Last year, when the world was locked down, Amanda Kloots gave us a window into the toll that COVID-19 has taken on individual families. The former Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette lost her husband, Nick Cordero, last summer due to complications from COVID. She put her journey up on social media - and the world supported her and grieved with her. This week, Amanda sat down with us to talk about navigating grief and the impact it has on work and career.
Amanda: When Nick passed, I think the first thing I did was Google 'grief' and those five stages of grief came up. And I printed it out and I was like, "Okay. Week one, I'm angry. Week two, I'm sad." I was focused on what Google was telling me grief was. And then I didn't follow any of it. I didn't take anybody's advice. I got sent every grief book. I couldn't read them.
I decided to do the exact opposite, which is keep working out and posting workout videos, which people didn't understand. "I can't believe she's smiling two weeks after her husband passed." Yeah. Well, don't worry. I'm also crying a lot, but also trying to keep myself healthy and mentally safe. So I didn't follow anyone's advice. And I think that's the number one rule. If you're grieving, don't follow advice. It's your own path. This roller coaster, you get on and you sit in your own seat and nobody can tell you how you're going to ride that ride. Some people sit on a roller coaster with their arms up and smile the whole way. Some people hold and grip that chair and shake the whole time and when they get off, say, "I'm never doing that again." You know what I mean? We all ride that roller coaster differently. And how dare we judge anybody's ride.
Danielle: Do you look back now and regret putting so much on social media or do you feel like it was helpful to your grieving process?
Amanda: It was so helpful. I mean, to be honest, throughout the process, so many of my friends were like, "Amanda, you don't have to keep everybody informed all the time." But I kept telling them, and I'll say it again now, I could not have gotten through that time without my army, my virtual army, the prayers, the support, the love, the 3PM singing everyday with me, the medical advice…. So I don't regret it for an instant. It was my therapy. It was my support.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr and Andrew Callaway.
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