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The Myth of Finding Purpose From Pain With David Kessler

In today’s conversation with renowned grief expert and author, David Kessler, we explore the concept of “acceptance” and what it really means.

No stranger to grief, David lost his son to addiction in 2016. He candidly talks about how to cope with feelings of shame and guilt that can accompany this type of loss. We discuss feeling pressure to create purpose from pain and pick David’s brains about what finding meaning in loss actually looks like. Spoiler alert – it’s much simpler than you think. ​​

He also breaks down some of the misconceptions surrounding the ‘Five Stages of Grief’. Having co-authored books with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who came up with the model, it’s fair to say he’s an expert on the theory. 

Other topics we cover are:

  • How to cope when you’re grieving differently from others
  • Complicated grief 
  • How to manage feelings of grief and guilt
  • How we grieve differently when we had an estranged relationship with the person who died
  • The concept of light and dark in grief 
  • …and we also get a bit of ‘signs’ chat in, which we love!

We hope you enjoy this honest and enlightening conversation as much as we did.


  • Buy David’s book Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief here.
  • Find out more about David’s ‘Tender Hearts’ course here.

Connect with us

Grief is the price we pay for love, but it can be lonely. If you need some extra grief support, join our private Facebook support group, Good Mourning Grief Community, here, follow us on Instagram at @goodmourningpodcast or drop us a line here.

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