How do we find the perspective we need to move forward with grief? And for those of us who are “grief-adjacent”, are there shifts we can make in our words and expectations that will help support those grieving? This amazing thought leader has a powerful story of her own loss that can help!

Grief has a way of knocking us off our feet. It leaves us scrambling to make sense of events, and yearning for normalcy. So, how do we get back up? Do we try to “move on”? Or is there another route?

This experience is surely as old as the human heart and every one of us is going to drag ourselves through those long hours, weeks and years unprepared for the journey at some point. So, when someone can transform the way we think about emotion as ancient as grief, it is something to celebrate.

Image: Sunset illuminating a field of poppies

Source: Pixabay

After experiencing a loss, our friends and family will desperately want us to feel better. They want us to bounce back, to be the person that they knew before, to move on. But anyone who has tried knows that moving on from your grief is impossible. Those people we love, although no longer physically here, will always impact us. So is moving on really something we should be striving for?

Is it possible that a simple shift in words—of expectations—could reshape our experience with grief?

See what you think after hearing what Nora McInerny has to say about how we can move forward with our lives while still keeping those we lost close.

In 2014, Nora experienced multiple losses over the course of just a few weeks. (I’ll let her explain what exactly happened during that time in her TED talk.) But through these events, her life (obviously) changed. Since then, she began the “Hot Young Widows Club” with a friend, has written multiple books and launched the podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, where she chats with people about some of the worst times in their lives.

“Usually when I talk about this period in my life, the reaction I get is essentially, “I can’t — I can’t imagine“. But I do think you can. I think you can, and I think that you should. Because someday it’s going to happen to you. Maybe not these specific losses, in this specific order or at this speed. But like I said, I’m very fun and the research that I have seen will stun you: Everyone you love has a 100% chance of dying.” — Nora McInerny

No, that isn’t the most uplifting quote I could have pulled from her. But it really cuts to the chase: this is a reality we’re all going to face. And for being something so natural in life, the death of loved ones (and the rerouting of dreams, for that matter) is an experience that a lot of us just don’t know how to handle—whether it’s happening to us or someone close to us.

28 minutes

What to Say, When You Don’t Know What to Say

Today we point you to a TED Talk you may some day be very glad you came across. Even if you live a charmed life, someday you may need to comfort a friend in the face of tragedy. Here are some empowering and almost magical insights that could change everything!

Read More

So how do we go on with our lives after a loss without pushing our departed loved ones aside? Nora McInerny explains that in the aftermath of the hardest moments of our life—the loss of a loved one or the loss of our hopes or dreams—there’s a different approach for us, and the people around us, to thinking about our grief.

Nora lets us in on all that she’s learned with her heartbreaking and surprisingly hilarious talk on the TED stage. Have a look:

Via: TED 1

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” ― Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie

Check out all of Nora’s ventures since 2014 by visiting her website. There you’ll find links to her podcast, her writings, the widow’s group, her nonprofit, and much more. For a website centered around death, it’s sure one that brings a lot of joy.

Hear more from her right now in this following episode of TED Radio Hour where she explains a little more of what moving forward after loss looks like.

You can also see more great TED Talks by perusing our category all about them!

Grief can also be part of the process of seeing your hopes and dream evaporate or losing the ability to do something you are passionate about.

Many of the insights in Nora’s talk can apply to other kinds of terrible loss—the ending of a marriage, a loved one being impacted by drug addiction, the loss of a limb or one of our senses. To find some more insights to manage that kind of grief, check out this wonderful article:

46 minutes

Kevin Kling’s “The Losses and Laughter We Grow Into”

Good comedian/story-tellers leave us with smiles that transform us forever. Here is a delightful conversation with one of the best. This guy can help us grow into our losses.

Read More

We need to remember that a grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again. If they’re lucky, they’ll even find love again. But yes, absolutely, they’re going to move forward. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.” — Nora McInerny

At this point, you may be wondering how all of this proves that it’s still an amazing world. How do the worst experiences of our life equate to that?

Well, this may be one of the first times that EWC’s tagline can be taken completely literally. Even though a loss has been experienced, it’s still an amazing world. While someone we love is physically gone, we can still move forward with them. And because we’ve loved and lost them, we’re able to see life in a new way. We connect deeper with others who have experienced life this deeply and we see the enormity and importance of those still around us.

We have a new chapter for us to take under our wing. No, it’s not what we wanted. Losing them was never the plan. But we’re still here. So what are we going to do if we don’t move forward?

“Ain’t no shame in holding on to grief, as long as you make room for other things too.”—The Wire

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

We need funding!

We’re going to come clean with you: we’re at the tail end of our budget. Do you have any ideas on where we can turn to bring in more moolah to keep Ever Widening Circles going? Email us at [email protected]!

Notes:

  1. TED. “We Don’t ‘Move on’ from Grief. We Move Forward with It | Nora McInerny.” YouTube, TED, 25 Apr. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=khkJkR-ipfw&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 2 July 2019.
  2. NPR/TED Staff. “Nora McInerny: What Does Moving Forward Look Like After Loss?” NPR, TED Radio Hour, 21 June 2019, www.npr.org/2019/06/21/734385329/nora-mcinerny-what-does-moving-forward-look-like-after-loss. Accessed 2 July 2019. 

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.

In this Circle

Secrets to the “Happiness Advantage” at Work

18 minutes

[ Business ]

By Sam Burns

Want to be happier at work? Solid science predicts we actually control 90% of our happiness and only 10% is related to our circumstances! Today, Shawn Anchor tells us how to nurture the "happiness advantage" in our work and home. Amazing!
Read More

Rewilding: How Wolves Radically Change Rivers

18 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Sam Burns

Author George Monbiot has coined a new term - "rewilding" - which may be the key to finding balance with the natural world. You won't believe the dramatic improvements that nature can manage for itself, once key species are reintroduced. Fascinating!
Read More

Conspiracy of Goodness: A Movement That’s Changing our Future

15 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Sam Burns

Why don't we know about the awe-inspiring people who are making the world a better place? There is already a movement underway of people working towards a better collective future and you're already a part of it. This is the Conspiracy of Goodness, the movement all around us just waiting to be celebrated!
Read More

How to Move Forward When Grief Finds You!

20 minutes

[ Featured ]

By Sam Burns

If you or a friend are struggling with grief, this article will feel like opening a window on a new landscape. Here are some transformational ideas about how we can move forward with grief, from a thought leader who has had her fair share of experience with it!
Read More

The People Who Could Be the Unsuspecting Heroes in Our Journey!

16 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Sam Burns

Jonathan Gravenor discovered some unlikely "teachers" as he went from traveling the world as a successful journalist to struggling through chemo alone, and they changed his life. He shares a few of the lesson he learned in this great TED Talk!
Read More

The Wild Potential of Embracing Our Limitations

10 minutes

[ Art ]

By Sam Burns

What if embraced our limitations? What possibilities might we discover if we just owned them and let them force us to get creative. We might actually find possibilities we would never have discovered. Take a look at how remarkable this mindset can be!
Read More

Life Advice from the Slowest Mammal on Earth!

30 minutes

[ Animals ]

By Sam Burns

What can sloths teach us about dealing with the chaos of modern life? Here's a hilarious TED Talk that will have you becoming a champion of the sloth lifestyle for yourself.
Read More

What Fear Can Teach Us About the Stories We Tell Ourselves

17 minutes

[ Business ]

By Sam Burns

DO NOT MISS THIS! If you are turning your back on all the fear and malice in the news media these days, this TED Talk is a really fun and "game-changing" insight! (We use it almost every day)
Read More

Abundance is Our Future!

16 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Sam Burns

It's easy to concede that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but the data shows the opposite! Here's the CEO of the X-Prize foundation to clue us in on where we are headed and why!
Read More

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

16 minutes

[ Business ]

By Sam Burns

Have you ever watched the TED Talk with the most views in history: 33 million? There's a reason this one is on top. Great fun and a subject that can expand every single one of us, no matter our age.
Read More