Processing Loss, Managing Your Mindset & Moving Forward

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
– Poet, Kahil Gibran

Whether it’s death, divorce, becoming an empty nester, or voluntary or involuntary loss of a job, this program equips listeners ready to tackle a current loss, a loss in the future, or to support someone going through a loss.

Our speaker, Jody LaVoie, CEO & Coach at Widows in the Workplace reminded us that emotions that come with any type of loss can be painful. Enjoy the recap and video replay of our program!


In her entertaining and personal account, Jody guides us on how to move forward with our lives and to build a tool kit on how to thrive.

Seven Strategies to manage your mindset: process grief, develop coping skills, and cultivate optimism.

  1. Accept, communicate, and get the emotional support that you need during loss.
  2. You can’t rush the grief process, so it is extremely important to set reasonable expectations during loss.  This is a time to get rid of the “shoulds” and take time to periodically reflect on how far you have come.
  3. Self-care should not be ignored.  Our go-to is to be caregivers, but self-care comes from a place of power and you are taking action to protect yourself.
  4. Loss brings change and change is hard, but some habits and routines will need to change.  It is important to remain open-minded to this as you are trying new things.
  5. You cannot go it alone in loss.  You must ask for help and ask the people who are able to support you on your journey.
  6. Pay close attention to your self-talk. Make sure you use self-compassion.  If you are not treating yourself kindly, utilize the pause principle and ask Byron Katie’s 4 self-inquiry questions.
  7. Loss changes your life, but what is critical is how you integrate your loss into where you are now.  There is an opportunity to find meaning in how you live your life post-loss and to re-write your story.

Helping others

  • Listen to them, and be specific:
    • Ask how are you – today?
    • More than “I am here for you.” – what specifically can/will you do for the person to help – pick up a child from practice, bring a meal, run a specific errand…etc.
  • Continue to include this person in social events – loss can feel isolating.
  • Check in regularly. Consider putting a note in your calendar to touch base.
  • Share stories that matter – don’t avoid addressing the source of loss.

Journaling prompts – 6 questions you can ask yourself to better understand your emotions.

  1. What worries you about the change?
  2. What excites you about the change? What positive things can come from it?
  3. What actions can you take to reduce your worries around this change?
  4. What actions can you take to increase the positive aspects of this change?
  5. What skills, activities, or strengths have helped you to cope with change in the past?
  6. What are the strengths, resources, or situations that exist today that help you feel more confident that you’re going to be OK following this change?


Ted Talk

Bruce Keiler: The secret to mastering life’s biggest transitions


How To Handle Lifequakes And Life Disruptors, by Richard Eisenberg, Managing Editor, Next Avenue

Four Liberating Questions, by Tom Moon, MFT


Check your local library, local bookstore, Amazon.com, or Bookshop.org

Life Is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age – by Bruce Feiler

Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead – by Tara Mohr

You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce, or Death – by Louise Hay & David Kessler

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief – by David Kessler

Supporting Documents:

The Feelings Wheel – created by Dr. Gloria Willcox (hosted by Calm.com)

Can help us put words to our emotions. You can download this tool to uncover the feeling behind the feeling – what is the essence or root feeling of what is coming up for you. Then allow that understanding to empower you to better understand, explore and/or manage the moment. (NOTE: includes a color and black and white version)

Life Change Index Scale – By T.H. Holmes and T.H. Rahe, Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Big life changes, especially associated with loss, can impact your physical health. Score yourself by identifying live changes you have incurred over the past 12 months. The higher your life change score, the more self-care is needed to maintain or return to good health.

Growing Your Greatness – by Jody LaVoie

A worksheet to reframe your loss and discover who you are now – post-loss – and to begin rewriting your story and joyfully move forward in your life.


Jody LaVoie, Coach, Keynote, Entrepreneur

Jody is a widow and a two-time breast cancer survivor.  She is a certified life coach and has put her personal experiences to work to help her fellow widows reground to find productivity and purpose again in the workplace and at home so they can move forward confidently, find joy again and build everyday resilience.

Jody is the former CEO of the non-profit Female Strong and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Chicago.

Additionally, Jody was the Chairman of ArrowStream, a third-party logistics and SaaS provider founded by her late husband Steve in 2000. In July 2014, the unthinkable happened when her husband was shot at work by a disgruntled employee. Jody stepped in and led ArrowStream on a path to sustainable profitability culminating in the sale of ArrowStream to a private equity firm in 2017.

Jody is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is on The University of Chicago Women’s Board and on the board of the Sheila A Doyle Foundation which supports children who have been victims of homicide.

Jody is the mother of three daughters ages 23, 20, and 17; and to her dog, Bruno. She loves hiking and the outdoors.

Learn more about Jody:


LinkedIn (Personal)

LinkedIn (Business)

IG: @widowsintheworkplace

Contact Information: jody@jodylavoiecoaching.com

Please let us know if you would like to have a conversation with us. Email the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum with any questions at womensforum@capstratig.com! Or call us at 630.320.5100.

Barbara Best

Barbara Best, AIF® is a Founder and Principal of CAP STRAT, and Founder of the CAP STRAT Women's Forum


Nancy is a Principal and founding partner of CAP STRAT, and Founder of the CAP STRAT Women's Forum

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