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The Role of Forgiveness as a Tool for Healing

A strange thing happened during my first three Grief Coaching calls this week. One after another, I found myself returning to the same advice. These were three different grievers with three vastly different losses, backgrounds, and circumstances, and yet one big commonality among them: an inability to let go of a guilt or anger they were holding in relation to their loss. Were they to be stuck in this place forever, or was there something that could take some of this pain and hurt away? My answer each time: forgiveness.


Although the majority of my coaching is done over the phone I can still tell when something I’ve said causes a griever to shift uncomfortably in their seat, and this word, this topic, seemed to do just that.

Why? Because forgiveness is too big an ideal. Either too spiritual a notion or something reserved only for the mortal saints, most of the regular every day people I speak with just don’t think they are able capable of forgiveness when something is so awful.

But why the resistance to forgiveness, and can it actually help in grief?

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