Turning up the light: how to carry your grief forward into a Plan B life
Presenter: Emma Grey
This session explores what to do when the world has lost its sparkle. We’ll find ways to reach for the light, while honouring our loss.
Validated and supported by the group, we’ll create a practical plan to bring joy into our future, grounded in realistic expectations, without sweeping the grief away.
It might begin as a process of looking for one, tiny, life-affirming thing each day. It could start as simply as noticing someone’s smile in a supermarket queue. Or it might be about creating sweeping change.
Whatever the scope of transformation you’re ready for, it’s about taking grief and fear and doubt and showing up for the possibilities that lie ahead anyway. It’s about being present in a new world without our person, even if we don’t ‘feel it’ yet – until our hearts catch up.
When we throw ourselves into messy, but potentially beautiful lives – never denying the awfulness, but carrying the grief while forging ahead – a new life begins to emerge.
Emma Grey is the author of five books, including ‘The Last Love Note’ – a romantic comedy about a midlife widow processing her loss while finding love (and life) again. She wrote the novel in the wake of her husband’s death, as a fictional tribute to their love, an attempt to articulate the magnitude of her loss and a life-affirming commitment to hope.
Jeff died from a heart attack at home in 2016. Widowed at 42 with three children, Emma fought her way through the shock and darkness guided by advice from her friend, Rebecca Sparrow, to allow the loss to turn the light up in life, not down.
From re-purposing the funeral flowers into fresh bouquets for the hospital through to co-writing a glittering musical, taking up photography and capturing the Aurora Australis, Emma has ‘chased the light’ on her own for seven years. She became a spokesperson for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, flew to New York to speak at an international conference in Jeff’s honour, downsized into a home she and her best friend designed (complete with symbolic white picket fence) and lobbied politicians to ease the heartache of death administration.
Seven years into being widowed, there are times when the searing loss still brings Emma to her knees. But it’s writing, photography, music and the love of friends and family that pulls her forward into a fulfilling Plan B future that sparkles in a different way.
Hope, community, understanding
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