I’ve learned a lot about grief in the past five years. Certainly through my direct experience of mourning of our son’s death, but also through being in community with others grappling with profound loss. Like many searching for solid ground after a crisis, I reached out to counselors, wisdom literature, experts in death and dying, and my community of faith. Although these external resources were vast and valuable, it is the simple insights that guided the day-to-day rebuilding of my life that I want to share with you.
The insights offer don't only apply to tragedy - they relate to navigating loss of any kind, in any type of life crisis. The best definition of grief I’ve heard is from my friend and mentor, John Ross. He explains that we grieve whenever a relationship ends and we weren’t ready to say goodbye. That may mean losing a family member, friend or pet; it could mean the ending of a friendship, romantic relationship or job. Grief can occur from the loss of something as tangible as a piece of jewelry or a child’s art work, or as abstract as the loss of youth or beauty.
What losses are you grieving in your life? It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a job, a relationship, or health. It could be as straight-forward as the loss of a daily routine, a loss of confidence and security, a loss of social interaction.
Naming the personal losses you’ve experienced will make the lessons from grief I’ll be sharing more relatable and relevant. Wisdom gained from grieving can be profound, even mystical. But it is the practical, visceral benefit these insights brought me that I’m hoping to share.
Let’s keep diving deep.
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