3 Dynamics that Connect Forgiveness and Grief


I launched into business as a Life Coach just on one year ago. I very quickly dived into some Grief Coaching with various clients who wanted to process loss that seemed similar to the loss of our baby girl Anastasia Zoe.


One of the first things that I would say to my clients is that your early experiences of loss will shape every other experience after that. The way you are given permission to grieve then, forms how you will grieve now.


Then you begin to move into work on forgiveness and your theology in practice often shapes how you will know to forgive also. We move from loss into acknowledgment of the grief and the forgiveness required, then often the redefining of relationships based on property now processing that deeper grief.


I know so many people doing great work on themselves in this season. My work and passions connect me globally with so many of these courageous humans. This current reality has brought up both collective grief, generational loss, personal trauma and surfaced pain that has been hidden for years.


Often one of the most pressing questions that comes up as people have to deal with their past or acknowledged that it is now impacting their present is What Is Forgiveness? And How Do I Forgive?


One of the most current writers on forgiveness is Fred Luskin and he teaches that the essence of all unforgiveness is: I didn’t get something I wanted. I got “no.” I wanted my partner to be faithful; they weren’t faithful. I got “no.” I wanted somebody to tell the truth; they told a lie. I got “no.” I wanted to be loved as a child; I wasn‘t loved in a way that I felt good about. I got “no.”

It’s so important to be able to understand the universal experience of this—of objecting to the way life is and trying to substitute the way you want it to be, then getting upset when your substitution doesn’t take.


The essence of forgiveness is being resilient when things don’t go the way you want—to be at peace with “no,” be at peace with what is, be at peace with the vulnerability inherent in human life. Then you have to move forward and live your life without prejudice.


It’s the absence of prejudice that informs forgiveness. You realize that nobody owes you, that you don’t have to take the hurt you suffered and pay it forward to someone else.


You don’t just accept it because life sucks and there’s nothing you can do about it—though that may be true—but you accept it in a way that leaves you willing to give the next moment a chance.


I believe this full