From Loss to Life

DocRabbitsm - Loss to LifeYesterday I was interviewed by Cheryl Jones on VoiceAmerica. Her show, Good Grief, is about the transformational possibilities of grief. So we talked about the loss of my parents and how that led me to make my film series, Secrets of Life and Death.

Interestingly, it was the difficult parts of my parents’ dying: my mistakes, the missed opportunities and all my regrets, that gave me the incentive. I wanted to spare other people the hard lessons I had to learn in my ignorance and avoidance.

Cheryl, it turns out, was the very first person I interviewed for my film series. Although her segment did not make it into the film (due to technical issues), what she told me about the loss of her partner and her subsequent loss of fear had a powerful effect on me. Unlike Cheryl, death did not eliminate my fears. It did however, make me keenly aware of how very short and precious life is and that gave me courage.

You can listen to the show HERE.

Of course I didn’t embark on my film making journey immediately. First, I had go through the physical shock and mourning of my parents’ deaths. We talked about this on the show as well — how loss impacts the body, how very physical it is and that it takes time to heal. Real time. There is no speeding through it. It’s a lot like breaking a leg or shoulder. It’s very painful for a while and eventually it heals. It heals, that is, if you don’t keep breaking it.

With grieving, we can actually delay the healing with our thoughts. Mentally, we can keep breaking our grief leg over and over by fixating on painful events. Sometimes, we actually become attached to the grief because it is all we have left of our connection with the deceased. Or we feel guilty for not grieving, because it seems like betrayal. To listen to the show go HERE.

What I most enjoyed about my interview with Cheryl was her skill at getting me to share my stories. I have collected a lot of stories over the course of my film making journey. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to release and heal grief. It helps our suffering brains to make sense of the senseless. It helps us to cry and releases the pressure of sorrow. Friends and family heal us with their loving attention and willingness to listen. Over time our story evolves and so do the neural networks in our brain that were devastated by the loss. With time a new reality emerges, and, if we truly listen to our heart, a new, more purposeful life.

Sometimes, our need to tell our stories over and over, surpasses the capacity of our support people to listen. It is good to have other avenues. Please share your stories of loss and transformation in a comment below. You might just finding it healing.

With healing thoughts,




WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Grief Transformation Coach Michelle Peticolas, Ph.D. helps people transform their grief with a holistic approach to mind, body and spirit that heals trauma, reframes past attachments and releases limiting beliefs while uncovering a true life purpose and direction. If you’re ready to shift into a whole new way of being with death and loss, a new way of living your life, get Michelle’s complimentary guide, Essentials for Grieving Well at


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