KAMLOOPS - Learning how to cope with the death of a loved one can be an overwhelming experience.
A Kamloops woman who lost her brother five years ago says she went through a roller coaster of emotions while grieving, but she’s learned how to continue being the best version of herself while coping with grief— and she wants to share it with others.
Manpreet Dhillon was born and raised in Kamloops’s Aberdeen neighbourhood and was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Canadian Acts of Kindness. Her story was chosen out of 7,000 submissions, she says.
In her story Thriving While Grieving she talks about losing her younger brother Taranveer Dhillon who was 32-years-old when he died.
“We were best friends, but we also had this love and hate relationship,” she says laughing. "We were the first ones we would call when something would happen but we would also be the ones giving it to each other the most.”
Dhillon says she was at a life coach seminar when she was told that she should consider submitting a story about her experience.
“One of the group leaders comes up to me and she says ‘hey, can you tell me your story because I see you going through this influx of emotions and I’m trying to figure out what is happening,’” Dhillon recalls.
She explained she had recently lost her brother and was going through extreme mood swings while grieving.
Her story explains how grief can impact someone’s life especially when they are in a leadership role. Dhillon manages her own business and talks about how to manage grief while continuing to be a leader in the community.
“I completely retreated from a lot of volunteer work and anything else in the community,” she says.
Through her story and her business, Dhillon teaches people how to continue being leaders within their lives and community while managing their emotions.
“One of my current clients, her mother is passing away and she’s aware of that, and she’s like ‘I don’t want to uproot my life this time’ because I have done that before,” Dhillon says. “This time she is consciously making a decision to be like yes I will analyze what my new normal is but I don’t want to uproot my new life (because) that’s what people in grief end up doing.”
Dhillon says her main message to people experiencing grief is to connect with what’s really important to them.
“That’s when you feel the most, and you feel the presence of what that person meant to you.”
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