Ep #210: Asking for What You Need: A Widows Unfiltered Interview with Dani Nyman

The Widowed Mom Podcast Krista St-Germain | Asking for What You Need: A Widows Unfiltered Interview with Dani Nyman

Vulnerability is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days, but actually being willing to be vulnerable, authentic, and to ask for what you need especially in the midst of grief is something to be commended.

Dani Nyman is one of my Mom Goes On members who has done just that, and she’s here to share her story with us this week.

Listen in to hear the realization Dani had that she needed support in widowhood, how she’s given herself permission to ask for help and be vulnerable, and what’s changed in how she takes care of herself now.


Listen to the Full Episode:


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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What the early days of grief and widowhood were like for Dani.
  • Dani’s insecurities around identifying as a widow.
  • What Dani hoped to get out of Mom Goes On when she joined, and what she believes she’s gained.


Featured on the Show:

  • Interested in small-group coaching? Join us in Mom Goes On. 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.
  • The Tapping Solution


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 210, Widows Unfiltered: An Interview with Dani Nyman.

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. Got another widow interview for you today. I sometimes wish that I did these on video so you could see them because I just got done with Dani’s interview and I’m recording the intro after the fact. And the spark in her eye is so different these days than it was when she first joined Mom Goes On. And I just don’t think a podcast truly does that justice. And we talked about it after we stopped hitting record but this is for every client I’ve ever worked with.

Whatever it was you created in the program, if you’re loving your life again, I want you to own that. You did that for you. It didn’t just happen. You did that for you. Dani did that for herself. Not everybody does that. So if you’re a former client of mine, I hope you are patting yourself on the back for all the work that you did, for anything that you created. If you’re a listener and we’ve never met, I hope you’re doing the same thing. Whatever that you have changed, whatever challenges you have worked your way through, you did that. You did that. It didn’t just happen to you. Own it. Claim it. I mean it.

You all know I get a little fired up sometimes, a little soap boxy but in all seriousness, Dani, I’m super proud of you. You have so much to be proud about. And to anyone who is listening to this episode of the podcast, I really want you to tell yourself as you listen, if Dani can do it, it’s possible for me too. I bring people on the podcast, they are not special unicorns. They are special because we all are but there is nothing that they have that you don’t have. So look to them a little bit ahead of you in the journey perhaps but if they can do it, you can do it. Alright, okay, enjoy this interview with Dani.

Krista: Welcome, Dani, to the podcast. I’m excited to have you.

Dani: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Krista: I know, it’s always like a deer in the headlights when I get people on the podcast, they’re like, “Do I want to tell this whole story? What is happening?” There’s a full circle moment here but it’s all good. So instead of me introducing you, although I have lots of lovely things I could say, why don’t you start and just tell listeners a little bit about who you are and where you live, how you got into this experience with me.

Dani: Sure. So I’m Dani. I live in Wisconsin. And I got to know you because my husband died back in October 2020 when I was 31 and pregnant, three months pregnant with our second daughter and then I had a two year old. And so that kind of threw life a curveball, not expecting that. And I was lucky enough to find you.

Krista: That’s like an under, well, that came out wrong. I was going to say that was an understatement but not about the part about you being lucky to find me, about the part that was a curveball. Talk about a curveball, that is an understatement.

Dani: Yeah, definitely. I mean let’s be real, it was devastating. [inaudible] because like I said, he was, so he traveled for work, he was a professional hunting outfitter. So he was down in New Mexico guiding [inaudible] and he was in a car accident and died on impact. So it was just one night I had the sheriff’s department at my door knocking and yeah, it was 9:30 so I had kind of fallen asleep with our daughter. So I was disoriented and just it took a while for it to sink in. But they were amazing, I definitely give them a lot of credit in how they told me and that they were willing to call my parents.

I mean they were super supportive and calling somebody for me and making sure to sit there with me and wait until they got there and tell them so I didn’t have to. So that was good. But yeah, it definitely just kind of everything slows down and like how I think you’re watching your life from like it’s a movie in slow motion when it’s happening. So yeah, I think I was in shock for a very, very long time.

Krista: How long had you been together?

Dani: So we were together for 10 years. We started dating when I was 21. And then we were married for six, so really, yeah, he was my person.

Krista: Yeah, little, little ones too.

Dani: Yeah. So we’d had a two year old daughter and then like I said, our second daughter was born six months later after he died. And one thing I’m thankful for is that he did get to see her on the first ultrasound. So he didn’t know she was a girl but he did get to at least see her.

Krista: Did he have a hypothesis?

Dani: Not really.

Krista: Not really.

Dani: No. I think he was happy with whatever, but he was definitely a proud dad.

Krista: What was he like?

Dani: He was super adventurous obviously. We balanced each other out really well. So he kind of pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot. And challenged me to grow. Where I would tend to be the people pleaser, he would challenge me to say no and stick up for myself. And then I obviously challenged him in ways to grow too. But just super generous and funny and yeah, he was my best friend.

Krista: Yeah. This is what happens when I interview people, I have random little thoughts, I go on a tangent. Just one thing I always wish is it would be so great, I have these images of how people describe their person and what it’s like to me but there’s always a part of me that wishes I could have actually gotten to know them or seen what they were like or experienced them instead of just kind of vicariously through you.

Dani: Yeah. I mean he gave people a lot, like a lot of people shared, he had that kind of way, sarcasm. But I love that because then because I can be like that too but I’m not like that with everybody. So kind of I had that permission to show that side of myself with him, that I really had fun with. So I always joked it was my job in life to knock him down a few pegs.

Krista: Sometimes they need it.

Dani: They do, yeah.

Krista: So what was it like, those early days? I mean obviously it was unexpected completely and you said it was like slow motion.

Dani: Yeah, I think I just went numb. I’m the queen of compartmentalizing. So I just kind of shut it down. And then I could only shut it down for so long before I would just break down. But it was super lonely too I think. I just felt so alone. And I think because I am so kind of personal and I don’t know, I’ve grown a lot since, but before I was not one to open up to a lot of people, pretty private. And he was the one person that I was totally comfortable being vulnerable with. And so to not have him there in the worst moment of my life when all I wanted was him to just wrap his arms around me.

And then everybody else got to go home to their partner or significant other. And then there was just me and it’s just, yeah, it’s just so lonely. And then I had this pressure that I put on myself just to put, I kind of almost in a way put it, I have to make everybody else feel better maybe so I could run from my own pain. I just kind of shifted to more focusing on my daughter or focusing on the people at the funeral and yeah.

Krista: Do you remember some of the moments where you wanted someone to feel better and what you did?

Dani: I think the biggest thing came out at the funeral. I didn’t cry at all during the funeral. I just almost put on, right before the funeral I couldn’t decide if I wanted to burst into tears or throw up. But then I got there and I just shut it down and it was just like all these people are for him. It’s not about me, it’s about him, which is ridiculous. But that was kind of my thought process. And it was just all these people are here and you just have to pull it together so yeah.

Krista: Yeah, so much pressure.

Dani: Not helpful.

Krista: Do you think that’s something, if you could go back knowing the patterns that you had before he died, would you have predicted that you would have shut it down like that?

Dani: Yeah, I think it makes sense, knowing now. Before I met you, I avoided negative feelings. You know this.

Krista: Yeah, we might have coached on it a few times. And listen, I actually love that that is the case for you because I think it’s the case for most of us but a lot of people are thinking, well, it’s just the way that I deal with it or I’m the only one, [crosstalk] they don’t even know they shut it down.

Dani: Yeah. I remember not wanting to be a burden on people too. You just do what you need to do and get through it. And then I mean I was pretty much like, okay, yeah, [inaudible] but you’re going to do it so figure it out.

Krista: At a time when you need the most help potentially just because you’re carrying another human [crosstalk].

Dani: Well, and it was COVID too, so you had all that playing in there too. So it was just a weird time.

Krista: Okay, so that was October of 2020?

Dani: 20, yeah, so it was the high of COVID, yeah. So when I went back to work, and people would normally have been all loving on me and supporting me in person. They had put, there’s no contact, everybody has to stay in their offices. So I was at work and I had just had never felt so just alone in that nobody came to check on me or whatever, had to stay back.

Krista: At 31 did you have anyone in your social circle who had gone through anything similar?

Dani: No. And I still don’t, other than [inaudible] but no, divorce, but that’s the closest thing. Maybe the loss of a parent.

Krista: Yeah, but no loss of a spouse or loss of a partner?

Dani: No.

Krista: Yeah. What did you think, don’t you love how I give you questions in advance to prepare you and then I don’t ask you any of them? What did you think of the word ‘widow’?

Dani: I absolutely hated everything about it because you have this plan for your life and yeah, I had this, we were so good too. We were probably the best in our relationship that we had ever been right before he died. And COVID had forced him to not fish that summer. So he was actually home on the nights and weekends because he had started a different business. And it was the perfect summer ever.

And then all of a sudden he’s gone and I really had a lot of judgments, yeah, about suddenly I’m a single parent and I wasn’t supposed to be. I did everything right. What did I do wrong? Why is this happening to me? Yeah.

Krista: Did you see yourself as a widow? And the reason I ask that is just because it’s interesting to me how different people have different responses to the term. I kept Googling other things like young woman loses husband unexpectedly. I couldn’t even, the term, widow, just it didn’t feel right to me at 40. I’m just wondering what it felt like at 31.

Dani: I Googled widow, yeah, logically I knew I was a widow but I definitely resisted it in every way. And yeah, the fact that now I’m the single mom. And I didn’t want to take my wedding band off for the longest time because I was like, no, they have a dad. Or yeah, people when they ask for doctor’s appointments or whatever. And then I had this baby. I remember kind of judging myself too for him not being there when I went to deliver. I felt like the doctor was looking at me like where’s your husband, all in my head.

It’s just ridiculous but yeah, I had all these, because he was supposed to be there in my head.

Krista: Yeah. And also I think as women we’re in a unique position in that we’re socialized to believe that somehow being partnered is valuable. We’re less valuable if we’re not partnered. We maybe not explicitly but at least implicitly hear that. So what will people think if I don’t have a partner or don’t have a spouse?

Dani: Yeah, I think that is probably where my insecurities of being a widow and solo mom but yeah, [crosstalk].

Krista: Insecurities, we don’t just make those insecurities up. They came, we picked them up from somewhere, not a slight on you by any means.

Dani: No, but definitely there, yeah.

Krista: Yeah. So how did you find, I know you started listening to the podcast before you decided to join Mom Goes On, how did you even find the podcast?

Dani: So after I had rang, because I was avoiding everything, my body after having her just shut down. And that was kind of the sign for me, okay, you need help. And I’m a social worker so I have all the tools in my head. I have all the tools. I don’t need help. I should be able to do it myself. But then I had her and I like I said, my body just shut down. And it was like, no, you’re not doing this, you can’t do this. And then I had a conversation with a friend where she asked me if I had done therapy. I was like, “No, I don’t need it.”

Krista: I don’t need that.

Dani: Yes, you do. But then she opened up about her own therapy experience and that kind of gave me permission. I was like, “Okay, you actually do need more than just yourself [crosstalk], you do need some help here.”

Krista: What were you noticing in your body when you say it shut down?

Dani: I had all kinds, just pain and yeah, I mean after having a kid but I just, my recovery after having her, it took a long time and just having a hard time just walking or being able to keep up with the kids. And of course I had to do it, I felt like I had to do everything myself and overextended myself. And yeah, just it was a good lesson in that giving my permission to take care of myself and put myself first. And started asking for help and resting and doing those, yeah, taking care of myself.

Krista: And then at what point did you find the podcast? [crosstalk].

Dani: On maternity leave.

Krista: On maternity leave, okay.

Dani: I was Googling widow stuff I think. But I found you and it was amazing because I was like, “Finally.”

Krista: Yeah. What was it that you were hearing that made you think, finally, was there anything in particular?

Dani: I think there was a lot, but the thoughts, feelings, actions really resonated with me in just my line of work and knowing all of that already. I was like, “Yes, she gets that part.” And then adding that to the widow part, I don’t know. I think your podcasts are so helpful in so many ways but yeah.

Krista: Thank you. What made you decide to take the step and apply?

Dani: That conversation with the friend. That was like, okay, I’m going to do it because I had been kind of been thinking about, I’d been listening to your podcasts. I’d heard about Moms Goes On through it. Kind of thought about it wishy washy. And then after that conversation it was kind of the aha moment for me, you need help. And I think I went and applied the next day. I was like, “I’m doing it.”

Krista: Yeah. And that was back in the day where we required you to get on the phone with us.

Dani: Yes, I talked to Jamie.

Krista: You talked to Jamie, yeah. I went back just because I’m always curious and then I went back and I read the application that you filled out and what you were looking for and what you were feeling and all these things. Not that I’m going to read it all, don’t worry, I’m not. But yeah, I can see why. You seemed very aware at that point in time that what you were doing was not getting you where you wanted to go. I’ll just say it that way.

Dani: Yes. I would find, not to say that I didn’t find joy at all, I definitely had moments because I’m ever the optimist and look for those. But there was just this, I just felt so heavy. And then I just was sick of it. I just wanted to kind of go back to, I’d kind of lost myself in a way, the old me at that point in time. And I just kind of wanted her back. And yeah, I just wanted help.

Krista: Yeah. And at that point you would have been 10 months in?

Dani: Yes.

Krista: Yeah. So what was it like, especially what was it like compared to what you expected it to be like? I’m always fascinated to hear.

Dani: The group coaching made me a little nervous because it has to be talk in front of other people. But I committed to myself, I was like, you’re going to at least do a minimum of one coaching per month.

Krista: Which you did much more than that.

Dani: I think I did, yeah, because once you get into it’s like whatever, I don’t feel great. [inaudible]. But yeah, and so and it was just, even though I think I had known a lot of the tools or concepts before, this gave me a really good way to apply it in the daily workbooks that you have. And just to really make those changes and tapping was huge for me because I really struggled to cry. I could not. I could probably count on, I hardly cried those first 10 months, it was bad.

And so the tapping helped me to be actually be able to cry and process the grief and let it out. And then now I can cry without tapping so I’ve come a long way.

Krista: Did you get more out of the tapping calls that we had or was it the tapping exercises or just tapping on your own?

Dani: You gave the tapping solution app. And so I used that a lot. It had a specific grief one that I probably did. I still do it.

Krista: Yeah, I’m wondering. I feel like I’m in a constant time warp but now we have quite a lot of tapping exercises in the tapping channel. And then we have biweekly calls with Melanie where we do group tapping, but I can’t really remember at the point when you were initially in the program, how much of that we had at the time.

Dani: [Crosstalk].

Krista: [Crosstalk]?

Dani: Yeah, but she was at night so it was harder for me, I can do the recordings but it’s harder for me.

Krista: For you to be there. Got it. Yeah. So what did you, when you think back about where you were when you started, what did you come in looking to get? And what do you in hindsight believe that you got?

Dani: So I specifically remember talking to Jamie about wanting to be able to connect with people. I felt so isolated and so unable to really be genuine where I was at or open up in that.

Krista: Yeah. Especially if you think you’re going to be a burden to people and yeah, of course, makes sense.

Dani: Yeah. I had this pressure on myself to be strong. And whenever someone would tell me how strong I was I would want to punch them in the face because it was this total…

Krista: Universally relatable. We’re like thank you and let me punch you in the face.

Dani: Because I didn’t want to have to be strong. Right now after having gone through the program, I kind of look back at how much I’ve grown. And I really, I am strong. I can give myself that credit, but I think because I finally have, I think there’s strength and vulnerability and I finally have allowed myself to be vulnerable with people and to be honest with, well, one, myself and then two, with them. And so I’ve got stronger connections and friendships with people than I’ve ever had before because of that.

And then yeah, I think I am just so much stronger and it’s a lot of courage to be able to do that. So that’s a big one.

Krista: Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I know there are people listening who are like, “Yeah, I want to be more vulnerable too.” But they find it really hard. What was it that made it easier for you?

Dani: I think a lot of practice with you about feelings, negative feelings aren’t problems. And I think it, yeah, it starts with, I think that honoring yourself, because I did Mom Goes On for a year.

Krista: Yeah, you did the first round and the master’s.

Dani: The regular and then master’s. So I think the first six months were really me loving myself, honoring myself, supporting myself. And then the second six months were really transitioning that into loving my life and creating the life that I love. And the freedom that comes with being authentic with people. And not having to people please or kind of push your needs or wants aside to make somebody else happy. So I think I finally figured that out.

Krista: That’s some big stuff right there by the way.

Dani: Yeah, so true all of that. And I continued to work on it last year, just grown so much in me. And so I feel so much more, yeah, I’m happier. And I’ve been told that I have my spark back and I believe it. It’s nice, yeah, I’m getting there, getting back to life.

Krista: So let’s say we have a magic wand and you could go backwards in time and you could talk to Dani in the early days of grief, what do you think you might tell her?

Dani: To just fall apart. It’s okay. You don’t have to go back to work the Monday after the funeral because it’s been two weeks. You don’t have to put all this pressure on yourself. Other people can take care of your kid. Just yeah, be kind to yourself and yeah, just go ahead and fall apart. You don’t have to hold it together for everybody else.

Krista: Yeah, it takes so much energy to try to hold it together.

Dani: It does.

Krista: Yeah. Show people what we think they want to see. Let me see, what else do I want to know? Well, where are you with life now? I mean it has been a minute. What’s going on in your world?

Dani: Well, so I was in Mom Goes On, I decided that I wanted to do therapy because I had gone to school for it but then I was doing just kind of more general case management social work. So I did take a job and got accepted as a therapist. So I’ve been doing that and I love it, I absolutely love it.

Krista: Are you noticing much grief overlap in what you’re doing?

Dani: Ironically I get a lot of people [inaudible], a few widows and yeah, a lot of other grief. And just how grief shows up in so many different ways. So doing that, I absolutely love it. My supervisor tells me all the time that I was born to do this, [inaudible], I definitely love what I’m doing. So that’s been amazing. And then the girls keep me busy and we just went to Hawaii with my whole family and Bill’s whole family. So he was the realist, I was the optimist. So he had told me that if he died he wanted his ashes spread in the mountains and the ocean.

And so when I was on maternity leave with Bren we went out to Montana and did his ashes out there. And then we just did his ashes in Hawaii because we had taken a trip with Mira our oldest there and that was his favorite trip. So we did the ocean there and it was just so wonderful to be able to go with, I guess, my whole family, his whole family and just have this beautiful vacation and kind of some closure for all of us. And when we turned to go down the road to the beach that we did it at, there were cardinals everywhere, so it just felt so perfect and peaceful and meant to be so yeah.

Krista: I love that for you.

Dani: Yeah, so that was great.

Krista: Was that something you’d been planning for a while?

Dani: I knew I had wanted to do it and then yeah, so we booked the tickets a year ago and yeah so it just, that was the timing so yeah, that’s been great. And then I’ve been getting together with friends more and just kind of living life and loving life more and actually having fun.

Krista: Okay, what an idea.

Dani: I know. And then I’m trying to date. It’s not working. I haven’t actually gone on one yet, the furthest I’ve gotten is talking but it’ll happen.

Krista: Well, and it’s just such a process too, I mean also you could just decide to believe it’s totally working. You haven’t met someone. You haven’t gone on an official date but it’s happening the way it’s supposed to happen.

Dani: It will happen eventually.

Krista: Yeah. What has it been compared to what you thought it would be?

Dani: Well, one, I didn’t realize how much grief would come up with it. I was not prepared for that. Yeah, otherwise it’s been, I’m trying to, I feel my romantic life has just been in the spotlight with friends and work. So it’s been kind of fun in that way, just like look at this, this is happening.

Yeah, I’m trying to think, definitely yeah, because every time you talk to somebody, I’m the person that I’m going to tell that I’m a mom and I am a widow pretty quick out of the gate just because, one or two things about my life I want you to know and if you can’t handle it, I’m not going to waste my time. But man, you’re putting your biggest vulnerability out so that’s kind of a big deal. And I would say most people take it very well and are really sweet and supportive. But I have had a guy delete his profile.

Krista: Delete his profile.

Dani: Yeah. So I’m looking for a good time or a good story is what my friends and I say, so it makes a great story but yeah, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.

Krista: Well, keep your standards high.

Dani: Well, that’s the beauty I think of having had my relationship with Bill is what we had was so great and so strong that I would never settle for less than that. I expect whoever I end up with to treat me in the same way that he did and to have…

Krista: Absolutely, when you know what good looks like. Doesn’t have to look exactly like what it looked like with Bill, it will never do that because it won’t be Bill. But you know the qualities of what good looks like for you.

Dani: Yeah. And how I’m supposed to be treated and yeah, how I want to feel in a relationship so yeah.

Krista: Yeah. I’m glad that guy deleted his profile. That’s insane.

Dani: Well, I think it’s quite funny.

Krista: Makes you wonder if it was a robot or something, is that a real person that would just delete their profile?

Dani: I don’t know, probably.

Krista: It’s so weird.

Dani: I mean obviously there was probably more to it than me just being a widow.

Krista: Yeah, maybe, who knows? Maybe there was something else entirely and he pulled himself out of the dating pool. But still just that’s an unusual one for sure, definitely a story that you can tell.

Dani: Yeah, it makes for a great story.

Krista: Yeah. So what did I miss? What did you want to tell people or talk about that I forgot to ask you?

Dani: I think I had a lot of guilt too with parenting. I think that was another thing that I coached on a lot.

Krista: Yeah, talk a little more about that.

Dani: I think I held a lot of guilt especially with Bren, I was a totally different mom when I was on maternity with Bren versus Mira and her not getting, will want her dad at all. And then to the mom that I was before and then there’s a lot of guilt with Meira in that I was at full capacity and then some. And I would yell. I never yelled I don’t think until he died, maybe a little bit but it was very, very rare that I would yell at her and I felt like I was yelling all the time. Because I just didn’t have the capacity and I felt like a terrible mom.

Krista: It’s pretty common actually.

Dani: Yeah. So I think that part and just giving yourself and again that’s where taking care of yourself comes into play and really once I started doing that, I still snap, let’s be real.

Krista: It’s one thing to snap and be terribly mean to yourself and make it mean that you’re a terrible parent. It’s another thing to snap and be kind to yourself.

Dani: Right, yes, so yeah.

Krista: What changed in the way that you take care of yourself now versus then?

Dani: Well, one, I’m way more honest with myself in how I’m feeling. And I think I’m more in tune with who I am and what I need and listen to that. And again just trying to honor what I want and what I need makes a big difference. Try to go outside every day and take walks and find time to do little things for myself. The thought dumps really are helpful for me personally. And I don’t necessarily have to do the model but just dumping the thoughts, it’s huge for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

And yeah, just kind of recognizing when I need to slow down or when I’m wanting connection and just kind of yeah, tuning in more to me.

Krista: Yeah, that’s self-care. It’s not always manicures and pedicures.

Dani: No. I don’t get time for that.

Krista: It’s a little bit more. Yeah, but then learning how to really be in touch like you said and figure out what do I need right now? Do I need a walk? Do I need time outside? Do I need, what do I need and giving yourself that. And sometimes that means maybe I need to set a boundary.

Dani: Yes, that’s something else I’ve worked on.

Krista: The look in your eyes is like ah ha. What shifted for you with boundaries?

Dani: Oh man, I think I’m just more, I’m less worried, it’s a working practice, I’m going to be honest. I still catch myself reverting back to worrying about what the other person might think or what they would feel but I’m more aware of when I do it too. I take it as a learning experience, but yeah, I think I’ve just, especially with, yeah, people, one big example that everybody, because obviously Bill was working at the time. And the outfitter he was under didn’t have some sort of insurance for workers comp. So everyone’s like, “You need to sue. You need to sue.”

Technically Bill was a contracted employee but he probably should have been carrying it and everyone was like, “You need to sue.” And I’m like, “I just don’t want to.” It was an accident. He just happened to be working for this person. That’s just how I was thinking. The outfitter was not at fault for this because Bill was driving, it was his truck. And I didn’t have the energy or the capacity. That just wasn’t me. It wasn’t my priority and I said no to everybody, it was hard. I’ve been coached on that one a little bit but, yeah, so that was a big one where I said no and just little things too but yeah.

Krista: I was just looking back over the notes that Jamie took when she talked to you the very first time. And I’ll just share this little piece just because you’ve already said these things. But one of the questions that she asked you, because we always ask. We call it the magic wand question. But usually we’re asking it in the sense of going forward. If we could wave a magic wand going forward, knowing that we can’t bring your person back but what would you change in your life because it helps understand what you want.

And you said, “I want to be more comfortable and open with my friends.” Check. “And I don’t want to push the feelings aside and I want to be okay with being with them in the moment.”

Dani: Yeah, and I’ve gotten a lot better.

Krista: And you created that. I mean it’s never a done deal. We’re always still working on it and expanding it, but it sounds like you created significant progress in those areas.

Dani: And it’s really amazing what happens when you do that. And I still try to resist, I still look for only the happy, but it’s just not realistic and then it never works out when you [inaudible], so I still catch myself running and then I crash and burn, but I’m getting better.

Krista: Okay, last question. If there’s anything else you want to talk about let me know, but last question I have because I’m curious. So if somebody out there is like, “I don’t know if I am, am I avoiding my feelings? Am I avoiding my grief? Am I stuck in that way?” What would you tell them? How did you know that for you? I know you said your body was kind of telling you something but how did you know that?

Dani: Well, one, I didn’t cry hardly at all which I knew wasn’t healthy and don’t want to say normal but I don’t know that there really is a normal.

Krista: It doesn’t sound like it was normal for you.

Dani: I mean I wasn’t a crier to begin with but I feel as a human we are meant to cry.

Krista: And you weren’t.

Dani: And I was not, especially when your husband dies, you should probably be crying. And I think, yeah, I just had this heaviness. It was just like I was carrying this heaviness and that’s usually when I tune in because I just start to feel it, just this heaviness. The year after Bren was born, I was in Mom Goes On I think. Yeah, I was. And I had an OB appointment and it was the first one since she had been born. And I just had this heaviness and I couldn’t figure out why my day was, like what is going on?

And then it finally clicked, I’m like, “Oh, well, your husband died when you were pregnant and you went to see your OB again for the first time.” And then I started crying. I felt better, so I think yeah, just this heaviness for me is usually a pretty big indicator.

Krista: And maybe that heaviness for you is like you’re trying to hold it all in.

Dani: Yeah. And I just had no energy, no energy to do anything. All I could do was just sit on the couch and stare into oblivion. So I think yeah, [crosstalk].

Krista: [Crosstalk] in life. Well, listen, I am so proud of you, I know we throw vulnerability around a lot these days and Brené Brown says it so everybody’s saying it. But it really is no joke to be willing to be vulnerable and authentic and open up and ask for what you need and tell people what’s really true for you. And even to make yourself a priority I think is to be commended.

Dani: Yes, it does make a huge difference in life.

Krista: Yeah. One would argue it almost, it gets you new jobs and stuff too.

Dani: Well, I think that was [crosstalk] the fear.

Krista: Yeah, it’s totally scary to do new things like that. Yeah, but a whole bunch of people are going to benefit. I mean obviously you will too because it makes you happy clearly. There’s a light in your eyes so I’m glad for you but I’m also glad for the people that get to work with you that wouldn’t have otherwise if you hadn’t been willing to be vulnerable and decide to make a career change.

Dani: Thank you.

Krista: So good. Anything else you want to add?

Dani: I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Krista: Thanks for being brave and coming and telling your story.

Dani: Well, thank you for having me.

Krista: Yeah, I appreciate you.

Dani: And working with me, that was wonderful.

Krista: What was that last part?

Dani: I said and working with me, it was wonderful.

Krista: But it really is. I don’t know what people think what it’s going to be like when they come into a coaching container but it’s a great joy for me. I love this work so much. Sometimes I do shake my head, this is what I get to do and these are the types of women that I get to work with, people like you. It’s a really cool thing. And to know that it’s going to ripple into your, now it’s rippling into your clients’ lives, it’s going to ripple into your daughters’ lives. There’s not much cooler than that and whoever is lucky enough to date you.

Dani: Let’s see what happens.

Krista: Hey, listen, life is no better when you date again, stay single as long as you want, forever if you want. Well, listen, I will let you go. Thank you so much for coming and telling your story and please keep in touch.

Dani: Thank you for having me [crosstalk].

Krista: Okay, alright. Talk to you later.

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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