When loss steamrolls through your life...

Everything feels upside-down. You can't tell which way is up. And even places like home no longer feel that way. The life you were living vanished the moment your person died.

You know you're "supposed to grieve," but you don't know the "right" way to do it. Society, friends, family, and even you have expectations about what grief "should" look like. The pressure is overwhelming, so you push your voice and emotions under the surface. You wish someone would hand you a book called Grief: 101 so you'd have the relief of a clear answer.

You kind of hate everything, including yourself. This isn't the life you wanted. This certainly isn't the life you asked for. And by the way—who IS this person you've become now? Grief has made both you and your life unrecognizable to you.

Needless to say, it's not easy to be alive.

Does this sound like you?

"I should get help" is swirling around in your brain (along with the fifty million other things you've got swirling around up there)


You're actively on a quest to find help that works for you and your grief but you have no idea where to start

No matter which camp you sit in, one thing is for certain: you want more help, more support, and more clarity than you have right now.

Life After Loss Academy begins January 1, 2020.

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When my mom died in 2013, my whole world collapsed.

I felt lost, helpless, and totally disoriented. Every day felt like moving through mud and dense fog, with heavy iron weights strapped to my ankles. Everything that felt safe and secure in the "before" was destroyed in the "after."

I knew I was "supposed to grieve" but I had no idea what that looked like. I felt an intense pressure to grieve and be "doing well" at the same time. My grief references from movies and TV were not helpful and I struggled to be the type of griever that people wanted me to be.

I hated every aspect of my new life. I gave a big, fat middle finger to people who told me I had to "find my new normal." My mom's death shattered my present... but also my future. "Normal" was no longer applicable to me or my life.

How was I supposed to come back from this?

I discovered I needed three things to survive after she died:

1. I needed to feel like I was safe in the world again. I wanted ground underneath my feet, rituals that were warm and soothing, and a place that felt like home.

2. I needed to toss the image of "the perfect griever" out the window. I wanted reassurance that I was grieving the right way for me and freedom from society's stifling "shoulds."

3. I needed to grieve the life I would never live. I wanted to really honor the hopes, dreams, and expectations that never got to be so I could fully participate in the life death dropped on my doorstep.

Without those three things, I knew I would not survive.

(I would be alive, yes. But I would not be living.)

Something would be missing from the heart of me.

Practicing the three things helped me feel safe in the world again... and more loved and lovable in the midst of my grief.

That's just one sentence, but I want you to read it again. As a result of creating stability, saying goodbye to "the perfect griever," and grieving the life I never got to live, I felt SAFE and LOVED in the world again.

My grief did not "go away." I was not "cured" of feeling lost, broken, or sad...

... But I felt like I had ground to stand on. I felt like I was safe to explore my grief in a deep way. And I felt an enormous amount of love for the person that my mother's death had forced me to become.

Holy moly. After years and years of isolation, heartache, and absolute darkness, this was a revelation.

I walked myself back to myself after the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I had experienced "a divine homecoming."

And this was not religious. This was not orchestrated by god or the universe or some woo-woo power in the sky. When I say DIVINE I'm speaking of the thing that is at the core of all of us; the thing that makes us human.

I thought that core sense of ME was lost forever—sucked into darkness the moment my mother died. Turns out she wasn't. She had just been flung very, very far from home.

Learning how to feel safe again, learning how to remove the heavy burden of perfection, and learning how to love myself even though I lost someone I loved with all of my heart were all lessons that brought me back home.

I came home to myself in my grief.

I looked around and thought, "Every grieving person should have access to these tools—so they can have access to this feeling.

This is what grieving people are missing: this sense of being safe, loved, and at home in the midst of the worst thing that has ever happened.

Life After Loss Academy is my heart's gift to yours.

It is not a self-help "trend" or a step-by-step checklist for how to live a better life.

It's a roadmap for navigating your way back to center.

Your future self has the porch light turned on for you.

My job in Life After Loss Academy is to help you find it—to deliver you back to your own doorstep and help you feel safe, whole, and loved in the process.

Loss dropped you far from home. But you don't have to stay there.

Let's do the work of walking you back to your center... to the thing that's missing from the heart of you.

Now, let me level with you here and now:

**Life After Loss Academy WILL NOT get rid of your grief.

It WILL teach you how to create stability, self-compassion, and love in the midst of it.

I can't teach you how to fix your grief... but I can teach you how to create a sense of home inside of it.

I can't tell you how to grieve... but I can tell you how to love yourself while you're grieving.

I can't help you appreciate the circumstances of your loss... but I can help you embrace the life that loss has forced you to live.

Ready to create safety and self-love in the aftermath of loss?

Life After Loss Academy begins January 1, 2020.

What You'll Learn

Week 1: Build a Home Base
Because loss alters our sense of home, we'll work together to create a place to put down energetic and emotional roots. We'll return to your "home base" every week.

Week 2: Practice Feeling Safe
It's not easy to feel like you can relax after a devastating loss. Week 2 is all about consciously re-learning what it feels like to be safe and secure in the world... and in your mind.

Week 3: Cultivate Self-Trust
Doubt reigns supreme in the aftermath of loss. This week, we'll make space for anxiety, fear, and uncertainty and find ways for you to start to trust yourself again.

Week 4: Take an Identity Inventory
You're not who you used to be. We'll take stock of all of the identities you lost when loss shattered your life and honor the fact that they may no longer be true for you.

Week 5: Release the Old You
With massive deep breaths, we'll work together to release the person who died the moment your loss happened i.e. "the old you."

Week 6: Say Goodbye to "The Perfect Griever"
This week is all about bridging the gap between what we think grief "should" look like and how it's actually showing up. Say goodbye to the pressure of perfectionism!

Week 7: Allow Anger and Disappointment to Speak
It's absolutely normal to be pissed that loss happened and grief changed you. Week 7 is all about giving voice to the hopes, dreams, and expectations that will never come to life.

Week 8: Embrace the New You
Loss has forced you to become someone you never thought you would be. We'll work together to find ways for you to love who that person is... and how far they've carried you.

Week 9: Humanize Your Grief
Grief is not a disease to be cured; it's a long-term relationship that changes and shifts just like we do. This week, we'll give your grief a body and a voice.

Week 10: Say Yes to Life with Grief
You didn't want this life, but it was the hand you were dealt. Create a contract that commits to showing up for yourself and your grief.

Week 11: Craft Your Grief Story
When we make grief into a story, we hold the power as storytellers. Learn how to tell friends, family, and coworkers about your loss without feeling like you're sharing too much... or too little.

Week 12: Honor Your Journey
You've come a long way, darling. Take this final week to acknowledge the person you were twelve weeks ago and honor the work you've done.

But wait! There's more...

In addition to weekly video lessons and worksheets, you'll receive the following:

  • Community Support

    Join your fellow Life After Loss Academy students in a private Facebook group to share grief stories, discuss the week's lesson, and get support on hard days.

  • Weekly Guidance Calls

    I'll be going LIVE in our private Facebook group every Friday at 1:00pm Central Time to work through the week's lesson with you in real time.

  • Resources Galore

    Each week, I'll be sharing links to my favorite books, articles, podcasts, and teachers. If you like to go down the rabbit hole like I I do, you'll love these.

What People are Saying:

Chris J.

Warm, compassionate, kind

Chris J.

I had been struggling with my grief over the traumatic, unexpected loss of my loved one for several years. I expected the first year to be excruciating and it was. The second year was awful because, not only was I dealing with the grief, but also with the expectation of others that I should be "getting on with life, getting over the loss." I had learned to show up and pretend to be "fine" at work and in social settings, but underneath I felt raw, angry, isolated, unfocused and stuck. Shelby was so warm and compassionate that I immediately felt heard and understood. She was validating and her spot-on intuition often helped me to see things in a new way. Working with her was the perfect balance of feeling accepted (even when I was at my most screwed up and vulnerable), and also being gently encouraged to take the next small steps necessary to make positive changes. Her kindness, her sense of humor, her intelligence have been a true blessing. I feel like she has helped me with "coming back" to this life I am being asked to live: I have started reconnecting with friends who are able to be supportive, and learned to say "no" to people and situations that are not helpful. With her help and expertise, I have even started working on a project that I hope will provide resources to grieving hearts and will help educate those who want to help them. My loss has changed my life forever, but my work with Shelby has made the unbearable more bearable. I will be forever grateful for her help during the darkest point of my life.

Limited time offer!

Enrollment in Life After Loss Academy closes January 1, 2020.

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About Me

Shelby Forsythia

Shelby Forsythia

Shelby Forsythia is the author of Permission to Grieve and podcast host of Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss. After the unexpected death of her mother in 2013, she became a “student of grief” and set out on a lifetime mission to explore the oft-misunderstood human experience of loss. Shelby is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®, Reiki Level II Practitioner, and Intuitive Grief Guide. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Bustle, and Optimal Living Daily. She currently lives in Chicago.

Life after overwhelming loss is never easy

While I can never promise you relief from the pain and heartache of loss, I can help you take off the gloves... so you can stop fighting, resisting, and hating the very human process of grieving.

Ready to come home to yourself in your grief?

Please join me in Life After Loss Academy.