What Can Grief and Loss Teach Us?

What Can Grief and Loss Teach Us? May 30, 2023


 How does one find a new way of being after a loved one has died?

Grief and loss are part of the human condition.

Both will eventually be a chapter in the storybook of our lives.

Most of us will grieve for someone we loved; we will experience the heartache of loss.

The progression of age prepares us that our time here in this world is not infinite.

It is expected that one life just as it is brought into this world will exit.

But then, death and loss can surprise us.

With no warning, a soul we adored and loved dies.

The unexpected waves of grief come swiftly; we are thrown to the ocean of grief with no prepared flotation device.

How does one find a new way of being after a loved one has died?

Our faith offers various rituals to cope with the pains of grief and loss, sudden or not.

The Jewish tradition of ,shiva one I have experienced  myself as a mourner as well as a consoler, offers support, and gentle comfort  to those in mourning.

Yet when that weeklong embrace slowly concludes, a mourner is left to figure out a new way of being.


A Tulip in Black and White
Photo by SusanP.Lax- A Flower Amongst Grief

Perhaps grief, which at some point will become part of our story, can also be a method of learning.

I shared a meaningful short road trip with a dear friend.

Her husband, as well as a friend of mine, had died suddenly a few years ago.

She is still trying to navigate her way in a world without him.

I was sitting in the passenger seat; she was the driver.

In the midst of an intimate conversation, she said with much confidence “I need to learn how to discover my own joy, I had been part of a joint joy for so many years.”

I was amazed at her statement; it was filled with so much wisdom.

She was declaring herself as a new student, excepting that grief was her teacher.

Perhaps grief, which at some point will become part of our story, can also be a method of learning.

Which unfortunately we may not have learned otherwise.

  Lessons that can be learned from grief?

I hear from many of those I guide, after a loved one has exited this world, how sorry they are that they didn’t spend more quality time with the deceased.

Or share their deepest and most precious love for them.

And that now they will make sure to have such moments with others they love.

At the age of 32 I learned how to be an orphan.

I became a student in the classroom of grief.

I learned many life lessons, wisdom that guides my heart until today.

To make sure I tell people I love that I love them.

The importance of an attentive heart, and the beauty one moment can hold.

I became a teacher of awareness and mindfulness with the knowledge that what is here in this moment will never repeat in another.

My career path brought me to the privilege of guiding those at the end of life, together creating good moments in the midst of fear and sorrow.

I choose not to bring “what could have been” to my moments, rather put a spotlight on the gifts of my now.

The importance of compassion and support.

Bittersweet a book by Susan Cain explains” …if we realize that all humans know or will know loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another.”

“I love you” is something I make sure to tell those I love.

For there are never enough moments to say I love you.�

Listen here to a conversation about meeting up with grief I had with singer, songwriter, Shira.


 Learn about my weekly newsletter Morning Inspiration and my book

A Heart’s Landscape An Invitation to the Garden of Moments herehttp://susanplax.com

About Susan P. Lax
Columnist Susan Lax, reminds us that no matter our adversity or circumstance to take time for our joy. She’s the author of the hardcover and e-book A HEART’S LANDSCAPE: An Invitation to the Garden of Moments. Susan offers deep reminders with words and warm visuals – to take a moment and just pause – get away from the inundation and put the chaos away. Susan’s heart words and inspiring visuals guide readers to take a moment and escape all adversity and focus on carving out one joyful moment with the hope that it will lead to other good moments. You can read more about the author here.

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