What if you were told that your best friend, spouse, and parent to your kids had just 30 days to live?
Just typing that question is tough for me to stomach.
This is the reality that Mike Fumagalli faced, with one exception…
He didn’t know his wife, Kirsten, was going to pass just 27 days after receiving her cancer diagnosis. It just happened.
Mike is a close friend, educator, father, as well as President and co-founder of the Clear Ribbon Foundation.
And he’s one of the strongest, most resilient men I’ve ever met.
I sit down with him today on the Coming Up Clutch with J.R.™ show and get very real about overcoming the deepest levels of grief and trauma…
Because the truth is – EVERYONE – battles grief and trauma at some level. You may be battling some level of it right now and not even know it.
If it’s not resolved, it slowly destroys you little by little. And it destroys your most important relationships, too.
In this latest episode, Mike and I talk about…
- How to move forward after a debilitating tragedy
- Why it’s so important to acknowledge and process grief
- How to recognize and resolve unresolved trauma
…and so much more.
Mike even has a special message for you if you’re married with kids.
If you want to learn how to be more resilient, especially in the face of adversity and tragedy, then don’t miss today’s episode.
And if someone around you is struggling with grief, trauma, or has a loved one affected by cancer, please share this episode with them. Mike’s wisdom will bless and inspire them abundantly.
[00:01 – 07:37] Introducing Mike to the Show
- Mike’s most embarrassing moment and the lesson learned from it
- Mike’s story and background
[07:38 – 16:06] How to move forward after a debilitating tragedy
- Your ability to overcome obstacles and be resilient in the times when your life most demands is already in you. You have to find it.
- You must practice the key pillars of resilience in order to develop effective resilience in your life. You can’t wish yourself into being resilient.
- Routines of continuous improvement (e.g. workout everyday, make bed, 10 minutes early for every meeting)
- Routines become habit and a way of thinking (they save you from the spiral of getting out of control)
- Resilience = changing the narrative in your head
- Your life is having a generational impact one way or another. That impact is up to you
[16:07 – 21:15] How to best care for others during your own hardship
- Find someone who can lead, guide, mentor, coach, and shepherd you
- Find someone who can help you overcome trauma – your brain doesn’t know difference between old trauma and new trauma
[21:16 – 29:54] Why it’s so important to acknowledge and process grief
- If you don’t process grief, you’ll be a prisoner of it. And you’ll pass that on to your kids and that will have a generational impact.
- Grief is the gap between what your anticipated outcome of an event was and what actually happened (there’s incompleteness)…and you don’t like the distance between those things. The distance between those things is proportional to the magnitude of your grief.
- You have to figure out how to close the gap. If you don’t, and that chasm remains open, there are deep wounds that will continue to manifest and will be passed on to our children
- We MUST Recognize, Acknowledge, Resolve
- We are not in the position to judge another person’s grief – there’s grief of all kinds, and because we’re not the person experiencing grief, we’re not able to assess it
[29:55 – 40:44] How to recognize and resolve unresolved trauma
- Must understand how BODY responds to trauma so you’re better able to mitigate the effects of trauma
- Name it, recognize it, mitigate it
- “Turn blue thoughts to TRUE thoughts”
- Find community – going into isolation is the EASY thing to do
- There’s a time for reflection, but when reflection turns into isolation, that’s where trouble and unresolve happens
- There’s power in a community that is experiencing similar things as you. There’s hope, healing, compassion, understanding, transparency, and vulnerability, which formulates human connection
[40:45 – 45:05] A message from Mike to those who are married with children
- Your life can change really fast – you can’t let the sun set on things that are silly and insignificant
- Be prepared – important have a plan in place
- Know and appreciate the little, silly things (even the sometimes annoying ones)
- Recognize that tomorrow is NOT guaranteed
- Mike’s BIG domino: Value and love each other and your family in a way that if tomorrow never came, you can say you loved and lived fully and completely (not perfectly)
[45:06 – 49:27] Wrapping Up
- How to connect with Mike
“Your ability to overcome obstacles and be resilient in the times when your life most demands is already in you. You have to find it.” – Mike Fumagalli
“You can’t wish yourself into being resilient.” – Mike Fumagalli
“Your life is having a generational impact one way or another. That impact is up to you.” – Mike Fumagalli
“If you don’t process grief, you’ll be a prisoner of it.” – Mike Fumagalli
“Your life can change really fast – you can’t let the sun set on things that are silly and insignificant.” – Mike Fumagalli
“Value and love [each other and your family] in a way that if tomorrow never came, you can say you loved and lived fully and completely (not perfectly).” – Mike Fumagalli
CONNECT WITH MIKE
- Mike’s Charity: The Clear Ribbon Foundation | Facebook
- Book: Amy Morin – 13 Things Strong Kids Do
CONNECT WITH J.R.
- Facebook: @jamesJRreid
- Instagram: @jamesjrreid
- LinkedIn: in/jamesjrreid/
- Twitter: @jamesJRreid
- Website: jamesreid.com
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