Category Archives: Grief & Loss


By Kim Olver


Do you know the pain of grief & loss? I know I do and I bet you have lost something or someone close to you. My husband died when he was 37 years old from leukemia. Five years later, my youngest son was deployed to Iraq. He survived two tours and is now doing well but at the time, I experienced a great loss.

While my husband was dying, I read a great book by John Dimartini called, The Breakthrough Experience. He spoke of a brilliant concept that I have found extremely helpful in managing grief. He reminded me of the periodic table of elements . . . something I remember learning in chemistry class but that’s about all I remembered about it. He says that every element in the table is completely balanced with exactly the same number of protons as electrons. Each element has an equal positive and negative charge. Dimartini theorizes that the same is true of our life experiences and I found that to be true every time  in my life and in the lives of people I counsel.

When my husband was dying, I realized we were having an opportunity to say goodbye–something many people never get. And because my husband was affected by a chemical with which he worked, he stopped working, long before he was too sick to work. Prior to this, he was clearly a workaholic and my kids and I rarely saw him. Because of his illness, he coached my kids soccer and baseball teams, took them hunting and went on a trip to Disney World with us. These things would never have happened had he not been sick. And certainly we have found other positive sides with time.

Isn’t that always the way? When you’re in it, all you experience is the pain and grief but with time, sometimes we see what happened may actually be positive. . . like when you lose your job, only to start your own successful business. It’s easy to see the positive in hindsight. The trick is to begin looking for it while you are going through it.

It changes your thinking and your perception when you begin looking for the balance in all situations. Remember the pain is only half of the equation. If all things are perfectly balanced, then you know there is an equal amount of positive associated with the loss. There is always a lesson, gift or opportunity. You have to first believe that’s true and then go on a hunt to find it. It won’t erase the pain of the loss but finding the benefits can neutralize the pain. Happy hunting.