Discover How A Psychotherapist Who Lost Her Daughter Went Completely Against The 5 Stages Of Grief And Used Her Pain To Find Joy Again.
You're about to find out why you've never been in denial and the one simple trick you can do right now to start feeling better after losing a loved one.
Hi there, my name is Dr. Betsy Guerra.
The story I’m about to share with you is incredibly personal and painful.
I’m a psychotherapist and the chosen mother of an angel.
I know it might seem strange to introduce myself like that, but stay with me and I’ll explain…
In the next few minutes, I’m going to share with you how I used the excruciating pain of losing my child to find my life’s purpose and become the happiest woman on earth.
I know it sounds absolutely crazy and totally unbelievable to be able to say something like that after losing a child, but I’ll show you how it’s possible.
It’s actually much easier than what people think and the problem is that we haven’t been told the truth about grief or how to deal with it.
Don’t get me wrong, losing my daughter was, at first, the most agonizing experience of my entire life.
I was devastated.
I felt like the excruciating pain would never go away.
Every day was consumed by thoughts about what I could have done differently or how I could have prevented it from happening.
I constantly asked myself, “Why did this happen to me?”
“Why was I being punished like this?”
At first, I was absolutely a mess and never thought I would ever be happy again.
Despite the fact that I was a therapist with a PhD in Psychology, who had spent her entire career helping people overcome their problems…
I felt completely hopeless to overcome this one…
Which made me start to wonder…
Even though I had years of training to help people overcome emotional problems like grief…
Why did I feel so incapable of being able to deal with it now that it was happening to me?
I knew that I wanted to feel better. I knew, based on everything I had learned in my schooling and my unwavering faith, that it was possible to feel better and to be happy again…
But I still couldn’t imagine ever feeling that way.
It finally clicked after a conversation my husband and I had with our priest, while we were hiding from the crowd in our closet after our daughter’s death.
He told us, “Those who devote their life to serving others, find happiness again.”
And he was right.
I know it sounds crazy. I know you think you don’t have any other option. I know it almost seems wrong to want to be happy again. Like you don’t deserve it anymore.
But I’m here to tell you that’s not true because I’ve experienced the loss of my daughter and have been able to create a life full of joy and happiness.
And I’d like to share my journey with you.
But first I want to be respectful of your time and make sure you’re in the right place.
While my story and journey about finding joy and happiness again is directly tied to losing my daughter, that doesn’t mean this will only help those who have lost a child.
Anyone who is experiencing profound pain from a loss of any kind will find benefit in reading this.
Whether you’ve lost a spouse because of death or divorce…
You lost a parent, relative, or someone else you were close to…
Or you lost something else that isn’t a person that’s caused you great pain…
This can help you too. While the cause of pain can be as diverse as the people who experience it, the secret to getting over that pain and finding joy again is very similar.
But to do that, you will have to accept your pain (I’ll get to that a little later).
If you’re not willing to do that, what follows will likely be of little help to you. I don’t say that to deter you or discourage you.
I believe anyone can overcome the pain of loss and the grief associated with it, but you must be willing to accept that pain first.
If you can do that, keep reading. If you’re not sure that you can, keep reading anyway and hopefully my story will help you believe in your ability to do it too.
I know it might sound impossible, but I KNOW that you can be happy again.
I’ve been able to do it and this is my story…
I had the perfect life.
I had an amazing husband who loved and supported me.
I had three incredible and healthy children that were my entire world.
I was able to go to school to get my Ph.D. in Psychology.
I was living my calling as a therapist.
I was healthy, financially comfortable, and had the most beautiful support system.
Life was so good that I didn’t think anything bad could ever happen to me…
But that all changed in an instant.
We were about to start construction in our backyard and decided to have one last party with friends.
Everyone was having a great time talking and laughing with each other…
Then someone asked, “Where’s Fofi?”
Fofi is my daughter. She was almost 3.
We called her Fofi because she was the chunkiest little baby you’ve ever seen and, oh my gosh, she was so cute!
Everyone loved my Fofi.
She was delightful. She was funny. She had bouncy curly hair. And the biggest, brightest brown eyes.
For such a little girl, she was HILARIOUS! She was sarcastic and sassy (in all the best ways). I know she could have been a great comedian…
And she was the kindest little girl. Even though she wasn’t even three years old, she was already looking out for people who needed help.
I remember we were dancing at a party one time and there was another kid crying. She let go of my hands and beelined over to that little girl and gave her a great big hug.
I could hear my little Fofi telling her, “It’s ok, don’t cry.”
It’s moments like those that make me miss her the most and left me unable to function.
But what was even more excruciating was the thought of how it happened.
I looked around when my friend asked for her and didn’t see her.
I felt my heart racing and my breathing accelerating.
Then I looked down and there she was...
With her red and white polka dot Minnie bathing suit…
At the bottom of the pool...
I immediately dove in and rescued my precious princess. I rested her sweet body on the pavers, by the edge of our pool.
The next thing I remember is standing next to a stretcher with my husband pleading with Fofi, saying…
“Come on Fofi. You’re strong Fofi. “You got this…”
I fell to my knees…
In that moment, I knew she wasn’t going to be saved in the way I wanted her to be saved.
I felt my life was over.
I couldn’t imagine ever recovering from the part of me that died with her.
Right after my daughters funeral, we had a house full of people and I remember feeling so overwhelmed that my husband and I hid out in our bedroom closet to get away from everyone.
We felt destroyed.
Our smiles were erased from our face and possibilities.
While we were there crying and feeling like we would never be happy again, our old priest came in to talk to us.
My husband asked him...
“You’ve seen this before. Is it possible to ever be happy again?”
“Some people are happy again while others never overcome this,” he responded in that gentle, reassuring way that made him special.
“What’s the difference?” my husband asked.
What the priest said next is probably the single most important piece of advice I have ever received when it comes to dealing with loss…
So pay close attention…
In fact, get a pen and paper to write this next part down. It’s that important.
“Those who are never happy again think that the more they love, the more they must suffer. They honor their loved one through suffering, so they can never allow themselves to be happy again.
The people who find joy again, know that love is not measured through tears. They honor their loved one through love, service, and kindness.”
I knew right in that moment I was going to be like the latter. I would honor my beloved daughter Fofi through love, gratitude, and service.
There seems to be this unwritten rule in our society that says that the amount of suffering you go through is directly related to how much you loved someone. That is to say, those who suffer the most, loved the most.
WRONG! That belief could not be further from the truth.
And this is why so many people choose to continue to suffer and feel pain over the loss of a loved one years and decades later.
I knew I didn’t want to be one of those people.
I had no idea how I was going to get the strength and grace to honor Fofi differently, and I couldn’t imagine ever feeling joyful again, but I made the choice anyway.
I had faith the answers would be revealed to me in time.
I knew God would give me the strength.
Has helped me become the happiest woman on earth.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments. It’s been 7 years since my daughter passed and I still miss her. I’ve had plenty of pity parties (and still do once in a while). I still feel the loss.
But what I don’t feel is doomed to be stuck suffering for the rest of my life.
This journey led me to one of the biggest breakthroughs in dealing with grief that almost no one has ever heard about.
I honestly couldn’t believe I was never taught this in any of my years of schooling.
It’s still crazy to think that the real way to get over grief goes completely against, almost counterintuitive, to the way we’ve all been taught and grew up learning about.
Let me explain…
I’m guessing you’ve probably heard of the 5 stages of grief:
Here’s what absolutely blew my mind…
The 5 stages of grief were never meant to help people deal with the loss of a loved one. They were originally created to help those who were dying deal with their own fate.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross is the one who first discovered and popularized these 5 stages in her book On Death and Dying in 1969. Her work was incredibly important for making a positive change in the treatment of dying patients.
But her work was solely focused on helping those who are dying, not the ones they leave behind.
Her work was so groundbreaking and did so much to change the way we deal with the dying that it pretty much became a mandatory part of most college course work for those going into psychology or healthcare.
Over the years her focus on the dying was lost.
Originally she called her theory the 5 stages of Receiving Catastrophic News.
Somehow that eventually morphed into the 5 stages of grief.
Big difference between those two...
And even worse they were now being taught as a step by step approach…
Which meant people began to believe that Denial had to be the first stage then Anger, then Bargaining, then Depression, then Acceptance.
This isn’t true at all and I’ll get to why in just a minute...
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross even says in her book that not everyone of her dying patients experiences or goes through every stage. And when they do, the process is not linear.
But that critically important piece has also been lost in the narrative and most people are taught that you have to experience and go through each stage before getting to the next one.
In fact, in 2007 the Yale Bereavement Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (one of the premier medical journals) found that some stages didn’t exist at all and repositioned the order and value of the other stages.
Many people have said denial is the hardest stage for them to get past and takes the longest.
Maybe that’s you right now…
But what if I could help you get past that stage right this moment?
I know you might not believe that it’s possible, but if you’re willing to try, I think you’ll be surprised.
Do you believe that your loved one has died?
It’s not a trick question…
Go ahead and answer it.
(You can write it on that piece of paper you got earlier.)
I’m guessing you said yes. Pretty much everyone believes that their loved one has passed away.
In thousands of interviews conducted by the Yale Bereavement Study, not a single person still believed their loved one was alive.
If you were truly in denial you would think they were still alive.
You might be in disbelief or shock that they passed. Or maybe the situation has made you feel numb…
But none of those feelings are denial.
In fact, the Yale Bereavement Study found that denial doesn't even exist as a stage of grief.
Read that again. They found that denial does not exist as a stage of grief.
When one person in the study was asked if they believed their mother hadn’t died she said, “No, but I've heard ‘denial is the first stage of grief.”
I find it crazy that we’ve been told so many times that you have to go through denial (or any other stage) to get past your grief that people have stopped listening to their own hearts and simply repeat what they’ve been told...
The real problem is the whole idea of stages.
Calling them stages of grief implies there’s a time component, that you have to go through each stage for a certain period of time.
Think back to high school when we learned about the stages of life…
Infancy, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Young Adult, Adult, and Late Adulthood.
Each one of these defines a certain period of time in our life.
Or you could think of anything else that you’ve ever learned that happens in stages.
Like building a car or a computer.
Or the different phases (read: stages) of the moon.
Each stage takes a certain amount of time that for the most part doesn’t change.
The truth is, grief isn’t anything like that.
And because our society is great at judging us…
If we don’t follow those stages in order and for an acceptable amount of time…
That means we’re stuck in denial…
And if we disagree or try to tell people we’re feeling better they tell us we’re wrong and ever so kindly continue to point out the fact that we’re in denial and we don’t even know it.
This is a trap many therapists and support groups fall into.
They’re far too focused on a certain agenda then actually listening to the person grieving.
I see it all the time with the people I work with…
They come to me and tell me how another therapist told them what they were supposed to be feeling by this time of their grieving process...
They felt defective because they were not where they were “supposed” to be…
All because that other therapist believed that the client wasn’t following the stages properly. Or because the family members judged them too.
That pains me!
Or how they went to a support group and were judged for wanting to give the loved one’s clothes away too quickly.
Here’s a story I’ve seen often from both clients and from going to support groups myself.
A new person shows up and when it’s their turn to share, she talks about wanting to feel better.
Another member in the group (who has been going for years) is still suffering greatly and tells them that’s not possible and it’s going to take a long time…
And this new person is simply in denial if they think it can happen quicker…
Others around the room nod in agreement and the new person starts to believe the same thing and is stuck in that same cycle of suffering as everyone else in that group.
You don’t have to be caught in the Cycle of Suffering for the rest of your life. There is a better way.
Now you might be wondering, “Betsy, what is that better way?”
I’ll tell you the counter-intuitive approach that I found that flies in the face of all conventional wisdom, but first…
I have to warn you…
You probably aren’t going to like hearing this.
While this approach works incredibly well and is very simple…
It isn’t easy.
This isn’t a quick fix that’s going to change everything over night and make you feel better immediately.
Quite the opposite, actually.
The way to finally move forward with your life and your suffering is by embracing the pain you’re feeling right now…
And use it to grow and become a better person.
The beautiful (Yes, beautiful!) thing about pain is that it humbles us and gives a chance to start over and choose a new direction.
No matter where you’re at right now or what your past has been…
That’s all over.
Now you have the opportunity to use this pain to grow.
It might seem impossible right now, but I’ve been able to do it and others have been able to grow from their pain too. If you think this task sounds too big, too difficult, or too impossible to achieve right now…
Then all I ask is you have a little faith and stay with me for a little longer.
Remember what my priest said, “Those who are happy again find other ways to honor their loved ones.”
One thing that I discovered about pain was that it’s like fertilizer.
And what is fertilizer made of? Poop! But it’s poop that helps nourish plants so they can grow and flourish.
Pain stinks like poop and feels like crap, BUT it helps us grow and flourish. Pain is our fertilizer!
Watch this video to see what I mean (it’s only 3 minutes).
So you see, when we allow ourselves to feel that pain and embrace that pain…
We’re able to set the foundation for growth.
So instead of putting acceptance as the final stage of grief (I still don’t like that word).
We have to start with acceptance. Part of that is accepting and welcoming the pain we’re feeling.
Once we have done that, we can begin to grow...
And don’t you think that growing into a better person would be a great way to honor our loved one who died?
I’ve used that pain to grow over the last several years after my daughter’s death.
It’s helped me become even closer to my husband and (now 4) children.
I’ve used that pain to be more empathetic with my clients and better serve them.
It’s also led me here… to share my story and my journey with you.
After having enough people ask me how I’ve been able to find joy again…
How to be happy again…
How I stopped being the grieving mother and became the chosen mom of an angel…
I’ve made it my mission to help people, just like you, heal their pain of loss. I want to show you how to view grief as the healing journey that leads to joy, rather than a thing that we must resist and escape.
I honor my daughter by sharing HOW I overcame the excruciating pain of losing her.
I help people like you embrace the pain they’re going through, so they can find hope again...
So they can use that pain to grow into a better person.
If that sounds like you then I’d like to invite you on this journey with me...
I share all of this with you in my online program
Hurt 2 Hope
Think of it like grief counseling from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.
In this program, there are 5 easy to follow modules. Each module has several video lessons explaining that part of the journey and then giving you practical tools you can use to start moving from hurt to hope right away. I’ve also created Hopesheets (exercises) for you to do the deep therapeutic work connected to each lesson and propel you to move forward even quicker.
I’m going to show you how to use the very emotion you’ve been trying to get rid of to find the peace and joy you’ve been seeking. This will help you understand pain from a new perspective, which will end your suffering quickly and turn it into the peace and joy that you seek.
You’ll discover practical tools that will help you recognize and manage pain, and turn it from suffering into hope.
Then we’re going to change your story. This is the one thing that prevents most people from moving forward with their life and finding hope.
Most people think our reality creates our story, but the truth is that the opposite is true. The stories we tell ourselves become the realities that we live. By learning to tell a different story, we can change our reality.
Once we figure out the story we want to experience, then we have to find a community that supports us and empowers us. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people can completely prevent you from moving forward and keep you stuck in that Cycle of Suffering we talked about earlier, for the rest of your life.
I’m going to show you how to surround yourself with the right people, who are ready to empower you and help you find joy and happiness.
The other place where most people fail is in their ability to take action consistently. Yes, this process will be difficult and you’re going to want to regress, rather than throw a pity parties (which I’m okay with)...
But you have to take action to move forward. I’m going to show you exactly how to do that, even when you don’t feel like it. You’re going to see how you can find purpose in your pain to keep moving you forward.
Finally, we’re going to apply the glue that holds all of this together...
Let me be clear, faith isn’t religion. Faith doesn’t care who or what you call God (or if you choose not to believe in God). Faith is about believing in something bigger than yourself. Whether that’s a higher power, a certain energy, nature, a cause, your community, or family... it’s up to you.
I’m going to show you how to use faith to feel grateful, fearless, and forgiving, so that you may experience joy and see your life and everything that happens to you as a blessing.
Bonus 1: 6 Live Group Coaching Calls
If questions arise during this process, you will have access to me consistently in our Live Group Coaching Calls. These are powerful group sessions during which you will have the opportunity to clarify your particular concerns and connect with other people that you may relate too. You will also get their feedback and wisdom. The same is true for our private Facebook group. You will never be alone during this journey. We are here with and for you.
This is a safe and private space only for members of the Hurt 2 Hope community.
Bonus 2: Private Group
We have an exclusive Facebook group with other members who have enrolled in the Hurt2Hope program. They're going through a similar journey as you and will be there when you need support, comfort, or a push to keep going.
This will also be your first exposure to a really good community and will give you a sense for the exact type of people you want to surround yourself with as you progress from Hurt 2 Hope.
Bonus 3: Hope Sheets
I've put together a 67 page workbook that I call Hopesheets. These act as your guide during this journey and will help you work through each module and really internalize the lessons I teach throughout the program. If you spend time going through these I promise your results are going to come so much quicker.
These are the same activities and assignments I would take you through if we were working 1-on-1 together.
Hurt 2 Hope is essentially the same process I would use if we worked together on a one-on-one therapy process, but it’s delivered in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
While I wish I could see everyone face to face, that simply isn’t possible. There are only so many hours in the day and only those people who lived in South Florida would even have a chance to see me.
By offering Hurt 2 Hope in a convenient online format, I’m able to help everyone who is struggling with grief from an excruciating loss.
On top of that I’m able to offer this program for a fraction of what traditional, weekly, one-on-one therapy would cost (my hourly sessions are $395). If you were to work with me one on one through this entire program it would cost at least $4,740.
I believe offering this program in an easy to follow online format will give more people the opportunity to finally get out of the Cycle of Suffering, embrace their pain, and move from Hurt 2 Hope more quickly.
This program normally costs $997, which I believe is very fair for the effort and time I've put into creating this, plus the bonuses I will continue adding.
But right now you can get it at a special introductory price of only $347.
If you’re ready to start your journey from Hurt 2 Hope, you can enroll today for a one time payment of only $347 (or 3 payments of $147).
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
On the next page you’ll find a simple checkout form where you’ll have the option to choose between a single payment or 3 payments (paid biweekly).
Then you’ll enter your contact information and credit card information.
(Our credit card processor uses bank level security to encrypt your information so that no one can steal your information. Even we can’t see it.)
Once you’ve finished enrolling, you’ll be sent an email with your username and password and a link to login and start the course!
The email usually comes instantly but can take up to 15 minutes. We'll give you more details on the thank you page so you know exactly what to look for.
Once you're signed into the course you'll have access to all 5 modules. We'll also send you an email every Monday to submit your questions and then on Wednesdays we'll have our Live Coaching Calls at 2PM EST.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
You are fully protected by our 100% Satisfaction-Guarantee. I know this program works and if you watch every video, complete all of the Hopesheets, and attend 6 Live Group Coaching calls and don't believe this program is worth every penny you paid I'll give you an immediate refund.
I do want to say one final thing.
If you honestly don’t believe you’re ready to accept your pain and find your way to joy yet, then please don’t sign up yet.
This program won’t work for you and you’ll be left feeling even more frustrated and stuck. That’s the last thing I want.
It’s ok if you aren’t ready yet. There is no right or wrong amount of time for any of this. It’s completely up to you to decide when you’re ready. At this time I have no intentions of closing down enrollment for Hurt 2 Hope. It will still be here when you’re ready.
I have a lot of great articles you can read in the meantime until you’re ready.
But if you are ready to start this journey, click the button below and begin moving from Hurt 2 Hope.
Start Your Journey Now
Dr. Betsy Guerra
What People Are Saying About Hurt2Hope
"And life is so short that I don't want any of you to suffer. "
I'm living in the moment right now, which I wasn't before. And she was so right when she was saying that your pain is in your heart. So I'm going to pray that everyone in here really does everything that Betsy is explaining to us and follows through so that you can start, not feeling pain forever, cause it's temporary and understanding the fact that you can end the suffering, that you will experience pain.
And I know I'm going to experience pain again, but I don't want to suffer. And life is so short that I don't want any of you to suffer. I want you to enjoy. The people that are around you. I love you. And I think that, uh, to change your focus and find something to serve others, as you were saying, so that you can enjoy the moment and understand why things happen.
I'm trying to do that every single day, every single day
“She's somebody that God put into my life at the right time."
So I'm here because I love dr. Betsy Guerra. she, she taught me exactly what she said. I know now how to look at pain and be like, bring it, God, bring it. Like, I actually was saying that last week to God, like, okay, you're not done with me. I'm ready. I'm paying attention and I'm listening. She's somebody that God put into my life at the right time.
"Something that I learned, thanks to Betsy. It's like to be able to accept the past and to live in the present."
Dr. Betsy Guerra
Creator of Hurt2Hope
I chose to be a doctor in Clinical Psychology and received my PhD from the University of Puerto Rico in 2006. I chose to be a Mrs. the same year, when I married Alain, the man that would bring purpose to my life and career. He gave me the possibility of being a mother to our four precious children, whom I adore with every inch of my soul. Alain is my love and life partner. He stood by my side and held me up when I didn’t have the strength to carry on.
In 2013, we lost our almost three-year-old precious daughter in a pool accident. It was then that I really understood pain: the most excruciating kind. I didn’t think I could survive it, until I remembered what my parents had modeled for me: faith. I chose to believe… in God, in my daughter’s eternal spiritual presence, and in the possibility of being happy again.
It's these experiences that allowed me to create the Hurt2Hope program and help so many people overcome their struggles with grief and loss.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed