Grief Management

Philip Holder PhD.
Copyright Philip Holder PhD. 2009

Season, Reason, Lifetime

Four_Seasons_In_One_DayOur philosophy of life (and death) has a profound impact on how we handle grief. We have no power to change or control the lives and/or deaths, or the coming or going of others who are part of our lives, but we have the ability to reframe of how we internalize those events. Keep in mind, I never said it was easy… but it is simple.

When we accept the idea that people come into our lives for a season, a reason, or a lifetime then it is easier to realize that there is purpose in each experience. There are no truly bad experiences unless we don’t learn and grow from that experience. Even unpleasant experiences provide benefit in the life lessons that we are given. In that lies the catch. There is an old saying, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. When we lose someone, that person is never truly gone. If we open our eyes to the benefits and lessons derived from the experience of having that person in our life, our base of wisdom, and our strength is forever enhanced.

There are times when someone loses a loved one that “survivor guild” prevents them from implementing the joys and/or lessons that were brought to them during that relationship. Keep in mind that each and every day we make decisions and choices. We make the best choices that we can at the time. We can’t go back and redo them so agonizing over the past (would have, could have, should have), serves no purpose. It is important to realize that we are all imperfect creatures striving to do better. We are just “Squirrels Trying To Get A Nut”. Punishing yourself for simply being human isn’t the answer.


Instead of agonizing over your past choices, learn from them for a better future. Accept that this is how we learn. Explore instead how the lessons learned in a relationship provided you with tools to grow. Let go of guilt, fear and anger. Accept the new found wisdom that you have acquired.

We manifest in our lives what we think we deserve. It is important to avoid self punitive attitudes. All love, acceptance, respect and compassion begin within you. Accept that you cannot be all things to all people. That is an unrealistic expectation. Accept and love yourself, warts and all. Remember, all love, acceptance, respect and compassion begins with self love, self acceptance, self respect and compassion for yourself. It is only when you give to yourself the same love, acceptance, respect and compassion that you seek from others, that you in can provide that for others. Trust that all things happen for a reason.

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