My name is Laura, and I started “The Journey Before Us” because, our journey matters. We matter, how we live matters and how we die matters. I stand here with an open heart, full of grace and compassion waiting to kindly work with you or someone you know. I know that my journey thus far has prepared me for this, and it is an honor to be here. 

“Hospitality” is a key part of my work. It is a pillar of utmost importance in coaching work, as well as in planning, educating and caring for people and animals during end-of-life transitions.

My personal journey and experiences in life allow me to meet people where they are and do it with intention, mindfulness and curiosity.   My goal for each of you, is for you to wish to include me on your journey. That is all. We are partners on a trip and you get to decide where we go!

I chose the University of Vermont’s Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching and End-of-Life Doula Programs after doing a lot of research to find just what I was looking for in a program. I knew that I wanted to help people make healthy lifestyle changes and have the opportunity to become a Nationally Board Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Coach (expected Fall 2024). 

In addition, I wanted to share with people as much as I can about death, dying and grief and the processes. I knew that I needed support and knowledgeable resources in order to to do that because I know that it is a sensitive subject and a lot of people don’t want to talk about it.  I want to help people feel that it is safe, and okay to consider their options, to talk about what they would like now and in the future with regards to planning ahead and planning for end of life.

The UVM Programs are part of the Professional and Continuing Education Program, and also part of the Osher Center for Integrative Health.

The whole experience was so wonderful, I feel like I want to just keep learning and growing.  I wonder what is in store next?  

The Journey Before Us, LLC is the dream and the reality of joining multiple paths (modalities) together in one business. From helping people reach their optimal vision of health and wellness to planning for all that life brings into our path, Laura will meet you where you are. These paths are sacred, personal, challenging, exciting, happy, sad, and at times, overwhelming. Laura’s personal experience and professional development, along with her caring hospitality and passion for helping others, is the driving force behind her “own journey” to be here today, ready and able to assist you. Please, reach out, let’s grab a map and compass and go on this journey together!

My journey began so long ago.  This “family vacation” in July 1985 was and has always been so very precious to me. Including this note that my Dad wrote to me way back here on my website is so powerful.  I was Daddy’s little girl right up until we lost him when I was 31 and he just 68 years young. 

As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans!” Laura says, “In my experiences I have learned that no matter how well or how much you live, we never know for sure how long we have here, so we should enjoy it, and live it to the fullest! I have included some of my personal experiences; they may be crazy or scary, but they are my memories to remind myself to live, not to fear. “

These images are among many that have been part of my journey thus far.

Coaching is a gift!

Playing field hockey and cheerleading, we had coaches. Looking back- they didn’t do the work- we did. We ran the laps, conditioned, hydrated and learned about teamwork and strategy. The coaches were there to support us and guide us, and be curious about how to put together the players and the strategies that would be the most successful.

I am here today to support and guide you on your life’s journey. I feel well equipped to stand beside you and travel down your path with you-exploring your challenges and opportunities and bringing focus to your goals and encouraging you along the way.

The Wheel of Health is where we begin. This is where you will assess yourself in all areas of life about how you are feeling in that moment. We will then explore this together and determine what are the most important things that you would like to work on and achieve and we will set out on that journey together. I am honored to be here and grateful that you have put your trust in me to start a conversation about the journey before you.

I’m honest, reliable, dependable, confidential and I speak from the heart. I care deeply about kindness and my client’s health and well-being.

I’d be honored to work with you. As an Integrative Health & Wellness Coach, I will listen and get curious with you. I want to hear what part(s) of your life you would like support or what you would like to change or see differently. We’ll work together to make it happen. I love to help others reach the best version of themselves.

Interested? Reach out – I’d love to have a conversation.

Death and Dying- a couple of my closest personal experiences

I was 30 years young, it was a December eve when I got the phone call, my Dad had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. The news was shocking to the core. The next 10 months were spent in appointments, surgeries, treatments and a very long peaceful day of being together as a family as he passed away. That day, a beautiful sunny day in October 2001 has shaped my life in so many ways. Experiencing the process and his death was in my experience one of the greatest gifts I could have unknowingly been given. I was honored and privileged to be by his side, and be able to tell him that we knew it was his time to go, and we all would be okay, and we would take care of Mom, and most of all, we love you very much! He was able to pass peacefully knowing all of those things were true.

Fast forward several relationships, careers, moves and lifetimes; just six months after marrying my husband, we got the phone call, my mother died tragically in a car accident on Palm Sunday morning 2016. The moment is one I will never forget. The shock and grief, the devastation, the anger were real and raw and so painful. I have processed a lot about both of these two very close experiences. Although I was not able to be with her when she passed or say a proper goodbye and I love you- I did get to see her body before cremation, something I will always be grateful for, I needed that at the time to believe it was real, because in the moment, “it couldn’t be.” The sudden passing of my Mom, my best friend, my confidante, my traveling buddy, my shopping partner was unexplainable. It changed so many things including my marriage, my career, my lifestyle, my health and helped me to realize I needed and wanted more meaningful work, more meaningful relationships, more self-care and so much more.

Years and years of visiting wakes, funerals and celebrations of life growing up and throughout my adult life have brought me peace and comfort along with sadness, and the knowledge that we all grieve differently, we all die differently, and we all live differently.

Life and Death are very personal. Living a good life is one thing, but experiencing a good death is just as important. A good death comes from living that good life, taking care of loose ends, forgiving, loving, sharing, remembering and more.