col_dogsResolving your grief does not mean forgetting your loved one    

Resolving your grief does not mean that you will not feel deeply sad about your loss in the future. To the contrary, remembering your loved one and being able to connect to your sense of loss in the future is normal, healthy and desirable.

Satirist and TV host Stephen Colbert addressed this continuing presence of loss in a recent magazine interview*. Colbert was 10 when his father and two young brothers were killed in an airplane crash while on their way to enrolling the two young men in private school. When the interviewer asked Colbert if his grief had dissipated in the 40 years since the accident, he said it “was as keen but not as present.”

“Grief will always accept the invitation to appear,” he continued. “It’s got plenty of time for you,” and (it reminds you) “I’ll be here when you need me.” Colbert went on to say he’d always liked the phrase “he was visited by grief” because that’s how it felt to him. Something not as big as he was, but smaller, and its own thing.

“It’s not like it’s in me,” he said, “(instead) it’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.” This comment reminded me of someone once saying, “Living with grief is like living with a teenage boy. If you don’t let him sit in the living room with you, he will go down to the basement and start lifting weights.”

With that in mind, my upcoming book, Fits and Starts will help you develop a continuing bond with your loved one, and make you aware of  what may want to slip, unresolved, into your basement.



*Colbert, Stephen. Playboy Interview with Stephen Colbert. Issue: Nov 2012. Online: