Lessons We Can Learn from Our Deceased Loved Ones

When we lose someone close to us, whether it’s a friend, significant other, or family member, the experience is heartbreaking. It can be difficult to even wrap our heads around the sudden void in our lives, leaving us questioning everything we know about the world. It’s impossible to prepare ourselves for the emotional weight of losing someone special, and the grief we feel can manifest itself in ways we couldn’t imagine. But while the experience of loss can be overwhelmingly tragic, it is also a universal part of life.

An elderly couple looking out at the ocean.

Every person that has and will ever exist must face death, and while each of our journeys through grief and struggles to move forward are unique, there are also many shared lessons about life that the death of a loved one can teach us. In fact, learning these lessons from the deceased can be their final gift to us and a way to keep their memory and legacy alive in our hearts and minds.  


Lessons from a Life Well Lived

Our deceased loved ones often leave a wealth of wisdom and life lessons behind that we can absorb and apply to our own lives. From their experiences, we can gain insight into resilience, love, courage, humility, and so much more. By observing and reflecting on the remarkable lives of those closest to us, we can learn and apply the knowledge and understanding they gained throughout their lives to make our own relationships and experiences richer and more fulfilling. Here are a few examples of insights we can gain from our deceased loved ones:

Love and Kindness

Obviously, when a person we love and cherish has passed, there are many reasons why we loved them and cherished them so much. Often, it is the kindness, compassion, and care they showed others in life that brought us such joy and makes their absence so devastating.

A woman hugging her child.

By reflecting on their personality, how they treated others in their relationships, and the specific acts of love, generosity, and empathy they showed throughout their lives, we can learn how to be better people ourselves. By recalling our departed loved ones’ actions and emulating their best qualities, we can be more conscious of our own traits and have a blueprint to follow to improve ourselves. 

Strength and Resilience

When we look at how our loved ones faced and overcame the challenges and obstacles in their lives, we can learn the value of resilience. Their stories of hard work, strength of character, and perseverance in the face of adversity give us insight into the power of the human spirit and inspire us to overcome the struggles in our own lives.

By listening to stories and family anecdotes, reading journals and letters, or simply remembering our own experiences seeing our loved ones’ conflicts, failures, and triumphs, we can deepen our knowledge of how to adapt and endure, no matter what trials and tribulations we encounter. 

Humility and Gratitude

Humility and gratitude are some of the most important qualities to obtain in order to live a life with grace and dignity. Often, our loved ones became so special to us precisely because they displayed these qualities so remarkably.

Seeing what they valued most and how they carried themselves in both victory and defeat, success and failure, offers clues to their beliefs in life. Reflecting on our loved ones’ attitudes can help encourage us to practice humility in our own lives, recognizing the value of others and the role they play in our success. This allows us to truly appreciate the good things in life.

Dreams and Determination

Our loved ones can inspire us to dream big and pursue them with determination and passion. When we look at the lives of those we love and respect and see them fulfill their dreams through relentless courage and willpower, it can help us understand what is possible when we put our minds to something.

Loved ones teach us not to be afraid to chase our dreams, take risks, be persistent, and remember that failure is often just a stepping stone to success.

An arm extends with a tattoo on it that says "please don't let your dreams die".

As you connect to the memory and experiences of your deceased loved one, consider working with a professional genealogist, life story writer, or family historian who can help to gather, organize, and present their life stories. These can be powerful tools for accessing and understanding the lessons they've left behind. Living in a way that honors these lessons not only keeps the memory of our loved ones alive, but also allows us to lead enriched lives filled with their wisdom.


Lessons from Our Grief Journey

In addition to learning from the life experiences of our deceased loved ones, we can also learn a lot about ourselves through our grief journey. Grieving is a necessary part of coping with loss and healing from tragedy, and it has many lessons to teach us. When a close bond is broken, it can bring up a complex range of emotions and reactions as we navigate the experience.

In her famous 1969 book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross introduced the concept of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While each person’s grief journey can take on a variety of unique forms, many of the emotions we feel are universal to the human experience. Not everyone will necessarily undergo the same process of grief, but Kubler-Ross’s five stages can serve as a general guide to help us understand what we’re feeling and give perspective and context to the complex and overwhelming emotions that we experience.

Decades later, her colleague and co-author of On Grief and Grieving, David Kessler, compelled by his own personal grief journey following the death of his son, discovered a sixth stage: meaning making. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares insights about how finding meaning, not in someone's death but in the connection you shared with them, can help with healing.

“...meaning comes through finding a way to sustain your love for the person after their death while you’re moving forward with your life. Loss is simply what happens to you in life. Meaning is what you make happen.” - David Kessler, Finding Meaning

Kessler believes that meaning is a reflection of the love we have for those we have lost. Therefore, meaning is deeply personal. It takes time—sometimes years. And the "why" we're searching for doesn't apply to death; rather, it applies to our own lives. Why are you still here in the wake of your loved one's passing? What will you do with your precious life, and how will you move forward while keeping their memory alive?

A Meaningful Tribute

There are many ways to honor a loved one, be they tangible or intangible, momentous or modest. Throughout all of our correspondences and connections, our customers never cease to amaze us with the myriad ways they celebrate their loved ones and carry on their legacies. From changing laws to climbing mountains, the ways in which people honor their loved ones are as unique as a fingerprint. The same is true for memorial diamonds.

A gorgeous blue round diamond on white flowers.

Because of the differences in every individual's carbon, each Eterneva Diamond is as inimitable from the loved one from whom it's made. Certain specifications such as cut, color, and carat create a visual representation of the way they lit up the world.

At Eterneva, we understand the challenges of the grief journey, but we also firmly believe in the lessons our deceased loved ones and the experience of losing them can teach us. When we create diamonds from the ashes of our customers’ loved ones, we believe they serve as a symbol of what we’ve learned and a reminder to reflect on and apply that wisdom to our own spirit so that we may live a more conscious and fulfilling life.