01 Sep Lessons of Loss
We have all experienced loss in different ways. Loss can be significant as in the loss of a close relative or friend or a beloved pet. It can also be the loss of a job, loss of health or the loss of a relationship.
Making sense out of loss is often difficult but creating new meaning might help us to take charge and move beyond loss.
Is it possible to grow and transform in new directions after loss?
Here are some stories that the people with whom we work have shared with us and how we have guided them to create a new story out of the experience of loss:
The first story involves a young mother who lost her teenage son in a tragic accident. We created the idea of telling her story to help others. Together we sought to learn from the bad and focus on the good. Some of the good things that she believed resulted after the loss of her son included memorials, donations and an award in her son’s honour being established to help other children with opportunities. She was able to realize that she was a strong person. It brought her family closer together. In her words, “we’re just stronger”.
Another story involves a woman who recently lost a job and career that she was dedicated to for many years. In order to take control of her anger and fear of an uncertain future, she shifted her response when others asked her how she was doing. Rather than saying she was fine, we co-created the response, “I’m riding the wave.” She remarked how great it felt to be able to express that.
We often see couples who are separating or divorcing and starting to process the loss of their relationship. It can be devastating for them to consider the loss of a dream of a future and their life together. Through our conversations and creating new meaning, we also witness the shifts that take place and how many start to consider new possibilities for themselves. For instance, one person who couldn’t imagine a life without her partner, started to consider new work choices, dating and feel more comfortable in her role as a single parent.
We all have the power to move through the challenge of loss, and to embrace growth and learning from the experience. We remind people that it’s not time that heals, rather it’s what we do with the time. We can play an active role in our own healing and wellness.