Finding Meaning In Loss

Discovering positive meaning in the loss of a loved one can be a way of honoring them. Quinton Skinner, author 

Discovering and recounting positive stories that have emerged from the loss of a loved one may not erase our pain. However, positive stories like, “I became more independent after the early death of my mother” or “I became more empathetic to the losses of others” may help us find meaning in loss. 

David Kessler, who worked closely with Kubler-Ross and is the author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief, believes that you can’t have meaning without hope.

We often hear of parents, and others, who establish charities in honor of their lost loved ones. Why? Because this helps them attach meaning to the loss. Meaning, in turn, gives the bereaved hope. The heart may never be the same but it can return to joy, hope, and meaning.

Affirmation: When I’m ready, I will search for meaning in my loss.

Coaching questions: How will you find meaning in your loss? What meaning have you already found?

Reminder: Your loss isn’t a gift, a lesson, a test, or something to handle. 

7 Tips For Surviving Loss

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004),  Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death, grief studies and author 

  1. Have no secrets – tell the truth, talk about your experience, use real words, acknowledge reality
  2. Get outside of yourself – serve others, volunteer
  3. Use affirmations – affirm yourself and your progress, state what you want and how you want to be
  4. Connect to a community – find others (on line or in person) who have had a similar experience 
  5. Seek therapy – don’t try to recover on your own if you’re struggling
  6. Be kind to yourself – honor your individual grief process, your anger, and your guilt
  7. Honor the person you have lost by working your way back to living life to the fullest

Affirmation: I have found my way out of the depths.

Coaching questions: If you’ve experienced loss, what tips might work for you? What will you do today to implement your choice? What difference might it make?