Kate Rawls: How the loss of my son gave me the strength to start my own business
Kate’s life changed completely when she lost her son, Liam. “I felt lost and out of the body,” she says, describing the pain she felt as a mother. But it was this painful moment in her life that also gave her the strength to start her own business. It seems a heartfelt confession when she says, “It was Liam who inspired me to invest my heart into my business‘ Opulent Nutrition’. Today, as a Coach, but also as a mother who has lost a lot in her life, Kate is stronger than ever and wanting to share her story with others.
You decided to create your own business, “Opulent Nutrition” after the loss of your son. How do you remember that period?
Out of body. There are many moments I recall in extreme detail and other moments that I have no recollection of at all. All of which have a surreal feeling to them. At the time, I was in immense pain in every sense. I was broken, scared, confused, breathless, colourless, etc. In fact, very much just a ‘shell of flesh’. On the inside I felt that I had died. There are times I still struggle to grasp the concept of the time/reality warp and I have to look to my friends,family and the collection of photos I took during the initial stages (years) of grief to ground myself in understanding that aspect of my life that I lived through.
Where did you find the strength to rebuild yourself and start a new business after such a huge loss?
My strength is in being Liam’ s Mommy. From the day he was born we faced odds that were not in our favour but we had a knowing, a divine bond, a mission that no matter what, we would overcome, together.
As the days in the hospital continued on and grew heavier with his prognosis for recovery lessening, I came to realise he was waiting to hear what his Mommy would do. When I came to this realization truly had no understanding of the words I spoke but they flew out of my mouth the moment it hit that he was waiting for me to tell him my plan.So I said, “I will be Ok, I will figure out how to be okay”. With that statement came a promise to him that I would work diligently to keep daily. Both Liam and I functioned from a place of ‘if we said it, we mean it’ and‘if we feel it, we will do it’.So, from that promise, “Liam’ s Abilities Foundation” aka “LAF” and “Opulent Nutrition & Wellness” were born. He is my ‘Why’ and the businesses are now the physical form of that ‘Why’.These two organisations are the source my being ‘okay’ for they give me a feeling and a place within that allows me to be close to him. I told him I would be ‘ok’ and so I must be. As his Mommy, I always have and I always will, keep my promises.
Do you have a message for other mothers who are facing the same situation as you had to face?
Yes. “Dearest Superhero Mommy, you are doing beautifully. In any/every stage, emotion, moment you are in. You have been blessed to be the mother of an incredible soul who’s life here was not as you imagined it would be.However,that does not lessen you nor them. You are still and always will be their Mom. You have been called to ‘mother’ differently now. You are here to be their vessel of life once again. You may not feel it – or maybe you do (my hope is the latter) but wherever you are in the process you can choose to be as gentle with yourself as you did when you carried your child physically within you. Because in a different sense they are still there, for they reside inside of your heart. Please choose to be gentle and connect to it. You are loved and protected by your sweet hero and that is why you are still here on this earth”.
How important is it to create ‘wellness’ and how do we get there?
Wellness is definitely number one on my list. It means the mind,body, and spirit are connected, aligned, healing and processing life in the present sense. I believe the journey to wellness is a lifelong practice of many sorts.From mindful eating habits, participating in physical fitness activities and proper skin care, to meditation, journaling, yoga and other mindfulness practices. It takes consistency and dedication along with the willingness to learn and ask questions, seek support and guidance from others and the ability to step out of comfort and into the unknown. When we embark on our wellness journey, we are trusting that we will be supported in achieving our goal.This venture is unique to everyone as are their reasons for beginning.Some strive to reach a certain number on a scale, while others want to change their physical body shape. Others are looking to heal an illness or injury and now more than ever, many are looking to achieve a state of optimal health physically, mentally, and spiritually. Collectively the theme is to be better than we were yesterday.
As a Coach, how is this role for you? Can you tell us more?
I am extremely grateful to have found my passion and purpose in coaching. I feel myself in a state of bliss when I discuss with clients their goals and progress, as it is truly an honour to be entrusted to guide them in finding their essence through wellness. Coaching has proved the way to constantly stimulate and challenge my mind and is incredibly rewarding. In many ways it has also been a way of healing myself by being in service and giving to others.
In all of your years in a career, but also as a woman, what is your greatest pride?
Without question my greatest pride and accomplishment is my sweet Liam. He is the most incredible human I ever met.I would not be the woman I am today if it wasn’t for him. I was blessed when he chose me to be his Mommy.
My life was completely different then than it is now, and often it feels like I have lived many lives already in my time here. Speaking as the 29 year old bereaved mother I was when he passed, I couldn’t imagine I would be where I am today nor that I would find comfort in helping others through their darkness. At the time I could barely get myself into a shower and eating wasn’t on my radar, sleep was impossible and thinking about making a living or a career was simply unfathomable. Although I never wavered in my identity as Liam’ s Mommy I still needed guidance and support from friends, family, and mentors to lead me through the darkness and on this path as a mother,female business owner and wellness/grief Coach. As a woman, it gives me great pride to wield the strength to be a source of support and hope for others to find their life-essence after losing and rebuilding my own.
A beautiful article and deeply inspiring story filled with wisdom.