Shelly never signed up for the widows club (at 35) or wanted to serve women who were grieving and in desperate need of hope.
Shelly describes in her own words how grief came smashing into her life as a very unwelcome intruder, “My husband, Brent, was always a youthful, healthy man. He was our constant; a provider, a lover, and a best friend. Together we fostered and mentored adolescent youth. Our life wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but it was wonderful. It was ours. Then out of nowhere, a storm arrived with force. He wasn’t feeling well and we went to the ER and heard the devastating words ‘You have weeks to months. It was an overwhelming diagnosis of glioblastoma and 45 days later, Brent was gone.
I was left looking at a pile of rubble, alone and untethered.”
Shelly shares with women grieving, “Regardless of the nature of your loss, I know there will be moments of paralyzing pain, anguish, and uncertainties. You might not be able to get out of bed- and that’s ok, but that is not where you will stay forever: there is hope.”
Shelly acknowledged that many well-meaning people often ask people who are grieving, ‘Why don’t you get over it?’ and ‘Why can’t you just move on?’. She says that such statements can often be triggers for women suffering from loss. However, Shelly invites women to use see the painful questions or moments as invitations to continue to step into their healing.
Shelly wants women who are feeling out of control and have no idea how to even start healing – that it is okay – that is a normal part of the process. She wants women who are grieving to know that there is nothing wrong with them and that the heavy dark fogs of grief can shift and that they will see the rays of peace and joy shining through.
Here are 3 Invitations that Shelly is issuing to women dealing with sudden loss and trauma.
- Invitation to Journey – Grief becomes a part of people’s stories whether they like it or not. However, this does not mean that it has to be paralyzing. Whatever loss people experience it is like a unique puzzle piece that will never be replaced. However, the pain can be replaced with joy and peace. Shelly encourages people to journey towards a regained sense of joy.
- Invitation to Love Yourself – Shelly says that often people grieving lose themselves in their grief. She wants everyone suffering from grief that they are worthy of deep love. Shelly asks people she works with, ‘What brings you joy, helps you feel relaxed, tickles your senses, and fills your love cup?’ Then she helps people to celebrate those little things and create an intentional space for loving themselves.
- Invitation to Healing – Shelly encourages people suffering from trauma and loss to, find a ‘tribe’ with a guide who has already passed through the devastating seasons of loss and is now living a vibrant life. Shelly wants people to know that the deep place of “stuck” doesn’t have to be where they remain.
Shelly states, “Not everyone will purchase an RV and travel to find themselves, that is why I have created a ‘virtual fireplace’! It’s an online gathering of women who have gone through sudden loss or trauma; a safe place for women to laugh, cry, share stories and heal.”
Shelly calls this online space, ‘The invitation’. It’s an opportunity to journey with her and a community of other women as together they all find whole-life healing after grief. The dark clouds will shift and reveal hope for their future.
Get in touch with Shelly on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/shelly.vanlandingham.9