BW 081: Resilience Amidst Tragedy: Lauren McGuire's Journey through Widowhood and Motherhood

widow interview Jan 16, 2024
 

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The Transcript is below.


Content warning: fentanyl poisoning, substance abuse, chronic relapse, drugs. death

Meet Lauren McGuire, a resilient woman who faced an unimaginable tragedy when she lost her husband to fentanyl poisoning on August 25th, 2021. This heartbreaking incident left her to navigate the challenging journey of widowhood while caring for their three daughters, aged 11, 18 months, and five months at the time.

Consider the weight of the situation for a moment – Lauren not only had to cope with the profound grief of losing her life partner but also had the responsibility of guiding her 11-year-old daughter through the emotional complexities of loss. Additionally, she faced the daunting task of parenting an 18-month-old and a five-month-old, all while grappling with the demands and unpredictability that come with being a single parent.

In the face of such adversity, Lauren's strength shines through as she confronts the chaos of her new reality. The love and commitment she holds for her daughters undoubtedly drive her to navigate the challenges of widowhood, embodying a remarkable resilience that inspires those around her.

Lauren Recommends: 

  •  N E M D R. I, I do recommend that highly. 
  • : EMDR work,

  • just reprocessing, take the help. N E M D R. I, I do recommend that highly. 

  • Find support 

Quote: 

''And I think that's true for, for a lot of people that lose ''somebody they loved.  Like, when you bring them up, you're not reminding them that they died.''

''you're turning your pain into purpose and that you're looking for ways to give back because I think that is very healing too.''


The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future.  Learn more at bravewidow.com.  

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

 

I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Nathan and I have four beautiful children together.  My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him.  With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future.  I want to help others do the same, too!

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

Twitter | @brave_widow

Instagram | @brave_widow

Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube | @bravewidow

 

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Transcript

Video
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Emily: [00:00:00] Hey, hey, and welcome to episode number 81 of the Brave Widow Show. Today I talk with Lauren and she shares her story of grief and widowhood. Before we dive into her story, I just want to remind you that your reviews and your feedback help the show so much in expanding its reach and being able to help other widows.

In being able to serve others that are out there in the community that are looking for help that are looking for good, you know, informational content. And these stories are so impactful. I hear feedback almost every day from someone who really resonated with a story. Who came across the brave would have show just because someone shared it, or because of a comment or review that they had left.

And so please know that you doing the simple task of leaving a review. Of engaging with the content, leaving a [00:01:00] comment, sharing it, those simple steps can do so much to expanding the reach of the Brave Widow Show and ultimately expanding the impact that these stories can have with other widows and helping them not feel so alone‚Äčall right, let me introduce you to Lauren McGuire. Lauren lost her husband to fentanyl poisoning on August 25th of 2021. At the time. Their daughters were 11, 18 months and five months. I just think about that for a minute, losing your spouse and going through all of the craziness of widowhood with an 11 year old and 18 month old and a five month old.

All right, let's dive into Laura's story.

Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of the brave widow show today. I have a special guest with me, Lauren, and I'm excited for you to [00:02:00] hear Lauren's story and some of the challenges that she and her family have had to overcome. So Lauren, welcome and thank you for coming to the show.

Lauren McGuire: Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here.

Emily Jones: Awesome. So I know our audience would love to know more about you, your background, and then we can really just dive into your story wherever you'd like to start.

Lauren McGuire: Okay. well, my name is Lauren McGuire. I lost my husband to fentanyl poisoning on August 25th of 2021.

Um, we have three daughters who, I mean, since his passing, it's been definitely challenging, juggling, you know, everything and, and dealing with the grief. But luckily I have a supportive family. They don't live too far. So they've really been, you know, so helpful. Not just with the kids, but, you know, being a listening board for me.

So, yeah,

Emily Jones: that's good that you've had a lot of [00:03:00] support and I think grieving which with children is. Challenging, like in some ways it's helpful because you have them, like, you got to keep going on the other hand, sometimes it's hard because you got to keep going.

Lauren McGuire: It's like, I just, I can't stay in bed and just wallow for a day.

Like I, I don't have that, you know, option. So I totally understand that. Definitely.

Emily Jones: So tell us a little bit about how you met your spouse and, and what, like, what was it about him that you just thought,

Lauren McGuire: okay, he's the one. Sure. Um, so I am 36 and Nate and I grew up together. So I met him, you know, to be honest, I don't even remember how we met.

Um, I was about 13 or 14 years old. I think what it was is we had, um, similar friends. So we would, you know, see each other at events or, um, you know, we'd hang out, you know, at the skate park as kids after school. And so we [00:04:00] just kind of met that way. And then growing up, we always had the same core group of friends.

So we would, you know, go to concerts together. We would, you know, celebrate birthdays. Um, we would do like friends Thanksgiving, um, during the holidays. Very cool. So we really just. We grew up together and I think what happened is in 2018, I wanted to purchase a home and where my family lives in Denver Metro, it's, you know, super expensive like anywhere else, I guess.

So I moved to Colorado Springs about an hour south and I had bought my town home and Nate had already lived here. You know, so being friends, we're like, Oh, this is cool. We can, you know, hang out, you know, get dinner, watch, you know, movies. And so that's kind of how this whole thing started was just simply from a pretty solid friendship.

Emily Jones: Okay. [00:05:00] And what's something that you just loved about him and your relationship and, just really made him special to

you.

Lauren McGuire: Oh, my gosh. Um, Nate was one of those people that he was so full of energy. Like, he, you knew when Nate was around. He was vibrant. He had such a good personality, such a good sense of humor.

Um, just somebody that you really loved being around. Someone who was just so much fun. And I think, you know, knowing him so long and just, I just grew to love that you. Aspect of his personality a lot. And that, you know, went over into our romantic relationship as well.

Emily Jones: Oh, that's awesome. I love those big.

Vibrant personalities, uh, I think it does make the whole, it leaves feel a little bit bigger because maybe they had a big laugh or [00:06:00] they're, you know, the, the center of attention all the time. So that does make for an interesting dynamic shift, but, uh, it sounds like you guys just really had a lot of fun and, uh, just a very colorful, beautiful relationship.

Lauren McGuire: Yeah, he was great. Um, I did know from a very young age that, unfortunately, he did have some issues in his childhood, which led him to substance abuse. I think he said he was, uh, 12 when he first tried. It was, um, crack. So, like, a hard substance at such a young age. Because he didn't have the tools to work through that trauma and, and get the help.

So that's what the crutch that he had that he used.

Emily Jones: And how did you feel, you know, when you learned that about him or when, you know, you guys would talk about it, you know, what, what were some of your thoughts there?[00:07:00]

Lauren McGuire: I just, I felt so bad because here was this great person that was really suffering internally.

Um, Nate was not always under the influence. He wasn't always looking for ways to to get high. He's what I would call more of a chronic relapser. So he would have, you know, months and months of sobriety. And then he would have a relapse. And then he would, you know, be getting high for a few days. And then he would get clean, be sober for a few months.

Like, it was just a cycle. And, you know, he hated it. He hated using, um, I, I was weary starting a relationship with him for that reason, because that, that is a lot. You know, to, to love someone and try to build a future with somebody who, who has those issues. So that was definitely, you know, something I did, I talked about with him [00:08:00] and he did say he was going to try, you know, to get it under control.

Um, but it was something that throughout our relationship, it, it happened several, several times. So, so that was hard. That's it's hard.

Emily Jones: Yeah, that it is hard. And it's hard to imagine, you know, being at a place where you feel that that's your, um, solution and that's really what gets you through. So I can't pretend to, that I can understand what it's like to be there, but I know that it has to be a pretty.

Dark place and a deep place where people just really struggle with some of those addictions. Um, did you have any, uh, issues with people around you not being supportive or people saying, well, he has this problem, you know, why do you put up with this? What, what was that like for you?

Lauren McGuire: Oh, definitely. That was hard because I think at the [00:09:00] time, since Nate has passed, I, I volunteer with, um, substance abuse users.

So I've learned a lot more about them and I've had a lot more empathy, but hearing those things from people who don't get it, who haven't Love somebody with this issue. I can understand because they care for me, but at the same time, it was, it was really hurtful because here's this person that I love, you know, that I'm worried about that.

I want to be there for him through all of this and having. You know, family or friends say, Oh, you know, you should just leave him, uh, you're better off. And it's like, well, I don't, I don't want to do that. You know what I mean? And then when we, we had our daughters, it made hearing those even, even more painful hearing those comments.

Emily Jones: So, um, you guys were together for about how long was it?

Lauren McGuire: Um, so it was November 21st [00:10:00] of 2018, and then he passed away in August of 2021. So we really didn't have, um, a lot of time together at all, which as far as like a serious relationship, but, you know, like I had said, he, he was such a good friend for so long.

It's like, I feel like we've been together forever.

Emily Jones: Yeah. And you know, about three years. On one hand, doesn't seem that long on the other hand feels like a lifetime. I mean, even if you just think about, you know, the amount, so I lost my husband, July of 2021, so around the same time, and it just seems like.

20 years instead of just a couple of years. So yeah, those times can definitely feel a lot longer than sometimes it seems. So you had, um, a couple of girls together and

Lauren McGuire: we did. Yeah. So we got, uh, pregnant with our first Evelyn in June of [00:11:00] 2019. And I was petrified, to be honest, you know, I have a 13 year old from a previous relationship.

So I feel like I've kind of already done the parenting thing. And here I am now, you know, starting completely over again, um, with somebody who, who has these issues. I was very afraid. Um, you know, and I don't. Like to say it, but it's part of my story. I thought of terminating the pregnancy. Um, but I remember Nate, you know, begging me, you know, I, I want to be a dad.

I would be a good dad. Like, please give me this gift. Like, please. And I thought being naive, maybe this is what he needs to stop using drugs. So I'm like, okay, like I know you very well. He was great with my oldest daughter for so many years. I'm like, okay, yeah, [00:12:00] absolutely. Like, let's do this. You'll quit using drugs.

Everything will be perfect. And we'll just have this happy little family. Uh, definitely, you know, obviously did not work out that way at all. Um, but then Evelyn was born and he was so attentive to her. He loved being a dad. She was just the greatest thing to him in the world. And he was really good at it.

Um, I loved watching him, you know, play with her or feeding her or, you know, rocking her to sleep. Like it was. It was a side of Nate that I never really got to see, and I was there for it, like, it was beautiful. I loved it. Um, but then, right, you know, the relapses, they still, they were few and far between after Evelyn was born, so I will give him that, but they still happened.

And then I found out I was pregnant with our second daughter almost immediately. [00:13:00] And again, I was terrified. You know, even if somebody doesn't have these issues, having two kids like that back to back would be challenging for for any family. Um, let alone, you know, these issues, it was, it was scary, but.

You know, he's like, we're such a good team. Look at us go raising, you know, Caroline and Evelyn. Like we're, we're kicking ass. We could do it. And, and we were, Nate was going to school. Um, he made a career change. She was making good money. I, yeah, I was like, okay, like let's do it. And so Madeline, we had her March of 2021.

Emily Jones: Okay. So there's us. So you have these beautiful girls in your life and your daughter from before and these two babies, really, um, at the time that you lose him. So do you mind to share the circumstances or what happened when you [00:14:00] found out that he

Lauren McGuire: had passed? Yeah, so after we had Maddie, I think, um, we didn't have the tools to navigate all these challenges together.

Um, being that he was my partner and the person, you know, I saw every day, it was so easy for us both to kind of turn against each other. Um, so right before he passed away, we were living separately, still very committed to the relationship, but I think we just needed space. Thanks. We had, you know, three kids, a dog, him and I living in a rather small house for a family that size.

So he went to stay at his father's house, which is only like, 5 minutes away from here. Um, I think it was August 22nd of 2021. We went, we took all the girls and we went to the lake with his aunt and uncle. We had a great day. It was awesome. It's like we didn't [00:15:00] have any problems in the world. It was, it was beautiful.

And then we came back here. He, we dropped the kids off here. He hung out for dinner and then he had left to go back to his dad's. Um, it was a Sunday, so he had to work, um, that Monday. And he had called me that night, Sunday evening, you know, to say goodnight and check in. It was great. And I could tell he had been drinking, but I didn't want to say anything, you know, I didn't want to start any drama or, you know, we had a great day.

I didn't want to rock the boat. So I just kind of left it alone. Plus, he didn't have an issue with alcohol. But I did notice that sometimes the alcohol led to those substances, but I didn't say anything. Um, and then I believe it was the next day I got a text from his employer asking if I had seen him.

And I'm like, Oh, you know, I knew right away that something he had relapsed or something happened. So I called him and sure enough, I could tell just by the tone of his voice that he was using. Um, [00:16:00] and. Throughout his relapses, there were times that I had said some really cruel and hurtful things because I was angry.

You know, here I am, I love you to death, you have all these kids, you have a house, like, why are you still doing this? Um, he did explain to me, you know, when I am doing these things, I hate myself. I, I don't like what I'm doing, and I don't need to hear from the person I love most in the world how much of a P. O. S. I am. As angry as it makes you, like, if you, if you can't just be somewhat kind, like, let's just not talk at all. Understandable. So when Nate would relapse, we really didn't talk because we would just fight. And so, I found out he was using, we talked a little bit about it. And then the next day I had woken up to eight missed calls from his father.

Um, I sleep with do not disturb on so I didn't get the calls. And a [00:17:00] company accompanying the phone calls was a message and it said. I keep trying to call you, but it goes to, to voicemail. I hate to tell you this, but I found Nathan's body. He passed away.

And, you know, seeing that first thing, when you wake up, it's like, Oh my God, so, I'm, I ran downstairs screaming, calling him back, you know, please tell me you're joking. And he's like, of course not. You know, joke about something like this. Um, my daughter, my oldest comes running up from her room in the basement, you know, thinking the house is on fire.

I'm just, I'm panicking. And so I don't even know why, but I just got in my car and drove over to his father's house. And I think when I rounded that corner, It's when it really hit me because I saw, you know, the coroner van, all the police cars and I [00:18:00] remember parking and just bee lining it for the front door screaming the entire time.

Um, the police wouldn't let me in and I'm grateful for that now because Nate had actually passed away 24 hours before he was found. So he had been dead for a day. Wow. I was very angry at that time, but you know, hindsight looking back, I'm grateful. I didn't have to see that and I just remember the police asking me questions like what was he using?

Do you know anybody that he could have called the usual and without warning all of a sudden here comes, you know, Nate in a body bag being wheeled down his driveway. And I know they're just doing their job, but I remember sitting there thinking like, you couldn't have told us, like me and his father who are standing outside, you couldn't have given us, you know, a heads up because I think that's one of the issues, [00:19:00] pictures that I keep replaying sometimes is, is seeing that it was, it was awful.

It was terrible. I went home and my family all came down and I just, I remember sitting on my couch just sobbing, like, what am I gonna do? I have a 15 or an 18 month old and a five month old and an 11-year-old at the time. Like, how am I going to do this? It was terrifying. Terrifying. Worst day of my life.

Emily Jones: And how do you muster up the strength to communicate that to your children, what has happened, what that means, and help them kind of understand what those next steps are? What, how did you do

Lauren McGuire: that? So, for my little ones, they were too little at the time to really understand, but my oldest was old enough and, you know, it's [00:20:00] something I talk to her now that she's a teenager about a lot.

Um, Nate died of fentanyl poisoning. Um, to me, an overdose is, you know what you're taking, you take too much, you pass away. Nate didn't know he was deceived. He didn't know that's what he was buying. He was trying to buy something else. Come to find out. Um, so that's the difference to me. Um, a lot of people aren't seeing it in their substances.

They just take it without knowing. So I, I talked to my daughter a lot about it cause she's old enough to understand and how dangerous it is. You know, and she struggles to her biological dad has never been really involved. So she sees, you know, me struggling, she's struggling. And I just, I really try to kind of keep an open door.

You know, anytime that, you know, you need to talk, I'm here. Um, I want you to talk to me. Don't bottle this up. Um, but my, [00:21:00] my little ones, they know who he is because there's pictures around the home, but I don't think they'll remember him at all. And I don't think they know, you know, I tell them, Oh, daddy's in, in heaven, but he's not coming back.

And I just, I don't think they get it because they're still, they're too little.

Emily Jones: Yeah. They're still really young. Yeah. So I, I can't even really begin to imagine just the. Trauma and the horror of seeing, you know, some of those things that you had to witness and just the Adrenaline that must have been flowing through you.

Oh gosh. Yeah dealing with all of that Did you have any? challenges or people make snide comments or have you feel a difference if Sympathy or support given the way that he died.

Lauren McGuire: Oh, absolutely. Um, I, you know, I've heard, [00:22:00] oh, well, this had to have happened. Um, you know, so, so your kids wouldn't be subjected to it.

And Um, to get you out of the relationship, the universe conspired for this to happen, just horrible things, you know, Nate, 98 percent of our issues came from, um, the, the relapses, but other than that, I mean, it was pretty close to what I would say for me, a perfect relationship. So those comments really hurt me and I chalk it up to a lot of.

Ignorance, I guess, while there is personal responsibility that falls on Nate for doing those things, um, this epidemic is unlike anything that we've seen before. It's, it's taking a lot of people and these are people, you know, that, that are parents. Uh, kids, their moms, their dads, their sons, their people love them, you know, and so [00:23:00] I think, but there is a stigma tied to it.

Like, oh, your, your husband chose this because of his actions. And that's, that's just not true. Nate would have never have willingly left us like this. No way. No way. Yeah.

Emily Jones: Yeah. And even in a situation like suicide or something where someone is making that choice, you know, it doesn't change the pain. So, I think to your point, it's just people being ignorant.

Sometimes I think people try to say something they think is going to make us feel better

Lauren McGuire: like, Oh, this was meant to be, or, you know,

Emily Jones: this is the way of protecting your kids. At least they're not going to be subjected to this. And in actuality, it makes us feel worse for totally. What they're saying, so, you know, what is maybe something that, let's say.

You know, [00:24:00] I have a friend and they're in the situation that you were in early on. What, what are the words that you wish you would have heard more often, or what are the things that people can do to really show their support for you as the family without having any judgment of how their

person died?

Lauren McGuire: I think a lot of it for me is validating the pain, um, saying, you know, Hey, This sucks, and it's BS, and it's not fair, and I'm here for you, and we can talk about it, you know, no judgment at all, um, it doesn't matter how he passed away, he passed away, and, and you're stuck picking up the pieces, and that, that's brutal, so I'm here if you need to talk, just, I think, validating, because I think when someone passes like this, or they unalive themselves, there's a stigma to it as You know, oh, well, this must have been [00:25:00] what they wanted.

Like, why do you feel so bad? And it is so far, it's even almost more painful sometimes to an extent. Um, I also think. People, when they talk about Nate to me, um, you can't remind me that Nate passed away. I, I know that. I think about it every day. But when you talk to me about Nate, you're reminding me that he lived and he had people that loved him.

And cared about him. So I would have loved, you know, friends or family, anybody like, Oh, Nate and I, this one time we went and did XYZ. Like, I love hearing those stories. And I think that's true for, for a lot of people that lose somebody they loved. Like, when you bring them up, you're not reminding them that they died.

Like, trust me, we know. We know, but just hearing about them and talking about them, I think that that brings me great comfort. So that's [00:26:00] something else people could do. Yeah, I think

Emily Jones: that's so powerful. And one of the things that I've really tried to do with my family is just talk about it like it's normal.

Like, Oh, your dad would have loved this. He would have hated that. You know, remember that time we did this and it's hard and weird and awkward in the beginning. But after you get through those first few initial times, it becomes just. More normal and fluid and a great reminder because you probably don't feel like you get a lot of chances to talk about him in a way that doesn't make people uncomfortable or, you know, like, yeah, how many times can I tell my sob story to people?

Lauren McGuire: It's like, why don't you tell me about the time that, you know, you and Nate did something or you guys went and saw this concert. Like, I, I love hearing those stories because it keeps, it keeps him alive, you know, we have photos, videos, memories and stories, you know, and that's it. So I really appreciate [00:27:00] people, um, sharing those things with me.

I think it's important. Yeah. So,

Emily Jones: What would you say are some things that have helped as you've tried to balance and I'm trying to put myself in your shoes for a moment, you have an 11 year old and 18

Lauren McGuire: month old, she was 18 and then a five month old

Emily Jones: and then a five month old baby, and you're trying to balance.

Surviving and helping your oldest daughter, you know, process and maybe grieve some of this and taking care of those babies and taking care of you. How did you manage to not lose your mind during that time and to be able to heal?

Lauren McGuire: Um, so I think for the first few weeks, um, especially I really relied on my mom.

I have a huge family, but my mom [00:28:00] has, she's really been my champion. Um, I couldn't be in our house for a few weeks after he passed away. So we went and stayed with her and she was so hands on with my kids. Um, but to be honest, I. I don't remember feeling like I'm getting through it. Like the first year was such a blur to me.

Like, I don't know if you felt that, but I look back and I'm like, there, I, I don't remember. Yeah, I guess I did well. Cause we're all here.

Emily Jones: Well, you're here and you're able to smile a little bit, which is good. Yeah. Yeah, I, I know that first year, you know, the brain, our brains really try to protect us from feeling a lot.

So it puts us in this. You know, adrenaline, almost fight or flight, just like survival mode. But then our, our brains are like really foggy and hazy. And there's so many [00:29:00] weird things that did like, you know, I put my car titles in the silverware drawer. I'm like, I don't know what was happening.

Lauren McGuire: Yes. One time, I think it was, um, maybe a month after he passed, I was in the school pickup line to get my oldest.

And I just drove away without her. Like she, school didn't even get out. I was just sitting in the line and I just took off and I'm like, Oh my God. What did I just do? Like. Things so out of character, but I think you're right. I think our brain is just so overwhelmed and it's just trying to protect us. But that's one thing I do remember.

I did. That was terrible.

Emily Jones: Well, it happens. Um, so yeah, that, that, I think the first, especially those first few months, it's about surviving and just what does it take to get through the day? Um, but is there any advice that you would have for, um, people who [00:30:00] have kids and they're trying to help them and also help themselves, um, or even, you know, now being a couple of years almost out, you know, is there anything that you have found that's been helpful in having those discussions with your family?

Lauren McGuire: Yeah, I think for my oldest, she's 13 now. Um, I have her now in therapy weekly, which has been Huge. Um, she did try therapy shortly after he passed away, but she just wasn't feeling it. I don't believe therapy should ever be forced. Um, she's had some issues to where I feel like, you know, now it's, it's pretty necessary.

So she does that. Um, you know, I, to help myself, I did therapy. I did a lot of EMDR work. I don't know if you're familiar with that, but it's, it's, been monumental in my healing. It helps me so much.

Emily Jones: talk talk a little bit about EMDR because I think a lot of [00:31:00] people probably are not going to be familiar with that.

Lauren McGuire: Yeah. So it stands for, I believe I motion desensitization, like reprocessing. And so what it does is it brings traumatic images or experiences, memories, um, to the frontal lobe brain where they could be reprocessed. And they do that by, it's like eye movement. It's a really cool thing, like. I don't, I don't know how it works, but it does.

And so my therapist, like, for example, the body bag image, that was something that really bothered me for a very long time. So we focused on that and she would have me think about it while watching dots, like, go across because we do everything on zoom. And it just. I still think about it, but I'm noticing ever since I've done a few sessions of EMDR, I'm not brought to tears or I'm not sitting there feeling, um, a lot of sorrow when I think of that.

So it's really [00:32:00] helped just reprocessing that. I, I don't know how it works, but it does. I'm a big fan. And I think if anyone's struggling to, to definitely give that a shot.

Emily Jones: Yeah, I think that's a great suggestion, and I haven't tried that, but, um, I have some images that haunt me as well, and I, thank you, I, I know, um, the more time I would spend thinking about it, talking about it, like just continuing to bring it up, continuing to bring it up, I think over time, you become a little desensitized to just the raw edge of that pain, so I can think about it now, and I You know, occasionally I might still get teary eyed talking about it, but it's not nearly like it was, where it would just be a wave of grief and overwhelm, just thinking about that one thing or wishing I could go back and rearrange, you know, what happened in that [00:33:00] scenario.

Lauren McGuire: Oh, absolutely. Yes. And I totally get going back and rearranging like there's, I don't have a lot of regrets. And I don't know if anything would turn out differently. But there's a lot of things I wish I would have done differently. And I really have to catch myself when I feel myself going into the would haves and could haves and should haves because I've spent a lot of time doing that.

And it has been nothing but misery for me. So I really need to be You know, vigilant of that and, and just stop and say, well, this is, we're here now, you know, can't go back and change it as much as I want to. But

Emily Jones: yeah, I'll tell you 1 thing that really helped me with that is, um, there's a, a book called the grief recovery method.

Have you heard of that? I haven't, no. Okay, so it's, um, let's see if I have, okay, for those of you that, um, are not on video, I'm just holding up a copy of this book, The Grief Recovery Method Handbook. Okay. And there's also, um, like an eight week program that you can go [00:34:00] through and it's really big about the program.

Continued where we feel guilty or we feel that sense of regret, it's really because we wish things were better, more or different in the relationship that we had and in those final moments and for me, I just like, I would keep replaying those images. I would keep. Thinking, Oh, I wish, you know, when the EMTs came and picked him up, I would have done this.

And I didn't, or I wish, um, you know, I would have said this or not said this or whatever it is. I felt like there were so many unresolved, unsaid things. And this, um, it's the only evidence based program in the entire world that has been. Yeah, it's been scientifically proven to help people move through their grief.

And so for me, when I went through that program, I mean, even though it was two years later, I just felt [00:35:00] so much lighter and like there were no things left unsaid. There were no more unresolved loops. So I'm a huge advocate,

Lauren McGuire: even if, Oh my gosh, I'm totally. Yeah, I'm gonna put that in my notes. Okay. Yeah.

Emily Jones: And I'll include it in the show notes, uh, you know, for people watching as well, but I'm a huge advocate for, for doing that to get past all of those, like, Oh, I really wish, you know, I could have changed that.

Cause that was, yeah.

Lauren McGuire: Yeah, and I think I try to keep in mind to, you know, hindsight is 2020. We can't we only learn after the incident occurred. So we can't like, condemn ourselves for not knowing prior to and so I really try to, you know, stick with that. But it's hard. And so I definitely want to check that out because that is something that is still very relevant to me today.

I still go into the woulda coulda shoulda's and. It sucks, .

Emily Jones: [00:36:00] I think you'll love it. I think you'll absolutely love it if you go through that. Great. So great. So, as we get to the end of our time, what final, you know, words of wisdom or advice or encouragement would you leave with someone who's walking in your shoes or you know, who has a similar experience and story to you?

Lauren McGuire: Um, so definitely, I think a big thing for me is just to rely on people when they say they want to help most of the time. They mean it. Um, you know, if somebody says, hey, I would like to send dinner, like, accept it, you know, just just take the help as far as anybody. Who might have lost somebody in the same, um, way that, uh, Nate had passed.

I have found a lot in, of healing through, um, volunteering through with organizations that work on overdose prevention, um, that educate the public about it. Um, So for me, that's [00:37:00] been monumental because unfortunately I, I can't save Nate, it's, it's too late for that, but hopefully I can, you know, save the next person and the next family from, from going through this, I think volunteering just in general, regardless is a great way to get out of yourself, um, do something for someone else.

And it's been huge in my healing. Yeah. N E M D R. I, I do recommend that highly.

Emily Jones: That's awesome. I'll have to check into that more to see exactly how that works because it sounds really great, you know, for what you've been doing. And I know several people have mentioned doing that. Um, and I love that you're turning your pain into purpose and that you're looking for ways to give back because I think that is very healing too.

Lauren McGuire: Yeah, it's, it's, it's huge. And I've met hopefully lifelong friends along the way doing that. So I, I love it every week for almost, I think it's been a year and a half I've been doing that, so. Awesome. Yeah. Well, [00:38:00]

Emily Jones: Lauren, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story and just being, being thank you, vulnerable and open.

Uh, I appreciate it and I know our audience will as

Lauren McGuire: well.

Thank you, Emily. I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.‚Äč

Emily Jones: Hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your heart, finding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.

Do you need a safe space to connect with other like-minded widows? Do you wish you had how-tos for getting through the next steps in your journey, organizing your life or moving through grief? What about live calls where you get answers to your burning questions? The Brave Widow Membership Community is just what you need.

Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching where you can [00:39:00] work on what matters most to you. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.

 

 

BW 085: Widow's Heart: and Tale of Loss, Love, and Liberation

Feb 14, 2024

BW 085: Widow's Heart: and Tale of Loss, Love, and Liberation

Feb 14, 2024