ASK COLETTE: Working Through Loss and Lack of Connection

Here, Zoomer guru Colette Baron-Reid on grief, loneliness — and jump starting life all over again.


Hi Colette,

I am writing for your insight as to how to move forward in my life. I went through cancer four years ago and am in slow recovery, still feeling a lot of fatigue.

Both my parents have passed away in the last six months. I lost my mother this past October from cancer and, then five months later, I lost my father from a heart attack. I feel very alone and lost in my life.

I am disconnected from my four siblings. They seem to resent me, and I am not sure why. This creates a lot of added heartache for me. Regardless, I not only feel very alone in the world, I also feel a lot of despair.

I miss my mother as she was my best friend and my rock. I long to connect with her. I also very much long for real and loving connections in my life and in my work. I feel like I need to jump start my life all over again but not sure really how.  —Lost and Alone


Dear Lost and Alone,

I’ve lost both my parents as well and I remember the terribly isolated feeling I thought I would never ever move past. Both my parents died in a short period of time back to back, and I also did not have the best relationships with my extended family. What I know is that I had to live my life in one day, 24-hour increments, and that I could manage my grief and my sorrow in those 24 hours. I paid a lot of attention to my dog. I allowed myself to love where I could and I allowed myself to be helped by others.

I believe in group counselling and in group therapy. Grief support groups are really important to have. If you lack community within your own family you can seek out external communities for engagement.

Time will heal these relationships. Family relationships are always the most difficult. But if you can also develop a spiritual connection (church, synagogue, place of spiritual worship, etc.) where you can establish a community fellowship, it will help with our feelings of aloneness. When I lived in Toronto, I loved going to the Unity Church.

The hardest thing is to accept help from others but not only can they restore you to life, they can restore your faith in humanity. You can develop new family/tribe relationships away from your family of origin and you can be happy again.

No one will be able to bring your parents back. You can always have a relationship with your mother because we don’t die. In my experience as a medium, life is everlasting.

It may be the perfect time for you to start to “see and feel” your new life. Here’s one of my favorite exercises I share in my book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel too Much. I recommend you journal through this exercise so your awareness about what is possible becomes clearer and your happiness returns.

Shopping List for Your New Life – Exercise

Start a shopping list for your new life, as if you could simply pop over to the store and pick up what you would like, with someone else covering the bill. If you weren’t thinking about all the obstacles between you and the life you’d like for yourself, what would you “pick up”?

Would you want to bring in more time with friends? What would you do with them? Would you talk over lunch or drinks, or while walking your dogs to the dog run together?

What opportunities would you slip into your cart, for use when you are ready? Would you want an opportunity to exercise socially without feeling that everyone is staring at you or judging you? What would that opportunity look like?

What kind of food would you pick up? What cooking skills would you simply purchase and start using?

What clothes will you wear? What will they say about you?

What job or jobs will you have? What responsibilities will you take on? Will the work you do be fulfilling? Will the people you work with be flexible and respectful of your needs? What will that look like? Will you collaborate with them or compete with them?

As you draw up your list, if you feel hesitation about acknowledging what you want for yourself, stop. Get in touch with why you feel that situation is off limits to you.

I look forward to hearing what your new life looks like and how this exercise helped you become clear about what you want – and deserve.  Please share your insights in the comments section below.

Love and blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor

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