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I Love Life: A Real Survivor Empowers Women

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Just a few years ago, Elizabeth Berrien found herself facing the most unspeakable of losses.  During an “I Love Life” interview, Elizabeth shared her story!

“Back in 2008, I lost a son to stillbirth after a healthy nine month pregnancy.  Shortly after that, about eighteen months later, my husband with Special Forces was killed while on a mission in Afghanistan in August of 2009.”

Elizabeth’s life was shattered.  “I honestly did not know how I was going to move forward.  I was in a deep depression and in a great deal of shock.  It was life altering and it felt like my entire world had been taken out from underneath me.”

But, instead of withdrawing from life, Elizabeth reached out to others.  “I first started going to a support group shortly after my husband died.  Going through a support group with other women that lost a spouse was incredibly hopeful for me.  I also began seeing a therapist.  The support group and the therapy probably saved my life.”

From first hand experience, Elizabeth understands the grieving process.  “It’s really important to move at your own pace and to understand that is really no right way to grieve.  I think a lot of people put pressure on themselves—thinking they should be in this level of grief.  We have this really fast paced society and expect everything to  be moving along quickly.  Grief is not quick.  You have to give it time and to nurture yourself.  Whether it’s a year or two or more since losing a loved one—it’s okay to remember them  and to seek help.”

And the key to recovery, according to Elizabeth, is this:  “Whether it’s a trusted person in your life or a counselor—just to put things in perspective.  It’s important to remember that wherever you are, it will not be like that forever.  That is the one thing that really helped me.”

So, how is Elizabeth’s life today?  “I have remarried since the loss of my husband.  My daughter is a healthy four year old.  I also started a non profit based off of my experiences of loss.  It’s basically a center that welcomes people who have gone through any type of loss.  We have a bunch of services, like yoga, massage, art therapy and different support groups.  From first hand experience, I can tell you it is possible to find new purpose and passion in life.”

A story of resilience, strength of the human spirit, hope in the face of loss, and the connection, joy and gifts that can inevitably be found through grief, Elizabeth shares her experiences and the guidance she learned along with the way in her new book, “Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick’s Path from Loss to Hope.”

With Elizabeth Berrien, a Real Survivor who is making a difference, I’m Jerry Dahmen.

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