In one moment, all that we hold dear and cherish is shattered, never to be the same. We are left floundering in a pit of uncertainty. We drown as wave after wave of unknown and unexpected emotions wash over us. In that moment, we cannot see the path forward; there is no light shining for us that guides us through this. We have to rely on ourselves and we are unequipped.

Questions of an immense nature begin to form in our minds, and we are at a loss at how to answer them. We question the very essence of who we are. Layer upon layer of false assumptions are stripped to the bone. We are concerned with how we feel and about how our world is shattered.

Yet we can only move forward and never go back. Yet do we rise from the ashes of our loss, starting a new and stronger life that shines brighter than before? Or do we remain in the ashes, desperately sifting through them in an attempt to regain a hold upon our old life?

We may all experience similar emotions that create a bond between us. If we think about our own experience of loss, it might have started with a state of numbness, disbelief and maybe even shock. We doubted what we had heard and kept expecting someone to come and tell it was all a sick joke. Our minds needed time to accept the news, whether this was a second, hour, day or more. This feeling gradually wore off to leave us with a hollow sense that it was not a joke and the harsh understanding that everything had changed in one instant and we had to play catch-up to this. Life as we knew it was over.

Despite experiencing similar emotions, our journeys through loss are unique. It is a journey of unknown time, unknown emotions and unknown experiences for us all. There is no one way or one emotion that we all have to experience. Loss is a very personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to experience it, there is just the experience. Accepting this can free us; allow us to do things our way, to trust that we know what is best for ourselves. It can transform loss into an exhilarating but scary adventure as we explore parts of ourselves that we never knew, despite living with them for years.

The intense emotions that loss stirs within us do not destroy unless we let them. We do possess the ability to continue on. But what is recovering? Is it merely learning to survive our loss? Or is recovering using our loss to transform our lives into something more, something that we have always dreamed it of being?

Tabitha Jayne 2011

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Tabitha Jayne

Tabitha Jayne is a leading expert in the field of grief and growth coaching, having first developed an interest in the topic following the sudden death of her younger brother. The founder of “Transform Grief. Live Fully. Thrive Loss” coaching and workshops, Tabitha is also the creator of “Tree of Transformation”, a five-step process that helps individuals fully let go of grief and transform loss into a lasting legacy that positively impacts both themselves and the world. Her latest book is Thriving Loss: Move beyond grief to a place of peace, passion and purpose. She is also a contributing author in Open to Hope: Inspirational stories of healing after loss and has presented on The Transformative Power of Nature in Grief and Loss at the International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society and the ADEC Annual Conference. She is also the Head Coach of Grief & Growth Coaching at the International Coach Academy. She says, “The death of my brother was the most profound experience and loss in my life. It made me realise that life is too short and challenged me to transform my own life into something that I was proud of. Despite all the pain and anguish, all the tears and hurt, my brother dying is one of the best things that happened to me. Peter motived me to learn to live life fully both as tribute to him and to gain meaning from tragedy.” Tabitha is a Certified Professional Coach from the International Coach Academy and an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation. Her academic background is in Psychology with a BSc (Hons) from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh where she conducted research into “Attachment and the Type of Loss Experienced by the Bereaved in Continuing Bonds”. She is currently completing a M.S. in Applied Ecopsychology and Coaching in Grief and Growth with Project NatureConnect, The Institute of Global Education. Prior to founding ‘Transform Grief. Live Fully. Thrive Loss’ and working with clients worldwide helping them to live more and grieve less, Tabitha was the co-founder and director of Pedro Project, a non-profit organization which ran for 6 years providing information, advice and support to help bereaved young people. During this time she was a finalist in the Everywoman 2004 awards as well as Cosmopolitan´s Fun, Fearless Female 2006 Awards. She was also featured in The Sun, The Sunday Post Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Edinburgh Evening News and on local and regional radio as well as in the Channel 4 documentary for young adults entitled “Losing You” Get your free audio of the Introduction and Chapter One of Thriving Loss: Move beyond grief to a place of peace, passion and purpose at www.tabithajayne.com

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