When Fouz Fatima lost her mother, it prompted her to think deeply about her life, which made her realise she was on the wrong path and needed to make some big changes.

Fouz, the 227th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, had a corporate job that gave her a good salary and a lot of structure – but at the cost of unfulfilling work.

So Fouz sought out different experiences. She trained as a yoga teacher. She found roles in customer service so she could talk to people (instead of being stuck behind a desk). More importantly, as Fouz continued processing her mother’s death, she spent a lot of time researching grief and publishing content about her experiences. People then started contacting her to ask for help managing their own grief.

That inspired Fouz to study counselling. Immediately, she felt she’d found her calling – that now her life was on the right path.

These days, Fouz has her own practice, Start From Within, which specialises in helping people deal with grief, loss and life transitions. She also does volunteer work with Griefline, a loss and grief national telephone and online support service. And because Fouz isn’t busy enough, she’s also writing a book about grief.

Interestingly, as Fouz explained, death isn’t the only thing that can make us feel a sense of loss. Sometimes, people will grieve for the life they wished they had – if only they’d had the courage to switch paths.

Fouz had the courage to make big changes. As she built a new life for herself, she had to redefine success and become comfortable with uncertainty. It was hard, but she succeeded. The reward is that Fouz now gets to be the person she was always meant to be.