This is perhaps the most vulnerable, raw message I have every written. Please bear with me.

On March 1, 2020, I lost my best friend and partner in life to pancreatic cancer. Through his year-long battle, I was his primary caregiver and cheerleader. It was hard. I took a lot out of me. It broke me.

I will never be the same Melanie I was, and for that I am grieving but grateful.

Grieving the loss of my husband and the loss of self, while facing the challenges brought to my business by COVID-19 presented me with the unique opportunity of time to reflect. As much as it pushed me to my limits, the battle with cancer prepared me for this unprecedented pandemic. I continue to build my support system, adjust to the pace of how quickly things change day-to-day and marvel at the resilience of the human spirit, though the battle has ended.

Perhaps his most valuable parting gift to me was showing me how strong, brave and courageous I really am.

I don’t want to hoard this gift all to myself (it’s not toilet paper). I want to share with you each gift, and invite you to join me to amplify it through small challenges. Let’s get going.

Strength

Strength is defined as the capacity of a person to withstand great pressure. Mental strength is built through hardship or strain. COVID-19 is helping me continue to strengthen my mindset, but cancer got the ball rolling.

As Ross from the 90’s hit show Friends screamed – “PIVOT!” And to do that, we need strength.

We do it in every day life, and in our careers, but It’s easy to overlook the mental strength it takes to reflect truthfully and honestly. Let’s boost our capacity together.

CHALLENGE Make a wish list of what you want your career to be like. What does happiness at work look like for you? Where do you want your career journey to go? Do you need to pivot? If you need help working through these questions, I’m happy to help you strengthen your resolve. Take advantage of my 25% off promotion on all Eximius career planning services.

Courage

Courage is defined as “strength in the face of pain or grief.” We build up our courage by showing strength.

Not all heroes wear capes, and the strength and courage shown to me by the care team surrounding my husband inspired me. My courage to question and understand ways in which to navigate the system more effectively grew over the past year – and I want to keep that going.

We have the capacity to be the hero of our careers. Let’s courageously do it.

CHALLENGE Look at your LinkedIn profile (or learn about LinkedIn) and dust off your resume. How does it serve the vision you’ve strongly defined? Does it reflect who you are today? Does it help you get to where you want to be? If you answered “no” to any of these questions and need some help to find the courage to get the ball rolling, I’m offering 25% off all of our resume and LinkedIn services.

Bravery

Defined as “courageous behavior,” it’s just that – making things happen. Getting it done is something all caregivers are familiar with. Knowing you have a life that is dependent on your strength and courage fuels your bravery to do things you never thought you could.

Having the strength to see areas where extra support was needed, having the courage to question if this was the best we could do and find solutions, and tapping into bravery to do what it takes boosted my self-confidence and allowed me to persevere. I want you to feel a fraction of what that felt like for me.

CHALLENGE Get it done. Do it. Own your career, your path and your brand. If you don’t have the skills to do it yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Now is the perfect time to set your course – so do it.

I never believed that I could persevere without him, but here I am. Every day, I do my best to pick up the pieces, stay focused, get back to work and redefine my new reality with the gift of everlasting love he’s left behind.

At the end of the day, I know that this too shall pass because I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My message to you? It can be done. It’s not easy.

Let’s persevere and continue together.

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2 Thoughts on “Grieving through COVID-19”

  • This is amazing
    From the heart with great direction
    And encouraging words for everyone.
    I never met you in person but am really happy we are friends on Facebook.
    I really enjoy following you.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Warm regards
    Sharleen Young

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