Recently, I was introduced to the concept of the “thin thread”. A thin thread is a moment, event, setback, crossroad, or encounter that connected you to a person, place or an opportunity that changed your life for the better.

Losing a loved one may very well be one of these moments, but, in the darkness of grief, this “moment” may be overlooked or ignored.

I truly believe that there are no coincidences in life. Everything for which we desire is put in our path, and it is up to the individual to grab hold of it. It is unfortunate that in our sorrow (and sometimes even when we are not grieving) we might be walking with blinders on and our heads down, so we miss the opportunities offered.

“When a door is closed, a window is opened” is an old cliché, but it holds an undeniable truth. Despite your great loss, the universe (and your life) continues to flow, and there are new chapters of your life to be written. It is just up to you to pick up the pen.

A heavy door slammed shut upon the death of my late husband. While looking for windows to open, I stumbled upon a class in spirituality given by a local intuitive therapist. I became friendly with the teacher, and she told me that she had been praying for someone to enter her life to help her write a book -- and she felt I was that person! Together, we wrote "The Other Side of the Vail, Spiritual Guidance for Everyday Living", which we have just recently updated for a second printing. So out of my great setback, came an encounter with a woman whose teachings set me on a path that changed my outlook on life, helped me immensely in my grief journey, and moved my career forward. Certainly a “thin thread” moment!

Thin Threads® Stories is actually a book series that embraces the best of the human spirit - the heart and instinct in each of us that leads us toward becoming who we were meant to be. These Thin Thread stories are a collection of moments, events or decisions told in personal story form, each showing how the course of our lives can be redirected for the better. The stories encapsulate our human desire to tell our own stories and to read and relate to others through their stories.

More volumes of this series are in the works, and I have been asked to be a collector/editor of these stories – in particular about grief and recovery and spirituality.

Although so difficult with which to cope, losing a loved one teaches a mourner the most about life. Consequently, I believe a great number of you have a story to tell which could be classified as a “thin thread” moment.

If you are interested in sharing your "moment" by contributing to this series, please visit the Thin Threads website at to see sample stories and guidelines.

You may submit your story online, and if you choose under the question -- Where did you hear about Thin Threads? -- your story will come directly to me.

This is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring writers, as well as those who want to create a legacy by chronicling a life-changing event and/or honoring a lost loved one.

If your story is chosen, you will receive $100 and have the opportunity to write a blurb about yourself. You also will be entered into the story contest outlined on the website.

Since the writing of this blog post, Thin Threads of Grief and Renewal has been published. It is truly a compendium of uplifting tales by eleven authors who experienced great loss and overcame their grief to find personal renewal. To order your copy, click here. Join the community on Facebook for inspirational grief thoughts every day. New stories are being collected every day for future volumes, so you can still submit your entry.

Ellen Gerst, a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, is the author of A Practical Guide to Widow/erhood. Born out of Ellen’s own experiences as a young widow, A Practical Guide provides suggestions to help a griever re-adjust each aspect of his/her life without his/her loved one. Her newest book, 101 Tips and Thoughts on Coping with Grief, is an easy-to-read reference guide for everyday suggestions for moving forward on the grief journey. Ellen has also written Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story,
a step-by-step guide on how to redesign your life to include a new love
connection after the loss of a mate due to death or divorce.

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