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Emily Williams


Heartbreak, Healing, and Life After Loss with Kelsey Chittick

Emily Williams

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Kelsey Chittick wearing a black blazer

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I’ve always believed that the greatest pain can lead to the greatest growth—if only we allow ourselves to move through the process of healing, make space for rituals that ground us, and listen to the inner voice that’s always looking out for us in times of need.

“I’m here to tell you that you’ll be okay if somebody dies. It won’t be fun, it’s not enjoyable, and it’s hell on earth—but you will be okay because death isn’t the end.” – Kelsey Chittick

There’s a commonly shared, pinned and quoted phrase that says: 99% of the things you worry about don’t happen. And yet, there are times in life when your worst worries—the ones you couldn’t even bring yourself to imagine, let alone plan for—do come true, and we’re left scrambling to pick up the pieces.

Whether it’s a devastating diagnosis or the loss of a loved one, these traumatic events uproot our foundations and irreversibly alter the course of our life. We can never change what has transpired, turn back time, or replace what’s been taken away from us. But no matter how colossal the loss may be, we can choose to let go and move forward—allowing the rest of our life to unfold.

While every grief journey is as unique as the individual walking it, there’s a certain solace and comfort to be found in knowing that we are never alone in our suffering. There is always somebody out there going through a similar experience who is willing to listen to our story, understand our pain, and share valuable lessons from their own journey. That’s why I’m so honored to share this episode with you today—and oh boy, it’s a powerful one. 

My guest Kelsey Chittick is an author, comedian and speaker. At the age of 40, she was forced to face one of life’s greatest fears when the love of her life passed away suddenly of a heart attack. Kelsey’s late husband Nate was a longtime NFL player, Super Bowl champion, father of two, and a well-loved figure in his local community. His death touched many lives, but none as much as Kelsey and her two beautiful children. Together, they embarked on an incredibly inspiring journey of hope, healing, and, as Kelsey describes it, finding magic in the missing. In her experience, learning to let go was the catalyst she needed to start living the second half of her life with greater peace, grace, and gratitude.

I was incredibly moved by Kelsey’s story, and I know that her words will resonate deeply with any of you who have experienced a similar loss. By the time you’re listening, Kelsey’s memoir, Second Half, will have hit the shelves—and I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and gather more of her insights on life, love, and loss. I, for one, cannot wait to see how the second half of her life unfolds.

In This Episode:

  • Kelsey opens up about the loss of her beloved husband Nate
  • Trusting the inner voice of your intuition
  • What it felt like to navigate both her own grief and that of her children
  • Lessons Kelsey’s kids taught her about letting go of control, and learning to listen rather than offering up solutions 
  • How meditation and plant therapy became her lifeline
  • Life-changing perspective shifts she experienced along her grief journey
  • Spotting the early signs of CTE resulting from repeated brain trauma
  • What the second half of Kelsey’s life holds


“Football players always say: ‘don’t worry about what happens at halftime. We’ve got the second half.’ And so, early on, I was like, I gotta crush the second half because if not, I’m just going to end up devastated.” – Kelsey Chittick

“I meditate probably an hour a day, which I know people are like, ‘how can you do it with kids?’ Well, it’s the same way you can do anything. It just has to be something you can’t live without.” – Kelsey Chittick

“Meditation has changed the way I walk through the world.” – Kelsey Chittick

“The more busy we are, the more we have to sit and slow down, because then we can tap into this moment and we can make decisions in the now, as opposed to something that happened in the past, or something we’re afraid of, or something we’re dreading.” – Kelsey Chittick

“I’m done being afraid. I’m done. I just don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to think about what could happen. I don’t want to be spending my days hedging my bets. People always say that 99% of the things you worry about don’t happen. All of mine did.” – Kelsey Chittick

“I’m here to tell you that you’ll be okay if somebody dies. It won’t be fun, it’s not enjoyable, and it’s hell on earth—but you will be okay because death isn’t the end.” – Kelsey Chittick

“I was so sad. He was dead. I felt bad for him. This man who loved life and loved our kids and loved everything about life—he died. And I was obsessed with the fact that he didn’t get to do what he wanted to do. Over time, through a lot of therapy, I realized: that dude’s right where he needs to be. And little by little, I realized the greatest gift I could give him if I really was trying to help him, was to let it go.” – Kelsey Chittick

“We can tell what we’re putting out into the world based on how the words make us feel.” – Kelsey Chittick

“There are ways to get through hard times. It does get better. Everything changes. And if someone dies, you don’t have to lose them. You can re-engage with them in a different way.” – Kelsey Chittick

Links & Resources:

Follow the I Heart My Life Show on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe to the I Heart My Life Show on Spotify

Connect with Kelsey: 

Kelsey on Instagram

Order Kelsey’s book, ‘Second Half’ on Amazon

Connect with Emily:

I Heart My Life Website

I Heart My Life on Instagram

I Heart My Life on Facebook

I Heart My Life on LinkedIn

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Episode Sponsor: I Heart My Life Signature Course


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