This is an idea. I read the book Option B; Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

Sheryl’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack. This is her story of grief.

In the book, Adam Grant suggests that one of the reasons that grief is so hard is because of the Three P’s.

We believe that grief is personal, that is we take it personally. We believe it is pervasive. I actually think it is – our grief permeates every aspect of our lives both inside and out, and we believe that it is permanent. At least it feels like all of these P’s are true.

Grant suggests that if we can allow ourselves to see that in fact, while we move forward with our grief, the intensity of grief is not permanent. Grief changes as our lives change. If we can hold this as a truth, we might find hope when all feels hopeless.

If we can see that while it feels personal, our person did not die as a punishment to you. We don’t know the why, but we can say that we all die, it is not personal (even though it can feel so personal).

While grief permeates every aspect of your life – there is more going on in your life than just grief? If we can allow ourselves to see more than just our pain, we can perhaps find moments of ease or even joy in our day.

Having said that, this is not easy. For some, this idea might be an “aha” at this moment; and for some, you might completely reject it at this moment; and for some, it will become a process an idea for self-reflection.

Personal, Pervasive, and Permanent. Grief is not – no the intensity of grief is not – personal, pervasive, or permanent.

What do you think?

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs