Dana Heidrich, a former catering chef, has discovered a seemingly unconventional strategy for bringing other women who have experienced loss back to life: humor and wanderlust.
Dana Heidrich started a new life as a digital nomad after the unexpected death of her beloved husband, Steffen, in February 2019 at the age of just 40, following a severe but reportedly cured cancer diagnosis. It was hard to start a new life when your friends were worried about keeping their new red kitchens free of grease stains. As a result, Dana set out on a long journey to get back to herself and replaced her cooking clothes with a suitcase.
On her journey, she found that humor helped her cope with her grief.
Dana and Steffen had been together for 16 years, brought together by their unique sense of humor and love of food. After Steffen’s death, Dana felt alone and lost without his laughter and clever comments. However, she was able to fill the void with humor through posts on social media in English. She was able to laugh again for the first time when she read the quote, “I put the fun in the funeral.”
Is it acceptable to laugh loudly while grieving?
Dana was curious as to why this approach was so uncommon in German-speaking nations. In times of grief, we need more humor! She explained that at the point when you can laugh at something, it loses its control over you.
Inspired by this experience, she founded her own grief blog at danaheidrich.com, where she writes about her experiences and thoughts for other grieving women. Dana discusses the difficulties women face when a partner dies during their prime: the craziness of having to reorient oneself, visits to rehab, the need to earn a living (the widow’s pension is a joke), returning to the dating scene, and finally menopause, just when everything seemed to be going well.
Dana has developed a devoted following of readers who eagerly await her individual “Champagner-Newsletter” each Monday morning due to her unusual approach to coping with grief through humor, passion, and wanderlust. In the event that everything going forwards is horrible, why not start Monday morning with a virtual glass of champagne?
Because it was the widows from the Champagne region who pioneered the success of this renowned sparkling wine, the connection to champagne holds a special place in Dana’s story. Among these powerful ladies, Veuve Clicquot deserves special mention for her part in acquainting champagne with the Russian court. Dana’s own journey in assisting grieving women was inspired by this historical connection to perseverance and success.
Dana demonstrates to her subscribers in her newsletter how to embark on new paths and that it is possible to find joy in life despite the grief.
Dana has learned to incorporate Steffen’s legacy into her life and take it with her on her journey, despite the fact that her grief over his passing does not go away.
Her travels have taken her to India, Sardinia, Malaga, Cyprus, and Mexico. She writes about local funeral traditions in each country. In Dana’s blog, she has written about a death cult in Mexico, farewell ceremonies in India, and the reason why corpses were buried upright on Malaga’s beach. She shares these topics with others because they are the key to her newfound zest for life.
Dana can be met in person on May 4 and 5 at the “Leben und Tod”-Fair in Bremen, Germany, or online by those who wish to do so. She is available for digital broadcasts, meetings, and visitor commitments. Dana enjoys talking about her adventurous life as a digital nomad and her unconventional ways of dealing with grief.
Smile because the picture might one day be next to your coffin 🙂