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A FORRES BUSINESSWOMAN who was inspired to help people plan for a ‘good death’ will be training others to run end of life planning in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Jane Duncan Rogers started ‘Before I Go Solutions®’ following the death of her husband Philip seven years ago.
He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2010, and sadly passed away following several treatments including chemotherapy a year later. Jane was already running a life coaching business at the time, sharing their journey through an online blog and in private journals.
These provided an illuminating insight into her grief – but also gave advice on practical way to deal with death.
“I learned a lot about myself and my marriage with Philip in those last few months and during the time after his death,” Jane explained, adding: “I have always written, so it was natural for me to write about the process from Philip’s diagnosis, throughout his treatment and ultimately his death and my own grieving process.
“I was writing about what we were going through and I always knew that at some point I would come back to the blogs and journals. When I did, there it all was, the real raw emotion of it all.
“It was an amazing experience as although I didn’t necessarily feel I was doing terribly well, because I had a diary, I could see how far I had come. It was at this point that I realised I wanted to turn my journal into book, and so Gifted By Grief was created.”
Following the launch of the book, Jane began to receive feedback from people sharing their own stories with her and explaining how the book had helped. It was then she realised she could help others and took the plunge to run a workshop for her local community.
She said: “The workshop featuring the theme of ‘27 questions to ask and answer before you die’ was fully booked, I couldn’t believe it. I then ran another one and that was a sell-out too. I started offering online courses to help people deal with death, dying and grief and they are very popular.
“The course focuses on practical advice from the complex issues of advance directives or guardianships, to basic stuff like making sure your partner knows where the stopcock is!
“I knew from the demand and reactions I was getting from people that I wanted to use my experience and create something more formal, so I started the business. Recently, through help from the Bank of Scotland/School of Social Entrepreneurs Programme, which equips participants with the skills to take social businesses to the next level, Before I Go Solutions became a community interest company and I am now at a point where I can branch out.”
Jane is now training others to deliver the courses, with the course particularly useful for people who are already working in this area – in particular celebrants, life coaches, counsellors or health professionals.
She said: “I have people from Canada, America and Australia ready to do the training and there are a few people from the UK too. Unfortunately, there is nobody yet from Scotland, but I am hoping that before the online training programme starts next month, we will get someone.
“I am delighted that my and Philip’s story has taken me on this journey and that through our very difficult time and my own grief, I am now able to help and support others, and hopefully on a worldwide scale.”