36: What death can teach us about living life to the fullest. Interview with Sherry Mc Conkey
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Today’s soul mamma Sherry Mc Conkey, has a incredible story of grief and loss that she turned around into positivity and inspiration to share with the world. In fact, she has TED talk honoring her late husband’s legacy and reminding others to find their zest for life in all they do. The Shane Mc Conkey Foundation, in honor of Shane who died in a tragic accident in 2009, was founded in recognition of the worldwide community of skiers, adventurers and everyday people who share a passion for life and through her efforts she hopes to inspire others to make a difference in the world at large.
After faced with one of a mother’s worst fears, losing a spouse and father of your child, Irish-born Sherry Mc Conkey, had to courageously move forward alone with her toddler Ayla after the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband nine years ago. With incredible humility and a bright personalty that can move mountains, this snowboarder, mountain biker, and yogi is going to share with us how to live our best life, even if we’ve experienced loss, trauma or grief.
Although her husband lived a life of risk taking, he was also calculated and rarely made errors in judgment. After his skis failed to release doing a maneuver he had routinely done in the past while base jumping, everything changed forever.
After his shocking death, Sherry went through the full gamut of emotions; fear, anger, sadness. Bravely she decided to move forward with a life inspired by Shane- a life lived to the fullest and in service to others. A life he would wanted for his beloved family.
Sherry says her now teenage daughter is one of the most compassionate people she knows, and certainly sees signs of her dad in her. She hopes to instill the same fervor for life that Shane exemplified in Ayla and wants her to grow up be her own unique person (whether she chooses to be an adventure seeker or not).
[04:01] Sherry talks about synchronicity and why traveling the world to find her estranged dad in her twenties led to her meeting her soulmate Shane Mc Conkey and having her daughter Ayla.
[08:43] Sherry reflects on the important message she learned from a friend about making time to have kids if you want them, even if you are seeking an adventure-filled life.
[10:58] Sherry reflects on her first encounter with Shane and how he had a sense of child like wonderment about life.
[15:14] Sherry speaks about being petrified Shane would die.
[17:43] There were definitely naysayers when it came to Shane’s “daredevil” lifestyle. She I understood how people got frustrated with base jumpers, but she just re-emphasizes that this is who he was at his core, and she didn’t want to change him.
[22:07] Reevaluating self identifications in early motherhood when she could no longer go and do everything she once could.
[25:10] The first two years post Shane’s death were the hardest of Sherry’s life. Dealing with grief as a single mother prolonged the healing process.
[29:46] Sherry turned her grief into empowerment and she believes once you climb out of the darkness you can certainly live again, in fact you can shine.
“If you go down into that dark edge (of grief), it’s really hard to come back, but if you just keep on climbing, it’s just going to get better and better.”
“That’s who Shane was, and you can’t change people who love that, and he did so much with being passionate about things. If we didn’t have these forward thinking people in life, you know, where would we be now?”
“There’s no way I would have stopped him. I loved him for who he was. That’s who I fell in love with.”
“I would like my daughter to be authentic as much as she can to work hard and pour herself into things that she loves because I think when you do that, anything is possible.”