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Life lessons and gratitude from a young woman who has lost both parents

I love the opportunity to share with you examples of people who are finding their way from pain and loss to G.R.I.E.F (gratitude, real connection, inspiration, empowerment, and freedom) after a death in their lives.

These examples aren’t always out on display – not because they aren’t out there, but because it can seem strange to others so it can be threatening for people to share.

I want to introduce Rochelle to you. She is an amazing young woman with two sisters, who has lost her mum recently and her dad a few years ago. Rochelle’s writing on her blog is honest, from the heart, touching and inspiring.

In Rochelle’s blog – ‘Can you forget the pain but remember the lesson it taught you?’ – she talks about the positive lessons she learnt through the deaths of her parents. She doesn’t disown the pain, or try to pretend it isn’t there. This isn’t positive or wishful thinking. Instead she talks about the pain AND she talks about the powerful and positive lessons she learnt and the ways her parents’ deaths changed her life.

She sums it up by sharing what she learnt:

I learnt that … family and love are the most important things, well in fact the ONLY important things … that your heart already knows what you should do, but sometimes you just need to shut your brain up for long enough to be able to hear it … that the only person that will always be there by your side is you … that there is no point letting something get you down because things are never so bad that they can’t get any worse … that however shit the situation, there is always something to be grateful for … that it’s down to you and your attitude as to how fun you make this whole life thing. It’s not about the hand you get dealt but the way you play the game … that there is always hope … that everything comes to pass, nothing is permanent – neither good not bad – all we ever have is the very moment in which we exist.

One thing I can promise is that by being able to see both sides and find gratitude along this journey, Rochelle will be in a space where these events can become empowering instead of destructive….just like her parents would want them to be for their girls, and just like they were meant to be. And from this space she will be able to connect to her parents and remember them much more freely and easily.

Rochelle is not different to you. There isn’t something about her that makes it possible for her to see life this way when you can’t. She has just made a choice to keep her heart and her eyes wide open….and this is the magic that can happen.

I know your loss may have been or is excruciatingly painful….but what have you learnt in that space? What has the death taught you? What gift has come to you from it? It doesn’t matter if you can’t see it at first or can only see something tiny. As long as you are open to seeing it and start to look it won’t be long until you say see what Rochelle can see….and go even deeper than that, just as she will.

Till next time,



P.S. I love to hold these examples up to the light and would love to share your learnings too so that you can help and inspire others on their journey of loss with what you have found. Please feel free to share what you have learnt with me – either just with me if you prefer, or for me to to share here with others, whether under your real name or not. It can be hard to find safe places to honour those that have died by sharing the positives and the gifts in your loss that you recognise……but this is one of those safe places.

{ 1 comment }

Kimberly August 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I know this so very well and I have tried to consciously apply it to my heart. I work in the medical field and KNOW how bad things can be. But, I swear…every since I broke my leg on Jan 14, 2010, my life…every step except for 1 day…has been one bad thing every since, its now Aug 20, 2012. I have lost both parents, got a divorce, got a BOGUS DUI in June 2010(yes, I was innocent, just couldnt walk well from the recent surgery. No breath test, no car searching, just cuffed me,took me to hospital to draw blood, then TO JAIL!) I am a well regarded trauma nurse and a professional…not that that matters. Since I KNEW I was innocent, I did hire a lawyyer. He told me that it could t ake take up to 6 mths to get my CLEAN bloodwork back from state. From there, because I now had a DUI PENDING on my record so now I have NO JOB and no one would hire me…no one. Court dates and continuances come and go, car gets reposessed, my self worth plummets, I lose my Mama(600mi away),my Daddy has a stroke less than a wk later(600mi away in W.KY,I live in NC).then Daddys rehab, then the nursing hm I had to put him in, so FAR AWAY from me. Court dates come and go, I am beyond devastation,worthless. And find a note written by my daughter of how I am never there for me and that there are no 2nd chances,I really drop then, Im circling the drain. Then on Feb 9, 2012, my DUI gets dismissed…since June 2010??? Now i still cant get a job doing what I went to school for d/t a dismissed DUI on record. Then A few wks ago Daddy fell and broke hip. A wk ago yest he passed away, with my ear I heard that last precious heartbeat and knew he had joined Mama in Heaven. I moved my baby girl to college 2 days ago. My shrink even is amazed from the cards I am CONTINOUSLY dealt and sometimes I wanna scream “I KNOW IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE BUT DAMN I AM A GOOD PERSON WHO MADE MY LIFES CAREER ABOUT HELPING OTHERS! TODAY IS HOW BAD MY LIFE IS!