Challenges, Empowering Women, Family, Reflection, Work/Life Balance, Working Women

The Risk (and Reward) of Living a Transparent Authentic Life

• You are so brave

• You are the strongest person I know

• That took courage

Comments shared over the past few weeks and certainly stated from a place of love and kindness. Interestingly, I have thought long and hard about these comments and how they make me feel. Should I be happy? Flattered? Shocked?

Being authentic and transparent was a purposeful decision I made when I started my career at Comcast. Prior to that, I had been guarded and cautious – with the exception of my close circle of colleagues and friends. What people thought of me and about me mattered – and mattered more than my ability to be my authentic self. That takes a lot of work and can be exhausting, let me tell you.

In my continued quest to be transparent and authentic I made the purposeful decision that I would use my blog to share the challenges of life, career, and family in hopes that my experiences could somehow help others. That was the purpose.

As I do with most of my pivotal decisions, I shared my plan for my blog and my intention of its purpose with my husband. He was fully aligned that yes my life experiences and challenges could certainly benefit others – as always my biggest supporter. My raving fan.

Sharing in a very transparent manner is both risky and scary. People love. People judge. People care. People reach out. People avoid. People try. Lives go on as normal for others. We go back to routines. We transition back into work. My pain is real and palpable – it hurts. I take solace in the normalcy that my work provides me.

The reward of transparency and authenticity is that life gets managed on my own terms – no apologies, no excuses, no façade. I am grateful that I have the support of my Comcast family (and the most amazing boss I have ever worked for) in order to manage my transition back to work in my way – in a way that will work for me… support of my ability to do what I need to for myself. Kind caring of oneself is critical in a time like this – to be able to cope and to be of meaning to one’s work.

Next week I will share my transition back to work which was the biggest “next step” for me. I will interweave some of the transactional things I am trying to manage while transitioning back to work.

One of my dear friends shared with me the following…..her experience in her life brought her these words of strength and hope to support me. Had I not been truly authentic in sharing the tragic loss of my husband – these words would not have been shared with such meaning!

“Take one day at a time. If that is too much, then one hour or one minute. Focus on what is possible and not what seems to be unrelenting, insurmountable pain. It gets better, not today….not even tomorrow, but eventually. The heartache never ends, but it gets better. And know this – you will not be the same person on the other side of this and that’s ok.”

 I am blessed. 

The pain is real. 

One minute, one hour, one day at a time. 

Challenges, Empowering Women, Family, Work/Life Balance

This. Is. Life. 

I have been silent on my social media platforms for the past 2 weeks. Life happened. In a tragic, sad, and heartbreaking fashion. In my continued quest to be transparent and share the challenges of life, career, and family – I will share the happenings over the past two weeks. The emotion and pain are still so very raw but my journey in writing is to share to help others.

My husband of 30 years tragically took his own life on August 5th after suffering with a long battle with depression. The shock, the pain, and the overwhelming sadness over the past two weeks has been surreal. I feel like I am in slow motion and in a dream that I will soon awake from.

The things you walk through in those first days and weeks are scary, sad, and heart wrenching.

I learned even more what an amazing family we have – my gratitude can never be measured for the support and caring that our family provided for us during this horrific tragic, unexplainable loss. They immediately jumped in to do what needed to be done to support me and my children.

My work family has been equally supportive. I have only worked for Comcast for two years and the love, caring, support, and meaningful gestures have been simply overwhelming. I now know the larger purpose for coming to Comcast – it was for more than the work. It was to be surrounded by a true family of colleagues and friends to lift me up in a time of darkness.

Over the next few weeks I will share some of what I hope will be helpful to others as I have walked this journey (and will continue to do so) – how to create a meaningful remembrance for a loved one who ends their life, how to navigate back into work in a meaningful way, how to manage grief, and how to remember and honor the legacy of another.

I will close with this: I deeply loved my husband from my heart. I did my very best to ensure the years since he retired were filled with fabulous fun. I think that was accomplished but there was so much more to do which makes me sad. My husband enjoyed the times spent together with family–they were some of the best times of his life. Together as a couple we truly “lived life” and had fun with ever growing bucket list activities.

My heart is broken and my life will never be the same. But I am so very grateful he chose to spend the last 30+ years with me – I loved being his wife. My husband’s caring and loving soul will be a part of what I choose to remember – as well as the love story of all times.

Thank you to my “village” for holding me up, helping me out, and supporting me – every single gesture and act has guided my days.

“Remember me… the stars, in the wind, in the ocean and in your heart.” -MJB