When Death Deals us a Blow!

What do death and careers got in common?
Sarah is a young single Mum of 28 years. For many years now she has been grappling with career choice. Internally, she feels stuck going back and forth between two choices of Business and Health Sciences.

She has tried earnestly to settle on a choice but the words “what if” held her back!
What if it didn’t work out?
What if I fail?
What if I don’t like it?
What if I don’t get work? For 5 years she remained on the “What if loop” like a hamster on a treadmill.

You see, when Sarah was a little girl her mother died suddenly from a stroke. Her whole world fell apart. She felt very alone as a little girl in a male only family. The world was no longer a safe place as she felt that death could strike a blow at any time. Sarah developed anxiety and making decisions became incredibly difficult. Short term decisions were easy but the longer term decisions rendered her paralysed and stuck.

For Sarah due to the unpredictability that existed within her ‘lens’ on the world, it was not safe to dream. However, Sarah wanted badly to make long term plans for her future. Sarah started a process of drawing a line in the sand in order to leave the past behind her. Sarah needed to plan towards becoming a mother who offered a sense of confidence, stability and security for her child in her 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. In a nutshell, she wanted her child to see her as a good confident female role model.

Meeting Sarah leaves me wondering how we can make it safe for ourselves to dream after a tragic loss?

What helps people who experience the sudden loss of a loved one who are overwhelmed by a feeling of uncertainty plan ahead?

Likewise for people whose health deteriorates due to an illness or acquired disability How do they plan for a future career?

How do people draw a line in the sand and create a new chapter in their lives?

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