Transcendence and Making Meaning Out of Loss: Part I

By Irina Jordan

This post shares the highlights of the talk given by Ashley Davis Bush, psychotherapist with over 20 years experience of working with grievers.

  • We love idea of closure, quick fix, moving on. Not the reality when grieving.
  • You can have some healing or connection experience but not closure. Integration process needs to occur .
  • Pain will change. Integration not closure process.
  • You won't go back to your old self. It is new self that's unfolding. You've changed forever.
  • New relationship with loved one who passed through memories, spirit and love.
  • You will move forward and bring your loved one with you. You won't erase them from your heart.
  • Grievers have potential to be educators. Don't be angry or defensive. Approach others with open heart.
  • I recognize you don't know but I will tell you my experience. Healthy way for me to remember.
  • Love is eternal, it doesn't die. Being connected to loved ones lasts forever.
  • Other cultures more tolerant of emotions. We're stoic and puritanical thanks to our forefathers.
  • In Western society strength is equated to being reserved and not showing grief in public.
  • It's ok for me to cry, this is what's healthy. Model it for your kids and friends.
  • Ask others to share memories of loved one. I love when you mention... It's ok to cry and feel.
  • Light a memorial candle for your loved one over holidays and tell your kids about it.
  • Show pictures, normalize grieving experience. Casual sense of loved one of being part of your life.
  • Share your grief like little pebbles and see what ripple effect is on people who don't express feelings.