Reclaiming Yourself After Loss and Change

There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors. Adrienne Rich, Sources

There’s so much grief and loss afoot right now—partly because February is the time of year when grief tends to surface, and partly because the Trump administration has stirred up so much buried personal and collective grief.

So what do we do with all of this?

Well, once upon a time, we buried our feelings, hoping they’d go away. But as all my research has taught me, that’s just a recipe for disaster. Unacknowledged loss always comes out—and when it does, it’s often to a disastrous effect.

I truly believe that’s part of what’s going on in our country right now. There’s so much collective pain and loss is being unleashed right now that it’s almost unbearable. And we’re all feeling it.

Contrary to popular belief, stuffing our feelings doesn’t help. Neither does waiting. Time does not heal all wounds. (If it did, we wouldn’t be in this mess.) It takes time and acknowledgment. Space.

In essence, it comes down to making a choice. A choice to start living again. A choice to honor our losses in order to learn from them and start to move forward.

When I sent out my survey a few weeks ago, someone bravely asked me how he or she could let go of their child, who’d been deceased for a few years.

That question struck me in a deep and visceral place. Letting go of a loved one is painful beyond imagination, much less letting go of them forever. Especially when it’s someone we’ve loved deeply. How in the world would we even begin to let go? Why would in the world we want to?

Here’s what I believe: we don’t let go. What we do is create a new relationship with them.

I would never ask you to forget your loved one. That would be cruel beyond measure. In the same token, I would never ask you to ignore the 17 years you were married before you divorced. I would never ask you to forget the past.

What I am asking you to do is to take the time and space to honor your loss. Because when we don’t acknowledge our losses, that’s we get stuck. Buried, unacknowledged emotions eat up our energy and deplete us, clouding who we are and what we’re capable of.

Because not only have we suffered the actual loss itself (whether that’s a divorce, the death or a loved one, or another big life transition), but we’ve also suffered a loss of self. We are no longer the people we once were.

And we need to grieve that, too.

You see, grieving is an active process. It’s not something that magically gets better on its own.

Despite that, we no longer have a socially accepted model for grieving in the U.S. Because of that, many of us grieve at home, alone, wondering where to turn and wishing we had support.

That’s crazy. And it’s a big part of why I’m doing this work.

When my father died in 1993, the unresolved grief I felt around his death cost me nearly a decade as I struggled to make sense of what had happened and how to recover. I didn’t want to make that same mistake when my mother died in 2012. I wanted to grieve consciously.

That quest was what led me to write The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir, which was just released this past fall. (Click here if you’d like to see a short video about why I wrote the book.)

Since my mother’s death, it’s become important to me to help light that path for others. If there’s one driving force behind my work, it’s to show someone out there that he or she is not alone.

Grief is a normal and healthy part of life, even though our society acts as if it’s not.

I want to change that. And I want to remind people that there is a conscious way to move through grief so that it doesn’t shut us down, robbing us of the rest of our life force.

That’s why I created the Reclaiming Yourself After Loss and Change workshop. Because our losses don’t have to destroy us. They might forever define us, yes, but they don’t need to enchain us.

If this resonates with you, will you consider joining me in my upcoming Reclaiming Yourself After Loss and Change workshop?

Class starts Wednesday, February 22nd. Read on for more details:

Reclaiming Yourself After Loss Online CourseReclaiming Yourself After Loss and Change

Most of us are so busy and overwhelmed that we barely have time to acknowledge the losses from big changes in our life, whether that’s the death of a loved one, a move or divorce, the end of a job or friendship, or any other major life transition. But when we don’t acknowledge those losses, we get stuck. Buried, unacknowledged emotions eat up our energy and deplete us, clouding who we are and what we’re capable of. Worse, they tend to surface when we least expect it, often to disastrous results.

Don’t let your unacknowledged losses waylay you any longer. This year, give yourself the gift of time and space so that you can start moving forward again. Because once we’re able to come to terms with our story, we get to rewrite the ending.

During this guided, 5-week online course you’ll:

  • learn how to reconnect with your true self
  • unpack the story of your loss, and learn the wisdom it carries
  • learn what it really takes to forgive
  • open up to possibility and
  • start moving forward again.

Course format:

  • 5-week online workshop in a private forum
  • Weekly webinars, guided exercises and discussions
  • Safe, supportive and confidential online community
  • Course begins Wednesday, February 22, 2017
  • Live webinars Wednesdays at noon MST (11 am PT; 2 pm ET)
  • Webinar dates: 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22
  • Everything will be recorded. You don’t need to attend live to benefit.
  • $255 (Use Coupon Code EarlyBird to save $30 if you register by midnight MST 2/14)

Register here or copy and paste this link in your browser:

(Remember to use Coupon Code “EarlyBird” to save $30.)

Note: This is not a course for acute grief, nor is it a stand-in for therapy. For help with intense grief, please consult a professional therapist.

If this course resonates with you, please consider joining our safe, supportive, confidential community. If you register by midnight Tuesday, February 14th, I’ll even send you a Kindle version of The Secret Life of Grief: A Memoir.

And for anyone who’d like to learn more, I’ll be hosting a LIVE call on Facebook next Wednesday, February 8th at noon MST (2:00 pm ET), called Why We Get Stuck in Grief and What to Do About it.

If this class isn’t right for you, I get that, too. No pressure!

If you’re not sure, or would like more info, there’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions here. You can also email me at or just hit “Reply” to this email.

But please know I’d never want to pressure you. The reason I offer the early bird discount is to help encourage you to sign up IF the course feels right for you. Often, we put off making a decision until we have to. Sometimes, not making a decision is a decision in itself. That’s why I’m offering these extra incentives (including the Kindle copy of The Secret Life of Grief), to help give you a gentle nudge toward making a decision.

Wherever you’re at in this crazy-wonderful thing called life, friend, please know I’m sending you lots of love and support in these trying times. Today and always.

Much love,


P.S.: If the class feels like a good fit, remember to use the Coupon Code “EarlyBird” to get an additional $30 off.

UPDATE: Folks, I’ve updated the name of the course to more accurately reflect what we’re doing — instead of Reclaiming, it’s now called Healing After Grief and Loss. The course is exactly the same — healing, supportive lessons and exercises in a private forum with a safe, supportive community — the only difference is that I’ve updated the name to more accurately reflect our focus.

Here’s that link again:

Hope you can join us!

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