Your Loss Line

When looking specifically at your own grief and loss; chances are there is a lot of work for you to do.  You might say, “NO WAY”!!!  I totally understand your apprehension on this.  Doing a loss line is not for the faint of heart.


  • Look at your life losses and make a list
  • Start as far back as you can remember and come to today’s date or start from today and go backwards
  • Indicate the year or if you don’t remember that, then an approximate age that you were at the time
  • Include people who have died
  • Include pets who have died
  • Each time you had to move or relocate
  • Each time you changed schools
  • Have there been any job losses or changes in jobs
  • Have peers moved away or died
  • What about losses related to children and/or grandchildren
  • Relationships that ended
  • …. You get the idea

When you do this, create a column for the date and ages down one side.  You can do point form unless you want to go into a lot of detail about each loss, your choice.

The point of this exercise is to have you acknowledge the perhaps, numerous losses that have occurred in your life.  What you will notice is, some losses do not elicit any reaction from you.  They are just something that you remember.

Heads up!  There will be some losses that you may struggle to write down.  These are the ones that need more attention and time spent on them.  Potentially, they are the losses that hurt your heart.  You might want to seek the support of a grief counsellor to help process these losses; just a suggestion.

If you are a counsellor you could make this suggestion to your clients.  I strongly recommend you doing it for yourself first; this way you can more fully understand the experiential part of the process.

Another benefit of doing a loss line is, you will be able to see how far you have come in your life, even if it does not feel like it to you.  When you look back upon your lived experiences you might wonder how did I get to this point, now in my life.

With the loss line completed, here is another powerful area to really focus on;

  • What strengths do you have… write them down so you can see and read them to yourself…say them out loud, now say them louder.
  • Who inspired you to keep going on in your life, perhaps it was a special person or yourself?
  • Forgiveness of yourself and others might be needed.


As my great grandma said,

“This life is for you too”!

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Thanatologist/Grief Counsellor