Today's offering is on the 22nd birthday of my daughter Shayna who passed away in 2015. This is the seventh birthday without Shayna here with us.
The birthdays of someone who has passed are bittersweet. Birthdays are not only a time to celebrate someone coming into our lives, we celebrate the fact they have made another trip around the sun. The birthday of someone who has passed from this realm is missing half of that celebration.
Today, I feel sad. And, that's OK.
I'm excited to announce a new resource I'm very proud of. This guide outlines the four daily practices I discovered on my grief journey. These techniques have helped dozens of my clients. Get it free today.
GEMS- 4 Steps To Go From Grief To Joy
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Hey there, everyone, this video and audio is going to serve actually three purposes. So if you're hearing this now, it means you're either watching my YouTube channel, you're listening to the podcast, or you're taking the 30 day challenge that I'm teaching. So I'm going to post this in all three places. This is a special day. This is Shayna my daughter, behind me. It's her 22nd birthday. So for those of you who may not know, Shana was 15 years old when she passed away. This is the seventh birthday that we are celebrating without her. And I was talking with a mother the other day, whose son it transitioned. And she was saying that we birthdays maybe the hardest day and I think it's true. Think about a birthday as we there's a two fold thing about a birthday. It's your day. For one thing, it's like, you know, for Shayna especially, it was her special day and everybody had you know, it's all tension her. So it's the one time of the year that we have, you know, it's our day. And we celebrate the fact that is the time that someone came into the world. But we also celebrate the fact that someone's still with us, right? When we light the candles on the cake. We're celebrating another trip around the sun another day here. So we're celebrating the birthday of someone in spirit, there's an element of that that is missing. And that's the fact that they're still here. And that's especially difficult when it's a child who passed away, in our case at the age of 15. So, birthdays are bittersweet. They are probably the hardest day for us parents to get through. Because while we're thinking about the fact we had the great times with them at a wonderful wonderful 15 years with Shayna. Awfully blessed to have her in my life. Got to spend a lot of time with her. I homeschool we homeschooled her. I worked from home so we spent a lot of time together. But there's that thing about I haven't had her for the last seven years. So as I was thinking about it this week, her birthday week Shana didn't have a birthday. She had a birthday week. You know it was it's a double edged sword thinking about her not being here but also thinking about the great times we had together. Now Shayna's birthday comes right after the holidays in the middle of January. And the winter is especially difficult time for me. I live in Ohio. It's dark and it's cold here. The only thing I like about winter is football. Football is usually over by this time. I'm a Bengals fan. So this is playoff times we're not usually in the playoffs we are this year. But Shayna has birthday in January was kind of a ray of sunshine. You know and kind of the end of the holiday season for us. Kayla's birthday is November 22. Then we've got Thanksgiving, we've got Christmas and then we get Shannon's birthday to kind of wrap that all up. So this is an especially difficult day and I noticed for my wife and for my daughter Kayla as well. And we do the best we can with it. So for us, what we usually do is we have a meal in honor of Shayna. Usually it's pizza that's just always been pizza. We'll have some sort of dessert because Shayna loved dessert. So we do that. But like this morning, I got up, I still took my walk. I haven't I'm kind of taking the day off today. I did work with a client a little bit on her website. But I'm taking it easy today. I'm recording this. I haven't done a podcast in a while I'll talk about in a second. But on days like this, I think we all need to do what it takes to take care of ourselves. I've been a little bit of a break from the podcast, frankly, I've been a little bit burnout. It's again, the end of the year, kind of a difficult time. 2021 was a tough year for everybody. I've had a couple of people that I had scheduled to interview that canceled, done a couple special broadcasts where it's just me. But I decided I'm just gonna take a little bit of a break. So first of all, I've taken a break in the two and a half years that I've been doing the podcast. So I'll get back into it. I've got some people scheduled for next week. So if you're waiting for the next podcast to come out, that'll be coming out. The thing is, you know, frankly, I put out a couple of podcasts during this time and there wasn't much response to them. That's okay. That's the way it goes. Sometimes things go better than others. Last year was interesting. I, the viewership or the subscribers for the YouTube channel actually tripled last year, which was great. So definitely on course for hopefully, a better 2022. And I'll be doing some different things this year, some new offerings, and I've been taking this time off to work on putting those things together. So expect to see those coming up soon. But back to you know, Shayna, this birthday and when I'm when I'm going through it, my wife and my other daughter going through, I appreciate everybody reaching out to us. We've gotten so much support, people making comments on Facebook, people sending us messages. That's all really great. But you know there is times when we just kind of feel sad and the thing is for the lesson for today and the 30 day challenge that we're doing was about feeling sad, and the lesson yesterday was about toxic positivity. So the thing about toxic positivity, that's where you're pretending to be happy when you're not and that's when you are even maybe trying to fool your into thinking that everything is okay. When frankly things kind of suck at the time. And then today's and I did not do this on purpose. When I set this up, it just happened to fall today, on Shayna's birthday, which is the day that I usually feel pretty, pretty sad. Today's lesson was, he told me I look sad today. I'm sad most days, today, I just don't have the energy to hide it. And that's okay, maybe tomorrow. And I want to say to people, it's okay to feel sad, it's okay to show you feel sad. Now, for me, it's difficult, I am a coach, I'm a father, you know, I'm a husband. And sometimes we don't want to show that to our spouse or to our other or to our other children, or to our clients. You know, frankly, nobody wants to go to a grief coach, that's sad all the time. But there are times when we do feel sad, and it's okay. And you know, it's one thing for a coach or someone to model strength, that's great. But we also model being human. So I decided to be vulnerable today, which is something that's kind of outside of my comfort zone. And everybody know that this is a tough day for me. So what I did is I said, I tried to make it as normal as possible with going for my walk and doing my yoga and doing a little bit of work. But I'm also going to take a light day to day, I'm gonna take a day to celebrate Shayna, I'm gonna take a day to conserve a little bit of energy. And that's okay. And then you know, get back up and get back to it tomorrow. And that's the thing about, you know, life life is a series of ups and downs, good and bad. We are not meant to be here to bypass, you know, certain emotions, and always so happy all the time, we're here to feel all the emotions, which are what we call the, quote, good emotions, and we call the bad emotions. Those are all part of the human experience. So what I want to do to say to wrap up is, you know, for you that are listening, if you're always feeling like you have to be up, if you're always feeling like you have to be on for everybody else, give yourself permission to feel sad, and so that you're sad. And I know our friends want us to be happy and always try to encourage us. And that's okay. Because sometimes frankly, people encourage us because they feel bad that we feel bad. But you know, we'll get over we'll we'll get by, I'll get by, I'll be back into it. I've got some big plans for this year, I'm going to say publicly, which I haven't said before, I'm doing too much. And I've got like I have three jobs, I work for a software company where I help them sell software, I've got treasure locks, which is a retail company, and I'm doing the coaching and consulting. And it's just it's too much. But I want to put some of that down. And this year, my goal is to stop working on Treasured Locks, and to maybe stop working in the software business, and work solely on coaching and consulting. That's what I really enjoy doing. And I need to make that that grow to be able to do that as a full time kind of gig. So that's my goal for this year. And I'm putting that out there publicly. Hopefully, we'll see. We'll see. We're where I am in December. But anyway, I really thank you for listening. I thank you for indulging me in this. I thank you for your support, both with my business and personal thank you support for support over the years. For those of you who built me over the years for those that are new. There won't be much more of this type of stuff. But I've thought for Shayna's 22nd birthday, I could take this time to honor her. Everything I do. Everything you see me doing is for Shayna, it's because of Shayna. If she had not come into my life, I wouldn't be doing this. If she frankly if she hadn't left my life when she did. I wouldn't be doing this. I believe that this is actually part of my life plan. And that's what that's what keeps me going. So have a great day and I'll talk to you soon.
Grief Guide | Life Coach | Consultant
Brian Smith is a certified life coach, a grief guide, and a small business consultant. Brian's mission is to help others by sharing lessons he has learned from decades of experience and study.
Brian became well acquainted with grief in 2015 after the sudden passing of his fifteen-year-old daughter Shayna. After Shayna's passing, Brian felt his life was over. He had to learn to survive for the sake of his wife, Tywana, and their daughter, Kayla. Brian has studied the nature of life and death and how to progress through grief.
In his grief work, Brian provides a safe space where you can safely share what you are experiencing. Brian shares techniques that he discovered and developed after his devastating loss. Perhaps most importantly, he can help you understand that death is not goodbye and that your relationship with your loved one can continue. His understanding is not a religious-based belief, but a position arrived at based on reason and evidence.
Shortly after Shayna transitioned, Brian discovered Helping Parents Heal, a non-profit peer-to-peer support group for parents of children who have passed. Brian volunteers with Helping Parents Heal and is a leader of the Helping Parents Heal Online group. Brian has worked with hundreds of parents who have lost children. Brian is a member of the Board for Helping Parents Heal. He volunteers for the SoulPhone foundation.
Brian is on the board of the SoulPhone Foundation and Helping Parents Heal. Brian is the author of "Grief 2 Growth: Planted. Not Buried." He is the host of the Grief 2 Growth podcast. You can find Brian at www.grief2growth.com.