Learning a New Skill Set to Cope with Child Loss

Learning a New Skill Set to Cope with Child Loss

The months following the death of a child may seem like the worst time to learn a new skill set, but it can actually be a beneficial activity in the grieving process. About a month after our son’s death, an opportunity to learn a new skill set popped up on social media. We decided to sign up for this 30-day challenge.


The challenge included daily hour-long sessions and homework. We took notes and engaged with the information that was being shared (though, admittedly, didn’t do the homework). It wasn’t clear exactly how we would apply the information being taught, but it was interesting to learn it nonetheless.


Learning a new skill set in the months following the death of our son had the following benefits:

  1. Served as a diversion for the mind. It gave the mind something else to focus on for a portion of each day. Although our son, of course, remained ever-present on our minds throughout each day, participating in the training sessions for a portion of the day helped the grief to not be all-consuming.


  1. Gave structure to the day. The live training sessions took place at the same time each day. So, amidst the amorphous days that accompanied the dark cloud of grief, joining these sessions added an element of structure to the days.


  1. Provided something to look forward to each day. It can be hard to have anything to look forward to when you wake up knowing your child didn’t wake up that morning – and won’t the next, or the next. However, thinking about potential ways that we could use the information from the training sessions in the future gave a small dose of positive anticipation for the future.


  1. Provided a goal to work towards. The sense of accomplishment in completing something each day, and ultimately completing the 30-day challenge, provided a positive boost to the mood.


What skill set might you try learning? A new instrument? Voice lessons? A new language? A craft-making class? A finance class? A leadership class? A public speaking course? There are so many opportunities to learn a new skill set, even in the midst of deep grief. 

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