Good Grief

Grief is the reminder of the depth of our love. Gordon Wheeler, psychologist

In one of my all-time favorite books, The Book of Joy, the Dalai Lama says, “Sadness and grief are, of course, natural human responses to loss, but if your focus remains on the loved on you have just lost, the experience is less likely to lead to despair. In contrast, if your focus while grieving remains mostly on yourself–‘What am I going to do now? How can I cope?’–then there is a greater danger of going down the path of despair and depression. So much depends on how we respond to our experience of loss and sadness.”

The motherless daughters I talk to that seem to have made the adjustment to their loss, more frequently talk about all their mothers gave them, even if their time with them was short….rather than all they have lost because of her death. In some measure, both conversations are appropriate, of course, but focusing on the former seems to lead to more joy and less long term depression and grief.  Even by her death, my mother gave me a greater sense of independence, the heart-felt knowledge that death is a part of life, the ability to be more empathetic to those who have had loss.

Affirmation: My grief is healing.

Coaching questions: What is your response to loss? Is it working for you? What will help you focus more on the lost loved one and less on yourself?

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