Changing the world: Coast widow channels loss into action
A Sunshine Coast widow has been recognised for her work helping others deal with and understand grief.
As someone who has experienced compounded loss in her life, Rachel Pope's personal mission is to lift the lid on grief, one conversation at a time.
She is an author and grief coach with a niche in facilitating online "grief recovery" and "helping children with loss" workshops.
Her extraordinary story has been heard by many.
When Ms Pope was 17 her father died of cancer. In 2012, the disease robbed her of her husband of 15 years.
In between it all she lost her brother to a car accident.
Widowed at 38, with two small children, and running a Gymbaroo franchise, she looked for resources to help in her time of need.
She founded Gifts from Grief, which led her to writing a published book in 2019.
"The heartbreaking loss of my husband brought forward a lot of other grief and loss, of my dad and brother, that I have not completed or healed from," Ms Pope said.
"I realised there was a much needed market here for support and education surrounding grief."
Ms Pope has been nominated in two categories for the AusMumpreneur Business Awards: one in the Queensland Women who will change the World Award.
Ms Pope's business's dream is to roll out the Helping Children with Loss program for teachers and caregivers in southeast Queensland, in primary schools, kindergartens and day cares in 2021.
"By far my biggest gift from grief is the opportunity to use my story and lived experiences for a purpose," Ms Pope said.
"Helping others move beyond the pain of grief and loss is now my 'life's work', and I won't stop until we as a society are educated and informed on all things grief."