ABCs of Surviving to Thriving
“Just as the ground after a fire is the most fertile place for growth, our life after loss has the potential for a new beginning that we never thought possible.” — Laura Jack

After graduating from college, I moved to an island paradise we often called “Neverland.” I was having the time of my life, meeting people from all over the world, and I had just met the man of my dreams.  At what felt like a peak of joy, excitement, and fulfillment, I received the worst news of my life.

I found out that my mom, my best friend, died in a tragic accident. In that instant, my life changed forever, and yet it wasn’t until a few weeks later, when the shock wore off, that the reality of my heartache set in.

Mom and me in July of 2007.

I didn’t want to do anything.  Everything that felt important before felt meaningless. I didn’t know who I was or how to live without my mom.  I wondered if I could ever be happy again.  I felt so sad and so alone.  Although I was surrounded by people who love me, people for whom I am forever grateful, the only person I wanted was my mom.

I really had no idea how to proceed.  At that point it was just one breath, one moment, one day at a time — surviving.

The previous me who was vivacious, contagiously happy, and fearless had gone into hiding and had been replaced by a version of me who was unrecognizable– scared, sad, isolated, confused, and powerless.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how much additional pain came from the ripple of losses that ensued after my mom’s death.  Not only did I lose my best friend, I also lost my career, my community, my home, and my sense of self.

It wasn’t until much later that I even acknowledged these losses because I was one of those people who would always try to see the silver lining.  The problem with silver linings is that they often diminish the pain that comes with loss. By diminishing my feelings, I put off my healing and thriving for years, ultimately making matters worse.

But even in the darkest days, when I could barely recognize myself, I knew the real me was still in there somewhere.


Feeling lonely and desperate, I reached out to an old friend, Hayley, who had lost her mom a few years earlier. We started going for walks and talking about our moms and our experiences. After our talks, I began noticing a difference in myself and in her.

Once I began acknowledging my pain something changed, and I decided that merely “surviving” was no longer enough.
I made the decision that I would do whatever it took to thrive in my life. (Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t know if I’ve ever thrived.” It’s okay; now can be your chance!).

Looking back, I realize that making those decisions – to say yes, to try anything, to want to thrive — was the first step. The journey wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was scary, hard, and confusing. Sometimes it just hurt.

As I stumbled along, trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t, I began talking to many people who had also experienced loss and life transitions. What I noticed was that they were trying to answer the same question I was, “Who am I now?” With all of these interactions, one thing seemed consistent: some people were still suffering years later and some seemed to have grown from their experience.

I was determined to be in the second group – the ones who grew from their experience. And thus my journey began.

The three most important discoveries I made were:

  1. The only way out of the darkness is through it. I had to acknowledge what I had been through and the pain I felt.
  2. Take baby steps, simple actions each day. I had to take care of my physical body and environment in order to have the energy to grow.
  3. Post-traumatic growth is real. I grew through my suffering and this growth has allowed me to be the best version of me, all while honoring my experience (in my case, my mom’s death).

Breakthrough #1 – Go Through The Darkness
When I reflect back to the days, weeks, months, and even years after my mom died, I recall feeling lost, lonely, scared, and numb. Losing my mom’s physical presence shook me to my core, but one of the first lessons I learned was that
the only way out of the darkness was through it. It was only when I began to acknowledge my suffering instead of ignore it that thriving became a possibility.

Breakthrough #2 – Take Baby Steps
I wanted to feel better, but the idea was both overwhelming and seemingly impossible. Since my mom died, I often ask myself the question “What would Mom do?” As I thought back to times that my mom helped me in challenging or overwhelming situations, a couple thoughts came to mind. First, talk it out or write it down. Second, break it into pieces and tackle one piece at a time. When I started to look at thriving as a series of small steps rather than a vague concept, it began to feel do-able.

Breakthrough #3 – Embrace Post-Traumatic Growth
As my journey continued, I realized that when we experience loss or a painful transition there is a natural stripping away or dismantling that happens to the soul.
Just as the ground after a fire is the most fertile place for growth, we have the potential to foster new beginnings in our lives after loss. This is a window of time for deep reflection, re-discovery, and re-prioritization, and we have the chance to become our most authentic, best self. We are suddenly
awakened to our lives, and what really matters has a chance to reveal itself.

We get the chance to choose.

This age old phenomenon is called
post-traumatic growth, and it means growth and transformation through suffering.

The ability to acknowledge our loss and experience our feelings becomes a catalyst to our growth. We benefit by having a supportive community and the space to share our story so we can process our emotions instead of storing them.

While I didn’t get to choose what happened to me, I did get to say,
“I want more out of my life than to simply shrink into darkness and despair.”

How do you want to spend this one precious life of yours?

While survival is imperative, at some point you may decide you want more.


Once I discovered these three elements, it didn’t take long before the people in my life started to notice the light in my eyes shining again.

While thriving is still a choice I make each day, the person I am today is actually more alive, more purposeful, and more compassionate than ever before. My mom’s death broke my heart, but it also allowed me to look within and decide what kind of person I wanted to be moving forward. I tell you this because I want you to know that
no matter what you have been through, no matter how much pain you feel right now, there is hope to thrive in your life after loss.

When I say you can thrive, I am NOT saying that you will never feel sad or down again. Rather, thriving means living fully and experiencing the full range of human emotion, including joy, sorrow, and everything in between. Thriving also means taking empowered action in your life rather than standing by waiting for positive changes to happen to you.

Even though loss is a universal experiences, we often feel scared and utterly alone. No one seems to know what to do or say, often reciting age-old platitudes that don’t usually help us feel better.

It may be helpful to know that
you are not alone on this journey, and while your hope to thrive may start small, little by little you will re-discover who you are at your core.

Now, that I am again thriving in life, it seems obvious that I would find this part of myself once more. However, when my journey began, I was full of doubt.

The only person who can decide whether it is your time to embark on this journey is you. And whatever you choose, it is truly your choice. But if you want to find renewed hope and move from surviving to thriving, I’ll share with you exactly how I got here. Remember, it isn’t about suddenly being healed; it’s about baby steps, simple actions, simple choices… each day.

My friend Hayley, with whom I reconnected after my mom died, was inspired by my renewed hope and ability to grow from my experience. She told me that my ability to thrive after my mom’s death gave her the confidence and permission to do the same. Once I realized that my experience could help others, I knew I’d found my calling.

As I began supporting more people to move from surviving to thriving no matter what they had been through, I realized that it was time to share my discoveries. I refined what I learned through supporting others and myself and that became what we call “The ABCs of Surviving to Thriving: a simple, practical, holistic approach to thriving after loss and life transitions.”

If you are Honest, Open, and Willing then this program can guide you on your healing journey.

I’ve created this program for someone who wants to stop:

  • Just getting by day-to-day, going through the motions.
  • Abusing their bodies to numb their pain.
  • Sweeping their feelings under the rug because they know their pain will get their attention one day (and likely in a way they don’t like).
  • Beating themselves up over what they did or didn’t do.
  • Feeling like they are the only one in the world who feels this way.

I’ve created this program for someone who wants to start:

  • Doing things differently because what they have been doing isn’t working for them.
  • Acknowledging that what they went through or what they are going through is hard and that they’re hurting.
  • Appreciating that they have survived… and want to take steps toward a new life.
  • Understanding what they’ve experienced and that they’re not alone.
  • Taking baby steps each day to get their body healthy so they can take steps to heal their heart.
  • Rediscovering who they are after their loss.

The Course:

Module A

“Acknowledge” where you are is key to getting where you want to be

You’ll discover…

  • The key to stop beating yourself up for not being “over it” by now.
  • Exercises that will begin the shift from surviving to thriving.
  • What is keeping you stuck where you are and how to move forward.
  • The obstacles and myths that may be preventing you from having healthy emotional hygiene.
Module B

“Baby Steps” are about perseverance and patience with yourself

I’ll reveal…

  • How to take empowered steps toward healthy habits that heal.
  • The science behind thriving that will help you step into the driver’s seat of your life.
  • A list of the daily “do-ables” that will leave you feeling like you can do this.
  • The missing piece in that will help you gain the energy to heal your heart.
Module C

“Create From The Core” and rediscover who you were always meant to be

You’ll learn…

  • About the two parts of yourself and how to get them to work together.
  • What it feels like when your intuition is saying ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
  • Several exercises to help you rediscover who you are now.
  • How loss can be the doorway to transformation.
Module D

“Discover Your Thrive” to create the life of your choice

You’ll identify…

  • How to choose thriving even when it feels hard.
  • What thriving means to you and why that matters.
  • An exercise that will help you access a more empowered state of being at any time.
  • 5 ways to thrive more easily on a daily basis.

How To Know If This Program Is Right For You…

This program is right for you if:

  • You are ready to take action to move from just getting by to truly thriving each day.
  • You are committed to healing, growing, and thriving, no matter what it takes.
  • You are tired of the pain and discomfort of your life, and you want to feel confident that you can actually enjoy the life you have.

This program is not right for you if:

  • You would rather just stay busy in hopes that it will get better on its own.
  • You have decided that this is your new normal and you don’t really want to do anything about it.
  • You prefer to stay in the pain because feeling better is scary.

ABCs of Surviving to Thriving Course Overview

So what’s included when you join?


Lifetime Access to the ABCs of Surviving to Thriving Course

4 modules released in 4 weeks – complete with videos, handouts, and extra resources to help you take your learning to the next level.

Actionable Steps to Thrive a Little More Each Day

My simplest yet most effective tools and practical tools to help you start thriving.

The ABCs of Surviving to Thriving Workbook

The handouts for each module have a dedicated “heart work” space to help you take ACTION on what you’ve learned. At the end of the course, you will receive a workbook with everything you received over the four weeks in one easy to access location.

Full Access to the ABCs Bonus Library

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, a good book, helpful TED talks, encouraging movies, or other resources, I’ve got you covered in my hand-selected bonus library.

Email Support through your Program 

These emails are a chance to integrate what you are learning, as well as an opportunity to provide feedback for anything that is or isn’t working for you.

4 Private Coaching Sessions with Laura

To personally walk you through the content, dive deep into your specific experience and fully support you through the process.

Voxer Support and Accountability

“Coach in your pocket”… to vent, to share, to receive guidance throughout your program.

Using the link above, find a time that works for you, and schedule a free call to see if The ABCs of Surviving to Thriving is the right fit for you. Or contact me to inquire.

If you are hoping that, voila, you will be healed after four weeks, then I must let you down gently. There is no quick fix; rather, mine is a method that will help you begin your healing process and show you the path to thriving. My mom died in 2008, and there are still times in which I I feel sad, emotional, or just plain down.

This is normal. We are all human.

However, I am confident in your ability to begin healing and this program’s ability to help you. I understand it can be hard to take that first step, but I have a tremendous amount of faith in you, and am invested in supporting you in your journey to living a fulfilling life.

When you are wanting to move from surviving to thriving, join me. If you participate fully in the program (watch all of the videos, do all of the “heart work,” show up on each coaching call and take advantage of voxer) you will receive the transformation you are looking for. I developed this program because I wish something like this existed when I lost my mom (and through all the hard transitions of my life), and I am committed to making a difference. It’s that simple.

Always by your side,

P.S. I know it may feel scary to confront these feelings, admit that you aren’t “fine,” or uncover what you have been ignoring for all these years, but I know that this program will put you at ease. The moment you say yes to yourself is the moment you start on your path to thriving. Now is your chance to give yourself this gift.

ABCs of Surviving to Thriving isn’t the key to instant recovery; it is a course in choosing a life that will benefit you for years to come.

Laura Jack

For the past 4 1/2 years I have been trying to process the tragic death of my sister. During all those years I thought that this is how my life would be from now on, full of sadness, anger, confusion, being scared of anything new, living with constant anxiety and feeling like I was about to explode at any minute. I just happened to stumble across Laura's Yelp page when I was searching for grief therapy for my family and I. Laura responded to my email right away asking if we could talk on the phone. The moment we started talking I felt an immediate connection to her. After I realized that my family wasn't ready to talk to someone, I decided to take this journey on my own and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Laura is incredibly trustworthy and nonjudgmental. There was never a moment of uneasiness because she welcomed me with open arms and listened to everything I had to say. The program was really beneficial to me because it helped me map out parts of my grief that I wasn't ready to deal with but once I did, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me. I'm in a completely different mindset then where I started 8 weeks ago. And I feel like I am finally in a position to start being the person I have wanted to be for so long. It was one of the scariest decisions that I have made for myself in quite a long time, but it was worth every moment. Thank you for your beautiful soul and the work that you do to heal others.

- Chandler Raymond, Austin, TX

Frequently Asked Questions

-How many hours per week will I have to commit?

It depends on which program you choose. If you are all in, watching the videos and doing the “heart work”, you will be spending 1-2 hours per week. If you do the private coaching journey, it may be 1-2 hours more per week. What you put in is what you get out.

-I recently lost someone important. Is it too soon?

Everyone is different, and it is completely up to you. I would wait a couple weeks until the fog lifts. However, just like a physical wound, the sooner you treat it, the better. If you were to break your arm or experience a deep cut, would you wait to get it set or cleaned up?

-No one died in my life, but I feel like I need help to thrive, can this program help me?

Absolutely. One of the most important things to know about this community is that your loss is important and unique. We do not compare, and everyone’s losses deserve to be honored with grief. If you are at a cross roads or are experiencing an intangible loss, this can be the first step on your journey.

-Can I participate in this program with a friend or family member?

Yes, you can. However, it is important to know that even if you have the same loss, your grief is different. Comparing losses or judging another person’s experience can diminish what you or they are going through, creating more isolation. That being said, it can certainly be helpful to have an accountability buddy.

-What if it takes me more than 4 weeks to complete the program?

Not to worry. While there is suggested time for completion, once you enroll, you have indefinite access to the program.

-Once I do this program will I feel back to normal?

No. You will never be that version of you again, but that isn’t a bad thing. You will be a new version of you. Just as you are always evolving, so you will continue to evolve.

-Does this replace therapy?

While this program is therapeutic, it does not replace therapy. This program can be used in addition to therapy, but should not replace anything you are currently doing with your health care professional.

Copyright ©Laura Jack Coaching 2019

Legal Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to accurately represent our program and its potential. Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, motivation and desire. Facts on this website are believed to be accurate, but are not intended to guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.