My Story

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I’d like to share a little bit of how I developed into the woman I am today.  For that, we need to go way back in time.

When I was about 13 years old I had an epiphany of sorts.  This was about the time I fully realized that I seemed to be missing two important pieces of anatomy that other girls had, and that was a pair of large breasts (mine were very small), and I was skinny to boot! 

I quickly realized that I would have to have other attributes so I could attract a boy (way back then, that was the focus of most girls at that age). Therefore I worked on my personality, my sense of humour, and my spirit.  I’m delighted I realized that at such a young age because all three qualities have served me well my whole life.

Now let’s get back to the present decade. :-)  As I was starting to get my footing in my new life (without my husband Alex – he passed away in January 2016) I hoped that I still had my sense of humour and my spirit.  I soon found out the answer.

A while ago, I was having a conversation with a neighbour.  We didn’t really know each other; we’ve just had the normal “neighbourly” chats.  Upon learning of my husband’s death, he asked me if I’d like to join him for a coffee sometime.  I thought, “How nice of him to suggest that.”

A while later he called and suggested we have that coffee.   “Having coffee” turned into our going for a walk first, with my doggie, Ty. 

When we got back to my place, I invited him to join me in a glass of wine.  We were sitting on my deck, watching the sun set on the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean (I had a fabulous view at that time) and having a great conversation. 

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As he was telling me something amusing about his life, I laughed.  He stopped talking and said, “I love your laugh!  Your laugh is so rich and genuine.” 

I thought to myself – who needs large breasts!  :-)

That thought helped me to realize I still had my sense of humour and my spirit was strong!

One of the advantages of having lived as long as I have is that I’ve had plenty of time to develop a good sense of humour and my “spirit.”  I think a person that has spirit is said to have such qualities as courage, energy, vivacity; and is lively and animated.  Or, another way of saying that is – your spirit is the vital animating essence of a person.

Here’s an example of what I mean when I say “having spirit.” 

If I were to ask myself the question:  

“Am I the kind of woman I’d like to spend time with?”

The answer would be:  

“Hell yes!”

And now, I'd like to say a few words about my husband, Alex.  He was such a joy to be around!

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Alex and I were together for an amazing 39 years!  Unfortunately he became ill in October 2015.  During the many visits in the hospital we had numerous conversations about what I was going to do, should he not recover, and I would be on my own.

Alex suggested I have a blog.  This was something he’d been recommending for a while.  We talked about it for a bit, and then he stopped and reminded me that for many years I had been fond of saying, “I’m going to be an Outrageous Old Broad!”  We had a good laugh about that.  Then a strange feeling came over me and I asked him, “Do you think I can do that without you by my side?”  His instant response was “Hell Yes!”

That was the last gift he gave me.  He passed away that night.

Alex and I were a team at work and at play.  I can’t speak to how anyone else feels about being married to a therapist, but I loved it!  It wasn’t because of how he “did” therapy, it was because of who he was as a human being, who happened to “do” therapy, and did it very well.

When Alex passed away I sent out the final edition of our newsletter (we’d published it for 22 years I’m proud to say) in which I advised everyone of Alex’s passing.  Many, many, people responded and wrote about their feelings towards Alex.  Many of those comments were profound and heartwarming.  I have never felt so humbled, and proud of Alex.  I had trouble reading some of them because the tears kept flowing!

They also recognized my input into everything we did, and the very special relationship Alex and I had.  Yes, Alex was the “star” but I was the one that helped him shine, and he always acknowledged that by announcing at our workshops, and in the office, that I was The Boss!

Below are just a few examples of what people wrote.  I’ve only included them here because these comments prove to me that most people are decent, kind, supportive, generous, and sometimes exceptional human beings.  It’s been my great pleasure to have met them over these past 30 years!

“OMGosh Berit. I am so sorry to hear that. He was such a great man and I appreciated him and you. Your kind heart shone through whenever I came to the office for my treatments.” KL (Alberta, Canada)
“Know you’re thought of often, and I’m sending healing hugs to you. Alex will always be with me — so much of my daily life habits come from things I learned about myself in your courses (including you calling me anal!! What an eye-opener that was!).” Namaste — HB (BC, Canada)
“There is an inner connection that I know and feel that he has with all of the hearts that he’s touched over the years. What a heart he had and what a blessing that he found you 39 years ago! My heart goes out to you, Berit. I’ve loved our communication over the years and your newsletter will be missed! Thank you for all the words of encouragement that you gave me and giving me the chance to be a part of your lives!” SS (Massachusetts, USA)
“I only knew both of you through taking a couple of courses and it was easy to see that Alex was a very special and gifted man. He loved what he was doing and it showed. I feel very sad knowing that he is no longer walking beside you...physically. But both of you left an impact on my life that I’m not likely to forget.” BP (BC, Canada)
“My heart goes out to you. Alex’s presence was a wonderful experience. I will continue to think of you both for the rest of my life, and be so grateful that I was able to meet such a fine individual. My thoughts and love go out to you, Berit, at this sad time for you. You both have truly made a difference in this world.” PM (Nevada, USA)
“We often remember those days when you were over here, and so hoped you could make it back again. Hopefully one day you will, and as you say, we can toast Alex. Know that we are thinking of you and sending you lots of love.” SN (Spain)
“What a blessing both of you have been to so many people. You both were a gift and I say Thank You to both of you. I wish I could just hug and hug you Berit.” JO (Arizona, USA)
“I have loved reading the newsletters for years and always looked forward to them. I’ve come across many treasures that I continue to use for myself and with clients from the wisdom in Alex’s conversations (i.e. articles), which is what I felt they were. So I feel as if I’ve had many conversations with him and you, and will miss that too.” BV (Australia)
“It comes as a great shock that we can’t feel his human warmth and can’t see his ever-ready smile anymore. We will always remember Alex as a great friend and a good ‘Mensch’, whose main aim in life was helping others. We do wish you all the strength you’ll certainly need these days and in the future; you know that whenever you feel up to it, you are very welcome to raise a glass of wine towards the stars on a balmy Mediterranean night.” RH (Spain)