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Page 40

spark magazine

40

I

nspirational, not only because it rose from a dark place deep inside another human, but

inspirational because it shows others

foundations of your life, it can also lead to rebuilding life with a change in perspective,” Dr Lavalle explains.

people begin being grateful for the ‘small things in life’ or look at their priorities and have redefined what they see as important in the wake of tragedy.

just what the human spirit is capable of and reminds us that this possibility

She says it’s common when thinking

lives in us all.

about grief, to think of the big

“When you grow from grief you may

moments of grief: death, tragedy,

discover the strength you never knew

As I write this I am in New Zealand,

a relationship breakdown that all

you had. It can help you to redefine

spending my days on Cardrona

result in the person feeling they’re

meaning in life and develop a sense

mountain with my two boys – skiing

trapped in a world of darkness. But

of knowing, that no matter what life

and snowboarding respectively.

she believes growth is possible but

throws at you, you will cope.

What we have witnessed this week

also stresses it doesn’t mean the grief

at Cardrona has been squad after

doesn’t hurt.

“Some people decide to take that first step in doing things they have

squad of Paralympic athletes skiing faster and more gnarly than us all.

“To make it clear, growing from

always wanted but were too worried

Each time I witness another of their

loss does not mean that there is an

about what other people would

amazing feats, I am awe-struck (and

endpoint to grief, or that suddenly,

think. When you think about it, what

completely humbled).

the pain has ended, and you are

else can you lose, you’ve already lost

blissfully happy.

that special person in your life, so this might be just the opportunity you

Grief expert and clinical psychologist, Dr Olga Lavalle says

“A person’s growth can occur while

need to take steps to really honour

this rising from the ashes to make

feeling pain from the loss of a loved

them,” she explains.

something wonderful from the

one or that special person who was

darkness is far more common than

in your life. When you face your pain,

One such person who literally

we think, and not just showcased on

there is also a chance for personal

changed his life in the face of grief is

the Olympic coverage.

growth to occur,” Dr Lavalle says.

former AFL footballer, Tom Allwright. Having had his AFL career with the

“As grief can make your world fall apart and break the

Dr Lavalle has seen personal growth

Geelong Cats cut prematurely short

from grief start off small – where

due to recurring knee injuries, Tom

Profile for Spark Magazine #FuelForBusiness

Spark Magazine: Culture, Innovation & Business - December 2019 "Fuel for Business"