Chapter 1: Triggers of grief


The grief expert says
Dr. Chris MacKinnon, psychologist, talks about understanding events that are hard to explain.(3:22)Video transcript

She told me once, when she was a child, that she expected to die young. Then she developed this aggressive form of cancer and died in her 30s. It scares me so much to think about this. I can’t explain it, but I can’t ignore it either.

People who are grieving may come across coincidences that can trigger a wave of strong emotions. 

 A year after my mother had died, I was struggling to remember the last time we spoke. Then I came across a year-old phone message from her that said, “Remember how much I love you.” It felt like she was speaking about the loss I was feeling that day.

You may try to make sense of these coincidences. There won't always be an explanation. Coincidences can become a problem if you think of them as bad signs. For example, "It is a sign that bad things will happen to me." It is healthier to see them as comforting. For example, "I feel reassured by this sign."