Last year, I went through a very isolating experience, which was the passing of my best friend Rob who I moved to Nashville with in 2012. Death is an interesting thing to tackle in one’s life—especially in your early thirties when your imagine that everyone’s lives are supposed to just be getting started. I found that many people were uncomfortable asking me about how I felt about his passing, understandably, especially since it involved a drug overdose. Most of the time, truthfully, I didn’t even know how I felt about the situation myself or if I wanted to talk about it openly. Some days I felt peace and others so sad I could hardly leave the house. Fortunately I had just finished my third book, 50 Voices of HCA Healthcare and had interviewed several wise, caring women whose jobs entailed helping others through the initial stages of grief. Meeting them felt like stumbling across guardian angels. One was Kathryn Beechinor, pictured above, a nurse midwife at the Portland Hospital in London. She gave me the following advice, which helped greatly in terms of having compassion for myself and others who have lost someone they love. I think all anyone wants who is grieving is for someone to accept them and ask how they are doing. May her words of wisdom help anyone who has gone through something hard.
Thank you Kathryn for being a light in my life during this troubled time.
How would you describe your work as a grief counselor?
“My job is to guide others through the initial stages of grief. I try to explain that their emotions will shift and they need to be patient and kind to one another. Emotional pain can be far worse than physical because only time will lesson it. Because I experienced death as a child and felt very alone in that moment, I am able to understand what my patients are going through. No one is the same before losing someone they love as they were before.”