Can we find anything at all in living with loss that in some way we might benefit from? Is it possible that something as terrible as loss, so final and irreversible, can contain a silver lining?

Maybe this isn’t exactly a silver lining, but I’ll tell you about something that has dawned on me as a result of losing my 22-year-old son in July of 2008. Even though I always knew in a factual way that someday I would die, I still lived in emotional denial of that reality. Since losing Danny, the façade has been ripped off of my denial mentality and I have come to realize the impermanence of all things that are physical, and the truth that everyone I love is impermanent.

Because I am one of those people who believes that we are each a soul and that the soul is, in fact, eternal, I do not believe that death brings an end to one’s essence, but that all physical things are impermanent. You might think that such a realization would result in a deep sense of sadness, but on the contrary, I see the world around me, in light of its evanescence, even more wondrous. From sunrise to sunset, my eyes gaze out with wonderment at the physical world about me.

I have read that in certain spiritual teachings it is considered wise to acknowledge impermanence on a daily basis, not to be morbid, but to awaken to a perspective that sees the bigger picture and is therefore more grateful and less critical of what is present today. It’s interesting to work with this, because when you incorporate this knowledge into your everyday life, you find that some things seem less important and other things, more important. This has been a positive thing for me.

The other silver lining is what I see as the desire that arises from loss to reach out and help others. I cannot tell you how many good projects have been started and people helped because someone suffered a great loss and wanted to be helpful to others suffering with the same issues that challenged their loved one. And this doesn’t necessitate having a lot of money. One of the men I know maintains a yearly toy drive to bring toys to children spending Christmas in the hospital, as his son did on his last Christmas.

But for those of you who feel exceptionally lonely, keep in mind that there are many people in need of company from our oldest citizens to our youngest. There are children that need to be mentored, there are old people that would love a story read to them, and if you’re not ambulatory, there are online sites where others could use a kind word or two to help them live with their losses. But, this holiday season, my advice to you would be push yourself to interact and participate in some way that can be of service to someone or something else. You will be better off for it because giving to others gives back an enormous amount of solace to the giver.









Sheri Perl

Sheri Perl is a spiritual healer and counselor, author, teacher, and interfaith minister. She became involved in spiritualism in a desperate attempt to save her life. At age sixteen, Sheri was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. After years of medical treatment, she was fighting for her life on the operating table. While recovering from surgery, a second illness contracted through blood transfusions was declared fatal. At this time Sheri contacted British spiritual healer, Harry Edwards, “purely out of desperation.” To her amazement, the healing stopped her illness in its tracks, and returned her liver functions to normal. As a result of this experience, Sheri opened the doors to spiritual exploration. She has studied with many great mediums and healers, eventually earning her doctorate in Therapeutic Counseling from the Open International University, Institute for Alternative Medicine. Her book, “Healing From the Inside Out” chronicles her experience with illness and spiritual healing and shares what she has learned along the way. In 2008, her 22-year-old son Daniel died of an overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs. Needless-to-say, Sheri suffers greatly from this loss; however, what helps her is the knowledge that Daniel is safe in the spirit world and “connecting up” with him through thought, feelings, dreams, signs and reputable mediums. Sheri is currently working on a new book to share her perspective with others who are mourning. She recently created the PRAYER REGISTRY for parents who wish to join with others to send group prayers out to their child on the anniversary day of their passing. You can read more about Sheri and the Prayer Registry at her website, or visit her own blog, “Loss, Bereavement and Connecting Up” at

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