GHT President & Founder
I’ve come to this place as a coach, planner and end of life doula on a long and winding road, but it’s a road I wouldn’t change for anything! And much to my surprise, it’s a road that has brought me back full circle to where I started, but this time it brought me back with gifts… gifts of deeper insight, emotional healing and a solid footing in knowing who I am and what I was born to do.
I am someone who knows deep loss and pain. But that’s not the whole of me. No… I am also a survivor and a thriver. I’m someone who has learned through my losses and am grateful for every day. To know who I really am is to know I am someone born into death. For so long, I could never face that truth… but now I own it! Thriving after death is my personal badge of honor.
Well, it actually begins before I was born when my sister was dying. My mom’s worries and anticipatory grief were flooding into me as they coursed through her body. While I was born a happy, healthy baby, my sister was not, and before my first birthday and not long after her sixth, she died in the recovery room after a surgery my parents hoped would save her life. My happy beginning was starting to fade.
Then, fast forwarding five years of my family’s unhealed grief for my sister, my mom fell ill with cancer and died not long after my sixth birthday. Because she was the heart of our family, it wasn’t long before things began to unravel. My father moved on emotionally and started a new family. I moved in with my grandparents, and then fast forwarding again through my teens, I lost each of them before I turned 20. At 19, I was on my own. I entered my young adulthood with the thought that I was the cause of these losses. The logic of my childhood trauma was that all were gone because something was wrong with me.
So, with a broken heart I had no idea how to mend, I picked up the pieces like so many of us do, and I moved on. I focused on school where I felt safe and finished a degree in psychology, hoping that would help me understand myself and what I’d gone through. I even saw a therapist for a while. But, at that time, nothing and no one could see my grief… let alone heal it.
I did lots of hiking and backpacking and found solace in nature. And it helped… for a while. But without a family or financial safety net, it was time to make some tough choices. I pushed my grief into a corner and explored careers that kept me far away from other people’s pain… pain that reminded me of my own.
I turned away from the mental health field, and ultimately decided to honor my grandparents’ sacrifice. I chose a career in business that seemed to give me the best of all worlds… I could focus on something other than my grief, and I had an opportunity to be successful instead of feeling like a failure with the losses of my youth.
There, in business, I felt protected from my grief. And I seemed to be alright… for a while. It worked… as long as I worked. In fact, I worked so hard and took on new opportunities, and up the corporate ladder I climbed to a senior manager level. Shouldn’t that make me happy?
Following the American dream script… it seemed that it should have. But, for all my external-looking success, I felt empty inside. I thought I had run far enough away to be insulated from that old pain. But my grief and the sense that something was wrong with me had never left… in fact, it turned out that old wound was deeper and more infected than ever before.
Another crisis came. This time, no one was dying, but my work started to unravel, and my partnership of over 20 years collapsed. And there I was with all my success, once again, facing the world alone.
Ahh, but this time something was different. This time I was ready to make a different choice… this one was from my soul. This time I found a spiritual peace that brought me healing and forgiveness. Finally, I could hear my own voice speaking. This time, I heard my calling that it was time to return to the beginning… time to return and take with me those new gifts… that death and change were my teachers. Everyone who had left hadn’t done so because something was wrong with me, but because they had completed their own journeys. They had passed on their gifts to me, and it was my turn to share them with the world.
Like water on rock, when my heart broke open, those gifts opened too. And what I found was so simple… I found the message of how precious every moment is. And I found how every one of us, no matter our story, was put here to realize our gifts and share them.
My personal path of childhood trauma and grief had meaning and purpose. I now know that I am not alone, and that I’m here to walk side-by-side with others on the same grief-healing journey. Together… we are never alone.
To give voice for those in transition by meeting them where they are and creating a compassionate, healing, and safe space that increases beauty, comfort, and contentment in a way that reflects each person’s own unique vision.
The “we” of Golden Heart Transition is the community we’re building with partners who support a mission we all share – To provide a port in the storm for those who find themselves rocked by the seas of transition, change and loss. We are here as guides, educators, witnesses, space holders, storytellers, and companions. We care, we want to connect, and we each have unique lights we bring to help illuminate the path we all walk. We believe as Ram Dass so eloquently put it, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
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