After losing a loved one, you might feel that you've been left with a huge hole in your life. The "hole" houses your sadness, loneliness and emptiness along with other painful thoughts and feelings.
Naturally, many people try to get rid of the hole, say, by trying to fill in the hole or trying to run away from the hole. Not me.
Wise mentors taught me to keep the hole in sight, using it in beautiful ways.
For a moment, imagine a splotch on a canvas. It looks ugly. If you now paint a picture, incorporating the splotch as an essential feature, you can end up with something beautiful that depends on the splotch for completeness. Just think of the orb of a Van Gogh setting sun or the charcoal eye of a Degas dancer.
Grief is the process by which we adjust to life without a special love and transform the hole from a source of pain to one of joy.
Be forewarned: The "missing" part of life after loss still aches -- it always will. But with time and effort, the pain of remembering can be outweighed by the joys. Memories of a loved one's strength can stir fortitude, of wisdom can provide needed guidance, and of humor can bring comic relief.
And what if a death seems to have come too soon? I share my thoughts in "Patent Pending: The Measure of a Life," which you can read by clicking here.