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Grief & Loss

I rarely just post something publicly that I write without edit. I typically read and re-read, edit and re-edit, and then edit again (aka "overthink"). If the subject could possibly hurt others, I ask trusted friends to read it after it's been written, re-written and edited x 3. Then I edit for the suggestions. But not today.

But today I'm in a mood. I suppose I'm grieving--the friends I've lost, the parents I never had, the future I thought I'd have the honor of seeing in the lives of young people within my influence (who, instead of choosing the brightly lit path have chosen a hard, dark dangerous path).

many candles shining light in a dark place
Grief is a multi-layered thing

Grief is a multi-layered thing. It seems like every loss piles on to all of the other losses so that you can't just grieve one thing. Every grief digs up the past and brings with it the familiar feelings of every other grief. Sometimes it feels like an avalanche.

And grief is never just about the present. It's about the future that you thought would happen that now never will.

And if we're really honest, somewhere in there is a vague feeling of envy...

When your own child is lost, it seems that everyone has a child who's graduating...photographs of caps and gowns, big smiles all around, bright futures gleaming.

When your spouse is gone, every Facebook post seems full of pictures of happy couples on beautiful vacations, growing old together, and laughing without fear of the future.

I could go on, but you get it. Whatever you've lost appears to be in abundance for others everywhere you look. It's so profoundly unfair.

Have you ever lost someone you didn't want to lose? A parent gone too soon, a spouse who didn't want to be married anymore, or a child who is no longer in your life (went off the rails, ran away, was abducted or who died)?

Loss is hard. And it can make us feel all alone and misunderstood. But the reality is that we're not alone. There are millions of us who are acquainted with grief who do understand in ways that people who haven't experienced it never could.

As I sat today considering the loss of people I have loved and the times that what I knew to be true 5 minutes before each loss was no longer true, and how the future that I thought would be true disintegrated before my eyes, I realized that I'm still breathing. I'm still alive. I survived it all. And I will survive every other loss until the time comes for me to be the one leaving.

One of the people I recently lost used to tell me that she thought that God's purpose for my life was to share with others "HOW TO." How to survive hard times. How to mine the lessons from our hard times and emerge successfully. How to use pain as the stepping stones to our purposeful, joyful life. I believed her so I started writing, and I haven't stopped.

So because of that sweet hermanita in my life and what she instilled in my heart, I'll tell you how I deal with loss and grief in the hopes that it helps you.

Every time my heart breaks (it's happened so many times that I suspect my heart is made up entirely of scar tissue), I pray, I breathe, and I do my best to hit my re-set button.

I let go of the past and the fantasy future I had created in my imagination and I press forward toward God's calling on my life--towards the future He has for me.

How to have peace, believe that God has the best plan
Grief and loss never fully go away but you can have peace.

I believe that God knows what's best and wants to give it to us. I believe that God knows more than I do. I believe He is responsible, reliable and worthy of my trust. I believe that He knows what to do and that His timing is perfect. I believe that He loves me and you (regardless of who we vote for, how we feel about climate change, skin color, gender, socio-economic status, and any of the other nonsensical things we use to separate, label and categorize ourselves). I believe that when bad things happen, that God didn't forget, screw up, miss His opportunity, or fail. I believe that His plan is better than anything I can come up with.

So, if you have lost someone or something along with the future you saw yourself in, please don't throw in the towel. Don't do something harmful that you think will make the pain stop. There's nothing you can do to really make the pain stop except to BREATHE, PRAY, and put one foot in front of the next and walk into your new life--the one you didn't want, the one you didn't ask for, the one you aren't sure you can survive.

God knows what you don't. He knows who you'll meet. He knows about the good you'll be able to do. He knows that your purpose is at the intersection of your passion, abilities and empathy. He knows that the fastest way for you to help yourself (and heal your heart) is for you to do what you can to help others.

You're still breathing, so you're still in the game. There is still a purpose for your life. It's still your job to find it. In fact, that's our only job.

Rhonda Sciortino has been abandoned, neglected, abused, lied to, cheated on and stolen from, but she's not a victim. Rhonda is a survivor, and she encourages others to see themselves as survivors of whatever they've been through. When survivors help others, they become successful survivors. She founded Successful Survivors Foundation to educate, encourage and empower victims to become survivors, and ultimately successful survivors, of whatever they've been through.


Here's how to live happy:

Here's how to live loved:

You can create a successful life because of all you've been through:

Find your purpose and live with joy:

Find Your Purpose Now podcast

This podcast will help you find and live your purpose and enjoy the peace and joy that accompanies it. Subscribe now and share this with a friend. Find Your Purpose Now is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Iheartradio, Amazon music, Overcast, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and right here at

Start a conversation that can change everything:

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