista.com, click on the Work with Me tab, that’s where you’ll find the application. You have to apply, that’s the way to do it, it takes five minutes.

Alright, let’s get into the episode. I’ve been thinking about the difference between those who work with me and create what they want and those who don’t. And whether you work with me or not ever, I think it’s valuable for you to understand the mindset of those who create what they want. You need to be able to know if you are on track, if posttraumatic growth is something that is in your future or if you need to make some shifts.

So just a reminder first, posttraumatic growth is a phrase that was coined by a couple of researchers in the mid-90s, Tadashi and Calhoun were their last names. And before their work what we really thought was that when something traumatic happened and probably back then we defined trauma very differently than we do today. We kind of had this list of things that we considered traumatic as opposed to understanding that trauma is very much subjective and in the eye of the beholder. And what is traumatic to one is not necessarily traumatic to others.

But regardless at that time we just believed that something traumatic would happen and you would have a dip in your level of wellness and the best we could hope for was that you would come back up to the level of wellness that you were experiencing before the event that was traumatic. Posttraumatic growth came along and said, “No, no, no, actually you can experience greater levels of wellness, greater levels of life satisfaction following a trauma, not in spite of it but because of it.”

You can actually use what has happened to you and leverage it to create a life that is even more of what you want which is amazing, absolutely amazing. So know that that is possible for you. And you can go back, I’ve done several podcast episodes on posttraumatic growth. So if that’s a new term to you, go listen to those podcast episodes you like. But know that that is possible for you. You can create greater levels of life satisfaction following your loss than you had before. And quick reminder, that will mean nothing about your love for your person, that they’re unrelated.

If you create changes in your life and you love your life more that doesn’t mean you didn’t love them at all. They’re not mutually exclusive. So there is a tipping point in grief that some widows hit quickly and some widows never reach. And I think there are a lot of reasons that feed into how quickly we reach it or whether we ever reach it. But let me tell you what it is and why it matters.

The tipping point is when we decide we’re going to do something about what we’re experiencing. We are going to take action even if we don’t know exactly what action to take, even if we don’t know exactly how it’s going to work out, what it’s going to take. The tipping point is a point we reach where we aren’t willing to settle or sit on the sidelines and watch life, the life we want pass us by. And this tipping point matters because the widows who reach it are the ones who go on to create lives that they genuinely love.

So what I mean is that at some point in their grief most widows will notice themselves feeling sad, feeling lonely, feeling disheartened when they think about the way that life is going, that’s not uncommon, we all have that. And you get back to that place where you don’t feel great but you’re doing okay, but you don’t feel great. Those that reach the tipping point aren’t okay with staying there. They are uncomfortable enough that they are ready to change.

Those that never reach the tipping point are still uncomfortable, they just resign themselves to that discomfort and they call it their new normal which breaks my heart. When you get on social media and you see the women who are saying things like, “Well, I’m just biding my time. I know I’ll never be happy again. How could I ever be happy again, my person has gone? I’m just going to wait until I die and then eventually I will see them again and eventually I will be happy again, but it’s too late for me.”

Or they’re saying, “Well, I’m x, y, z age which means I can’t actually be happy again.” Or maybe they aren’t even saying it, they just are kind of going through the motions and they have told themselves that this is their new normal. They aren’t dysfunctional, meaning below the level of functioning, they just aren’t in love with their lives. But instead of getting used to that discomfort, they decide that it’s just not okay with them, that something has to be done. They decide that enough is enough.

And they decide to invest in themselves and creating something better for themselves in whatever that means for them. And for the women who coach with me they decide that they’re going to invest time and they’re going to invest money and effort. They’re going to show up. They’re going to do the work I give them. They’re going to watch the coaching calls live if possible. They’re going to get coached. They’re going to come to the online community and get coached even if they can’t show up live, they’re committed to themselves.

Versus the ones that never reach the tipping point and they just kind of convince themselves that these are just the cards that I was dealt and I should just be grateful for what I had and that’s it. Versus the ones who are absolutely not, I will not be that woman, I will not be the woman who says I’m 10 years out and I’m still crying every day. No, I will not do that. I will find the resources, where there is a will there is a way. I will figure this out. I will not have this grief groundhogs day experience, I will change it.

And they notice that it’s not going to change itself, there is no remote control. They’re going to have to get up and change the channel. And they do it because they reach the tipping point. And what I want you to hear is that both, whether you reach the tipping point or don’t, both of those options involve discomfort. They are uncomfortable either way. It is not a matter of will you be uncomfortable. It is a matter of what will you do when you notice you are uncomfortable?

Will you call that your new normal and settle? Or will you decide that you’re going to do something, and get more tools, and get more support, and figure out how to create a life that you genuinely love and not settle for a life that you didn’t ask for? That’s the difference. So it’s not right or wrong, it’s not good or bad. We all have choices to make. But the women who are the most successful are the ones who don’t decide that this level of discomfort is something they are willing to resign themselves to.

They decide that more is possible. They decide that they are worth it. And they decide that if they have skill gaps or they need tools, they’re going to find them and they are not just going to settle. So ask yourself where you are, and no rush. If your grief is new, absolutely no rush. But when you reach that point where everybody tells you, you’re doing great and you’re not in bed crying all day, you’re back to functioning.

And you might notice a little voice that says, “Hey, you should just be grateful for what you just had. It’s probably never going to get any better. You should probably just count your blessings and be happy that you once had it.” You get to decide, are you going to listen to that voice or are you going to talk back? And I encourage you to talk back and decide to fight for what it is that you want in this life.

Selfishly I hope that means you’ll coach with me but even if it doesn’t, your future self, that life that you want, that life that you might even find hard to imagine right now is worth fighting for. Don’t give up on that. That’s what I have for you this week. Would love to see you at our Grief Plateau workshop. Again, you can go to coachingwithkrista.com/griefplateau and learn more about that before it gets here in December. And come apply for Mom Goes On, let’s do this. Let’s do this, alright. I love you, you’ve got this, take care and I’ll see you next week, bye bye.

If you like what you’ve been hearing on this podcast and want to create a future you can truly get excited about 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 you deserve. Go to coachingwithkrista.com and click work with me for details and the next steps. I can’t wait to meet you.

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About your coach

I created a new life using small, manageable steps and techniques that made sense. The changes I experienced were so profound I became a Master Certified Life Coach and created a group coaching program for widows like us called Mom Goes On. It’s now my mission to show widowed moms exactly how to do what I’ve done and create a future they can look forward to.

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