Grieving Voices

Denise Dielwart | Living a Reinvented Widow Life

June 04, 2024 Victoria V | Debbie Dielwart Season 4 Episode 197
Denise Dielwart | Living a Reinvented Widow Life
Grieving Voices
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Grieving Voices
Denise Dielwart | Living a Reinvented Widow Life
Jun 04, 2024 Season 4 Episode 197
Victoria V | Debbie Dielwart

Send Victoria a text message!

In the quiet after-hours of our bustling lives, we often overlook the profound journeys that shape us. For today's episode, I had the honor of speaking with Denise Dielwart on Grieving Voices—a woman who turned her deepest sorrow into a beacon of hope for thousands.

After the sudden death of her husband left her in despair, Denise discovered that traditional methods of dealing with grief weren't effective. This realization led to the development of the Flow Grief Release Method - an innovative approach designed to expedite healing from years to months.

Denise's method challenges conventional wisdom about grieving and recovery timeframes. Instead of following prescribed stages or waiting on time to heal wounds, she advocates for proactive steps towards reclaiming one’s life after loss. Her focus is not just coping but transforming lives and finding joy again.

During our conversation, Denise shares candidly about:

  • The shock and turmoil following unexpected bereavement.
  • The inadequacy she felt while engaging in talk therapy.
  • How questioning "Who am I?" post-loss was pivotal in redefining herself beyond being a wife or mother.
  • Why widowhood is often misunderstood as a form of grief – it involves adjusting to numerous small changes that significantly impact daily life.
  • Practical advice on navigating finances and legal matters after losing a spouse.
  • Feeling emotions deeply rather than suppressing them as part of the healing journey is essential.

Denise emphasizes taking action over merely talking through pain and introduces us to her FLOW acronym: Feel your emotions fully; let go of what holds you back; overcome obstacles by addressing underlying issues; become whole by embracing your new identity post-grief.





  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor

If you are strugglin

Support the Show.

This episode is sponsored by Do Grief Differently™️, my twelve-week, one-on-one, in-person/online program for grievers who have suffered any type of loss to feel better. Click here to learn new tools, grief education, and the only evidence-based method for moving beyond the pain of grief.

Would you like to join the mission of Grieving Voices in normalizing grief and supporting hurting hearts everywhere? Become a supporter of the show HERE.

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Show Notes Transcript

Send Victoria a text message!

In the quiet after-hours of our bustling lives, we often overlook the profound journeys that shape us. For today's episode, I had the honor of speaking with Denise Dielwart on Grieving Voices—a woman who turned her deepest sorrow into a beacon of hope for thousands.

After the sudden death of her husband left her in despair, Denise discovered that traditional methods of dealing with grief weren't effective. This realization led to the development of the Flow Grief Release Method - an innovative approach designed to expedite healing from years to months.

Denise's method challenges conventional wisdom about grieving and recovery timeframes. Instead of following prescribed stages or waiting on time to heal wounds, she advocates for proactive steps towards reclaiming one’s life after loss. Her focus is not just coping but transforming lives and finding joy again.

During our conversation, Denise shares candidly about:

  • The shock and turmoil following unexpected bereavement.
  • The inadequacy she felt while engaging in talk therapy.
  • How questioning "Who am I?" post-loss was pivotal in redefining herself beyond being a wife or mother.
  • Why widowhood is often misunderstood as a form of grief – it involves adjusting to numerous small changes that significantly impact daily life.
  • Practical advice on navigating finances and legal matters after losing a spouse.
  • Feeling emotions deeply rather than suppressing them as part of the healing journey is essential.

Denise emphasizes taking action over merely talking through pain and introduces us to her FLOW acronym: Feel your emotions fully; let go of what holds you back; overcome obstacles by addressing underlying issues; become whole by embracing your new identity post-grief.





  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor

If you are strugglin

Support the Show.

This episode is sponsored by Do Grief Differently™️, my twelve-week, one-on-one, in-person/online program for grievers who have suffered any type of loss to feel better. Click here to learn new tools, grief education, and the only evidence-based method for moving beyond the pain of grief.

Would you like to join the mission of Grieving Voices in normalizing grief and supporting hurting hearts everywhere? Become a supporter of the show HERE.

Victoria Volk: Thank you for tuning in to grieving voices. Today, I'm happy to bring to you Denise DealWart. She has experienced a profound loss firsthand after the sudden passing of her husband. After trying many methods that were not working, Denise sought a path to healing that led to the creation of the flow grief release method, a transformative approach to moving through grief with grace and ease. Denise's journey from the depths of despair to rediscovering joy inspired her to help others. With over fifteen years of experience, she has guided thousands to reclaim their lives from grief using her unique flow method that dramatically shortens the healing process from years to months. Denise's groundbreaking approach challenges the traditional stages of grief, the waiting of for time, offering a lifeline for those to those who feel stuck and hopeless. Her flow method isn't just about coping. It's about transforming your life and rediscovering joy in a way that's both profound and lasting. We are on the same mission, my friends. So thank you for being here.

Denise Dielwart: Thank you so much for inviting me onto your your podcast. It's an absolute honor to be here today and to be able to share how we do move forward from grief.

Victoria Volk: Because it is possible, like we were talking just before we hit record. Yeah. But we will get to that topic. Where I wanna start though is really where this all started fifteen years ago?

Denise Dielwart: Well, fifteen years ago, as you know, I'm in I'm in Australia. So fifteen years ago, my husband basically went to work and didn't come home. He yeah. I was fifty one. He was fifty five. We had just we were just settling him down into our new life because we got married young and the kids, the door moved out and they we were on eight acres that was out after ever home that we built, eight acres. So he had a motorbike track out the back for the boys because I had I've got nine grandsons. And yeah. And then he woke up one morning, said goodbye. It was Monday morning, goodbye to you, and he never came home. He died of a blood clot. So there was no there was no good bias. There was nothing. It was there was no time. It was he was healthy. And obviously, that sent me into a complete, as I said, la la land, complete sprint. And but what I found was is that after I sort of came around and you sort of come out of that fog and you start moving forward, I was I was seeing a therapist, I was seeing a psychologist who was just talking to me, just talking, tell me about it, tell me about it, tell me about it. And I wasn't getting any better. I wasn't feeling as I was moving forward. And I knew that he wouldn't want to see me crying for the rest of my life. You know, sitting there going, oh my god, look what happened to me. I'm so sad. As I wouldn't want it have wanted it for him either. And that's when I sort of went okay. What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? And I kept asking that question. What do I do? How do I heal? Now bear in mind, this was fifteen years ago before Facebook and everything in the group's, you know, was there. There wasn't that support. And I knew though instinctively as well that I needed to heal me and I needed to heal. And that's when my journey started. And I I I started looking within. I started healing myself. And, you know, the profound change with me changing my focus from not been at the moment that he died, but to who am I? Who am I now? That was my biggest question as a widow, you know. For women, we we so talk to do everything for everybody else. But when it comes to ourselves, We don't we lose ourselves in our marriage or our partnership. We lose our identity. I got married at nineteen twenty. Turning twenty, had the kids young. I was a mother. I was a I was a wife that fell into that role. And then, of course, when that role gets taken away, it was like, well, who am I? I remember breaking down one night, and I've had breaking down with a with a this wine. I'm I will admit it. I had one one, and I had another one, and I had one one. And I sat there crying, and I felt Denise, who are you at fifty one? You don't even know who you are.

Victoria Volk: I think a lot of people listening feel that way.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. A lot

Victoria Volk: of people just don't know who they are.

Denise Dielwart: And I

Victoria Volk: think in it often, this happens when our lives are flipped upside down and we start asking ourselves, we just don't ask ourselves those deeper questions.

Denise Dielwart: No. We don't. We don't.

Victoria Volk: So we're forced to usually. Yeah. Because

Denise Dielwart: when when when when life is is happening and, you know, I mean, no marriage, and I say this to all the women's that I've worked with. And I mainly work with women's. I work with everybody, but my my My passion is with us because as as a widow, regardless of age, we We don't, we're the most misunderstood, deaf out there. People don't understand what it's like to lose a husband. They're very special. It's a different loss. Each loss is different. So if you lose a child, it's a different loss to losing asthma. Or a life partner. Losing a life partner is you lose you lose not just that person, but you lose your whole life. You have to start over. You have to start reimagining your new life because that's what it is. It's a new life. Your life doesn't just carry on. You don't just go, okay. Well, I've got you know, so many people say, well, think that you oh, you just get over it. You'd never get over it. You never get over it. You know, that's such a cliche. Aren't you over it yet? Over what?

Victoria Volk: Did your kids tell you that or say that to you?

Denise Dielwart: My kids never told me that, but a lot of friends would say to me, you know, gosh, Denise, it's been so It's been six months, aren't you over a kid?

Victoria Volk: How long did how long were you going to therapy and how long from the time when you started to you were going to therapy to when you realized, okay, this isn't working for me. I need to figure this out, obviously, on my own. How much time it passed?

Denise Dielwart: It was about six months. About six months.

Victoria Volk: That's still pretty fresh and new.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. I was so determined for for Martin's sake, not for my sake. But for Martin's sake, my husband's sake, to continue living. Because I knew that he wouldn't want me to to die with him. So that was my drive is that I wanted to heal as quickly as possible. Heel myself. Not forget about him or forget about the life we had together, but to heal me. You know, plus I had to come out my adult kids and I had the grandchildren and and, you know, we wanna be strong. We wanna put on face, but I didn't I wanted to genuinely find joy again. And I've just pretend and put the mask on, you know, that I've called my the happy mask you know, the army k mask. How are you? Oh, okay. You know, so it was when I actually I was sitting as my therapist, my my Psychologist. And then I said to her, I said, how long am I gonna be? Fillingknockers? And she looked at me shocked, and she sent me to niece. She said, you've lost your husband. It's only been six months. You're gonna be like this for the next five to seven years.

Victoria Volk: Not good advice. And I'm not very hopeful, but listen.

Denise Dielwart: It was in that moment, but it was credited to us not really thinking back now because it was in that moment on the way home. I used some choice four letter words to my steering wheel. About, I'm not gonna stay like this. There's no way that I'm gonna stay like this. Who the hell does she think she is? Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, pleated pleated It didn't insert, insert, insert. But that was my turning point when it was like, okay. She's not gonna help me. Because what therapy is is talk therapy. And we can't talk our way out of grief. We have to take action. Amen. Amen.

Victoria Volk: I facilitate. It's a program called the grief recovery method, and it is all action. Action.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: Action. Yeah.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: So I do wanna mention one thing that you said, and then I will come back to the action piece but you had touched on it a little bit about the, you know, the grief of losing a child, which I cannot imagine. I I was narrowly close to losing my son. I mean, it was not that he almost died, but if the stars would have blind differently. He very well could have. Yeah. So I was faced with that, but and that's not even to compare people who have lost a child. I just cannot imagine. But when you said about how different it is to losing a spouse, I've been married now. I've been with my husband for over twenty years and the differences with the child and the spouse is like you it's the children grow up and they leave. Right? Like, you're there you're their caretaker for eighteen years, generally speaking, like most children leave go to college and want to get out of the house they don't wanna listen to Monz Nagin anymore. Right? So but your spouse is very much still an integral part of your life on the daily once the kids are gone. Right? I just interviewed someone a gentleman who lost his wife of fifty one years.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: It's sith. When you're so you know, the two become one. Right? Well, you've just become so ingrained in each other's daily lives. It's almost like what do you do when that person's no longer there? When if you took walks together, if you had morning coffee together, you know, so many of our behaviors are adjusted around who we're with, who we're spending our time with.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. And and it's so it's so spot on. And that's why I specialized in widows, and so many people say to me, why not men? Well, I'm not a man.
I know what I I know what I went through. Men grieve differently. Yes, I can help you, but you know, it's not it's I have helped men. I have helped people that have lost a child. But for a widow, that's my journey. So I can help you. I know what I went through and I know what it takes. And like you said, you know, you you said it's the little things. It's like, Martin used to bring me a cup of coffee in bed every morning. He'd get up, he'd make coffee. And suddenly, it wasn't there. And you're lying in bed and you're going, oh, well, suppose I have to make my own coffee.

Victoria Volk: What I wouldn't give for a cup of coffee.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. So it's it's not It's not the big things, and this is why I say it's the most misunderstood grief. It's losing a spasm. Because it's not the big things.
It's the little things. I remember I was outside with the pool and I had to bend down and I had to get into the the basket to clean it all out. Now, that was the job. That was the pool was his job. I didn't worry about that. And, of course, the basket got stuck and I couldn't get it out. And I remember just yelling up at the sky and saying, I wonder if you die. Why did you do this to me? Now I've got to do what you did. And it's not an anger that you're angry with them. It's frustration. You know, the the fast stages of grief you go through anger. No. You're going through frustrated. You're just to get I've got to do this now myself. So you gotta learn new skills. You gotta take on the mowing and stuff that that he used to do. Even taking out the garbage, looking things like it.

Victoria Volk: So many of the widows that I've spoken with too, didn't weren't involved with the finances. That's huge. So when their spouse left, they had or passed away, or they had no clue. Yeah. And that's very overwhelming, I imagine.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. That is huge. A lot of my clients are always lucky in that I was in my previous life. I was a bookkeeper tax agent. Mhmm. So Martin and I had our own business for years and years and years and then he started working from home and I started working from home. So we were just, you know, floating along, getting on And the gift in that is that when he died, I just carried on with the finances because I handled all the finance

Victoria Volk: That's a huge stressor that you yeah. That's a huge stressor. But even still, you still have all the other the significant others or spouses accounts and retirement and social media and any advice for those types of things, like those logistical type things? Like, I mean, I just I mean, I don't know. You just gotta do it, but

Denise Dielwart: First thing is to not get overwhelmed. You said, you know, when when when your spouse dies, Suddenly, the bank is on new. Okay. Well, we wanna freeze this and we wanna do this and you can't do this and you can't do that because they're not there and and my husband Martin didn't have a will because we were we were in the process of setting all of that up, so he died without a will. So for me, I took the path of least resistance. I told the least people possible until I moved friends and moved money and did stuff. Because I knew that the men and us that as that the bank got wind of it. They would have just freeze clothes and everything. You know, even even to his frequent flyer points, he's on on his credit card, I knew that they would be taken away. So I started transferring them over to me. So it's really thinking outside of the box when it's not crumbling and it's not getting overwhelmed. Because it's just it's just fun. And then I guess with my bookkeeping background, I knew how to think practically, okay, and logically, okay, what do I have to do here? What do I have to do there? A lot of my clients are help, a lot of my clients walk through that maze because it is a maze. And if you've never had to worry about finances before, if you've never had to or about paying up an electricity bill, for example, because that was all taken care of and to be suddenly thrust into this whole world of finances. It's overwhelming. And that's where a lot of willows get stuck.

Victoria Volk: It sounds like to me, like, there's an opportunity there for you to create some sort of course for within your community. Yeah. You know? Maybe to put on your website or something to help people kind of, you know, you can't the saying has been, like, on the forefront of my mind lately just because of a big project I've been working on, but you can't eat an elephant in one bite. Right? Like, you just throw it little by little. And so I think you know Yeah. To have someone guiding you through. Okay? Just focus on just these two things today. Just get these two things done. Tomorrow's another day, you know. Yeah.

Denise Dielwart: And then even if you can't do those, it's okay. Mhmm. It doesn't have to be done today. Every often, you know, financial advisers, services, lawyers, they're all trying to pressure us because they're on their timeline. Mhmm. It creates your own timeline. Just if you can't handle it because remember too, you've you've got widow's folk. I didn't know there was such a thing as widow's folk. Was that, you know, until I actually went through it myself. My kids thought, yeah, I was I think my daughter said to me, mom, you've told us that already. You've said that. And I said when? She said about five minutes ago, she said she said to me, I think you're getting Alzheimer's. You're losing your mind. I lost my car keys for about three months. Three months. I lost I was using my spare keys. I was still bookkeeping it. I was just after Martin passed away and I had to go and see a client and I would all dressed up and had my laptop and everything and now look to me It's in our booth. We had a parrot, a pink and gray parrot, and I was like, oh, it's gonna be a hot hot day in the ninety degree day today. I better leave some water for him. So I filled up his water bill, checked his food, second bite to him, and Well, my keys. You didn't find my keys. My sunglasses and my keys. And I looked and I looked and I was getting later and later and later and I can't find my keys. So I mentioned I've grabbed the spiky and I was like, I have to take the spiky and go. See this client? Okay, Becca. I wonder what happened to my kids. Anyway, I got this back. He didn't think about it. In about three months later, I was watching the TV. And on top of the TV were my kids and my sunglasses.

Victoria Volk: And that's what happens when But it's normal.

Denise Dielwart: It is normal. It is normal. So for people to go, what? I'm losing my mind. No.
You're not. It's just your your body's way of protecting you. And that's why in the initial stages, there's so much paperwork to be done especially in a widows case. There's so much paperwork to be done. There's the there's the there's the there will you know, there's the kids that might be fighting about. Why didn't this one leave me that? And that one leave me that. And and in blender, you know, I've had ladies and that I've got a blended family. So it could be the second marriage. So the kids from the first marriage don't want her to have anything. I've had Widows and the client Widows clients that that that the kids have kicked her out of the house that she's been in for twenty years. Wow. And that's another brief and another layer in itself. Yeah. Then there's the other the other scenarios where and it's it's I didn't realize how common it was. Until I started this work, is that the the woman finds out after her husband dies, that he's been having a face. So it's the betrayal that they've got to deal with, but they've got nobody to yell and scream at and argue with about it because he's gone.

Victoria Volk: What do you do with all of those emotions and feelings and Mhmm.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah? Yeah. So it it's that's that's why I go back to it. It's the most misunderstood because there's a lot of a lot very often, there's a lot of skeletons in in the cupboard because Nobody really wants to mention them. They find all the stuff out about their husband when he dies. They might find that that that he you know, it might not be an affair, but when they're doing the the estate and winding everything up, all of a sudden, he's got a loan here and he's got a loan there and especially if they haven't been involved in the finances. So it's messy. It's really messy. And if they don't have the right support, and they're just going to see a talk therapist, and they're gonna just talk about how you're feeling, Nothing's gonna change. Howard

Victoria Volk: Bauchner: And that's what I've found too in a lot of support groups, you know, women you know widows or parents who lost children or doesn't matter the the context of the support group, but that's what you're doing. You're going to the circle of people. Yes, you're connecting with other people with similar losses, which is great. But at the same time, you're going to listen to other people's story again and again and again and you're gonna be telling your story again and again and again and there's no action taken and you leave feeling maybe a little better for an hour, but, you know, those people, you say goodbye and a couple days later, you're back to where you were. Until the next meeting, you know? It's it's like the it's a pacifier, really. It is tough to make an action.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. I've got a beautiful part of mine. Went to griefshare five times. And because she's such a good client of mine, I eventually sit to her and says, what didn't you understand the first time? And she laughed. She said to me, you know, looking back now. I thought that maybe, if I go this time, it could be different. I maybe I missed something. I said, you went five times because it doesn't work.

Victoria Volk: Well, and think about your your state of mind when you're going.

Denise Dielwart: You think you're going crazy. Yeah.

Victoria Volk: And so maybe there's a little bit of comfort that you're feeling in being in circle with other people who also feel like they're going a little crazy yet

Denise Dielwart: at the same time,

Victoria Volk: nobody's progressing forward.

Denise Dielwart: No.

Victoria Volk: Not an environment conducive of healing, to me, in my opinion.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Then me too. In my opinion too, and that's why, you know, I I became a life coach after Martin died. Now, I became a life coach because remember I was in the bookkeeping world. So I thought, well, I become a life coach to heal myself. I'll get all the tools, and then I can become a business coach. That was my that was my dream, that was my path forward. Never in my water streams that I think I would be be working with Widows and Grief. That just was not a moderator until it was. It was like, okay. So many people says, you've gotta work with buddhist. And as you heal so quickly, you've gotta, you know, you've gotta you've gotta share. You've gotta do this work. And I I really rejected it. No. No. No. No. No. No. Until I eventually said, you know what? If I meant to work with Muuto, universe God, show me the way. And it all unfolded. And that's that's where I'm where I am today.

Victoria Volk: So what did that action look like for

Denise Dielwart: you? So the first thing I did was open up. There was a Facebook group. And just open up. Because, you know, I'm sitting here in Australia, and I'm thinking, I wanna work around the world. I don't wanna just be working in one on one come to my office, and I'll I'll help you. And I remember sitting there at the front of my computer and I was early on before before any Facebook groups were what they are now. I thought, okay. I started Facebook group and it was me and another friend of mine in South Africa. It was two of us. She had just lost her who who husband, who was a school friend of my husband. So there was quite a tight knit bond there. And I was just heard me. In script and I thought, okay. So I just started posting in the group and the group started growing. And that's how I started. I started my program. I re reversed engineered how I healed myself, and that's in the flow method. And I created the flow method. And the flow method is an acronym for feel, let go, overcome, and become whole. Because we have to feel our emotions. And that was the the what what the coaching learning to become a a a coach, a life coach was was I learned how to feel. Those in deeper thin. And they added bonuses that I had I had people practicing on me and I was practicing on other people.

Victoria Volk: So what does that look like?

Denise Dielwart: So we used to have our triads. We used to have, you know, to share stories, but it was always that your story. Now let's get to the what what's beneath that? And that's the key to to grief because grief is not I remember my my teacher or my instructor, Sharon, saying at the time, you cannot coach grief. And I I said, why don't you coach grief? And now I have coaching grief for all these years. And now teaching it because I've got my academy as well, the academy of transformational grief coaching. Grief is a different way did you approach people to life coaching? As a life coach, people come to you or you see a life coach because you wanna improve your life. You're really on that on that path. However, When somebody comes to you with in grief, all they wanna do is get better. They're unaware nine times out of ten, not always, but nine times out of ten. The unaware of the patterns and the the programming and the beliefs on a subconscious level that's actually keeping them stuck and keeping them from moving forward. So it's only when we go beneath the surface. So it's in layers. It's like an onion. You've got to peel those those layers. Of what he's keeping you stuck.

Victoria Volk: Well, I would actually challenge the idea too of life coaching because people who go to life coaching, right, they they think that the issue is, well, I'm not good with money or do I get better with money? Or Like, they they think the issue is more superficial. Yeah. And really, their issue is probably grief. On all these emotional communications that have had nowhere to go because we all crave something.

Denise Dielwart: Oh, wow.

Victoria Volk: Is cumulative and it's cumulatively negative. And if you were a child and you had to move a lot, you didn't have a lot of friends or your parents divorced when you were young, pets that died, trauma that happened, like, so much of the things that people are going to see a life coach for, they should probably actually be seen someone like you or me for. To be honest, spot on.

Denise Dielwart: Spot on. Because, you know, even a boyfriend break up,

Victoria Volk: Yes. It all stacks up.

Denise Dielwart: You know, this unresolved trauma beneath the surface and That's why we've got to feel. We've got to feel. But humanity is we don't want to feel because it's too painful to feel. So we put on a mask. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm fine. How was your day? And then people said, oh, you're so strong? How are you coping? Because then we can let Ghana. I've had so many so many of my clients said, but I don't wanna let go. I don't wanna let go of of of anything. I wanna just hold on. But it's not what we're letting go of. We didn't go of the pain. You didn't go of those emotions. You're not letting go of the person. You're not letting go of the of of the love that you shared.
You didn't go of that pain in the heartache.

Victoria Volk: So in your method, is it like a somatic? Experience or what does that look like?

Denise Dielwart: So to let go is where we start digging digging deeply. So the feeling part is this if you're feeling your emotions. And it's always You can't We can't feel those emotions on our own. The minute we start feeling any emotion, like I mentioned earlier, we shut down. We don't want to go there. So coaching and digging deep and going beneath the surface, I'm feeling that is the feeling. What are you feeling? Really feeling. It's not just crying. It's not just sadness. But where is that emotion? What what's coming up for you? Then the letting go is okay. Let's start now, going deep. Let's let go of what you're feeling. But before we can let go is we I need to we need to go, where is that emotion? What is that? And can you mobilize because very often we can't verbalize these emotions. As an example, they might say a client might say, Well, I'm feeling really lonely and isolated. And that's normal. That is totally normal. Okay. But we don't you know, as I said, well, that's that's normal. Do you feel it it's a personal it's okay. Where are you feeling lonely and isolated? And why and we start digging and going deep down. Until they can visualize that emotion and they can feel that emotion and they can say, this is what I'm now letting go. And that's a process that we go through. So and then you can overcome because now you know what you're letting go of. And that's when you become whole. So that's the whole. I mean, it sounds so simple and easy to do, but it's not.

Victoria Volk: So how long does that process that you take people through?

Denise Dielwart: As long as it takes. Because sometimes because sometimes sometimes this delayed grief, sometimes there's some very deep traumatic childhood memories that come up. Because that all plays into the letting go and and the moving forward. Because that sits on a subconscious level. That's on a subconscious level that we're not even aware of. And it's only when we do that deep inner work, but we have somebody walking with us to do that. Because we can only let go of what we know what to let go of and we only know what we know. More than that, we don't know. So when you work with somebody and what how I help my clients is let's I take a helicopter view. And I see the blind spots that they don't see.
And walk them through that.

Victoria Volk: So how would you describe yourself before May fourth two thousand nine. How you would describe yourself today?

Denise Dielwart: Before Martin passed away, I was I wanted to say a good little wife. That's everywhere I can put it. I Martin and I had a business together, but it was his business. I worked in a and feel free because he was my husband, you know, after all, you've got a bill there for your husband. Never got paid for a bill. She used to lie lie about that because You're my wife. Why would I pay you? You know, that that's sort of that sort of bantha that we used to have. And I accepted that because it was our it was our business, but It wasn't. It was his business that I worked in. I was a people pleaser. I wanted to keep the peace. I put myself last. I often often say, you know, for a lot of my my my my woodwork clients that have now become woodwork friends, over the years that we've worked together. There's one lady in particular, and she said to me one day. She said, if Martin had to come through the door, what would you do? I said he'd run away. You wouldn't wanna be with with the Denise issues now because I wouldn't put up with the stuff that I put up with in my marriage. And I'm not saying that my marriage was bad. I was a different person than to what I am now. And so of so many of my clients as well because they're reimagining their life. They're reimagining who they are. They see the potential. They're finding themselves. And that's the key is we can't stay that married with our. Because that's a label. Mhmm. I'm a widow. And do you

Victoria Volk: do you feel too that a lot of women fine. They want to stay in that box because of the unknown of of changing. And then what'll what'll happen if I do reinvent myself

Denise Dielwart: Yes.

Victoria Volk: Or just change. Right? Like, we are so accustomed to avoiding change. We hate change. We avoid it like the plague because there's so many unknowns that come with it. And so do you feel like in a lot of the work that you do with people, like women in particular widows? That they're afraid to rock the boat of their lives. Like, because I have seen so many that once they decide to choose that from themselves and just surrender to whatever it is, that is wanting to come out of them as a result of loss they lose friendships, they lose connections with people, and that's more loss.

Denise Dielwart: That's right. And that's why you need help. You need a process. You need something. Because the minute you start, on your own inner journey and you start rediscovering who you are. Your old life dies. It really does. And there's the fear. Gotta let go of that imagined life that you were going to have. And in that life is all your friends. It's all the friends that you had together. You're together friends. And guess what happens? Is they disappear? They run away. I don't know where they are, where they go, and they just disappear. And that's the hardest thing for a widow to accept is the fact that What happened to Mary and John? We used to play Bridgette every Friday night and suddenly they're not there anymore.

Victoria Volk: Or they're not you know, the widow isn't invited.

Denise Dielwart: I'm not invited. Oh, look, they're all awake. They're all awake to they're all awake camping. And I wasn't invited to go along. But we were just to go camping together.
Why wasn't I invited? And that's hurtful. But it's normal. We have to have the tools to be able to deal with that. And that is that is mindset. That's a different way of thinking, a different way of being. It's reimagining. It's reinventing. It really is reinventing a lot, and that takes work. It takes courage. Not everybody has the courage to do that,

Victoria Volk: but everybody can find it.

Denise Dielwart: Exactly exactly the visit of Oz. I mean, let's let's use the visit of Oz as an example. You know, you had the lion. I don't know if Carrie, yes, she do. You've just got to say yes to yourself. You've just got to say yes, I can do this. I'm gonna reach out for help. I can do this. And and along the way, and so many of, you know, of my clients over the years have gone, oh, as soon as I've fallen down, I've fallen backwards. And, yes, you do because it's never just a straight line up. So you start at the bottom and you start going up and then you might fall down a little bit, but you're falling down not to the level that you were at. You're falling down at a higher level, so it's like waves. You're going up and going up and going up and you never arrive there. You always grow as having a growth mindset being able to grow and go to the next level, in your own personal growth, your own personal development. Because the grief and your story is just that. It's what brought you to this point in your life. Weighing you gonna what are you gonna do about that? What are you gonna do about it? Because we've got choices. We can stay where we are and we can feed the victim and I hate using the word victim, but it is. I was a victim for a while. Me, told me, my husband died. And so I'll put my big girl panties on and said Denise, hang on. You got a whole life ahead of you. Do I miss him? I still miss him. It's fifteen years later. I just get angry with him. I still get angry with him, and I have to do things. I was like, oh my God, you know? So much easier when you were here. But that's not my life anymore.

Victoria Volk: I think the one of the things that community are being in community of people who are on the same mission, right, of growing. And evolving and reinventing themselves. One of the things that I think comes out of that too is you're in community with other people who have different problems than you. And so it's like, you know, if we think about our problems, it's like and then we hear somebody else's, it's like, And I I've reminded myself of this so many times, and it's helpful. At the end of the day, I would sure take my problems home before I want theirs. Because there's always somebody who doesn't it's not to say they have it worse than you. But it's like if you can think of yourself, put yourself in their shoes. Yeah. You're healthy? Yes, you're a widow. But if you're healthy, and this other person now has a chronic illness. Maybe they even had cancer themselves and their spouse died. I bet you you would take your problems home with you instead of theirs.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Even financials, some of those are left with with nothing. Some of those are left with nothing. And it's so hard. I have to I find it really hard. To to say to these ladies that it's okay. It's just money. You can regardless of your age, you can do something. You can create an income for yourself. So it really breaks my heart and I see this woman with so much potential. So much potential, and they just fold and say, well, I can't do anything. I'm I'm gonna live on benefits for the rest of my life, and I and I and I'm living with my son in his basement. I've got a client that that started she was living in the basement of her daughter's boyfriend. So her daughter was living as a boyfriend. She was living in the basement when she's been when we started working together. And she's now bought her own house. Because she put a big old panties on we worked together and and we worked through, What was keeping her stuck in the basement? And to not focus on the basement, but focus on getting a job, what can she do? We would employ her. And as it turns out, she loves crafts. She loves sewing. She loves all that. So she's working at the local casino. In the uniform department and she laughs it. She's doing all the sign repairs and the thought that she laughs it. But that enabled her to buy her own house, which she never saw living in a basement.

Victoria Volk: And on the flip side of that, you could have all the money in the world. Mhmm. And you could have four, five children, three children, or however many children, or b, have a blended family, and everybody's fighting, and you have all of that stress and hurting. Yeah. And then your kids hate you because you didn't give them what they wanted. They aren't speaking to you anymore. I mean, this is a thing when I'm talking about other people's problems. It's like we would always take our own for the most part.

Denise Dielwart: Always always always Yeah. Always. And, you know, our story is unique to us. Your story, your grief journey is unique to you. There's no cookie cutter way of doing it. You can't say, well, just do this and, you know, you know, like the five stages of grief, goodness me. Go through the stage then and say, now you're over here. No, grief is messy. It's it's it's all over the place. You can't just say, well, oh, okay.
You're in the anger stage now?

Victoria Volk: There actually are no stages of grief. I know. I know.

Denise Dielwart: There are no stages of grief. That's what I'm saying. Miss

Victoria Volk: I actually had Elizabeth Keebler Ross. Ross' son, Ken Ross, on my podcast.

Denise Dielwart: Oh, really? Yes.

Victoria Volk: And we talked about that. And, you know, her work was about people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Denise Dielwart: Like, sure.

Victoria Volk: It was, you know, but it is in Paul culture, like

Denise Dielwart: It's the golden I'm here. I am in Australia, and everybody it's the golden standard for grievance. She wrote her dad book on on deaf and dying in the sixties. And everybody goes, oh, you bet, you know, it's the five stages of treatment. I've even heard people refer to going through COVID. It's like the five stages of grief. And I just oh my goodness. Oh, I I was on a podcast or something and somebody said, yeah, you know, briefly screaming in in in in in COVID and, you know, the blah blah blah. I forget what it was, but all I remember them saying is, It's like we're going through the five stages of Greece. You know, we're getting angry and we're getting Wow. Have misunderstood. That is because they're you keep the they are no fast. They're honest edges. I mean, if you Google the fast stages of grief. She can even come up with a seven stages of grief.

Victoria Volk: Yeah. If Like I said, it's I think it's it's something that has really propelled her work, which is wonderful because her work was so much more than just the research that

Denise Dielwart: she has. Like,

Victoria Volk: her life, she led an incredible life, and I'm not discounting anything that she did and remarkable. I mean, I the stories of working with you know, in the child the work that she did with children, cancer patients. And she was a trendsetter. She was a trailblazer. And I think that's what it is. I think she kinda blazes the trail of the deep emotional impact of big change

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: Loss of health, cancer diagnosis. Right? Like and, yes, you're gonna feel those things, but Yeah. And I think, you know, society, I think, is really just like, it gave them something to latch on to and run with, and I think that's kind of what happened. And and they have trademarked it because, of course, it's their business too.
Right? Like

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. It's

Victoria Volk: she has an empire of her own and and a legacy that is kind of been built with the five stages of grief. I'll actually link to Ken Ross's episode in your

Denise Dielwart: Oh, that'd be great. Yeah. It'd be great. Because, you know, When she when she wrote the fast edges of grief, it was for people that were diagnosed with an illness. Mhmm. And, yes, you do go through all of that. The disbelief, the anger that eventually get to acceptance. But when you actually die when you when you've lost somebody, I don't think you ever acceptance is a very strong word. You never accept the fact that they're gone or that they've died. Don't even learn to live with such. You heal yourself. You grow yourself. And you you have them been walking next to you all the time. They're always there.

Victoria Volk: I think your point of perspective of it and your point of view and how you look at it changes. Totally. And that's when you know that you've done some healing. When you can look at it differently.

Denise Dielwart: And you're not crying when you think about them. You're not crying when at birthdays. You're not crying at the anniversaries. You're actually laughing. You know that you've helped.
Mhmm. And you're looking back with love and not with pain.

Victoria Volk: And it's possible. Talking about before. We serve

Denise Dielwart: Absolutely. Possible. Yes. It is so possible.

Victoria Volk: It's not like a cut, you know, that you just cover with a band aid and, you know, and it's gonna it's eventually, it's gonna start oozing again, which it could. Right? Like, it's a you know, that wound can be opened again. And again, because life is gonna continue to life.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: You're always gonna have another heartache. Always. What's your rebound? What's your bounce back?

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: No. It's that's what improves when you work on yourself.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. It's in a work. It is self it's working on yourself. It's it's having and having a a growth mindset. And you know, oh, you got a growth mindset.
But a growth mindset, there's two months that you can either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. When you've got a growth mindset, and I would say both you and I have got a growth mindset because it's it's not we don't just go but that's who I am and that's what I do. That's having a fixed mindset. It's just what it is. I'm a widow.
I've lost my child, whatever whatever and and having that stuck identity. Now here's the thing. When we identify as let's take a widow, for example, I'm a widow. You've just boxed yourself into that into that identity. And why is it so easy to do after we lose our husbands is because we lose our identity. We're not our wife anymore. Oh, but that's right. I'm a widow now, so we put the widow head on. And with that comes a lot of I I call it the puppy dog look. When people go, oh, I'm so sorry and they get this puppy dog look. Oh, I didn't realize you were, were you? I'm still getting it fifteen years later. Yeah. I've had a a I've built a house recently and I had a pool put in and all the rest of them. All the trades people, the tradesman, came. Yeah. The guys that came. We'd say, oh, you know, did you wanna run it by your husband first or, you know, I No. No. I don't have a husband. Oh, you do most. No. My mother. Oh, I'm so sorry. Oh, I didn't know. Well, of course, you didn't know. You don't you don't know who I am. Mhmm. But even now, you get that because the word a widow has got these darker energies and connotations around it that you're a widow and that you need to grieve for the rest of your life. It wasn't long ago when women were wearing black. They had to wear black for, like, twelve months or something. Because they were in mourning. There's only a widow. So it wasn't the it was like what maybe a hundred years ago? Seventy five or a hundred years ago? If you lost your husband, you dressed in black. Black. Stockings are black. You were just in black as she wore in morning.

Victoria Volk: Who would love to go back in time and just see how because I I do think that the ancestors of the past knew how to grieve better than typically we do.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. They gave themselves permission to feel. They're up to down as society and felt that they could have fought to do that. In today's world, we can't do that.

Victoria Volk: Yeah. To put the suit right back on after two weeks, get it there.

Denise Dielwart: March Older adults. Older adults. Older adults.

Victoria Volk: And you might get ten days of bereavement time? You just might.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. If you're lucky. If you're lucky. And then it's like, oh, why aren't you coming into work today? Or because I'm No. No. Well, you're we're even times over. Mhmm. No. I've had I've had wood outside of head warnings after the ten days of bereavement time that they're going to lose their job. And that's it's why a lot of them do the work because they know that they have to keep their work. They have to keep the income coming in. And that's the main reason why why they they they wanna move forward. And then they realize that when we start really get and they get to all the other stuff that's beneath that. And suddenly suddenly, they're starting businesses and they're doing other things that they never thought all grand. Doing? Yeah. We can

Victoria Volk: see what's possible for ourselves when we are just continue to wear the veil of grief over our faces.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. We can't. We can't. And it's okay to wear that veil for a while. But don't unpack and lovely. When we unpack and lift it, that we that we we take that identity on, we identify as that person.

Victoria Volk: So what is your grief taught you? It's told me that this is

Denise Dielwart: a gift in grief, an absolute gift. And what is that gift? The gift is ourselves. It's our own personal healing. It's our own finding and rediscovering who we are. It's also told me to be as a widow, talking as a widow, it's taught me to be independent, but not that independent that I don't ask for help. That is such a hard thing for for us woman to do is to ask somebody to help us because we say you say our husband's doing stuff. That we didn't have to ask for. So it's taught me to actually put my hand up and say I need help. Or pay somebody to do it for you. Don't try and do it on your own. So it's taught me to not be that strong person that just salches on. And that was something that in my own healing journey, I It was a limiting belief that I didn't even know that I had. It was a deep seated belief. I'm an only child, so I've got no siblings. I did ballet's child and my mother and my father boss used to say, you know, practice makes perfect. So just keep practicing practice packs perfect. And then, of course, if I didn't get it quite right or, you know, I did in a step foot or something and I didn't get what I wanted to do, I then would set your soldier on. It's okay. Remember practice max post perfect just soldier on? It sounds innocent, doesn't it this mom encouraging me. But it was only when I went in deep within myself. Then I mean, why do I push myself so much? Why does everything have to be just right? And then I was like, my arm moment goes, oh my god. I'm still that little girl practicing to be perfect and soldiering on. That's the deep inner work. And that's what keeps us stuck in our grief. It keeps us stuck in our life because it's not just the grief. The grief is grief is grief is grief is packed on on, you know, I lost my father.
I lost my mother. But those griefs, I didn't even allow myself to grief. There's losses. I was out

Victoria Volk: in the past.

Denise Dielwart: I was my father died a week before my eighteenth birthday. He was forty seven. Wow. He had a he had a massive stroke. So, grieved him a bit. Everybody was saying, oh, he's so young and I'm going, what? He's forty seven. He's old. It's sort of a bad one. I'm like, wow. He was so young. But so I lost lost my my father and then I lost my mother young as well. But I still had my family intact. I had Mark and I had the kids. Yes.
I miss them. Yes. They were my parents. But somehow, I just didn't feel it until mark and god, and then that was the god. Wow. Because it's a different loss.

Victoria Volk: Well, and that's what happens with a a deep loss is that it brings up everything before it.

Denise Dielwart: I know. It's I I always say it's grief is like a magnifying glass. Just boom. This is your life. And if we don't address what's coming up for us, we manifest disease disease. We manifest illness. I had a beautiful client who found out after her husband passed away that that he had an affair, that he was having an affair. And that all the money that she thought she had, he had spent on this other woman. She had four thousand dollars and that was she was a school teacher she had four thousand dollars and that was from her salary. That was it. But her her drive to heal and to do it quickly, was that she had breast cancer that was in remission. And she knew that if she went down that rabbit hole of stress and the grief and everything that that that comes with it is a chance that your breast cancer will come back. Plus, she was so angry with him. She wanted to kill him, although he was already dead. I remember his name to me. He wasn't dead. I would have killed him. I mean, laugh about that man, but you know, it it it's it's against that the betrayal and not being able to address that. She was, what, three months into her grief January when we started working. Now, four weeks, four weeks when we started working together. And that's early. That's really early.

Victoria Volk: But it's never too soon and it's

Denise Dielwart: It's never too soon. And this is what, you know, I have some people to isn't too soon? Never too soon. Never too soon

Victoria Volk: or too late. No. Yeah.

Denise Dielwart: On the other spectrum, I've got a head of beautiful lady. Those fifteen years. She had seen I think she had about four or five therapists, she even had a psychiatrist, She was getting sicker and sicker and sicker. And within the first week of us working together, she went, oh my goodness. I'm not crying anymore. She was still crying after fifteen years. And that's because we get stuck into a kitten. We have to break those patterns and we can't break those patterns on our own if we don't know how. Because they said,

Victoria Volk: you did that through your life coaching certification, like, as you were going through life coaching, Erin, that's what you would. Okay.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. So I'm an NLP practitioner as well. So is there a lot of NLP which is neuro linguistic programming? So a lot of NLP work that I do, mhmm, is my clients as well because we've got a Brexit. We've got a we've got a get them to think differently.
Help to help these ladies to actually see themselves in a different way. We need to break the neural pathways. We've just scratched the record because it's been me start going back and going back and going back over the same old thing. Oh, and that's our talk therapy doesn't work. Because when we repeat and repeat and repeat, we are building that neural pathway stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger. We have to break that neural pathway. Let's let's say electrical pathway in our brains. We have to bracket and we have to grow and start another one.

Victoria Volk: And it's possible.

Denise Dielwart: It's possible. It is new knowledge. Yeah. Yeah.

Victoria Volk: Nobody else. New app.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's just doing some it's, you know, everybody that's listening today, that's here, and I know for you and for me, it's one decision. We are ever only one decision away of a new life. Not a hundred decisions, not overwhelming decisions. It's one decision.

Victoria Volk: Lay in decay or get up and reinvent yourself.

Denise Dielwart: Yeah.

Victoria Volk: Those are the choices.

Denise Dielwart: Yes? Yep. And it's it's a choice. You know, we have choices we choose. We choose what what Am I gonna get out of bed today? Am I gonna stay in bed? And if that's your if that's your one choice you do, what are you gonna choose?

Victoria Volk: And what's the cost? What is it costing you not? Yep. So put yourself first in this way.

Denise Dielwart: Yep.

Victoria Volk: Better questions. We have to ask yourselves better questions.

Denise Dielwart: Better questions and and and what is it? You know, when I say to to when I start working, this this this is my latest assignment, What is it costing you? And I'm so glad you brought up the cost because that's something that nobody thinks of. We only think of cost in a monetary sense, dollar sense, but there's such a massive cost to your health, to your relationships, to your whole life, everything. If we're not if you're not functioning properly, what is the cost? What is the costing you? In your in in your relationship with your with your family, your friends and family. What's the cost?

Victoria Volk: Next. Absolutely. We're on the same mission, my friend.

Denise Dielwart: Yes. It's so good. You see you all?

Victoria Volk: Yes. Where can people find you if they'd love to connect with you and learn more?

Denise Dielwart: So I have my website, which I think is the best place. It's flow grief academy dot com. And that's where, you know, they can book a call with me. There's a link there if they wanna have a check to book a call with me. I offer a free Sometimes it's sixty minutes, sometimes it's forty five minutes, sometimes it's five minutes depending all the way. But just a free breaks recall, grief breaks recall. Just to talk about where where you are in your journey right now. What's what's keeping you stuck? Yeah. And if I can help you, I can help you if I can't. We spent a good forty five minutes and an hour together. And you'll walk away with tools, on on in in an awareness of of where you are in your journey.

Victoria Volk: And you have the podcast?

Denise Dielwart: And I have my podcast. Brief Unlocked. Yes. I have my podcast. And, yeah, I've also got my group. I've got a a Facebook group as well. All the links are on my website. That's why I said my website is about the best to sort of to land there and have a look and to have a feel around there and click and and and so on. And of course, there's also the academy. So for those that that feel that they want to learn how to become a grief coach, I've now got the academy of transformational brief coaching. So that's where you learn all the NLP techniques, you learn how to talk, you learn how, you learn the flow method.

Victoria Volk: Wonderful. And I will put a link to your website in the show notes and to the Can Ross episode that I mentioned. And to Facebook group too, I'll put that in the show notes as well.

Denise Dielwart: That will be great. Yeah. Yeah.

Victoria Volk: Alright. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story, Denise, and for being my guest today. And for this wonderful conversation, I I'm always happy to have people on who are on the same mission as myself. To bring awareness to grief. And that's not just about death, but all these other things that we experience in our lives too that, you know, through the different client examples that you shared. So thank you so much for your time today. Howard Bauchner:

Denise Dielwart: Yeah, you're so welcome. And it's it's such a point that you said, it's not about grief. It's

Victoria Volk: about life.

Denise Dielwart: Life is going to life. And we're still alive. So it's about life. It's about living

Victoria Volk: and learning tools to make it the best that we can speak and then in the time that we are given.

Denise Dielwart: Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. So thank you so much for having me on. It's been absolutely kind of like to for the for the podcast to come out and and share it with my group as well. So because like you said, it's the awareness of of We can heal and you can heal and move forward.

Victoria Volk: Absolutely. And remember, when you unleash your heart, you unleash your life. Much love.