Episode 59: Struck with grief. Navigating control. Impacted by choice. Learning Resilience.

Guest: Sara Westbrook

Sara shares an emotional journey she experienced at the age of 21 when her father died, only 4 weeks after a health diagnosis. She mentioned that her journey of grief started 10 years before that when her parents separated, and she had to learn how to accept not seeing her father every day. Sara explained the relationship with her father growing up had its own challenges and differences, while they both shared the ability to use humour, they didn’t connect with morals and values all the time. She was able to learn from her father distinctly who she wanted and did not want to become. Sara grappled with the idea of what in her life she could control, and food became that way for her, she started to control what she was eating, until it became unhealthy. She realized at a later point that she had a false sense of power thinking. She described herself as being happy and outgoing on the outside but lacked confidence and felt like the inner turmoil was too big. In her grief process, Sara recalls how she remembers her father and how she focuses her control in grief work. She did learn how to navigate control, understand how to set healthy boundaries with herself, while making sense of all the other confusing emotions brought on by the experience of death. Describing her experience as a combination of tragedy, sadness, betrayal, transition of shock, longing for her father, and feeling as though she was left behind. A big learning is that she couldn’t control all aspects of life, or all things that happen in life. Her key message to the listeners is that: challenges are chapters of your life, not the whole story; emotions will be triggered, and they will feel awkward; find ways to bring them in the light; seek help, commit to the process, and stay determined to put in the effort; overtime effort will pay off; there is so much more of your story yet to write.


Guest Bio: Sara is a professional speaker, author, and Emotional Resilience Strategist. She has spent the last 16 years researching and presenting on the topic of emotions and the impact they have on choices, well-being and resilience in both adults and youth.

Over half a million people have been inspired by Sara’s enthusiasm, life experiences and the transformational power of her message. She has appeared on many media outlets including Global, CTV, CBC, Sirius XM & Roku.

When she is not presenting, writing, or singing, she can be found in her kitchen whipping up yummy, healthy treats for her husband George and son Kai or at the arena, with coffee in hand, watching her son play hockey.


Passionate about:  

Kids help phone – https://kidshelpphone.ca/

Here is the link to my blogs – https://upowerpresentations.com/my-blog/