A woman who was inspired to start a business which helps people to plan for a good death after her husband tragically died will be taking her business to an international market.
Jane Duncan Rogers of Before I Go Solutions® will be training others to run her end-of-life planning courses in Canada, America and Australia and at other locations throughout the UK.
And Jane who lives in Forres in Moray is also hoping to attract more people closer to home too.
Before I Go Solutions was set up by Jane after her husband Philip died in 2011.
Philip had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2010, but after various treatments including undergoing an operation and chemotherapy, lost his battle just over a year later.
Jane, who was running her own life coaching business at the time, shared their journey through her blog and in her own private journals and following Philip’s death published Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth, which provides an illuminating insight into her grief, but also gives advice on practical ways to deal with death.
It was following the publishing of the book that Jane (60) set up Before I Go Solutions. As she explained: “I learned a lot about myself and my marriage with Philip in those last few months and during the time after his death. 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.
“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.
“I am now training others to deliver the courses I am already giving. I truly believe there is a demand and a need for it. The course is ideal for people who are already working in this type of sector such as celebrants, life coaches, counsellors or other health professionals. 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.”