ChatAholic

I miss you every day and that is okay

November 23, 2022 AO / Cindy Burns Season 1 Episode 18
ChatAholic
I miss you every day and that is okay
Show Notes Transcript

This episode I spoke to Cindy Burns a grief counsellor for those who have lost a partner.

Cindy shared with me her journey to becoming a grief counsellor and how she delved into who she is to help others.


Sources:
https://m.facebook.com/widowersandwidowsfindingpurpose/
https://www.cindyjburns.com
https://www.myersbriggs.org
https://mobile.twitter.com/cindyjuddburns
https://nationalcasagal.org/
https://nationalcasagal.org/advocate-for-children/be-a-casa-gal-volunteer/
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/coping-with-grief-and-loss.htm
https://www.samaritans.org/
https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/bereavement.html
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/bereavement/experiences-of-grief/
https://www.griefshare.org

Please note transcription accuracy may vary.

Music by - Neffex - don't want to let myself down 
   Neffex - A year go
                        





AO:

Welcome to another episode of ChatAholic.This episode I speak to Cindy Burns,who explains why she chose the career path that she chose.I don't feel like career path is the right word.It's very similar to other guests I've spoken to where she actually just explains why she decides to.Embark on the journey that she did,what led her to this,and also why it's more than a career for her,it's her purpose.I wanted to do this episode and speak Cindy,because I know the holidays are coming up and I'm aware that there are people who,for various reasons,find this a difficult time of year.So it was important to speak to her and try and.Get a bit more of an understanding of what people in this situation may be going through.,so thank you for joining us.Hi Cindy.Thank you so much for agreeing to do this.would you mind telling me a bit about you?Who are you?Whatever you are.Happy sharing anything at all.

Cindy:

I'm Cindy Burns and.Was a wife for33years.Well,I consider myself still a wife,but my husband died a month before our33rd wedding anniversary,and it's been11years now.And together we raised six sons who are all doing well,and he would be so proud.And he's got three grandchildren,two girls and a boy.That he never got to see.I use my experiences to help other people.

AO:

I'm just gonna say Cindy is a life coach for.Widowers and widows.And just to clarify,Cindy isn't saying she is only a life coach for people who have lost a husband or a wife.It's a loss of a spouse.So whatever category a person believes a spouse falls into.Am I correct?

Cindy:

Yeah,you are very correct.I consider if you were engaged,if you were living together long time,you know,couple.You can consider yourself a widow or a widower?As far as I'm concerned,legally,maybe not,but as far as I'm concerned,it doesn't matter.

AO:

Okay.I know you've already explained a bit about you,but at what point did you think to yourself,I'm going to use my experience to help others?

Cindy:

Yeah.At one point,did I.

AO:

It's a big thing that you went through something so horrible and you thought,Okay,well I'm not the only person going through this.How can I help other people?

Cindy:

I started out actually pretty much from the beginning.I wanted to write a blog So that others can know what it's like to go through something like that.And I couldn't maintain it.I just wasn't in the right place for it at that time.So I went about,you know,the business of living and all the things that were being thrown at me.A son was getting married.He had a baby and then he had cancer and then another son was in a terrible car accident and they needed me.So there was a lot of things pulling at me from different directions and kind of anything I wanted to do just took a took a backseat to what my family needed.Cuz it's always been like that.I've always put family first and then it reached a point.They didn't need me.not as much,they still,little things.But,at about the same time,I was only working part-time and I worked from home.I've always worked from home for the last25years,maybe more.And I just started wondering.what's my purpose?Why am I still here?Cause I,I feel that there's a purpose for us,whether you believe in God or not.I still believe that everyone has a purpose and that purpose can change over time.my purpose,especially when my children were little,was to be a good mum.at the same time to be a good wife.When I was working,it was to be a good employee or that kind of thing.And now I had not been to be,that really was calling to me to say,You,this is where you belong.I did what everyone does and I Googled it.I Googled life purpose.and the first thing that came up was a school coaches and one of their courses was Life Purpose Coach.So I looked into it,I read a little bit about it.

AO:

Can I ask you a question?So I know you said you Googled it and that's what came up.I dunno why I have to ask questions,but I have to ask questions

Cindy:

for it.

AO:

When that came up,did it seem as though it was a message?A message from God or who?Because if I Google.my life purpose,I'm not convinced that would come up for everyone.I wonder if at that moment in time that actually was a message for you.

Cindy:

Oh,yes.I believe very strongly in synchronicity,which means there's nothing really such thing as coincidence.Like I said,everything happens for a reason.Everybody has their purpose,and it really drove home to me that it was something I really needed to look at was towards the end of my training as a life purpose coach.Not only did I learn how to be a coach,I learned what.You know,I,I kinda went through it for me to begin with,not because I wanted to be a coach,and I realized that,you know,this was what I was supposed to be.This was who I am,and this was my new purpose.And towards the end of it,I learned about this this thing called membership,where you have members in a group.That pay you to do certain things.And there are so many memberships out there.I mean,if you there's,they call themselves club sometimes,like a wine club.Anything you subscribe to is a membership.So things like that.I took that course and by the time I was done with that,I really knew what I needed to be doing.I started out offering a membership.For some reason,though,I had it only for widows and for some reason widows don't jump on being in a membership where they have to pay.It was very,very inexpensive.So now I do mostly one on one,but I still have the idea of the membership in there It's basically group coaching,and I think it's a wonderful alternative to the one on one if you can't afford,You know my package?

AO:

Do you think,in your experience,is there a reason,Is it more common for people to want one on one as opposed to in a group?And is that because people aren't so comfortable discussing their grief in a group,in a forum of people?

Cindy:

Yeah,I found that,especially in the very early days,They're not quite ready to be sharing with everybody.I know when I was grieving,I didn't even look for like the church might have group coach,you know,group grief group and I knew there was another group around that you could join in person,cuz this was before Covid I did not want to do that.I said I can't sit in a room full of people that are crying.It was gonna trigger me.And also most grief organizations,they welcome in.Anybody who's grieving,whether it's your dog or your parent,or your brother,You know anybody who's grieving.And I wanted to focus on just spouse.

AO:

Okay.I get that.

Cindy:

yeah,and in the beginning it was just women,but recently I've opened up to men.I wasn't sure about having men in the group because I just wasn't sure how my members would feel about it.I have a private Facebook group that's free and I wasn't sure how the women in that group,would react,so I asked them and the number who responded,Yes.Let them in.They have the same kind of grief,same feelings that we do,they need a place for them too.And I mean,it was overwhelming the response.I got positive,so I opened it up to men and it wasn't the very next week.We had our first male member and we've got several now.They are fairly quiet,but one posted his about his loss and I messaged him after and I said,That was so brave of you.Because even widows that are in the group have not really been all that forthcoming about their story.So if I can get them one on one.after,the first session is free for everybody.And if they take me up on that,then they'll open up.But in the group,they kinda hold back.It's hard to tell a whole bunch of people,what happened.so,I opened it up to everybody and the men.Seem to be as vocal as the women now.

AO:

I think that was one of my questions.I got it from one of my friends whose partner passed away and she found a group on Facebook and it was something,one of the men that she met on there who said they were going through this similar experience,he'd lost his partner and he said he doesn't feel like he's allowed to grieve because he's a man and men are strong and men don't cry.

Cindy:

Exactly.

AO:

I I Was interest in your experience with that?

Cindy:

Yeah,exactly that.You know,men were brought up that,keep a stiff upper lip and,you know,just power through things.Walk it off my son when he'd get hurt in baseball.You know,different things like that.Men don't know that they can,It doesn't have to be public.It can be private.You can cry.if you're not comfortable crying among other people,you should be able to cry when you're alone,at least.And that's what I tell everyone is to,it's the first thing I tell somebody that approaches me is Feel your feeling.Allow them to come acknowledge them,name them,and feel them.Because if you don't,you're stuffing it down and it's gonna come out in different ways and not pretty ways usually.

AO:

It's gonna come out regardless,so you can't run from it.

Cindy:

Right.And the sooner you acknowledge that and.Acknowledge that you are feeling that way and allow yourself,it hurts why you're feeling it.it's the most painful thing you'll ever go through,but if you allow it to happen,the horrible part of grief won't last as long.You'll always grieve.There's no expiration data on grief.You'll always,you.Think about that person.You'll always miss them,but it won't be as strong and as it is in the beginning.

AO:

When people say to people who are going through this time is a healer because the way you put it that I understood and that was very gentle.I don't know if,time is a healer.It doesn't really resonate with me the same as the way you put it.

Cindy:

Yeah,I'm not sure I would consider it a healer.I don't consider grief as an illness,it just becomes part of life and you learn to accept it just as.I have to learn that I have thick straight hair and I have to spend hours with a curling iron just to get a wave in it,it's not what I wanted,but I accept it.There are ways to get around it by using a curling iron or whatever,but it's still a part of me,just as the grief is.I don't want people to think that.Grief is the end all,be all.You can be happy.You can be happy while you're grieving,and you can grow from that grief.You learn a lot about yourself during that time.If you allow it and you can come out like,the butterfly the caterpillar has to be in the cocoon and you can come out a butterfly,but you'll still have that.Caterpillar DNA in you.You'll still feel that longing for that person,but it won't be as bad like my husband's birthday's coming up in about a month,and I know I'll be thinking about,well,I think about him every day,but,I'll be thinking a little harder about him.I'll be missing him on that day and.He loved Thanksgiving that's coming up,and I have ways to,I have ways to get through that too.So you'll learn.You learn what's right for you,and you go on Living

AO:

I'm smiling because you read my questions and you basically just,You're answering all my questions,but it's not that you are just answering them.I couldn't have asked you to have provided it in a kinder of more transparent way.Thank you.

Cindy:

Oh,you're welcome.

AO:

I know from people I know who've gone through it when the big events come up.I don't wanna speak for them.I know I have one friend who says on that day,she's not going to go to cemetery.she's gonna do something fun with her children instead And I say to her,you do whatever is right for you.But I only have one person who's ever asked me that.I don't know what I'd say if people are asking me that as my job.

Cindy:

Well,I think doing what's right for them is the best thing to say to somebody,you know.Oh,that sounds wonderful.And I'm sure it'll be good for you,or something like that.Being supportive doesn't mean telling somebody what to do doesn't mean telling somebody how they should feel.It doesn't mean telling anybody what you know,what their life should look like.It just means being there and just listen.And that's all they.That's all.That's a supported friend and just continue to be there because widows lose a lot of friends afterwards cause they just don't understand what she's going through.And,Oh,she's changed so much since her husband died.Well,yeah,I mean,of course he has.It's natural.

AO:

Do you think as human beings,I'm not sure we are that great with grief,dealing with someone else's grief.I think it makes people uncomfortable.It.So I can't actually imagine that you are dealing with people who are uncomfortable to be around you.And then depending on the individual,if they're still grieving,but they're also continuing their journey,continuing their life,and then they're getting judged on that.If people want to date,if people want to get married,Because I said this to you the first time that one of the things I've heard more than once is people saying,You're young,you'll find someone else.And so that's the face you made the first time I said it.But this is what I've heard from people

Cindy:

Oh,I know People have said it.It was said to me,and He was59.I was54.oh,you know,they're so young to be a widow.Well,you know,how does that help,or how does that change things?By saying that to me,I know it's young to be a widow,people mean well,but they say the most insensitive thing.My own mother asked me as soon as I told her that Dan had died,he had lung cancer.And as soon as I called her and told her that he had died,she said,Oh,does that mean you're gonna move back up north?Or moved back home,which is Turkey's New York,and she was living in Florida at the time.does that mean you're gonna be moving back home?I said no.I said,Virginia's my home.Now.Why would I wanna move?So yeah,that people care about you and they.If they wanna help,but they just don't have a clue of what to say,the best thing to say is,What do you need me to do?What can I do for you?And most of the time,he or she is gonna say,Nothing really.You know,I've got everything covered.Well,then you can come back with,Okay,I'm gonna start a meal training for you so you don't have to worry about.Or especially if she has kids or he has kids,that's that,that you won't admit it,but that really is a huge help.Or,okay,well then,let's go for coffee.You don't wanna make a big deal,you know,long drawn out socialization.But to get her out of the house once every two weeks or so.and she or he may talk about their spouse the entire time,but that's what she needs and that's why she does it.Or you may talk about everything except him or her,which is perfectly normal.It's what she needs.It's what,work for her.Just be there for her,is the for him is the best thing.That you know,a friend can do.Please don't say you're gonna get over this,or after a few months,you're not over this yet.

AO:

Oh,I've never,Oh,do people actually say

Cindy:

Oh yeah.Oh yeah.Or you get over this soon,

AO:

awful thing to say.

Cindy:

It is a horrible thing to say,but people have said it and it's so hurtful.I mean,after a year Yes.Still mourning.Are you?Well,yeah.And you know,I will always mourn his loss and it,it blows my mind why people would say that,but they,again,they don't know any better.Most people,I don't think anybody starts off with,I'm gonna hurt her feelings and ask her if she's over it or don't you think it's time to start dating?Or isn't it a little early to start dating?no,it's what's right for her.Be supportive of her pre-decision or his,

AO:

I know every person is different.I'm aware of that.How do people ever ask you,How do I find.My purpose,how do I adjust to this new journey.

Cindy:

They can work with me for one but if they don't wanna work with somebody you'll know when it's time,you'll feel it,you'll start to ask you'll know it you'll be almost consumed with,why should I get out of bed in the morning?why should I even bother going to work?That's just a boring job.And whatever.When you reach that point,that's when you start.There's a bunch of personality tests out there,the Meyers Briggs you can find out your personality type if you don't know already.I always knew I was an empath and that's what it always comes up,is an empath.Once you find that out,then you can do a little search into,volunteer opportunities,changing jobs,there are so many different purposes in your life.maybe it's helping with children who are in a bad situation.They're the organization called Casa I don't know if they've had it in other countries,but in the US it,it's all over and they help,they train you to become an advocate for the child,if the parents are having trouble.Raising the child a lot of times the child has been taken away from the home and,their primary goal is to reunite the family.So that means getting the family,if they're on drugs,making sure,they go to rehab and they're off drugs.If it a poverty situation,it's not the CASA volunteer who does it,but they help the child while other services are doing it.

AO:

If people do want to find you,where would they go?

Cindy:

The easiest and fastest way to get in touch with me is to friend me on Facebook.On Facebook,I'm Cindy Judd,Burn,j u d d

AO:

Okay,

Cindy:

And friend me and then send me a message,a private message,Through Messenger.I check that much more than I check my email,but my email is cindy j burn.com.Those are the two best ways to reach me and if you wanna know more DM my Facebook group.It's widows and widowers.Finding purpose.

AO:

Oh,I love that name.So do you have a membership or is that still something you are working on?

Cindy:

The membership is open.I just need people in it.

AO:

Right.Okay.Because people are more interested in the one on one.

Cindy:

Yes,and I think maybe the membership could be a transition from the one-on-one when they get to the finding their purpose.That's,I think,when the group would really be helpful for them,because then you're not grieving actively grieving.So you know all the time,and there's active grief and grief and then there's just grief.And the active grief is like the first few months where it's just hard to even breathe,much less get out of bed.And I can help with that a bit too.I mean,no,nothing's gonna make it go away,but there are ways to manage it and just talking to somebody that understands helps too.

AO:

I think it's amazing that you decided to do this.I know why,but you didn't have to.You could have chosen to do anything else.You didn't have to decide this was your purpose.And I know you said you were at stage where you Googled it,but you did find your purpose.

Cindy:

Yes,

AO:

I.

Cindy:

and I tried a lot of different things.I tried Casa.And I turned down because I'm too opinionated,and I wanted to fix everything in everybody.So they said,Nah,you're a little too invested.And I tried direct style.I sold makeup.I sold wine.I spank fingernails,I solded everything.And then we realized,My heart not really in this.I don't have a,Everybody says you need a why.I didn't have a big enough why in that.Now my why is this is just something I need to do.I,I love doing it.I love helping people,and getting that aha moment occasionally.They were like,Whoa,I can do that instead,so yeah,it's my calling.

AO:

It's quite a calling because like we said earlier,grief is,it's something that most of us Find difficult to talk about or separating your grief from the person who you're talking to,grief.So it is quite a calling and I don't think it's calling for everyone.

Cindy:

No,I can see that it wouldn't.One of my fears was that I would get too emotional and it would bring up too much memories for me.And while it does,I also know that I managed it.And I use that to help other people,and that makes me feel so much better.I don't generally break down and cry with a client because I know it's about them,not me.

AO:

You do it and you love doing it.And most importantly,you help people.I feel like it's true if I say some of the darkest moments in their life.That's remarkable.Thank you for saying you'd come and talk to me.

Cindy:

Thank you for having me.I've enjoyed.

AO:

Thank you,Cindy.

Cindy:

Thank you.

AO:

I'm gonna put links on the episode of where people can find you and just other links that are related to bereavement.So I'll just try and put as much on there as possible.

Cindy:

thank you.Maybe we've helped someone.

AO:

Do you know,I really hope so.Remember I said to you,if it's only one person,

Cindy:

Exactly.

AO:

That's all I'm after,so thank you.

Cindy:

thank you for having me,

AO:

Thank you so much for listening and whatever you are going through,because I know what most of us are all going through,something we just need to get through the day and just be grateful for the day that we have.I'm listening to this new meditation and they say at the beginning,we only have today because we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow,so let's just be grateful for the day.Thank you.