The life coach who “lost everyone she loved” now wants to help others succeed

In her 30s, Niamh Ennis became “the woman who lost everyone she ever loved.” It’s not “melodramatic,” she explains, it’s just a fact. Her fiancé, her mother and then her father all died suddenly within a short period of time.

In conversation, she’s bubbly yet stoic about the experience. “What happened to me happens to everyone. The only difference is that it all happened to me in a very short time,” she says.

In November 2005, weeks before their wedding, her fiancé Tony had gone on a golf vacation with his friends before the big day. Two days later he was writhing in pain. The couple were called to a counseling office to learn he had pancreatic cancer. He died in her arms nine days later.

Niamh’s beloved father David, who had “put himself in hero mode” for his daughter in the months after Tony’s death, was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with a hole in his lung. He died six weeks later in April 2006.

Tragedy struck again in 2012 when Niamh’s mother, Marie, suffered two heart attacks on Niamh’s birthday.

The day before her mother died, she looked up from her hospital bed and said, “I’m not getting ready to pop my clogs, am I?”

She can laugh about it now: “Oh, for heaven’s sake, what a drama!” But not long after realizing what had happened, she secretly sobbed, “I’ve never been alone more intensely before or since.”

Now working as a transformational coach, she has a mission to help other people who are feeling “stuck” and ready for change. your new book, Break Free: Leave your drama behind and move from pain to power, is written without sentimentality, I say. “It’s interesting that you picked that up,” she replies, “because I had previously written another book just for me – it was the book I had to write to get everything out of my system. “

There’s a time after life-changing events, she says, when you have to be “unbridled” and eliminate emotions before moving on. But after doing that for years, she found herself stuck and said, “I became addicted to sympathy.” She began to enjoy how people treated her. Her turning point came when she was being comforted by a close friend one night and suddenly asked herself aloud, “Am I milking that?”

“That moment was the starting point of this book. When you reach this stage, you know you’re stuck and that you’re addicted to the drama or the sympathy. I often refer to that “head tilt” when you meet people and ask them how you’re doing and you’re almost like, “Great, we’re back on familiar ground now.” Again, I’m not talking six months or a year. I’m talking about two or three years after that, when I knew I was totally lost in the grief.”

She believes that a sense of “victimhood” can be used by people to avoid the reality of a difficult situation and thus avoid taking “full responsibility” for what happens next. She points to a trend she describes as “the commercialization of grief.”

“Whether it’s after a breakup or the loss of money, a job or a loved one, it’s all relative — whatever your experience. As a culture, it’s brilliant that we’re all talking a lot more about what’s happening to us, but we need to be careful that we’re also talking about it from a ‘solution’ perspective. Here the strategy – the practical part – is important.”

Her book covers a wide variety of real-life cases, from miscarriages to breakups. And it offers handy tools to move forward. “When I meet a client for the first time, I ask them to ask themselves: Am I really stuck here? And am I ready to change something?

“If the answer is no, you have to wait until it feels right. If the answer is yes, then you are ready to move on. The first question I usually ask people is, “If you didn’t have challenges and you weren’t afraid and you didn’t care what other people thought, what would you do? Not what others want or expect from you.”

Niamh has since fallen in love and remarried. “My life is so boring now, and isn’t that wonderful? That’s what I’ve dreamed of all these years,” she smiles.

“See, the reality is that loving someone is always a risk and a gamble. But the alternative should be enough to move you forward. And I know that each and every one of us has the strength to get through terrible times.”

Get Unstuck: Ditch your drama and move from pain to power is available for pre-order starting November 11 at and in bookstores The life coach who “lost everyone she loved” now wants to help others succeed

Fry Electronics Team

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