And she was never the same again

By: Natasha Pryde Trujillo, Ph.D.

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Book summary

And She Was Never the Same Again is a book about you. It is about your family and your friends. Everyone you’ve ever met, and all the strangers you have yet to meet. It takes you on a journey of gains and losses that stretch generations, cultures, identities, and decades of time. Losses that are individual and collective, death and non-death. It awakens you to the inevitable and makes you look at the things most people want to avoid seeing. It explores near-death experiences, medical, individual, and intergenerational trauma, the stigmatized death of a partner, perfectionism, death’s destruction of a family’s structure, athletics, chronic illness paired with the denial of death, first loves, identity transitions throughout life, and the gaping holes that become permanent fixtures within us when those we love the most die.

Each chapter is told through in-depth narratives crafted by weaving together key player’s perspectives as you are taken on a family’s multigenerational journey of loss. Each chapter concludes with a synthesis of how grief was manifested and maintained over time within and outside the self. It educates you on various aspects of grief and encourages you to take away questions for yourself and your loved ones.

It is not a “how-to” book. There is not just one way to grieve, and to suggest there are universal, concrete steps that must be taken discredit the human experience of suffering and the uniqueness we each embody on our respective paths through pain. You will feel, you will learn, you will grow, and hopefully, you will never be the same again.

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Available on Amazon Kindle (e-book), Paperback or Audible Audiobook.


About the author

Dr. Trujillo is a counseling and sport psychologist, a consultant, an educator, an author, a former athlete, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, and a friend. But most of all, she is a human. None of the former labels make her any better or worse-equipped to deal with the inevitable experiences of grief throughout life. She is passionate about the power of storytelling and wanted to bring light to the incredibly nuanced and individualized ways we process and cope with grief. Like everyone else, she’s had her fair share of losses and decided that taking the risk to be vulnerable may encourage others to redefine their relationships with grief to live more holistic and intentional lives. She hopes this limited collection of stories can build the realization that there is no “right” way to grieve, and that it should not be pathologized or medicated.

She encourages each reader to see the vantage point from each of the characters who have played a role in her life. To empathize, to perspective-take, to look within and outside the self and find shared positive connection in the discomfort of the painful and unknown. To be willing to ask life’s questions that don’t have answers. To sit with the necessary acceptance that to love also means to lose, and to experience beauty also means to feel immense pain. She wants others to be open to changing the mind and the heart. To take what may be helpful and leave what doesn’t. You don’t need permission to feel and face what scares you the most.

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Dr. Trujillo is currently in private practice in Denver, CO. She works primarily with issues of grief/loss, eating disorders, trauma, life transitions/identity development, perfectionism, and performance psychology. She works with humans, but more specifically with athletes and performers across the country in individual and team capacities. For more about Dr. Trujillo, you can visit her website at or follow her on her social media accounts.


Uncertainty, unpredictability, confusion, and fear permeated the fabric of my family’s now shattered sense of permanence and safety. Everyone worried more. Everyone tried to look for signs of trouble and spot them before another disaster unfolded without warning. These newfound processes were mostly unsaid, internal, and alone. As the flames of shock died down and turned to ashes, complex grief emerged as the individual nuances of each person’s experience silently competed with one another. They all wondered how to take care of others and also how to handle themselves. Questions about whether to honor their own needs vs. ignoring them to focus on me plagued them… There wasn’t much individual compassion to be had, as everyone seemed to internalize a need for grit. They observed one another; responses being shifted as they watched the reactions of each other, uncertain of what was allowed or what the “right” way to handle things actually was, fighting inner turmoil about what to address and what to unmind.

Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Near-End of the Beginning

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The author

THE “Why”

When working with clients, I often encourage them to find their “why” for any given pursuit. My “why” for writing this book is because of how it ends. The epilogue. Her. I needed a way to keep myself busy from debilitating pain, but to somehow balance distraction with simply being with my feelings; the only true way to move through grief. I wanted to better understand why I am the way I am, and why those I love the most are the way they are. I wanted to spotlight the shadowlosses most of us don’t see or try to hide from. I wanted to tackle issues of grief and loss in a more comprehensive way so that people can call grief out when they see it and not be afraid to name it. To say the hard things they think and be with the hard feelings they feel. I wanted others to find self and other-compassion in the messy process. I wanted to honor those that mean the most to me. Most importantly, I wanted others to see themselves in these stories and become more accepting of the fact that grief never truly goes away, but we can learn to handle hard better by accepting the suffering inherent in life and the growth that is never too far behind it.

Reader’s Reactions

And She Was Never the Same Again is a powerful read for anyone who has dealt with loss of any kind. Dr. Trujillo takes a hard look at her life and the lives of her family through the lens of trauma and how it has morphed them into the people, both individually and collectively, that they are today. Each chapter examines a different difficult subject in the most heartbreaking and beautiful ways. She not only makes the reader understand the depth of the situation but she shines a light on the aftermath as well. The time after the pain, new and old, and how that changes the way you think, act, love, interact and move forward. This read shows us all that we are not alone in our grief, even if we choose to hide away from the world whilst going through the dark. Every situation we go through leaves a mark on us, allows us to prune things off, take care of other parts we want to grow stronger, and helps us become a different person than we were before. We should all strive to Never Be the Same Again.

Toya Eckard, Teacher

And She Was Never the Same Again unifies us through the inevitable, shared experiences of grief and loss.  Dr. Trujillo vulnerably and skillfully illustrates the complexities of grief through her lived experiences.  The relatability of such experiences are sure to strike a profound chord with the reader.  The narrative is powerful and elicits reflection about how grief continues to change us, but also encourages compassion and patience with ourselves and others to facilitate the healing process. A must-read!

Riley Nickols, Ph.D., Counseling and Sport Psychologist

And She Was Never the Same Again is the perfect example of a book that impacts the reader’s psyche. Grief and loss are areas of life that most shy away from. However, Dr. Trujillo dives deep into a plethora of difficult experiences and offers readers not only a window into her dealings with loss, but an opportunity to reflect upon their own with fresh eyes.

Dalton Frizzell, Artist

Dr. Trujillo’s vulnerability is palpable and cannot be adequately expressed in words. And She Was Never The Same Again offers readers an invaluable opportunity to connect with her mind and allows us to challenge the ways in which grief flows throughout our lives. Through her stories, readers will gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of grief and how it can impact our lives in profound ways.

Allie Wilson, Professional Dancer

And She Was Never the Same Again is a unique and profound way of approaching the shadows of grief and loss. Dr. Trujillo brings a human side to loss that echoes often the pain our hearts feel but cannot say. She also allows our hearts to rest knowing we are not alone in the pain, joy, grief, and loss that life brings us so unexpectedly.

Brody C. Tate, Curriculum Developer

A true testament to the enduring nature of grief and the growth that can emerge from it, And She Was Never the Same Again is sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul. Dr. Natasha Trujillo’s words resonate long after the final page is turned, inspiring us to approach our own grief experiences with cognizance and compassion. 

Angelina Debirova, Brand Developer

And She Was Never the Same Again is a compelling and thought-provoking book that offers solace and insight to anyone who has experienced loss or wishes to gain a greater knowledge of the human capacity for resilience. Dr. Trujillo’s openness and sensitive exploration of grief’s intricacies make this an essential read for those seeking to navigate their own journey of love, loss, and healing.

Desireé Butler, Graphic Designer

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