blogging a to z april challenge – m

Theme: how my graduate school experience impacted my grief and my relationship with Kade.

m – meaning making

Meaning making. This is a big part of grief.

A partner and I presented a research project in our Crisis, Trauma, and Loss class entitled Perinatal and Child Loss. We described Dr. Robert Neimeyer’s emphasis on the concept of meaning making in grief. In his Theory of Constructivist Psychotherapy, he explained how people construct meaning after loss. The role of the therapist is to “listen between the lines” and discern threads that lead to a meaningful future.

In Dr. Joanne Cacciatore’s Selah Model of Grief, the state of meaning is one of the elements in the final of the three steps.

It is a tricky thing, trying to convey meaning making after Kade’s death. I have started and deleted this paragraph several times. Kade did not die so I could find some sort of greater meaning. And, after his death I can find meaning in life. I can find meaning everywhere. Sometimes I feel as if I simply must find meaning.

The fit of grad school and becoming a counselor is a part of my meaning making. I look to my right and see another: Asher. The social justice postcard-writing gatherings I organize are another. And every time I speak my truth. Or do something in Kade’s adventurous spirit, like go whitewater rafting in big water seasons, or climb a fourteener. Meaning is everywhere.


On top of Grays Peak


Kade’s friends, Dylan and Jason, took me on my first fourteener.


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