The Bombshell Spotlight is a very strong woman named April Boyd. She is a registered social work therapist, and has supported thousands of people over the past decade through grief, loss, trauma and tragedy. Then tragety stuck her own life. Her work took on new levels of meaning and purpose after her daughter Nora passed away unexpectedly when she was one day old. So she started the Love & Loss Project helping other women deal with a great loss such as hers.
Janie: Sadly, you lost your baby at 1 day old, how did you change from grieving to making her loss into something positive?
April: My work as a private practice therapist had taught me some crucial things that helped me when I experienced what it takes to survive tragedy first hand.
One of those things was this: I knew that I was going to be changed by this experience. And I could either become bitter, hardened and shut down, or I could grow. I could expand. I could find a way to come out the other side of this as a stronger, better version of myself.
I chose the later. And I knew I needed to do so for one very specific reason:
If I crumbled and self-destructed that would be the story that would be told about my little girl, Nora. In hushed tones within my circle of friends and family, she would be referred to as the reason why her mother was now a mess. And I refused to let that to become my daughter’s legacy.
Janie: Many women experience the loss of a child, be it miscarriage or after birth, how can they move pass this, in your opinion?
April: First, you don’t need to know how you are going to survive this; just start by deciding that you will, that you need to.
Remember that your lost little one would want you to feel alive again. They would want you to feel joy again. So give yourself permission to return to life in honor of them. You will figure out the rest as you go.
Janie: You’ve started a business around this, called the Love and Loss Project. Tell us about that and how you are helping other women.
April: I created The Love & Loss project because I had encountered first hand the gaps in services and the stark absence of social dialogue about loss. I wanted to make really good support available to women any time of day or night, regardless of income or location.
So the Love & Loss Project is my online comfort and inspiration station for women who have experienced the loss of a baby, pregnancy or child. It is full of free resources, tools, Q & A videos, and tonnes of tips for life after loss. And I’m also going to be opening up a couple more spots for people to work with me one to one.
Janie: Is there a motivational mantra or quote you love?
April: “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.”
I don’t mean that in the reckless teenager sense. I mean that you need to take radical responsibility for your life. Live the life you want to live now. Have the conversations you need to have now. Spend your time doing what matters most. Let go of all that no longer serves you.
I also love this one:
“Begin what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling in our hand and melting like a snowflake.” Francis Bacon, Sr.
Janie: Who are your inspirations? Give us one or two, and why.
April: Danielle Laporte. I love her attitude, philosophy and especially her Desire Map. It’s an amazing book that focuses on creating “goals with soul,” which is all about getting really clear about what we are chasing and why so we can live more consciously and authentically.
Janie: What are your hobbies? Things you love to do and enjoy?
April: Running, Working Out, Hot Yoga. I had always been really active but I fully believe that grief is a physical experience and needs to be treated as such. There were days when I think I would have exploded if I wasn’t burning off the pain and the rage with a good long run.
I’m also a nature lover. There’s something about getting out in the woods that soothes my soul. And traveling. I love exploring new places and ways of life.
Janie: What are some future goals of yours?
April: I have 100s.
I’ve recently agreed to run my first half-marathon. (insert nervous teeth chattering here)
I want the Love & Loss Project to positively impact as many people as possible.
I want to you all to join me on a healing retreat; I’m thinking Mexico 2017.
And though much less likely to actually occur, I want to become the Pack Leader for my six-pound Yorkie Sasha who is quite certain she is the boss of me.
Janie: What are you most grateful for?
April: Everything. The good, the bad, the excruciating. All of it.
And my guy. He rocks my world. Sometimes literally. Right now he’s singing and playing guitar beside me as I write this.
Janie: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
April: Sometimes I’m told that people look at me or they listen to my work and they think I have it all figured out. I don’t. And I don’t believe there is any such thing. I’m committed to living with as much purpose and passion as possible and this is always a work in progress. I’ve learned a lot, but I still have more questions than answers. I think I always will. I hope I’m still questioning and challenging myself when I’m 80.
Janie: If you could give one piece of advice to the readers, what would it be?
April: Burn bright & travel light.
And I want to say thank you for being a part of this conversation with me. The topic of loss is one that we universally and instinctively want to pull away from, but I believe there is so much power, beauty and connection in looking at this shadow side of life. It helps us to live and love more fully. And this is one of the ways I keep my little girl with me.
So thank you. And if you want to continue this conversation with me you can do so at www.lovelossproject.com