How To Live When Your Child Dies- Vanessa May

“Love Untethered: How To Live When Your Child Dies” is a memoir about Vanessa’s grief for the loss of her son Harry. By sharing her personal experience, Vanessa hopes to enable others who have gone through a similar loss to feel less isolated in their grief.

In the second part of her book, Vanessa offers some ideas for supporting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing using her experience, not just as a bereaved mother but as a nutritional therapist, wellbeing coach, and now holistic grief coach and educator. Many people who have experienced a tragedy find it facilitates a new belief in life after death. This is discussed in the book along with the physical aspects of grief and trauma that can be significant and far-reaching but are often overlooked.

Vanessa is from London in the UK. She’s a holistic grief coach, certified grief educator, nutritional therapist, wellbeing coach, and author. She wrote ‘Love Untethered: how to live when your child dies’ in part to make sense of her profound grief and trauma, as well as in the hope that she can help others who have experienced a significant bereavement. Vanessa believes life-changing loss can affect us on multiple levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

As well as being a memoir, ‘Love Untethered’ offers advice to those grieving based on Vanessa’s personal and professional experience. Her second book ‘Supporting Your Grieving Client: a guide for wellness practitioners’ will be published in February 2023, and she is currently writing her third book, which will be a sequel to ‘Love Untethered’.

🔗 Vanessa’s Website https://www.vanessamay.co.uk

Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted would grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hi, everybody. This is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And of course, I’m Brian Smith, your host. Today I’ve got with me Vanessa Mae and Vanessa is from London in the UK. She’s a holistic grief coach. She’s a certified grief educator. She’s a nutritional therapist. She’s a well being coach and she’s an author. She wrote a book that we’re gonna be discussing today called Love untethered how to live with your child dies. And she wrote that, in part to make sense of her profound profound sense of grief and trauma, but also and hope that she could help others who have experienced a significant bereavement. She believes that life changing loss can affect us on multiple levels physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As well as being a member I love untethered also offers advice to those grieving based on her personal and professional experience. Her second book supporting a grieving client, a guide for wellness practitioners will be published in February of next year. And she’s also currently writing her third book, which will be a sequel to love untethered.

She wrote love untethered after the passing of her son Harry. And by sharing your personal experience your hopes to enable others who have gone through a similar loss to feel less isolated in the grief. And the second part of her book, she offers some ideas for supporting physical, emotional and mental and spiritual well being, using her experience, not just as the bereaved mother, but also as a nutritional therapist as well being coach and holistic grief coach and educator.

So with that, I want to welcome to grief to growth and SMA. Hey, Ivan, so it’s really good to have you here today, a fellow shining light parent, and for people who don’t know what that term means you and I both part of an organization called helping parents heal. That’s a term that we use for parents who have children who have passed in the Spirit. So I always like to start off with people when I’m talking to people who have gone through what I’ve gone through losing a child is Tell me about your son. Tell me about Harry.

Vanessa May 2:40
Oh, well, Harry was just, obviously I’m going to say this. I’m his mum, but he was just a beautiful soul. He was very loving. He had a big heart. He was always helping other people.

Helping the underdog. And, yeah, I think he was a bit of an old soul. He was very sensitive. But he was also quite unconventional bit Nonconformist, a bit of a rebel sometimes. So yeah, he was just lovely. I’m not perfect, because I think we have to be careful not to kind of idolize those we’ve lost. But he he was very special of Nestle to me. But he had a big heart. You know, and I think that’s so important. He had a lot of love. And that’s everything really, isn’t it?

Brian Smith 3:36
So how old was Harry when he when he passed away?

Vanessa May 3:38
He was 24. Okay.

Brian Smith 3:41
And so tell me tell me more about his life.

Vanessa May 3:47
Well, he, he, he was very creative. He was a musician. He went to university and he did music. And yeah, he loved life. He was funny. He liked to have fun. didn’t like school very much, didn’t like, you know, doing the hard work. But he was very bright. And, yeah, as I say, you know, his teenage teenage years. It wasn’t easy. But we always had a close bond, a very close bond. From the moment he was born. And we also were very close just before he died. He Yeah, he had moved out from home. And he was living in a flat, but I used to go over there and take him food because he didn’t eat very well didn’t look after himself very well. I mean, nutritional therapists I was always taking him food. And, and yeah, he was just a lovely, a lovely boy. But I do believe he’s still around me. I do very much feel him with me on a daily basis. And that is a comfort. It doesn’t make everything all right, by any means. But it’s something and I hang on to that.

Brian Smith 5:11
Yeah. That when you say he was an old soul, what indications that you get of him being an old soul?

Vanessa May 5:18
Oh, it’s difficult, isn’t it to kind of put your finger on it. He just he was a bit different. He was a bit as I say he was. And I think this is sometimes quite common with, you know, people who die yarn, that I kind of have a light about them, but they’re not quite. You know, your average person perhaps. And he just felt like he might have been here a few times before. And I feel definitely we’ve probably had lifetimes together without a doubt.

Brian Smith 5:54
Yeah. I understand that. I talked to a lot of parents who have children whose children have passed away early. And it’s interesting, they always are almost always seem to indicate kind of like their old soul. A lot of times they have like, a seems like a real zest for life. It’s like they know they’re not going to be here long. So they kind of live full out and exactly worry about tomorrow. So that was that. That kind of things you got from Harry.

Vanessa May 6:20
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he lived life to the full. You had a good time. Yeah, I think. I mean, I remember when he was a little boy, he used to climb to the top of the tallest tree. He was quite fearless. And weirdly, I didn’t worry, I just kind of thought he’d be all right. But I also as he got towards the end of his life, I started to become what I thought was quite irrationally worried about his safety. And but yeah, I, early on, I just thought he was quite fearless. He just had. He was just a lovely, he was just a lovely person really? Still is he still is.

Brian Smith 7:05
So you said toward the end of his life, you’ve got kind of an irrational fear. Do you think maybe that was annoying that you had that? That might not be too much longer?

Vanessa May 7:15
Yeah, definitely. I had a sense that I wouldn’t have him for long. I always think I couldn’t visualize him guessing right, married, having kids in the way that I can for my daughter. And I couldn’t put my finger finger on it. But part of me started to think, yeah, there was a sense. So, mommy, in hindsight, obviously, we see things, don’t we, but I definitely had a sense. And I’d say to people, you know, we could be lying dead in his flat for all I know, and people would kind of think that’s a bit weird. So I was even I don’t I don’t consider myself particularly psychic. But I had I was slightly getting a sense, as if I was being slightly prepared. Not totally, because it’s still an enormous shock. But, yeah, I think probably a lot of parents do who lose a child. They have a bit of a sense sometimes.

Brian Smith 8:21
So looking back on it now, can you believe? Have you any indications of maybe so planning or have you thought about that? Or what are your thoughts on that? Okay,

Vanessa May 8:32
yeah, definitely. I, in the first year, and I talked about it in love untethered, I saw three mediums in the in the first year and they helped enormously and the first one I saw fairly soon after he died, and she said, Well, he was never going to be here for long and he wasn’t no I was like a realization and I I very much feel that we had planned this together as a family that for whatever reasons that I don’t fully understand that I agreed this pain and suffering that I was going to I was going to grow out of much as I’d rather not in many ways, and I think he came here he did what he needed to do and he was just never going to be here for long and but he’s still with us. I feel I can feel him now he does this on the side of my head.

Brian Smith 9:35
Okay, and if you mentioned that that communication from him if yet other communication from him also.

Vanessa May 9:42
Yeah, I mean, quite a lot. The main one is I do feel him on the side of my my head. I’m the usual things feathers. One birthday, I think it was the second birthday. So Terry, I want Can you give me a sign today? I’m not sure Just a random further. And we were walking through the park, and there was a bush, and it was literally covered with feathers. And then coming away from this bush, there were feathers all along. And I literally said him, and not just a random feather. And he gave me that, and I thought it was going to see mom, because he did have a very good sense of humor. So that was that was a good one. But I don’t think I wrote about that in the book, because I think that was in the second year. But yeah, I mean, he, he plays with light see her, as seems to be usual. We don’t get these sorts of signs as much as we did. Now, we know that he’s around. But uh, he played with my phone, go back to emails from six years ago. And in fact, there was what my phone just just malfunctioned and just scrolled back. And it stopped at an email from him. And being a teenage boy, he didn’t email me very often. And it just said Last Kiss, Kiss Kiss. And I thought, what, what’s this, and it was a link, the, you know, the television series last. And we used to watch that together. And I never understood it. And, and he had sent me this link, obviously, which I’d forgotten about. And I clicked on it, it was explaining in a YouTube video in about five minutes, the meaning of lost. And then it got to the part where Jack the main character. I think he dies I can’t quite remember now. But he goes to the waiting room. And his father’s there waiting for him. And he realizes that all the time. I think if I remember rightly, that he’s he’s been dead. But there his father is in this waiting room, in heaven or whatever. And I just took that to be a sign that Harry was saying, I will be waiting for you. I will be an early grief. That was really important to me. Because now I’d go well, yeah, of course, he’s going to be waiting for me. But then I, when I was searching and trying to understand that was enormously comforting. So that was a very good little bit of interference with my phone. But lights is another thing he was doing and my daughter’s Spotify account, he would play his because he was a musician. So he plays own song. She’d be like, I play that. Yeah, so we’ve had a few signs. But I think, you know, as you get beyond that first year, you perhaps don’t need them as much. But of course, there’s always the issue of people around us thinking, it’s wishful thinking. And we’re putting two together two and two together and making five and, but that’s what I believe. And it helps me. And I think it helps a lot of people. So

Brian Smith 13:03
yeah, the interesting thing about signs is we tend to talk ourselves out of most of us, not all of us, but to talk ourselves out of them. And it certainly doesn’t help when other people start trying to talk us talk them out of us out of them as well. So what I tell the clients that I work with, when they say to me, is this a sign I’m like, if you think it’s a sign, it’s a sign. And if you know that someone’s going to shoot it down, then don’t share it with them. Don’t let them take that away from you. Again, I’m a rational person. I’m an engineer. So I will calculate the odds about stuff, you know, because things coincidences, you know, and most of these things that we get, and that people tell me that the odds are just there. They’re incalculable. They’re, they’re astronomical, but people will still say it’s it’s coincidence. But we all know that we have these synchronicities in life, we see them all the time where someone just happens to call you at the right time, or you say something, and then something happens later. And that’s I think that’s just the way life is and we just refuse to believe it. Because we’ve been taught that the universe is totally mechanical. So will you share your slides with me? I’m like, Yeah, I believe you 100%. Because I’ve seen, I’ve seen too much and what other people think people don’t realize is that, like, I think it’s 70% of people who have lost a spouse, say they’ve had a sign from from their spouse. It’s super, super high. It’s a lot harder than people realize.

Vanessa May 14:33
And I think it’s 75% of bereaved parents, isn’t it?

Brian Smith 14:36
It’s

Vanessa May 14:38
in my head, but it’s a lot. It’s higher than you’d think

Brian Smith 14:42
it is. And it’s not just again, such as wishful thinking, because I know a lot of times people I’ve talked to is that people don’t believe in science. They’ll come up to me and say, this happened to me. Am I crazy? Because, you know, it’s happened to me three times after someone passed away and like now they’re their community. carry with you.

Vanessa May 15:01
Yeah, I think so. But as I say, the the this thing he does touching is just a sensation. That’s my sort of everyday sign from him now. It’s kind of like, I’m here, man, I’m here. And I talk to him all the time. And it comforts me. And it helps. And that’s really the bottom line. I think anyone wants to doubt any of the signs or anything, I believe, just let me have it, because it helps me and it gets me through. As it does matter of this.

Brian Smith 15:33
I do want to take them out which I’m touching inside of your head. Because people might say, Well, how do you know that that’s aside from him. And I’ve heard a tip that people can do that they want to get aside from a loved one. It’s like if you sit, like in meditation, sit very quietly, and think about your loved one and just feel your body feel your body sensations. And a lot of times, they’ll start to develop a pattern that someone can touch you here is your sign. And I’ve heard people say, like, Well, my grandmother touches me on my right shoulder, and my son touches me on my left shoulder and another person touches me here. And so you can learn and they can kind of show you like, which sign is for which person.

Vanessa May 16:12
That’s interesting, isn’t it? Yeah, it makes sense to me.

Brian Smith 16:15
Yeah. So I just wanted to for people that are saying, How does she know that you we can all do that ourselves? Like, think about your loved one? And just really feel it’s usually very subtle. The feeling you get? It’s usually very subtle, but it’ll come?

Vanessa May 16:29
Yeah, I think so. Another thing I get that I get it less frequently, but I think it’s quite common, is I’ll just sort of get shivers, but only one side of my body and it’s always the right side. So again, I think that’s hairy, because it’s just one side. And you know, if you’re cold, you shiver on, you know, everywhere, don’t you but this is very specifically the right side. But that’s less frequent. So I I just I have this feeling that he’s on that side. But yeah, I think you have to ask. Yeah,

Brian Smith 17:03
yeah. Yeah. And like you said, that’s, that’s it’s like, we develop our own language with a loved one for everybody. It’s different. Because people asked me like, What signs like from Shayna? How do I feel Shayna? And it’s like, you develop your own dialogue with that with that person. So people it can’t, it’s not going to be like, well, you know, her son touches her here. So my son is going to touch me here. That’s that’s not the way it is. It’s always a little bit different. And my wife was sitting in meditation, and she would think about my daughter. And she would see like the color purple, like both our eyes closed, right? So just kind of a feeling of The Color Purple. And our heart would start to speed up a little bit. And she’s like, I wonder if that’s coming from from my daughter. So you know, you talked about mediums earlier, we had a meet a friend who’s a medium. And she called up and she said, Seamus says you have a question for me, just out of the blue. And my wife goes, no, she goes, No Santa say that you have a question for me. And she she gave her some evidence. It was from Shana. She asked her if she’d been sitting with mala beads, and she’d just been sitting in mala beads. So that was a sign was from Shayna. My wife said, You know I said, Well, yeah, I do have a question for when I’m sitting in meditation. Sometimes I get this, this feeling, you know, I see the color purple and my heart’s beats up and through the medium. Shane is a Yes, that’s me. So now my wife knows that. That’s one of the signs that she gets from Shana. And it was validated by this other person. So just just another example of how they they communicate with us and they still in our lives.

Vanessa May 18:31
Yeah, I think actually, mediums are great for confirming what you already know. Yeah. Yeah. Because sometimes people go to mediums because they they just want information, communication from their loved ones, but some of us are actually just wanting what we have. Perhaps not. And then we have it confirmed. And I think that’s another important role mediums can play is just confirming what we already know.

Brian Smith 18:58
Yeah, that’s an excellent point. You know, we need to learn to trust ourselves, but it takes a while. Yeah. And it’s sometimes because they have to have that validation that Yeah, and I’ve had against stuff has happened around here. Like Shane would mess with my computer. And then I’d have a read of the medium just and they’re like Shana says she messes with the computer and I’m like, Okay, now I know that was her and then I’d say well stop because one time she actually broke it. It didn’t work for about a week. And I was like, I was called the repair guy goes I think you have to buy a new computer. I’m like, What this doesn’t make any sense. And then it just started working again. And like it was never broken. I talked to the repair guy goes I don’t have any idea what happened. But I convinced that was my daughter

Vanessa May 19:43
Yeah, what was like my phone suddenly just randomly scrolling through the emails six years ago, and I think you know, that they’re going to be they were here and good with technology. Yeah, those those skills perhaps they can and manipulate from the other side fairly easily. Whereas somebody who died 100 years ago, I don’t know, maybe they, they won’t be able to do that quite so readily. Who knows?

Brian Smith 20:11
Yeah, and that’s the principle. Another interesting place. I’m on the cell phone project is I’m not sure if you’re heard of it or not, but we’re easy to communicate with the other side. And we found out that there are better communicators, and worse communicators, even with this highly specialized technology, some people and aside are really, really good. And some people are not so great. So the thing about our loved ones in spirit will listen, other people say I’ve got a sign, and it’s like this. And people. So why did my loved one do that? Well, and maybe that they can’t have maybe they haven’t learned that skill yet. It’s it seems to not be as easy as we think it is. It’s not like picking up the phone and just dialing it.

Vanessa May 20:54
I think the cellphone project sounds really interesting. I’m, yeah, I’ll be very interested to see how that all comes about, and whether in five years time, it’ll be available for us to use, it will be incredible. Obviously, you know more about it than I do. Yeah,

Brian Smith 21:14
it will, it will be you know what, I’ve learned that by talking to people like yourself and talking to other people have, you know, spirit communicate with loved ones. We’ve got a lot more communication now than most people realize. You know, we’ve got a whole lot of communication right now. Again, through through dream visits, you know, people need to learn to trust the dreams, through through mediums through these these signs that we get the synchronicities that we get. There’s a whole lot of stuff going on back and forth. You said, you talked to Harry, you know, talk to you. I talked to Shane that literally every day, you know, and it’s not just me to wishful thinking. I mean, I know she hears me.

Vanessa May 21:55
Yeah, yeah. And they talk back, as in, I feel that I’ll get answers. Not outside my head, but inside my head. And you could argue, well, that’s just your intuition, or that’s just, I don’t think it matters. You know, I don’t think it matters at the end of the day. It’s whatever helps. But yeah, I’ve had a couple of dream visitations never enough. I wish I could have more. But they’re very vivid when they come. I had one which was beautiful. And that was him hugging me. And I felt it was like a full body experience. Like no hug. He was a big hugger. But this was like no heart I’d ever experienced. It was incredible. And I woke up and I felt euphoric and absolutely devastated at the same time. Because I felt the connection, but it wasn’t, you know, visceral. Yeah.

Brian Smith 22:51
Well, no, I just saw something I think it was yesterday said if you remember your dream, that means there’s there’s a message in it. Because most of our dreams, we don’t remember. And we don’t always know how to interpret the message. But there’s some sort of a message and what you just said, is really important for people to understand that a dream visit. It’s it is, as you said, it’s very, it’s visceral, you wake up, I’ve had a man, I wake up literally crying, you know, it’s like, you come out of it. And you’re like, you know, there was something different, you know, there was a connection there. You’re right. It’s never enough. It’s never long enough. It’s just, it’s a little reminder that they’re still with us.

Vanessa May 23:29
Yeah, absolutely.

Brian Smith 23:33
So, you, Harry passed away, which was about three years ago, right? Yeah. The book is your first year of grief, which is? Well, you tell me what the first year was like?

Vanessa May 23:47
Well, I think you probably know, obviously, there’ll be similarities with with every parent who loses a child. It was just the shock, the trauma, the devastation was unbearable. And I I was very traumatized, and I was later diagnosed with PTSD. And I went to a bereavement counselor, first of all, because I thought, being a coach, as you will know, you’re kind of like, okay, what am I going to do? How do I move through this? How do I go forward? Why don’t you just want to you’re a bit of a do well, I’m a bit of a doer. And I thought, okay, not how not fixed up I go, how do I fix this? Because I already knew that wasn’t gonna happen. But it’s like, how can I make it better? How can I, what can I do? So I thought about seeing a medium and I thought about finding a bereavement counselor. And I kind of almost naively thought, oh, this this will help. And it just really didn’t. And I just felt that I was sitting and stewing in my grief and I was being asked sort of questionnaire A tight questions such as you know, on a scale of one to 10 How is your social life? And and I was just gobsmacked thinking Are you serious? So there’s just a disconnect and I thought and you know that the counselor, I didn’t have that many sessions, which is really kind but they just didn’t tick the box as I needed it to. And I thought, well, if I want to chat about things, talk things through, I’ve got friends for that. And I, I just didn’t feel it was helpful, I felt I needed something more proactive. And that’s where the coaching side I think comes in just, and I. And then I searched around for other people who might help. That was also unsuccessful, I found compassionate friends. That was better because you go into the group issue you may know and you see we’re in early grief, you see the bereaved parents further along the line, who have kind of got dressed, wash their hair are just there. And that feels like an achievement in early grief. And you think, okay, okay, look, they’re examples. Maybe I can survive this. Because I think in early grief, you think I can’t survive this? I certainly thought I’ll never this is this is it for me, this is too much. My bond with my son is so great. I won’t survive this. And then I think I was writing emails with a friend and she said, you put it out, you make it really clear what you’re feeling. Why don’t you write it? Down journalists, or maybe think about writing a book just right. And so I thought, well, yeah, maybe that’s a that’s a way of me processing it. So I started to write. And then I think it was about five weeks after Harry died, though. There was a David Kessler because I was big busy searching. David Kessler inevitably came up. And he was doing a writing through loss and trauma course, it was just a short course. And I thought, Oh, I’ll do that. Obviously, it’s online. And that really helped. And that made me think, you know, I, I’m going to do this. And it was my, it was my way through early grief was just writing it down. And, and after, obviously, I went back and wrote about when he died, and before he died. And around that early few weeks. And then I pretty much wrote in real time, then I pretty much wrote as it was happening. And so it was my therapy. So writing was my therapy. And, and then as the time as time went on, I I thought well, because I couldn’t I was incapable of working at the time. And I kind of lost my all my clients, my nutritional therapy and coaching clients. And then I thought I don’t how can I ever go back to that I’m an entirely different person. And then it started to occur to me well, how, how can I use what I might the skills I’ve got to help other people in my situation. And if I didn’t find the help, I need it. And of course, I’m in the UK, it might be very different where you are, there may be better Grief counselors, for bereaved parents, particularly. But I didn’t find one. And I just thought, well, maybe I can, maybe I can help as soon as we know, often our way through grief is, is to find meaning and purpose, to make sense of our grief by helping others. And so the writing of the book made me think I might be able to do this. And I thought well, why don’t I have a section of the book, where I talk about the physical aspects of grief. Because I, I had no idea that I would shake for 48 hours from the shock that my heart felt like I was gonna have a heart attack. It was just beating so fast, but I wouldn’t sleep for three whole weeks. These physical aspects of grief, feeling Nausea is thinking I was going to be sick, not being able to eat. Not everyone has all of these physical symptoms, because they’re symptoms of shock and trauma. And, you know, not every loss is from traumatic and not everyone, even if it is traumatic, has that. That experience but I did and so I knew other people might do and I thought this isn’t really talked about and when you go to bereavement counselor, they certainly don’t say and what physical symptoms if you’ve had and I thought well, my background, you know, I’ve got degree in nutritional medicine. I mean, it just I thought grief is the biggest stress you can ever go through. And I was I’ve been dealing with a lot of stressed people a lot of stress as clients and I thought, well, this is just the far end of the scale. So I got the skill set to help people with their diet, through supplements, lifestyle, and then the coaching. And then I thought, I did a few courses in grief and also had been part of my training from my coaching anyway. But also had my own experience of grief, which I felt was lived experience was valuable as well. And then later I did. David, Kansas, grief, educator certification, but so yeah, so that’s what I did. So that the last part of the book is the practical side of things that might be able to help you. So it goes from physical support to things you might try, like Reiki or ways you can continuing bonds, I talk about honoring the past, and you’ve lost various ways of grief yoga, just people in early grief probably hadn’t discovered these things yet. And I thought, I’ll just put it all in one place. I think we’ve discovered these things as we go along. So they wouldn’t be new to you, for example, but people in early grief, you do feel completely at sea, you literally don’t know what’s happening. And I think a lot of us are just thinking what am I meant, how do I make this better, we don’t make it better, but you can soften it and you can ease some of the suffering by being proactive. And so I do believe you sometimes have to sit with a grief, and just feel it and like purge the pain. And then there’s also a place for going okay, now I’m going to go for a walk, I’m going to plant some bulbs that will come up in the spring that will remind me that life does continue, I’ll get my hands in the soil, you know, a look up at the sky and see how vast it is and be reminded of my place in the world. So all these things that we discover as we go along. And I just wanted to you know, help the people coming up behind me. Really. So yeah, and then I also talk about physical, the emotional, but also the spiritual, because that is one way I think, losing someone you love dearly, we know the detrimental effects on the body and the emotions and the mind. But the positive is you do you do have soul growth or the potential is there, you can still have your child or the person you’ve lost, you still have that bond. And that does, you know, energy, love doesn’t die. So that’s the thing that I think is I don’t want to call it the positive of grief. But it’s it’s one part of grief that kind of, I don’t know how to put it really just can give you a little bit of understanding because you start to question, what, what’s it all about? And while you have to look after yourself physically, emotionally, then you can explore finding your child, wherever they are, or the person you’ve lost whoever it might be, if that makes sense.

Brian Smith 33:33
I’m curious when you went to the bereavement counselor, the first when you went to what do you think was missing there?

Vanessa May 33:44
I think it’s difficult to say because I don’t want to criticize her. She’s a perfectly nice person. But I don’t know if she dealt with a bereaved mother before but one who was literally on the floor in tears, not literally on the floor, but just absolutely distraught. And I don’t think she knew what to do with it. And I also sometimes think with counseling, it’s a little bit passive, and that didn’t suit me. And I basically, I just wanted a bereaved mother, who will happen to be a counselor who’d go, I know how this feels it was the knot. I felt she didn’t really get what how bad how he used this was. So that was but that’s that’s my perspective. I’m not saying every counselor or that was just not mine.

Brian Smith 34:41
I was asking for you for your perspective. I think you know what you said there because I went to a grief counselor too. And I went about three times, and nothing at all wrong with this guy. First of all, I’ve done a lot of grief training, and I found that the grief counseling generally doesn’t work. It’s, it’s ironic, well, they’ve done studies that John doesn’t doesn’t mean it’s not good. That’s but it’s just not for everybody. So like if your grandmother dies, going to grief counselors, probably not necessary, and probably not going to help. But what I have found, and I took David’s course you and I think ticket this at the same time. Yeah. And David talks about this himself because he was a grief counselor before his son passed away. And one of the things he teaches his course is, people in grief need to be witnessed. And you have a grief witness and other people can kind of witness our grief. But nobody like who’s been through what we’ve been through. And I think, yeah, I’m not to put words in your mouth. But I think that’s one of the things that’s missing with a lot of grief counselors, because they’re pulling out their books. They’re doing their survey, they’re putting you on a chart, they’re saying, she said an eight here, she’s a seven here. This is the stage of grief she’s in. Yeah. And then a lot of them are very reluctant to talk about what I have found to be the most awkward thing, which is the continuing bonds.

Vanessa May 36:02
Yeah, well, on our course, in the summer, how many therapists and counselors were on there? And I thought that really made it fairly clear that they needed more track, they felt they needed more training and grief, and they hadn’t got it. I thought that said it. Oh, really? Yeah.

Brian Smith 36:26
Yeah, I remember there was a young girl in particular that was in the course. And you could tell she was just fresh out of like, you know, she was she was in a professional role. She’s in a job, what she was doing, you know, psychotherapy, whatever. But she’s just asking, you know, you could tell she’s just, she’s been, she’s been trained, and traditional school, which doesn’t teach you how to deal with real grief. And it doesn’t teach, like I said, I think, because we got through the different models, you know, and we talked about how Freud had done this stuff, and all that and insight. Yeah. If you don’t acknowledge the spirit in me, you talked about the physical, the mental, the emotional aspect, but if you ignore the spiritual aspect of it of grief, I think that’s where traditional grief counseling just doesn’t work.

Vanessa May 37:11
Yeah. What? Yeah, I agree. Although if you remember, David did kind of say, if people ask you about your belief, you say, Well, I’m more interested in yours and you deflect away and he sort of, kind of said, able to slightly off going too much in that direction. And I just thought, well, if I because I do, and I’m sure you do as well. But I work with people who are grieving, and they don’t have a spiritual belief, and I don’t go there. And I can work with them perfectly well, without going there. I don’t suppose my feelings but if I see a little bit of interest, I will talk about it and see where it goes very mindful of, of, you know, what they might need or not need?

Brian Smith 37:57
Yeah, it’s interesting, because I have worked with David Kessler and I work with Dr. Terry Daniel, who’s she’s a, I guess you’d call her thanatology. She’s got her PhD. And she’s worked hospice, and she’s a chaplain. And she She is a professional chaplain. And they tell the chaplains, you know, don’t impose your beliefs on people. So that’s, that’s the training. We’re not. We’re never here to impose our beliefs on anybody. But I was I was working with her one time, and I said, you know, what your job is to comfort people, right? And she said, Yes, I’m like, so if people, for example, believed that their loved ones are in eternal hell, because their religious beliefs are they believe that they’re going to return on oil because of their religious beliefs? Aren’t you trying to persuade them when you say you’re walking through this? So I guess for me, because I came at this the other way, I came at it from experience and I’ve gotten the training and on the back end, I’m never here to impose my beliefs on anybody. But what I tell people is what I believe I don’t even like the word believe it’s a rational understanding. It’s what science and philosophy and metaphysics and quantum physics experience near death experiences mediums that have been studied. It’s where all the evidence points it’s not. It’s not a religious belief. It’s my belief is not religious at all. It’s not I don’t even like the word spiritual because spiritual implies something supernatural. And I will say to people there there is no supernatural. There’s only what we don’t understand yet.

Vanessa May 39:30
Yeah, yeah.

Brian Smith 39:32
So I and I, you mentioned compassionate friends that I never pick on anybody else’s organization. So I know a lot of people love compassionate friends. And I think that organization is evolving. But one big difference with them and helping parents heal has been we encourage continuing bonds. Yeah, encourage signs, dreams, if you want to go so we don’t push people to see meetings but if you want to say meeting we started don’t shame people. And we let people talk about all those experiences. Whereas they kind of least at one point, were discouraged that say, we don’t talk about science, for example, in our meetings. And

Vanessa May 40:11
I think they do that, because they don’t want to offend people who don’t believe that. But I will thank God for helping parents heal. We have them or have you. If if we do have that belief, and we want to be able to share it without kind of feeling we have to suppress it. But I think, yeah, that going back to what you said, about the counselor, I saw, I wouldn’t have opened up about the spiritual side of things that signs whatever you want to call it, because I just wouldn’t have felt that she would have got it. In fact, I did. I saw another or later, and she really was kind of like, a little bit patronizing towards me, and I thought No, and that’s, that really puts you off. But then interestingly, just recently, I’ve done some EMDR sessions, because of the PTSD. And, and I, it’s quite interesting, because I, first of all, I had to relive the trauma, and it was absolutely horrendous. And then I started to go back to when we found Harry’s body, and instead of how devastating it was, I would, I could sort of step back a bit. And I saw Harry soul, rise out of his body as a being of light, come over to me, put his hands on my heart, across the room do the same to his dad. And as I was seeing this, I thought, Well, I’m just gonna say it to the trauma therapist. I’m just gonna say it. So I told her what I saw. And I thought she, and I actually, this shows, I mean, this was me, I just said, it probably just says, my brain is my brains were trying to process it. So I think it’s, it’s all good, you know? And she, she said, that’s amazing. And then she started telling me about her own signs, how she saw the feathers, how she had this belief in the afterlife. And I thought I’d caught her thoughts. I it was such a relief, and so refreshing, really, that I’d found someone and she was so excited that I’d had this experience, and I was ready to kind of dress it up as my brother. And it could be that it’s just my brain, finding a way for me to deal with this terrible events of bands, finding my son’s body. So that’s how I sort of put it in shape and gone back. No, this is amazing. And it was incredible, right?

Brian Smith 42:51
Yeah, it is incredible. And as we’re having this conversation, I interviewed someone a couple days ago, it hasn’t been released yet. But she’s a she’s a psychotherapist, and she calls herself a transpersonal psychotherapist, and she deals with the whole thing, the holistic, the mind, body, soul, spirit, you know, everything like that. And she said, this was an inner recording, which she said, after we got done, she said, you know, a lot of these therapists have, she called them a colonized mindset, which I hadn’t heard that apply to that before. But what you’re saying is, and what we say when we say I don’t want to impose my beliefs, when somebody was saying is, I’m going to restrict my my approach to a materialistic approach to this western materialistic approach. We’re not going to talk about that. But that would be like a doctor’s saying, I’m not going to talk about, I don’t know, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy or something, because people might not believe in it. I mean, it’s proven science. And this is my mission in life, and I’m really passionate about it, is to break out of that and to normalize the experience that you had, because when, when I hear you talk about experience, and you’re right, when you’re going through an EMDR session, it’s your brain, you know, processing stuff. But it reminds me of people that have had near death experiences that said, I lifted up out of my body. I went over to my mother, I put my arms around her, I went over to my father and put my arms around him. Elizabeth was beside the founder of helping parents heal, the organization were talking about was on the phone with their son Morgan, when he passed away at the base of Mount Everest. And she said, I felt a hug from the inside. So what you just said, aligns perfectly with that experience that she had and I’m, I’m here to normalize that.

Vanessa May 44:37
Thank you, and you’re braver than me? Because you see I had to dress it up with something else even though my heart thought Oh, thanks, Harry, for coming through in that way and and showing me that showing me what but yeah, because we still we live in this sort of society, which not only is grief of us, but it He’s also afterlife averse. But once of a better way of putting it all. He would phrase it but yeah. Thank you for being brave and braver than me.

Brian Smith 45:12
Why would I hear when you just said that that experience that you had an EMDR session is so healing, you know, just from a practical perspective. And I love the language you use, because language I think is really important. You said when we found Harry’s body not and we found hairy, because a lot of people identify their loved one with their body. And that’s where the trauma comes in. Where it’s like, you know, what was there? What was what happened to their body? What do we do with it? Like, for example, we had Shane his body cremated. And I always I always use that language. I never say we had Shane and cremated because he’s don’t cremate people. We don’t bury people. We might vary by grade.

Vanessa May 45:53
And I think I as soon as I saw Harry’s body, I was like, well, where? Where is he? He’s not here. That’s, and I had this realization that I can’t quite put into words, where I just knew he was somewhere. And it wasn’t in that shell. I immediately knew. But it’s just how do I find him? How do I find him? And the reason I’ve called the book law of untethered is because at first I thought, I’ve got all this love for him. where’s it gonna go? where’s it gonna go? Now? I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it. I very quickly realized what I’ve just carry on sending it to him. I’ve got a place to go. It’s not untethered at all. You know, it’s not free flowing. Oh, where’s it gonna go? It it’s, it’s just I still give it to him. And he gives it back to me. So love doesn’t die. But I knew as soon as I saw his body that I was gonna have to find him. I didn’t know how it wasn’t, perhaps quite that obvious a thought. But it was because I was deeply in shock. But somehow I knew that was just a shell, it was so clear to me. And

Brian Smith 47:14
what were your beliefs about that before Harry passed? What were your beliefs about? afterlife? Or that you thought much about it? Or Where were you on that?

Vanessa May 47:22
Yeah, I think I was always sort of slightly, ya know, I, I hadn’t been well, I hadn’t lost anyone. You know, I’d lost grandparents. But I hadn’t had sort of hadn’t needed to question it very much. But I think I would occasionally stop and think, Well, this can’t be everything. I wonder what it’s all about. There won’t just be this. But I didn’t really question too deeply. I was always on the sort of alternative side, you know, I discovered Louise Hay in my 20s. And so yeah, I. But it was just the most terrible thing that had ever happened to me. And that opened me up to questioning and seeking answers. I wanted to problem solve, which obviously you can’t do, but I’ve learned so much. And that would be one thing, I would say that I’ve just learned so much. And I’ve opened up to another sort of level of experience. But if you’ve said, I’d rather go back to sleep, and have Harry back. But that’s not how my life is. And I don’t have that choice. And if it was a soul plan, then, you know, just gotta get on with it.

Brian Smith 49:03
That’s a really interesting question that a lot of us parents ask, right? Because we talk about and I just had this conversation with my wife the other day, because we were talking with friends about our daughter passing away. And most of us say, yes, I’ve learned so much. I’ve grown so much. But we feel like we always have to follow up with I would, I would trade it all back in to have my my loved one back. We follow up with that. And it to me, it’s a question that I turn over my mind a lot. I think the truth is, on some level, because we did play with this, that we knew it would be worth it. And we knew that but our from our human aspect of it if we stay in our humanity, we say it’s not so we’re like these dualistic creatures. You know what’s I? Yeah.

Vanessa May 49:56
Yeah, yeah. And the fact is we have to live in The real world we have to earn a living, we have to go to the shops, we have to cook, we have to clean the house, we live on wet. This is our school as we know, but so we have to be practical as well. This is what we’ve signed up for. But it’s painful. And that’s it. I think I do feel I probably took on too much. And there are other losses. And there are other things that come along in life, that compound the pay. So, you know, it’s, it’s hard, I find I find this life very hard. So I can’t drift and go, Oh, I, I now I connect with my son. And it’s all wonderful because it really isn’t. aspects of it are amazing. But most of it is just very difficult. But then of course, you’re further down the line. I’m only in the third year.

Brian Smith 50:56
I love I love the fact in your book and you talk about in the bio you sent me You said it’s not about toxic positivity, because I’m not here to dress everything up and say it’s all good either. Because we do live in this world, even though we are still in the other world as well. We did. We did I believe we did plan this. But maybe we didn’t know how difficult it was going to be. United States right before we started recording about a post I made a little while ago because I talked to hundreds of parents. And almost universally we talked about reincarnation, they all say, I’m never gonna do this again. So you can tell how you were how you reacted to that.

Vanessa May 51:37
Yeah, I just I really don’t want to come back. I want this to be my last time. I’m hoping that I’m cramming a lot in. And Buddha said you learn more through suffering than from joy. And I don’t know how I feel about that. But I feel like I’ve had a lot of suffering one way or another. And if I can find meaning find purpose from it, so that when I see Harry and my other loved ones, I they go well done. We know how hard that was for you well done. And that and I think I would rather and I, I’ve put this out there. I’d like to help from the other side. I feel if part of my purpose now is to help others. Well, I’ll do it for a few years. But then I’d like to help from the other side. I know that say the growth is slower that way, the coming here, it speeds up your soul growth. And that’s losing a child really speeds up your soul growth. Because it’s such a big thing. But that that’s I don’t know you’re further down the line. So it may be a time thing. Not that I like that the whole time heals. phrase, but we do know that it should it shapeshifts grief does change its shape. And it does.

Brian Smith 53:09
I am I am further down the line in terms of yours as I like what you also said though, it’s not about time, because I’ve seen people I’m eight years and seven and a half years in. And I’ve seen people 1015 20 years and still still better still where they were the day. So time does not heal that that is a myth. It takes time to heal, but Time doesn’t heal itself. And I’m not saying that I’m ready to come back either. And I’m not saying this life is easy, because most days, there’s at least a couple of times a day. I’m like, why am I here? So I’m still there in eight years. And I put that out there people I’m not here to tell people that everything is great. But again, I’ve turned this thought over my head so many times. And I’ve talked to parents and I think about one of the things in our life that we do that we say I’m never going to do this again. And then we do it again. women that have babies, you know, like in labor, they’re like, I’m never doing this again. And then they forget about that pain because that child is worth going through the pain. I was talking to someone once and they said, Brian, you’re so negative, you always talk about how you just can’t wait to get out of here. You know, are you you’re just throwing your life away. You’re not appreciating this. And I said none of that is true. I’m just acknowledging the business hard. I got a degree in chemical engineering. That was the hardest four years of my life in terms of studying and stuff. It was, it was awful, that I wouldn’t go back and do it again for anything. But I did it because I knew that that degree would set me up for a career. I knew that that I had to go through that. So I paid money to go there and be tortured. And I’m like, maybe it’s like that we come here right? Yeah, like yeah, I’ll do that. I will do that because I’m gonna get that advanced degree and so you There’s some people here that are in kindergarten. And they’re just like bopping along. And there’s some of us in here that are saying, I’m going for my PhD.

Vanessa May 55:08
That’s a very good way of putting it. Yeah. That’s that feels about right. Yeah.

Brian Smith 55:15
So that’s, that’s what works for me. I mean, it’s different for everybody. I have another friend who says, we don’t come here to learn. Well, we don’t all come here to learn. But some of us I think, I think some of us say, Yeah, give me that. I’m gonna I’m gonna sign up for that. And I’ve, I’ve Well, I’ve seen people that, you know, been through a lot more than more than we would ever think about as you know, loss of multiple children, divorces, homes burning down, and a loss of a spouse, all to the same person. And when I look at those people, now I’m like, what a warrior. That’s why, what, what a warrior,

Vanessa May 55:55
whereas other people look at them and go, What bad luck? Gosh, why does Why did bad things happen to good people? And that just doesn’t really work for me. I have to think, why they signed up for it. And you know, how brave, but But I do think there might be an element of when we’re over on the other side it all Yeah, I can do that. That’d be great. And you perhaps, maybe you’ve got your spirit guide going to you Sure. You sure? Yeah. But I do think it’s important to acknowledge the parents who don’t have the beliefs that we’re talking about here. And aren’t aren’t, are stuck in their grief. Because it is hard. And I wouldn’t want anyone to sort of look at us even, you know, and kind of think, Oh, well, they’re doing much better. I don’t feel I’m doing so you might but I really don’t feel I’m doing that well. But I think it’s important to have role models and think, yeah, maybe I can I can, you know, it’ll get easier and whatever. But I think it’s important to acknowledge that this is just as awful as it is. I think Meg intervene, you know, the writer, Meg

Brian Smith 57:20
intervene, not familiar with and

Vanessa May 57:24
she’s written a book called, it’s okay, that you’re not okay. Yeah. So she starts off the her book by saying, this really is as bad as you think. So going back to the toxic positive, I think it’s, you know, I think she’s one end of the scale. And then there are, you know, the books, which are just a little bit towards toxic positivity, and I kind of like to be somewhere in the middle acknowledge that this is horrendous. Grief is just terrible, but that there is a little bit of hope. And it’s not just this, and it’s possibly for a higher purpose, eventually,

Brian Smith 58:05
the thing is, both things can be true at the same time. This sucks. And it’s tough. And it’s brutal. But on the other hand, it’s short. And it’s beautiful. And we are benefiting from it. And both things are true. And so our our challenge is to be able to shift that mindset when we get down and I do I mean, literally every day, I have these thoughts. And it’s that it’s being able to shift that mindset to say, what’s the long term thing here? You know, what’s, what’s the long term effect? Why am I here? Why am I still here? And understand there’s a purpose. And so yeah, there are people that don’t have that belief in that, and that’s fine. I’m here to try to offer people like, Okay, this is why I believe it. And this is why it works for me. Use, people are certainly free to choose to say this is a random universe, bad things just happen to people. And if that works for you, and if that’s the way you see the evidence, then that’s okay. But I’m here to offer an altered point of view to people and why, you know, even in your own even in our lives, you know, I’m 60 years old, 61 years old now. I look back at things that happened in my past, I thought, That’s horrible. And that’s I’ve been fired from a job twice. You know, I’ve been divorced. I’ve been through. I’ve been through stuff. We’ve all been through stuff. But it’s always worked out. Eventually, you know, even even in this short period of time and I see now so when I look forward and say my daughter passing away, how might that be beneficial? Can I even see the possibility as have something good that can come out of that? So yeah, that’s just the hope. Do you need to hold on to that thing?

Vanessa May 59:56
Yeah, I think so. But I like what you say about both can be true and Huh, yeah, yeah, they can be terrible and amazing. It can be no be two things at once.

Brian Smith 1:00:07
Yeah. So back to your book. I love the fact that you do talk about that, that early that first year grief because a lot of people, we don’t often get that insight. We often people hold that to themselves. And then when we go through it, and we’re having these physical symptoms, like you said, and I had to wear like, something’s wrong with me, something’s off. This isn’t this isn’t normal. But all those things are normal than that. We don’t all have all the things. But those things are normal.

Vanessa May 1:00:39
Yeah, and I think people, a lot of books on grief are not written by people who’ve had the experience, right. Another reason I wrote the book is I read and I found reading books by bereaved mothers really helpful, but they were all the ones I read, written by bereaved mothers in the US. And sometimes I wanted a few. That was great. And it worked for me. And vice versa, I hope I hope people in you know, in America will read my book as well. But there were occasional references or resources that I thought, Oh, I just felt there was a bit of a gap in the market for a British bereaved mother. So that’s another reason why I wrote it. But I do think the lived experience is what I just want people to read the book and get, and just think, yeah, I felt like that, yeah, my heart beat up my chest for days, I didn’t sleep for two weeks, and just kind of feel a bit of relief that they can identify with what I’m talking about. And then if there are a few things later in the book, where they might try a few things to just ease the path a bit, then that’s, that’s what I’m, that’s my, my goal. Really.

Brian Smith 1:02:03
I love that. I love that outline. I love that, you know, that you said, you know, because you talk about the experience, and I might think is like, Well, I tell people, I’m trying to normalize this, right? Trying to normalize whatever it is, you’re going through grief. I’m trying to normalize this spiritual, I don’t like the word spiritual perspective. But this perspective that we are whole people who who are eternal, who came here for a reason. And obviously they happen to you. It’s it’s not easy. It’s not It’s the toughest place in the universe possibly be. That’s what people say about Earth. But there’s, it’s serving some purpose, it’s serving some greater purpose. And you can either find you can, you can believe the purpose is there, or you can make purpose out of it. You’ve chosen to make purpose out of it. You said, Okay, I’m going to take all this training I’ve had, which I believe prepared you for this. And then yeah, and then and then Harry’s passing is the catalyst that starts the reaction that launches you to the next thing.

Vanessa May 1:03:02
Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s what we have to. Yeah. But we would be great. I mean, I just really hope that it will help other people. Like the books I read helped me, if you find the right for you, it makes a difference, particularly if you can’t find a bereavement counselor, or trauma therapist at that moment in time books, I think, can be amazing.

Brian Smith 1:03:27
Yes, I think they can be amazing for the reasons that we that we just outlined there. Because humans we feel alone in our grief. Yeah, you know, no matter how many people are around us, no matter you know, whether we have a spouse, you know, whatever. It’s, it’s a very lonely thing. You feel like, you know, you’re the only one that’s ever been through this. You’re the only one that can understand it. You feel like and I love you said, you said I thought my life was over because I stomer One day I was driving my cars. I was just starting to listen to podcasts after seeing the past because I really listened to much before. And this author came on she was she was promoting a book name is Donna Misaki. And I think it was called Meet me at the bottom of the mountain her daughter passed away. And the thing that caught my attention more than anything, she said, I was standing on the on the curb, and I was I felt like stepping out in front of a bus. There’s a bus going by. And I just want to step out from the bus and at all. And the fact that she was willing to admit that I was like, I have to get that book. Because, yeah, I that’s what I felt. And you know, and we were embarrassed to say that in public, but

Vanessa May 1:04:39
wow. Yes, I’m so glad you brought that up, because I haven’t mentioned that yet. But I do talk about how I just didn’t want to be here. Then actively want to do anything, but I did not want to be here. I wanted it to be over. And I think we do need to normalize that for bereaved parents, we and anyone else We must open it out, I guess to not just bereaved parents. But absolutely, I think that’s so important to normalize and not to be ashamed of. And I write about it very openly. I mean, my book is brutally honest. It’s quite dark in places, but I hope there’s also the light. But I think we have to have the dark to see the light. So I’m not going to shy away, or dress it up as something it’s not. I went to very dark places, you know. And obviously, you did as well, I think most bereaved parents, maybe not all of them, but a lot to, and some stay there for longer, you know, than others.

Brian Smith 1:05:42
Yeah. And it’s, and I guess I’ve talked to enough of them that I know that people have stood in the kitchen with a knife to their wrist, you know, again, not so much planning to do it. But just like, what if? What if, you know, what if I just ended this all right here? And what’s the pain? Yeah. And so when I when people talk about suicide, I’m like, some people say, I don’t understand it. I’m like, I do understand it. I do understand. Temptation. It’s understand it’s, it’s usually a momentary thing that if you can get through that moment, you’ll be okay. But some people do act in that moment. And I think it can help people build strengthen, though. A lot of us go through that a lot of us go through those moments. And maybe most of us go through as well as most of us just don’t talk about it, where it’s like, yeah, I just, I just want to out. But

Vanessa May 1:06:31
yeah, well, I talked about it. And I think I’m so glad you brought it up, actually, because it didn’t occur to me, but, but I’m so glad you brought it up, this is so important. If anyone is listening to this, and they, they feel that, then we can go well, we’re still here. We know how it feels. And I hadn’t felt like that in my life before. But I did. And it wasn’t just on one occasion, you know, it comes around again. But I’m still here, and you’re still here. So I hope people will take but it just gets so it’s so painful, that you just want it to stop. And you want to be with your child. Right? You know, you want to be with your child.

Brian Smith 1:07:09
Right. And that’s, you know, there’s a couple things going on. Because you do want to pay in the end, which is normal human biological behavior, our bodies are designed to evolve, to avoid pain and to go towards pleasure. So when we’re in pain will do anything to stop it, whether it’s emotional pain, or physical pain. So that’s normal to want to stop it. The other thing, as a parent, you always want to be with your children, you always want to make sure your children are safe and protected. And when you’re when you have a child on the other side, it sets up this dilemma for you, where it’s like I have to choose to be here with my other loved ones, my other children, my other child, or be there, and I can’t be in both places. So it puts you in an impossible situation.

Vanessa May 1:07:55
Yeah, it really does. It really does. Yeah, so it’s important to know, lies.

Brian Smith 1:08:03
Great, and not to end on that because we can and as you’ve done, develop that relationship with our children on the other side. And it’s not the same, but we can have both for a while while we continue our walk here.

Vanessa May 1:08:18
Yes, very well put exactly that. That’s what we hold on to.

Brian Smith 1:08:25
So I’m really glad for this conversation. I’m glad for your book. I know there’s a great place for it. I know. You know, it’s it’s not just the memoir, which is always interesting and helps people not feel as alone. But also some practical things that people can do to, you know, to strengthen ourselves as we go through the grief. To survive. Yeah. So remind me remind everybody again, it’ll be in the show notes. But sometimes people

Vanessa May 1:09:02
love untethered. It’s out on Friday, in the in the UK, and in the US on the first of December, Amazon, Barnes and Noble where you are, I think anywhere that you can get a book online, you should be able to get it. So yeah, and I have a website. My author website is Vanessa mae.co.uk on Instagram, which is at meI dot wellbeing. Anyone wants to connect with me.

Brian Smith 1:09:33
Awesome. Vanessa, thank you so much for being here. And thank you for having me. Thank you for what you’re doing to help other parents and other people in general. You don’t have to have a loss of a child any I was I was in something the other day I was actually interviewing a young man and he’s like, somebody illness he had in his in his early life and divorce and, you know, drug addiction in the family, etc. Because I haven’t lost a child though. And I’m like, but you have a lot Lost. That’s all grief. All those things are grief. So we can’t really compare each other’s grief. We’ve all we’ve all had trauma we’ve all had suffering. So I think this book could help anybody who’s gone through any type of trauma.

Vanessa May 1:10:11
Yeah. Hopefully, fingers crossed.

Brian Smith 1:10:15
Well, thanks for being here. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Vanessa May 1:10:17
Thank you.

Brian Smith 1:10:19
I’m excited to not I have a great new resource. It’s called gems, four steps to move from grief to joy. And what it is, it’s four things that I found that I do on a daily basis to help me to navigate my grief. And I’m offering it to you free of charge. It’s a free download. Just go to my website, www dot grief to growth.com/gems G m s and grab it there for free. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t forget to like, hit that big red subscribe button and click the notify Bell. Thanks for being here.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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