Editor’s Note: We spoke with Elizabeth Massey, the CEO and Founder of HealWell & Thrive. She’s also a regular vendor at the Englewood and Venice Farmers Markets with her partner Chef Craig Chasky. Visit HealWellThrive.com.
Elizabeth, what’s your mission how do
you help your clients?
To reinforce one’s resilience to successfully adapt and navigate losses and difficult life transitions. Grief manifests in 9 areas and we offer support including Coaching, Education and Infused Cuisine.
How did you get involved with grief management?
Over 20 years ago while working as a nurse, I was asked to help a young couple whose baby was diagnosed with an irreparable heart defect. My job was to prepare them for his inevitable passing. I had no idea how best to help them given that I wasn’t trained. I did the best I could, but I was upset because I felt they deserved more. As I was processing my feelings, a wise nurse asked me a question that changed my life. “Elizabeth, what are you going to do about it?” I’m so grateful for her question because it set me on my current path. I began doing research, went back to school, and earned certifications in grief management. I then created a hospital-wide program to train other professionals.
What have been some of your own losses?
I grew up with a brother born with the most severe form of Spina Bifida. His life was always in the balance and he eventually died in 2000. I’ve also lost two wanted pregnancies, which opened my heart to the profound feelings associated with losing a baby. I experienced a divorce to my first husband in 2006 and buried my second husband in 2012. Each loss has deepened my compassion for others.
What are some of the things you’ve learned?
I’ve learned that wisdom lives inside our struggles, and that we are all stronger and more vulnerable than we realize. I’ve learned that forgiveness takes time and can heal your heart to love again. This includes forgiving our self, which for me was more difficult than forgiving others. I’ve learned I couldn’t heal alone; I needed help from others. I’ve also learned about the power of trusting God.
What are some of your other interests and what do you love about your work?
I’ve studied the martial arts for many years, and I hold a black belt in Taekwondo. I love working with Craig. He’s very loving and talented with a knack of making other people laugh. Comforting the brokenhearted and witnessing them regaining the power of hope is a source of great inspiration.