Triumphant Survivors

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291
https://activerain.com/droplet/4LwN

Many years ago I was privileged to hear a speaker who made an impact on me. Ann Kaiser Sterns is the author of numerous books, including Coming Back: Rebuilding Lives after Crisis and Loss, published in 1989. She worked with a large group of people who had been through tragedies ranging from death, divorce, and illness, to many other life time events. Each one went through their horrible event, grieved, mourned, and experienced all the other emotions of a devastating situation. And each had a personal outcome that Sterns used to sort them into three separate groups.

The first group went through the tragedy and never got back to where they were in life; they just never moved forward. The second group did get back to where they were before the tragedy and moved along with a relatively normal life. 

Triumphant Woman SunriseIt was the third group that not only got through the tragedy, and came back to where they were before, but they then went on to use the situation as a spring board. These are the ones she calls the Triumphant Survivors. The best example is the two women who started MADD. They are triumphant survivors!

We have to learn how to say good bye, how to put closure to things in our lives. Sterns told a story about a friend who needed a mastectomy and how she was going to cope. This woman wrote a letter to her breast, a letter telling her breast/friend goodbye. She described the joy of being a teenager, of how she looked in her sweaters, to how she nursed her baby. She went on to say that her breast was her friend but the time had come to say good bye. Because without saying good bye, she would not be able to live with her friend. I was so moved by the story – what a tribute to handling a very difficult situation.

I was telling this story to a dear friend this week who is facing a mastectomy. She loved hearing about the  letter and asked if I would write this for her. My friend, you know who you are. I love you and know that everything will work out.

Sunrise GullI have found in my careers of nursing, art, and real estate that, when speaking to people in depression, almost always there was some kind of tragedy that happened 18 months to 2 years before.

Moving may not be a disaster, but it is a major life change. Saying "Good bye" and putting closure is also important in real estate. I have written about saying good bye to your house when you move, and of helping children say goodbye to their home. In one of my several counseling sessions with real estate clients, I share how to say good bye to the home they are selling. There are many good memories and some not so good memories that need to be acknowledged as they go from room to room. I believe that some of the depressive situations my clients deal with have been lessoned by my bit of counseling.

How many Triumphant Survivors  can you identify with? Are you one?

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Christine Hooks 03/21/2012 03:02 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Maryland
Groups:
We Are Women!
Calling All Nurses
Club Chaos
Diary of a Realtor
Taking Control Of YOUR Health!
Tags:
moving
depression
survival
goodbye
counseling
rn
ann kaiser stearns

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Rainmaker
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Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Margaret,

I can truly relate to your comment at the end.  As a child into my teen years I moved about 3 dozen times.  No I was not an army brat.  I guess that is why I am able to be resilient with change.  That is what is afforded me.  As I child I disliked it quite a bit.

Feb 04, 2009 05:01 AM #19
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Rebecca, Would love to hear more about your 3 dozen moves. I am sure you can teach us all so much. Sounds like all those moves made you a good agent

Feb 04, 2009 01:49 PM #20
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Your friend is very lucky that she has you to confide in Margaret.  This is a beautiful and touching post.  And it is all about the personal side that makes this business so rewarding.  And after reading this I know I have to make a phone call today to my mom in law who is currently battling depression.  My husband's nephew committed suicide last April and she is finally dealing with her huge grief.  I wish she were closer.   Thanks for the inspiration to do more.

Feb 05, 2009 01:35 AM #21
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Tammy, Your comment made writing this post even more special. I will try to call you today

Feb 05, 2009 02:22 AM #22
Rainer
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Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

I read "Coming Back" when it came out. A very powerful book, even twenty years later.

Feb 06, 2009 07:38 PM #23
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Russel, Yes, a powerful book that we both remember 20 years later.

Feb 07, 2009 02:08 AM #25
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Margaret, great post. Life as we age is FULL of both little and big losses. We need to learn to grieve and just not move on without pausing for the feeling. Saying goodbye is so many respects is a very healthy thing to do in our lives.

Feb 09, 2009 09:45 AM #26
Rainer
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Linda Scanlan
A Consumer's View - Burleson, TX

Margaret, what a special friend you are. You always seem to know the right things to say...that's what makes you so special!  Your friend is VERY blessed to have you in her life.

Feb 09, 2009 09:46 AM #27
Rainmaker
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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I come from a family of Triumphant Survivors ~  It is not always easy.  I am sure your friend will be comforted by your kind words and your healing nature.  It can be very difficult to "let go" say goodby and move forward!

Feb 09, 2009 09:54 AM #28
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Gary, You understand the importance of saying goodbye in the many areas of our lives. Thanks for stopping by.

Linda, I learn from folks just like you!

Feb 09, 2009 09:59 AM #29
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Joan,  Knowing so many triumphant survivors, you understand that it is never easy.

Feb 09, 2009 10:09 AM #30
Anonymous
Kim Jones-Educator, Consultant & REALTOR-Baltimore, MD{EXiT Gene

Margaret,

I truly believe that the better part of who we become, comes from the hardest things we have endured. Like silver is refined in the fire, we have strength built in through the heat of life's challenges. Making lemonade out of the lemons we encounter makes the difference between growth and stifling. Attitude and perspective are key ingredients to guide is in a positive direction. Triumphant Survivorship is a way of life to be embraced and appreciated. Thanks you for sharing this inspiring gem.

Feb 09, 2009 03:19 PM #31
Rainmaker
137,377
Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

Margaret -- inspiring post - I am going to get the book Coming Back and read it.  It's a wonderful thing to be able to walk with people as they go through something -- and helping people say good bye,  to a house, a time, a breast or  life -- to be a companion through change - all are blessed by that --

Feb 09, 2009 05:06 PM #32
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Kim, Like your analogies. One more it the egg, the more you cook it, the stronger it becomes. It was good seeing you yesterday at the seminar. The way you have embraced real estate is inspiring.

Alexandra, You always know just the right things to say.

Feb 10, 2009 09:39 PM #33
Rainer
54,240
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Margaret,

Thanks so much for your post! I especially appreciated the part about saying goodbye to your house. I have always done that. It was even sad to leave some houses I hated!

I guess I have always realized that sellers go through this, but I haven't given them enough support!

I will now!

Barbara

Feb 15, 2009 09:57 AM #34
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Barbara, Anytime we can make this stressful time a bit more tolerable, we are doing the right thing. Glad you found this helpful.

Feb 15, 2009 10:53 AM #35
Rainer
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Kathy Sperl-Bell
Active Adults Realty - Lewes, DE

Margaret,

I found your post helpful tonight on many levels. One of my best friends is going through a recurrence of cancer, another is being treated again for lupus. A colleague's husband was killed over the weekend in a car accident and another's daughter in law just died from complications of lyme's disease. Does that make our real estate problems seem so small? I try to remind myself of this when I start to worry about the sad state of affairs this country is in at the moment. Glad I found you.

Feb 25, 2009 11:02 AM #36
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Kathy, So glad that this was helpful. Your friends are lucky to have you  around. We need to remember that there are no emergencies in real estate. It was really special speaking with you this evening. Take care of yourself so you can be strong around those you care about.

Feb 25, 2009 12:00 PM #37
Rainer
284,179
Christine Hooks
Pino Agency - Pennsville, NJ
Celebrating 25 Years in Real Estate!

I realize this is a post from 2009, Margaret, but I've just suggested it.  It's beautifully written.  Thank you.

Mar 21, 2012 02:46 PM #38
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Christine, I realize your comment is two years old and I am doing a radio show on this topic today.

Apr 19, 2014 11:37 PM #39
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