My Story

Grief support from someone who has healed after unimaginable loss.

Crossed Arms

Cathy Cheshire has diverse credentials related to healing from grief. She is the founder of the “Master Grief Coach” program with a certification option. She authored “Thriving After the Death of a Child” and a reader commented, “This is such a powerful book.” Cathy received her Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University. She is a member of several professional grief and death associations. She left her successful executive career in healthcare to inspire grievers and coaches in honor of her deceased children, Jeremy and Ian. Dedicated to the evolving self-empowerment movement focused on raising awareness about the achievability to thrive after even profound loss, Cathy courageously shares her story to provide hope and advance how we discuss grief.

In 1995, the second of five children, Cathy and her older sibling revealed being abused by babysitters when they were children. The denial and criticism from her parents and younger siblings left her heartbroken, and she hasn’t seen them since. Two people close to her had tried to die by suicide, and loved ones struggled with drug addiction. She pondered the meaning of her own existence and sought resources to help manage her life.

Photomart LargeShe endured three short marriages, each ending in tumultuous divorce. After her second marriage ended, Cathy was left to raise their son Jeremy by herself. She worried about financial security while she immersed herself in providing for and loving her only child. Through books and counseling, she learned she was desperate for affection and viewed partners as she wanted them to be rather than who they really were.

She persisted through numerous painful breakups intent on taking the time to find the right life partner. In 2006, when Jeremy was 15, Cathy met Drew and finally found a truly loving relationship. His previous wife died in 1999 at age 36 from a blood infection when their son Ian was only 11. Cathy admired how Drew loved and was dedicated to his son who was 18 when she met him.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 2007, Jeremy, died instantly in a car accident when his friend who was driving lost control of the car. Cathy and Drew kept their plan to marry a month later and he held her hand as she spiraled into a dark realm that terrified her. She had moments when she didn’t want to go on but couldn’t end her life. She realized she had progressed through jobs including administrator, consultant, leadership coach, and chief executive officer to increase her self-esteem and not because she loved it. She felt overpowered with negative thoughts, unfamiliar bad feelings, nightmares, and an increasing apathy for life.

Cathy lived in torment until becoming determined to figure out how to feel a little happiness again. Using her exceptional planning skills and remembering self-help book principles, she designed and implemented an action plan to improve all the major areas of her life. She embraced life’s mysteries and fostered good habits. She overcame negative thoughts and became emotionally healthy. She broke away from dysfunctional relationships while nurturing the best connections she has with people. She realized the importance of fun, passion for your job, and service to others.

There was a synergy to executing her prioritized objectives, and it propelled her into an existence she never thought was possible. Her life became filled with love, joy, a sense of well-being, and excitement for the future all interwoven with immense gratitude. The more she does what she values, the less negative emotions are triggered. She can be happy for what others have that she doesn’t because she loves everything about her life. She went from robotically living to being conscientious about everything she did. She felt her efforts were well worth the work which became easier as she unlocked her potential.

Cathy has learned that the more you love a person or animal, the greater the grief when they are gone. She learned the value of living in the present moment, not regretting the past or worrying about the future. She focuses on cherishing time with loved ones, thoughtfully speaking her truth, and chasing her dreams. Realizing the impermanence of physical form, she awakened to spiritual possibilities. She has compassion for those suffering, values inspiring others, but respects their individual journey through life. Feeling prepared to handle inevitable loss and difficulties, she now looks for the lesson rather than unyielding suffering and understands how invaluable it is to be knowledgeable about grief before loss. 

20151126_154454-1In 2017, after a long illness, her husband’s only child died in the hospital at age 29 when a blood clot caused a stroke. Because she had reviewed the findings of top grief experts, the pain was the same as when Jeremy died, but her grief felt natural. Motivated to continue cultivating her life, she made remarkable discoveries enhancing her appreciation of life. Cathy and Drew knew the value of sharing their feelings and coping effectively as they kept living the wonderful life they built together including continuing to embrace those they love. Drew is more naturally resilient, and Cathy learned it, so she put her grief knowledge into practice right away.

Motivated to continue cultivating her life, she made remarkable discoveries enhancing how much she appreciates life. Cathy studied recent neuroscientist research revealing how thought, emotion, and mindfulness may empower you to reach your goals, why her life action planned worked, how anyone can learn resilience, and why some people never change. She experienced sadness and joy simultaneously when grieving. She became skilled in following her heart rather than her mind, which lead her to her greatest life purpose, supporting the bereaved. She explored body energy improvement methods like the Emotional Freedom Technique (also called tapping), Reiki, and sound bathing, also learning why they work.

Varied expert knowledge about grief is invaluable to anyone wanting to find their own way to heal and thrive after loss and there is an abundance of misinformation not based on research or professional opinion. Recognizing the need for affordable, comprehensive, and concise training to effectively inspire individuals who want to heal and thrive and for those wanting to support grievers, Cathy worked with a group of experts she admires and founded the online “Master Grief Coach” training program with a certification option.

Moving 17 times for jobs and relationships, Cathy has lived on the west side of the country and in the mid-west. She has been thriving for years, is happily married, and lives with her husband near Cleveland, Ohio. They are animal lovers and have two rescued dogs named Benji and Petey. They enjoy spending time with loved ones, traveling, boating, snow skiing, and sightseeing on their motorcycle. 

Jeremy, Son
1991 – 2007
jeremy-300-dpi-3x4Jeremy loved music and taught himself to play guitar. He loved skateboarding, wakeboarding, and snow skiing. He was passionate about what interested him.  He had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around. He was amazing at computers and video games. He deeply loved all of his family and friends.  Some of his friends would fondly call him curly. He had intuitiveness about understanding the importance of cherishing every moment with those you love. He would want everyone to remember the happy memories and live life fully like he did. 

Ian, Stepson

1988 – 2017
Ian graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor degree majoring in history and minoring in psychology. He was bright and full of potential. He loved history, writing, snow skiing, traveling, and adventures. He knew how to have fun, was full of humor, and loved to make others laugh. Many feel blessed to have shared good times with him, calling him a wonderful friend or like a brother to them. There was so much love between him and his family and friends in life. He now is at peace with the mom he dearly loves and a guardian angel showing us how important it is to cherish the time we have with our loved ones still here.