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Regaining Your Drive: Navigating Motivation through Grief

One day I went to a medical appointment and while I was talking with the provider, I told her that my Aunt Kathy, whom I loved dearly died suddenly of a heart attack. She spoke with compassion as she asked me "Why are you here today, you should go rest at home." She took the time to encourage me to feel grief and not keep it inside how I was taught in my home growing up and in my career as a healthcare worker. I took her advice and did something, I never would have thought I'd do. I left that appointment and went to work. I walked in to meet with my boss and supervisor. I told them what was going on and that I was not in a good place to work with patients that day. They looked like they were in shock. I knew my patients would not be happy having their appointments rescheduled and worked to get over the guilt of that. I needed to value myself too.

There was much more to the story than my Aunt Kathy, but the fact that she was someone I could count on that take care of my mother and grandmother. She was a nurse who gave all she could to help everyone and any time of the day. She was always exhausted and I could relate with her as someone who always wanted to help others. She gave so much love to my mother when I could not while living in another state. My mother had many health issues and Kathy's love and compassion helped her through many of her illnesses.

My mother passed away a year ago, March 6th after over a year of battling several issues mostly around poor digestive system health, multiple falls, and mental health issues. I had traveled several times out of state to help while she was in the hospitals and care facilities. Many people know how that is when you leave a spouse and child/children behind to care for your parents. I was doing my best to keep my health in check but it was a lot to process knowing I was losing my mother. I felt inconsistent with all aspects of my health. When she passed, I allowed myself to take time to grieve, which again was a learning process for me. Then I had a mission, help others to not suffer like her and live each day doing the best for my health. I found purpose in my loss.

I also learned how individual the grieving process is with everyone when losing a parent. I met with a cousin recently with more life experience and she reminded me that grief shows up as many different emotions. I then understood that the anger I was feeling wasn't just anger, it was my grief coming to the surface. I have been doing meditation in recent months and for the first time, I have been able to let some of the emotions I pushed deep inside be treated with compassion and kindness versus shame and judgment.

You can regain your drive again too, navigating and finding your motivation through grief. I can take you where you are and encourage you and motivate you to find your way to health and fitness. Connect with me by going to my website.

#Live Inspired,

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT

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