by Susan Ratz, Executive Director


Grief as a Teacher

This was a theme presented in a training course I am taking about grief and loss.

It is a strong statement.

Education and learning is generally seen as a positive. Life-enhancing. Improving yourself.

But when we are faced with grief, I don’t think too many people think… terrific, I’m going to learn some fabulous new skills and this is going to be a great addition to my resume.

Instead we are thrown into a class we may not realize existed, and one we didn’t really want to take. Ummm… yes.. could I speak with the Guidance Department and switch to maybe Biology or an Art class?

When I roam around the internet to help me think through this theme and write about it here, it still remains difficult to explain.

I find an article about key characteristics of a teacher. They include – patient, organized, prepared, professional, responsible, creates a trusting environment… their students know what is expected of them, friendly.

No… I definitely wouldn’t characterize grief as ANY of those.

(Definitely not friendly – that kind of potential comparison strikes me as almost comical.)

I find a blog called “The 64 Hardest Lessons That Grief Taught Me” and the various revelations individuals share here… although at times hard to read because they are often painful, these seem more realistic. (Link included below.)

In the end I really can’t easily explain the sentiment of “grief as a teacher”, my ability to package it into a nice little article with some bullet points and helpful comments escapes me, although it still strikes me as a valid concept.

What these thoughts have provided me (and hopefully you) are an opportunity to reflect on this view of grief. My hope is that although many experiences with grief can be so painful, perhaps you can recognize some valuable insights or strengths you have gained along this journey as well.

If you would like, we’ve also posted about this on Instagram here and on Facebook here. Feel free to visit these posts if you would like to make a comment, and / or read what others thoughts on this are.

Take care…

PS – If you would like to read “The 64 Hardest Lessons That Grief Taught Me” you can find that by clicking here.