MAKING MEANING from LOSS & the work of Viktor Frankl
Updated: Feb 15
Once upon a time ago, I felt that I was not an emotionally mature adult yet because I did not intimately know loss.
Sure, I had mourned the death of my grandparents whom I had grown up knowing during my summer vacation time spent away from southern California and at their humble home in a small town of New Jersey. But they had both still been in New Jersey, and I California, at the time of their deaths.
Yes, I had watched many of my beloved, childhood pets be cremated and then buried in the backyard of my parent's home as I created ceremony and song for their 'return to Source.'
However, death was not something I really saw up close with my own two eyes. Nor was it something that I had ever really touched. As well, in our western culture, we have separated the natural, organic nature of death from everyday life. So, my closest experience to loss has always been my regular menstrual cycle.
Over two miscarriages and an 18-month, 4th stage cancer journey later - and one that ultimately concluded in the death of my life partner, during which I was at his side until his final breath - and I am not the person whom I once was. Yet, my ability to deduce and craft meaning around my personal losses have been innate and a natural response for my ongoing healing all along.If you haven't already read Man's Seach for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, then do yourself a favor and buy or borrow this book.right.now.
Imagine being imprisoned at a young age, your family murdered and you starved nearly to death while surrounded by people who are experiencing the same thing simply because of the faith you all share. What would you do? How would you survive?
Did you know that people can (& do!) use music, sing, make art, and still rejoice in the beauty of life even as they are forced to experience the horrors and pain that can come with life on planet Earth? See our own American slaves who created slave songs and Spirituals to endure and persevere amidst over 400 years of brutality, like here.Our Souls have the built in ability to create meaning, especially from and during our suffering. This is the only way we can not just survive but, perhaps, also one day thrive.
If you need support in creating meaning from your losses or just in life in general, then please reach out for support. I am here to help others learn 'how' they can do this for themselves.
Oh, and just in case it isn't clear: the Mama Caravan is how I have created meaning from the loss of my life partner to a recurrence of liver cancer on January 31, 2020.