My Own ‘Magical Thinking’
By Barbara Newman | Chief Executive of A Dignified Life | Huffington Post
What do people do in their most caught off guard moment when the “what if” becomes reality? In my quiet time I reflect on this question and count myself lucky that when it was my turn to experience the kind of hardships that we all encounter at various times in our lives, I knew what to do. In 2006, when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, thankfully, I found myself able to answer this question.
You see, I had a Camelot life: a great career, a deep and sustained love in a soul mate, and the gift of my young twins, for whom I reveled in the best job in the world: being a mother. But everything shifted when Jim became sick. During these extremely trying times, I loved and cared for my husband and watched over my children, but found myself caught up in a tangled web of hospital red tape and medical, legal, and financial obstacles. Because I was used to maneuvering these types of hurdles from past life experiences I was prepared for the ‘what if’ time of life that so many families face during similar life crises.
Through it all, I was devastated by seeing so many people in similar situations of distress. All those hospital visits and stark waiting rooms filled with people in pain stayed with me. The people I saw in crisis were of varying ages, mostly baby boomers and the elderly. I saw how badly they needed guidance and help finding all the services and choices available to them in their most vulnerable moments. And as I grieved the loss of my husband, and my twins and I grew stronger, I found my calling.
Today, I am dedicated to creating awareness through my company, A Dignified Life, which brings critical support services including experts in the medical, legal, and social services under one roof to help families navigate life transitions and provide them with solace through their challenging circumstances. By harnessing my new-found empowerment and my innate abilities, I am devoted to helping my friends, family and so many others find answers and peace of mind. And in the process, I have grown in ways I never dreamed possible.