Grief Chose Me - Video Transcription

Danny Colella: Hello, and welcome everybody! My name is Danny Colella, and we are live today to talk about something delicate. You may be out there dealing with something called unresolved grief. You may have lost something or someone in your life, and you just feel like you're not able to get back to normal. Life is not the same, and you don't know how to move forward. Well, I have got good news because we've got a specialist with you today, and stick around because you're going to hear from Laurie and her crazy, crazy story of grief and how she lost three very close loved ones and how she got stuck in grief for quite some time. But as we get started, Laurie, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself to everybody in the audience.

Lauri Freeman: Hi! I’m Laurie Freeman, and I’m a certified grief recovery specialist with the grief recovery method. I offer a seven-week educational program on grief and loss.

Danny Colella: Love it! So, what I want you to know today is, again, you're somebody that just... You're not able to get through. You're not able to get by. Something is keeping you back and costing you great when it comes to grief in your life. And again, Laurie, the title of today's topic is Grief Chose Me, which is your story. And I think when you do this kind of work. You got to have a 'why', right? You got to have a reason to help human beings, and yours is that you had some pretty significant loss in your life, so why don't you talk about that.

Lauri Freeman: So, April 2nd, 2010, my 19-year-old son had gone up to Boulder to hang out with friends at the college. He was supposed to be gone the entire weekend. He came home less than 24 hours later, and within 30 minutes of being home, he had killed himself. Two weeks after my son died, my daughter checked herself into rehab, and that's when we found out she was diagnosed as bipolar. She was in the rehab facility for over six weeks. Seven months later, my husband took his life also. So, I am intimately friends with grief. I lost the three most important people in my life. Also, my daughter died over four years ago. So, I have lost all three of my most important people in my life, my children, and my husband. So, I was thrown into some really deep grief. And you have to go through it to get through it. And I had a hard time going through it.

Danny Colella: And again, we share the story not to say, Oh Laurie! You have it so bad, but to remind you that if you're somebody and this is holding you back, and you're not able to get through your grief, that you've done it. And you've had some pretty substantial loss in your life, but at some point, you had said I had enough and you went on to something called the grief recovery method which we'll talk about in a minute. But I want to pause real quick. If you are joining us either live or in the replay, we want to know you stopped by today. We want to know you're here. If you're somebody that suffering from grief and you've gotten through that, we'd love to hear about the strides and the leaps you've made through grief in your life. It's going to inspire somebody else to get through. That's why Laurie is sharing today to inspire somebody else to finally take that hard step. So, you lost three very very close important family members in your life pretty quickly. Talk about how you were unable to grieve because you were just trying to hold it all together. And moms out there, if you can relate to this, give her some thumbs up.

Lauri Freeman: Yes. So, when my daughter went into rehab, she had two young children, two years old and three years old, and dad had to have night meetings. So, I was working full-time, I'd go pick up the boys from daycare. I'd take them home. I'd feed them. I'd bathed them, put them to bed, clean the house. Wait for dad to get home, and then I would go home. My husband was not doing well with his loss of his son, and so he was struggling quite a bit, which made me worry all the time. So, I didn't really have time to grieve. I may sometimes be driving home from watching the boys. I'd pull over to the side of the road and just lose it. I mean screaming, yelling, crying the whole nine yards, and then just suck it all back in to go home because I didn't want to show those emotions to my husband who was struggling so hard. I thought maybe it would make it worse for him.

Danny Colella: So, you were really in this stage where you were trying to protect your husband, but the end of the day, it was costing you dearly because you didn't even have a time to go up against your grief. And we're going to talk about what fine means here in a second, and we're also going to talk about what this unresolved grief is probably costing you. So, I want to encourage you to kind of stick around for the broadcast today. This story is kind of crazy, and I told Lauri she has to share it. And you may be somebody who has ran into a breaking point in your life like this but talk about that first trip to the grocery store.

Lauri Freeman: So, a month after my husband had died and the food trains had stopped and the people, you know, stopping by to take me out to dinner or whatever kind of had slowed down because people are going back to their normal lives. It was time to go to the grocery store. So, I drove over to King Soopers, and I got the cart, and I started going through the produce section up and down the aisles. By just putting the food into the cart as I was getting close to the checkout counter, I stopped, and I looked down at the cart, and I had bought food for three people, and now it was only one. I lost it. I went up to a clerk. I had tears running down my face. I gave them the car, I said, please put this back, and I just left. Next time going to the grocery store, I was more cognizant of only buying for one, but that has its own grief attached to it because you're only buying for one.

Danny Colella: So that's pretty impactful. I mean, that's really kind of getting up against the wall there in your grief. I mean, to really put it lightly, that was probably very embarrassing for you. On top of grief, you were embarrassed.

Lauri Freeman: I was.

Danny Colella: You didn't know what to do, and that's just emotions on top of emotions. And let's talk about this idea because I know you feel passionately about this. The trap of "I’m fine". The trap of, you know, "I’m fine!". Like, how are you? I’m fine! I’m just fine! Talk about that trap.

Lauri Freeman: So, when you say I’m fine! To me and to the grief recovery method, fine means feelings inside not expressed. Our society, they don't handle sadness and grief very well at all. Cliché... Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry, and you cry alone. We're taught very early, not to say, hey! I’m having a really crappy day today. We're taught to say, I’m fine, so we don't bother other people with our feelings and our emotions. And all that does for us is to make us keep all that stuff inside, and eventually, our subconscious starts to believe we are fine, but our bodies start to say you're not fine. You're not sleeping. You're not eating right. You may be doing harm to your body by drinking, so saying I’m fine - it's so detrimental to your physical and emotional health.

Danny Colella: And I think for you, you're following this whole myth of just keep busy, just keep going. If I stay busy enough, I’m going to be fine. If I stay busy enough, I don't think about this stuff. Talk about that trap of just being busy and the myth of just being busy, just move on, make sure you keep yourself busy.

Lauri Freeman: Be strong, you know, time heals all wounds, keep busy - that's supposed to, what people think it does, it makes you move through the grief and be able to function and be normal. But what it really does is just make you bury all those feelings and emotions inside and eventually, they're going to explode, and they're going to come out.

Danny Colella: I totally get that, and before we kind of even move forward, I want to really specify what the grief recovery method is. Because, you know, at some point in your life you finally decided I had enough, you've been to groups, groups weren't necessarily helping you because you were just kind of reliving these same memories and going through the same process of what happened, this happened to me. And you as a client went through the grief recovery method which is a very evidence-based, step-by-step, it would be for you if you're somebody that's like I’m tired of being in grief, I’m tired of grieving, I’m tired of feeling this way, somebody needs to give me some steps to follow to get out of this. Talk about your experience as a client with the grief recovery method.

Lauri Freeman: So, I did the grief recovery method, and I worked on the relation with my husband. Because for seven years, and seven years is a long, long time, I was very angry with him. How could you go and leave me like that? How could you kill yourself when you know that how painful it is when someone you love kills themselves? So, I had been angry for too long. So, I went through the program and going through the program, you look at all those myths that we talked about: be strong, time heals all wounds, so we look at all that stuff. We look at the stuff that people do to make themselves feel better. So, you know, having maybe two glasses of wine when you really shouldn't, things like that. You know, people find their things that make them feel what they think is better. But then we work on the relationship and going through the relationship it brought back to me. I fell in love with this man. I married him. I had children with him. We built a great life! I was focused in and all the negativity, not the whole relationship. And when you look at the relationship, you also look at your part in it. And so, going through that and then going through the recovery part of it of, you know, what were the undelivered communications that I needed to say? What was I sorry for? What do I need to forgive for, and what do I just need to say to get it out? Because once you put all these feelings and emotions into words, it is tremendous! I still can feel the feeling of… I was sitting up straighter. I was lighter. It was just an awesome feeling to finally complete that relationship.

Danny Colella: So, it was profound in your life so much so that you decided, look! I got to put my hand down. I got to grab somebody else and pull somebody up. We went through this whole program to become a qualified... Qualified is so wrong word, but you became a certified instructor. So, you're a certified grief recovery specialist.

If you're still watching up to this point again either live or in the replay and you've been following Lauri, and you're thinking, man, I mean, I want to do this. Like I really want to do this! I’m tired of feeling this way. Well, we're going to talk about what your unresolved grief cost you. And we mean this from a place of love when we talk about this. But there are certain things that when you don't feel good, and you can't get through it, that you don't know it's costing you in your life. And talk about some of the cost that people have when they don't resolve the grief.

Lauri Freeman: So first of all, unresolved grief, you know, that's about things we wish we had said or done differently with that person about the lost hopes, dreams, and expectations that you were planning to have with that person, and all those undelivered communications. So unresolved grief what it does is just festers inside you. The long-term effects can be, you know, how you handle new relationships going forward, how you handle your everyday life, your job, your schooling, friends, hobbies. If you don't resolve that grief, you can harm yourself physically. You can harm yourself professionally. You can sabotage relationships that you might have, that might make your life better.

Danny Colella: Yeah, and I took some notes when we were talking about this first time. Your joy, your happiness, your closure, the lost hopes and dreams, and expectations, but this is something that you're not thinking about. It's probably costing you. If you have grief that you just can't seem to get through and that's job performance. Job opportunities, opportunities because you're in that sort of failure to thrive stage. You're not pushing through. You're kind of stuck where you're at. I also wrote down your health, your confidence, your relationships, all the things you talked about, you know. Having an unresolved grief and letting it just be there and be with you and not really work on getting over because... Let's talk to what people are really feeling right now. You're feeling that 'it's going to be a lot of pain' right? Like this hurts already. Why in the world would I purposely walk into something that I know is going to be even more pain? And again, we understand that feeling. But talk about, Laurie, sort of how there is pain involved, but it's not painful.

Lauri Freeman: There is pain involved because you have to look at the relationship and your part in it and their part in your life, your story together, and bringing it up out. Yeah, it's going to hurt somewhat, but as you go through the concise steps of the program, those steps lead you towards the feeling of closure, if you want to, that's the word most people think about, closure. Towards the feeling of, I’m good with this relationship. I can be happy again. I can be fulfilled in my life again. I can look back without feeling sad or angry at memories that I have with these people. There's a lot of times we won't even talk about the person if it's unresolved grief. We're so painful to go look back at memories, but this program will lead you towards the part of it's not painful anymore, and you can look back with fond memories and realize that, that person was beneficial in your life, but you still have more life to live.

Danny Colella: And again, this is something you'll have access to until you start to go through a program. And again, we want to really reiterate this. This isn't just a group program where you sit in group, and you talk about what's going on your life, and some people do get relief that way, so we're not knocking that at all. But if you're somebody that's this interested in having a step-by-step process and have somebody like Laurie be your accountability partner to start pulling you through these steps, that again, feel like they're going to be a lot of pain, but talk about how relieved you were when you finally release that anger with your husband. Like how free were you?

Lauri Freeman: It was enlightening! It was, I mean, literally, I felt like I was floating up and things dropping off my shoulders and tingling. It was just a phenomenal feeling, and I have seen that with the clients that I have had.

Danny Colella: So, Laurie is obviously in the business of helping you. She's obviously in the business of helping you get through the grief that is in your life, and we do this live broadcast today to let you know who this human being is. We understand that you feel like you need to jive with somebody you're going to do this hard work with, and we're doing a live video today, and she's sharing these real and authentic stories to make sure that if you feel like this is your human, if she can help you get through it and you can relate with her, with what she's got in her life, then the hardest thing you'll ever do, and I promise you this, is to pick up that phone for the first time and reach out and say, look! I need some support. I need some help! And this is the human being that's just waiting for you to say that so she can finally say let's get to work.

Lauri Freeman: Let's get to work.

Danny Colella: Let's get to work. Let's do this evidence-based program that's going to help you get through this. Now how long is this program that you do when it comes to the grief recovery method?

Lauri Freeman: So, it's seven weeks. It's an hour to an hour and a half each time. And you are like, as he said, accountable. You are held accountable because there are reading assignments and written assignments to go along with the program and also a lot of one-on-one talking, you and me, about how you're feeling and how we can get you to feel like I felt.

Danny Colella: So, seven weeks?

Lauri Freeman: Seven weeks.

Danny Colella: Seven weeks. And again, this is one of the only evidence-based programs out there. This has worked for hundreds of thousands of people. So, you can go google the grief recovery method, you can go do all your homework on your own that you want to do, but that's delaying you from the actual fact of getting involved with Laurie and actually starting this move.

So, you have office space here in Colorado, how far can you help people?

Lauri Freeman: I can help people, well, my office is in downtown Littleton, but give me a call, and you know I have had people come from north-south, but give me a call, and we can talk about logistics and how I can help you. Because I know I can.

Danny Colella: So, you're offering to everybody that sees this message either live or in the replay, a free consultation.

Lauri Freeman: I am.

Danny Colella: It's not a heavy sale. She's not going to figure out how to get you to come in. You might just need somebody to talk to about what you're going on. You might have been a little inspired today, like, look! I’m not getting through this. And to be honest, we're in a very crazy time with the pandemic. If it wasn't already hard for you, it's like, isn't this the straw that broke the camel's back to the point where you might finally reach out and get some help.

So, visit Everything is on there. Phone numbers, contact forms, information. And again, it's hard. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do to pick up that 10,000-pound phone and just dial that number and say, Lauri! I need help. And tell her Lauri, I saw your Facebook live video, I need help, you told me to call you. And that free consultation, tell me how that's going to go? I pick up the phone, and I say, look, Lauri! I had multiple suicides. I had a suicide last year in my family. I’m just not getting through. Lauri, how are you going to help me? Talk to them right there.

Lauri Freeman: I’m going to have you tell me your story, and I understand how you feel. I may not know exactly how you feel because your feelings are unique to you and mine are to me, but I’m going to be what I call a heart with ears, and I’m going to listen to your story and determine that you and I can work together, or if not, I will be honest and let you know that. But having gone through what I have gone through and helping the people I have helped with this program, I’m sure I can help you.

Danny Colella: And I know she can too. And that's why, you know, it's an honor of mine to be working with her and to help her get here and kind of talk to you and do live content in the real most authentic way. This isn't structured. This isn't a produced piece of content. This is human beings just talking to human beings in hopes that you will take that brave next step of reaching out and getting help. So, everything you need to know is at the website below: Phone numbers, contact forms... Do yourself a favor and start the process. You might be off work. You might have downtime. This is the best time to start moving that direction.

So, we really hope that that you take this opportunity and you move forward. Lauri, thanks today for sharing, thanks for being authentic and thanks for really standing for these people out here.

Lauri Freeman: Thank you! I hope to talk to you soon.

Danny Colella: All right bye-bye everybody!

Lauri Freeman: Bye!

Grief Is Universal

Grief is universal. But it is rare that we all feel grief at the same time.

Such is the power and pervasiveness of coronavirus and the ways it has turned our lives upside down and inside out.

While many of us have been feeling anxious or frightened in recent weeks, not all us may recognize that part of what we are feeling is grief.

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss.  Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or a change in a normal pattern of behavior.

At this time in our lives, everyone is experiencing the grief associated with not being able to do the things we would usually do. Losses to our autonomy and personal freedom can have substantial psychological impacts.

Not being able to live our normal lives by working, engaging socially with friends and family, and moving about freely … These are very serious losses.

It's normal for us all to be feeling this sense of sadness and even fear about what it is we can't do, can't experience, can't engage with.

There might be times you feel grief about COVID-19 very intensely, and times you don't feel it so much.

You might find that you're OK for a few days and then suddenly you think of something you had planned for and can’t do and that might re-elicit a sense of sadness.

This is a normal human reaction to very abnormal circumstances.

As well as sadness, feelings of disbelief are common, as well as irritability and frustration.

If you're experiencing grief in some shape or form the best thing you can do is acknowledge the feeling.

It's important we all stop and acknowledge our feelings and emotions, rather than being in denial or fearful of our emotions.

Acknowledging how you feel enables you to talk it through with someone else, and move towards acceptance.

Acknowledging and validating is the best way to show love and caring. This can sound like, “Goodness… I can’t imagine what that is like… How are you handling all of that?”

When someone says, “I am feeling devastated,” you can say “You’re devastated. That makes sense.” You can also say, “I wish I could make it better but I know I can’t.”

In times of great grief we all need to be able to talk about our feelings and emotions with someone who will listen and give you the knowledge that you were heard.  They are a Heart with Ears.

Life has a way of testing a person

 We are all being tested. All at one time. Be safe.