7 Essentials for Healing After Tragedy

When I was in Dallas last month for a book signing at Moon’s Bookstore, I met so many wonderful people, and each one had his or her own incredible story. I came away with an assurance that people truly are, like Helen Keller said, “…born with an incurable capacity for making the best of things.”

I met people who had endured so many different tragedies – and yet there they were, out living life and doing their best to keep going. Beautiful people, wonderful inspirations for me and for all who know them.

As I discussed life with them, I found once again that what I had learned when I first wrote my book still held true: To heal after tragedy, seven things seemed to be essential:

1. Grieve! Don’t allow yourself to try to skip the process. Even though it is painful and unpredictable, the process itself is a healing process and can be what helps you to finally find the peace and strength you seek.

2. Find a Friend. Sometimes you need someone beside you who understands completely where you are coming from and who will support you no matter what you say or do.

3. Set Up Systems. Life can be pretty hard to keep up with on a normal day. Then when you experience a loss, you can feel like you have absolutely no control over anything at all in your life. Setting up systems to make sure the daily necessities are taken care of can create a basic sense of order in your life.

4. Fix Your Finances. We all need to know where we stand financially, but when you are grieving it is especially vital to be clear in your mind about your financial state. The last thing you need is to be worried about your money.

5. Ditch the D’s. Four things will completely derail any progress you have made if you don’t watch for and guard against them: Denial, Discouragement, Depression, and Despair. Learn how to negate their influence over you.

6. Build Belief in Yourself. Grief can make you feel like you are completely worthless. It is important to find ways to build your belief that you are, indeed, valued and have much to contribute to the world.

7. Serve! Finding a way to look outside your own difficult situation, if even for a short time, can be a huge lift to your spirits, and can be the beginning of a new and beautiful chapter of your life.

Are you ready to move ahead in life? I hope these seven essentials will help you take your next step!

To your healing,


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