My Weekly blog
I was visiting my dear friend, David Kessler, a few days ago when he handed me a copy of his latest book, FINDING MEANING, The Sixth Stage of Grief. He had tears in his eyes and so did I, as I held the offering that he was about to put out into the world. His pub date is Nov. 5th, this coming Tuesday, and it’s a great accomplishment, not only because he wrote a book that will impact so many people in grief. That is powerful in itself and he has written quite a lot of books on grief that have helped people during the most challenging times of their lives. But this time it’s different because he bared his heart and threw wide the door to his personal grief around the loss of his 21-year-old son. He decided to share as much of himself as he could, to walk his talk, to tell his story, and the way I see it, he met his goal with courage and authenticity.
And then there is my experience. He called on me for assistance and I edited this book from the start, encouraging, shedding tears with him and witnessing his raw vulnerability as he told the truth about his search for meaning since he said good-bye to his son not so long ago. I helped him organize his material, choose important anecdotes and find the right words to tell his story in a way that people could understand and empathize. And I did my best to lift him up with compassion and a little humor from time to time.
That is a big part of my work with writers – to encourage and inspire. I like the word “encourage.” It means to help someone find the courage to do what they feel moved to do. When you break down the word “inspire,” it means to fill someone with the life-affirming breath that it takes to feel alive and do something creative. In my own search for meaning, something that really hit me hard this year, I’ve been turning to my own creativity to express my thoughts and feelings. I find it soothing and peaceful, and the more I encourage other people to express themselves authentically and without judgment,
the more it helps me. It’s like a boomerang effect. The more I show up and give, the more I get back. The more I listen, the better I can hear myself. The more I offer what I think someone else might need, the more I get filled up from the inside out. The more I witness beauty and encourage other people to follow their hearts, the more I find higher love and meaningful goals for myself. That’s just the way this thing seems to work.
Grief comes in many forms and for many different reasons. It isn’t only about loss of life. It also shows up when we feel empty, abandoned, sad, misunderstood or left out. And when it engulfs us, all the grief we ever felt comes up for review. Finding meaning in grief is one of the ways we can endure tough times and believe that we can make it out the other side. When I offer assistance to other people it swings back in my direction. The boomerang effect. I’m excited to see the boomerang effect of David’s book.
For details, go to www.sixthstage.com.