My next step, a certification course at the Grief Recovery Institute in Stockholm

So I’ve had a couple of moths asking myself over and over again “How may I serve?”, and as soon as I gave in and said to myself that I can’t be doing less than offer help and support to other human beings suffering from unresolved grief things started to shift in a BIG way! People, books, videos and ideas literally started dropping at my feet as if the Universe tried to get me to understand that I had found my path.

So later this month (September 2012) I will go to Stockholm and attend a certification course on how to assist others through grieving processes. I’m so excited and happy to have taken this step, even if it’s scaring the crap out of me at the same time. This means that I have to work though my own unresolved grief before I can help others which is a daunting thought, so wish me luck!!

Much love, Karin

“I have a big sister and her name is Ingrid”

We have managed to shock quite a few people during our holiday in Sweden this year. The reason being that Elin is now big enough to share her world with people she meets (and that are not immediate family or friends), and she proudly tells everone that she has got a big sister who is called Ingrid.

Many then look at me as if asking “Is she making this up?” and I then find myself smiling a bit apologeticly for having to “shock” them with the news that it’s true and that Ingrid is in heaven. Then there is a short pause and maybe an “oh” or “I understand”and that’s it. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, hurtful or even irritating, it just is what it is.

I have to get used to my children speaking freely about the fact that they do have a big sister in heaven. And I have to make sure that I can support them with words and stories in order to help them tell others about their reality. Ingrid is so present in our lives and that is how we wanted it to be, no secrets and no hiding the fact because her younger sister and brother are too small to hear the truth.

So if anyone out there knows of a good book for children who has a sibling in heaven, and that is POSITIVE and FUN, please share, also so I can share it on to other families in similar situations!!! Thanks and have a fantastic day!

                                    Elin and Victor planting flowers for Ingrid <3

I got interviewed by Lilou Macé!

The weird wonders of vision boards!

I lerarnt about vision boards when I first med Edson Williams (leadbyexample.com) as I attended his workshop “Access to Success” in November 2010. So I decided to give it a go last year, with this result:

There was a lot about changing carreer and work on reaching my dreams, but also a picutre of Lilou Macé (liloumace.com), a web TV host who travels around the world interviewing just about any person she finds interesting! What a cool thing to do! And there are a lot of famous names on her interview list so go check her out on YouTube (liloumace).

Next week, on the 5th of July, I’m going to have lunch with Lilou in Stockholm!!!! I mean, how cool is that?! She is one of my role models right now regarding living the dream and her interviews has brought me to where I am today in a way. A lot of people she’s beein interviewing has helped me personally, and also helped me help others. I’ve bought tons of books, I’ve forwarded and posted hundreds of her interview links and I keep on following her progress.

This year’s vision board hosts a lot of head lines from a Magazine given out by Carolina Gårdheim at Kreativ Insikt in Stockholm (kreativinsikt.se), like “Find your own Life Artist”, “Creative Insight” and their Vision as it was so nicely written. I’ve now brought Lilou and Carolina togheter, Lilou will interview Carolina after our lunch together and I’m there as the glue! I just can’t believe that all of this is happening!

I’ll report back to you when that meeting has taken place 🙂  Until then I really urge you all to sit down and map your dreams, visions and goals by getting a stack of amgazines, a glue stick and a fairly big piece of paper in front of you and get creative!

Or if you feel that you don’t have space to put it somewhere, use a photo album that you can a) do smaller, themed vision boards in abd b) put away after you have looked at it for the day 🙂

Signing off and flying to Sweden on Monday!

 

5 year Angel Party today <3

Today it’s 5 years ago that Ingrid joined her angel friends in heaven and we are celebrating the occasion with cake and candles!

Elin and Victor thinks it’s great that we get to celebrate her TWICE per year, that means two extra parties 🙂 And I know for a fact that Ingrid sees and enjoys being celebrated, so that’s an even stronger reason to do it. I also know that she LOVES parties and being in the centre of attention (much like her mother and her siblings…), so a party is just the right thing to have on a day like this!

Happy angel day, gorgeous Ingrid! You continue to touch people with your presence and your story. We love you, always <3

“Are you not going to have a 3rd child?”

It’s time to let off some steam… As more and more of our friends are going the “third child” route I find myself overwhelmed with all those horrible thought and feelings that are so tabu to talk about.

First of all, we HAVE a third child already and our number three is called Victor. The next time someone asks why we don’t want to have a third (generally someone I only know from the play ground) I’m going to SCREAM! Second, IT’S SO F**ING UNFAIR that we don’t have all three children with us physically to stop all those who wonders why we don’t want to have a third. And third, I went through THREE pregnancies, THREEx8 months with sleepless nights, THREEx8 months of diaper changing, feeding, weighing, playing, singing, cuddling, loving… and I need to get that straight once and for all, most importantly in my OWN head because I don’t feel like I have the evidence that we have a third.

I confess, whenever I hear about yet another “third child” I cringe and feel this big wave of sadness. It’s no ones intention, it’s no ones “doing”, it just is what it is and I’m responsible for these feelings. Even if we would have liked another kid I just can’t bear the thought of going through a 4th nerve wrecking 11 weeks of pregnancy, then the genetic test, and if it has SMA we need to go through an abortion and try again.

So please, for all of you who tells me the good news that a third is on it’s way, I’m really happy for you, I truly am, but also bare with me if I act a bit weird afterwards, I’m working on it. Just needed to vent.

How we dealt with the terminal diagnosis of our baby daughter

This post is mostly for you that might be in the same situation that we were in 5 years ago. I just want to say, although you honestly don’t think you are going to survive – I mean, how can you when your child dies – you do survive! Somehow you do.

We decided on creating this “fairy tale” about Ingrid being a very old soul that only needed a huge boost of unconditional love to rise to the next level, and that we had to respect Ingrid’s life journey. She had chosen us as her parents because she counted on the support and unconditional love she needed to survive as long as she could. The diagnosis was what it was and we couldn’t change that, so we might as well do the very very best we could, and I’m SURE that every parent would. For us it was pointless to start asking “Why us?”, “Why her?” etc. You are never ever going to get a satisfying answer.

The hardest part was that we felt so alone, abroad without our relatives and close friends close by for support (however, a lot of new, beautiful people stepped up and helped us!!). That we just got sent home after getting the diagnosis, without a follow up plan or support system in place made me feel so lost and helpless.

We found ourselves standing outside on the pavement outside the hospital in a dark, wintery Zürich, not knowing if what just had happened was was real or not. It all felt so surreal. I just wish that there had been someone there to offer us a big hug or hold our hand for comfort, but there was no such person. So after Ingrid had passed away, I swore that no one should have to feel that lost and lonely so I volunteered as support family both with Kinderspital Zürich and Kinderspitex (home care unit for palliative care at home) in case anyone else would get the same diagnosis and asking for support. I received a phone call from Kinderspitex last week again, and although it brings back very raw memories, there is no way I’m going to step away from that responsibility.

So here is my offer: if you have just gotten the same, shitty diagnosis SMA type 1, and you are “Googling” (as we did) after what on earth just smashed your life in to tiny tiny pieces, PLEASE contact me! I’m here, I can listen, I can take it!

Lots of love, Karin

The post I’ve been scared of writing

I just watched one of the latest videos by my friend Niall at Disrupting the Rabblement (go check his site out, it rocks!!) where he is calling bullshit on on your invulnerable self. It’s basically writing/telling about the stuff that you are scared of writing about, that makes you vulnerable and that means opening up with the true story even if it makes you feel insecure.

So here is one of the posts that I’ve been holding back with and that I now feel the need to write. Firstly because it might just help someone in some weird and wonderful way and secondly to put things in perspective for myself. Because what I do now is also scary. It’s scary to decide not to go back to the corporate world, it’s scary to start something new and see what the reactions from others will be, if any at all. But as you shall see, there is “scary” and “scary”. First I thought about doing this as a video, but it’s now after midnight and the whole family is sleeping! There will be other opportunities to talk about this in videos later on, I’m sure.

It’s about the scariest thing that has happened to me to date. The date was the 15th of December 2006 and we had been called back to the Children’s Hospital here in Zürich to get the results from the tests made on our first born daughter Ingrid, three months old. I can recall that I had even dressed more “hip” than normal as a protection I guess, because bad things don’t happen to “hip” people, right?

We were called in to see two doctors and one of them started telling us that Ingrid had been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1, a genetic disease. She went on to tell us that those children rarely live much longer than 8 months. By this time I’m sitting with Ingrid in my arms, rocking her and myself, whispering to all three of us “this is not happening, it’s not true” like a mantra, over and over and over again. They then gave us a list with phone numbers in case we wanted to get help in any way and then we were sent back home with our terminally ill baby girl.

This story changed our lives, and it has given me the strength to go out and find my life purpose. There are no coincidences in the Universe and I believe that Ingrid came to show me that I can do more with my life than hang around in a 9-5 job. What I do now, I do thanks to her and thanks to her sister and brother. I need to pull more strength from that story in order to help and inspire others, and telling it like it is is necessary in order to do that. I just can’t let what we went through, and survived, go to waste behind a desk in an investment bank.

Ingrid 5 years

Today we are celebrating our angel Ingrid’s 5th birthday. Elin is all excited and she wants to send a cake and balloons up to heaven, because Ingrid likes balloons she says. Elin speaks a lot about her big sister, “Mommy, when Ingrid is done having her angel wings, she can come down and play, right? I will lend her all my dresses.” It’s so very cute and I have to laugh every time at her wise thoughts about life. But it also hurts so much when I have to tell her that angel wings don’t go away, once you have them you keep them forever. I miss her so much and I so wish that she was here and played with her siblings, but maybe she is anyway, in her own way?

We have a neighbour kid that was born 11 days after Ingrid, we were walking around with our big bellies together, pushing our buggies together, and one day I had to tell the mom that Ingrid was not going to be with us for a lot longer. Now her boy just started Kindergarten, and he’s so big already! I know it wasn’t Ingrid’s plan but I can’t help wondering how she would have looked like, what she would have been like, what she would have liked and disliked….

I miss you my little angel. Much love from mommy <3