Snakes and ladders, the old traditional board game, is a great metaphor for life after loss.

As Penny R suggested on a recent Zoom call,  in Snakes and Ladders, sometimes you climb the ladder and feel  progress, other times you just keep sliding back down into feelings of sadness or despair and wondering where that  ladder went.   Of course, Covid hasn’t helped to lighten the load for those experiencing loss and it is especially hard for anyone who has gone through a recent loss and not been able to mourn  in the usual ways.

We’d all prefer a life of just ladders, but unfortunately, we usually run across just as many “snakes” in life as we do ladders. So, if you are feeling that lately your game of life has been all snakes and no ladders, here are some ways to get through it:

  • Accept what is.  Accepting our current situation prepares you for when happiness ( those up ladders!) come by again – easier said than done we know but worth thinking about.
  • Perseverance.  When you feel like throwing the game up in the air and stomping on it, that’s the time to hang in there a while longer.   Some days those snakes can really bring you down, but if you keep moving forward you will eventually find a ladder
  • Gratitude.  Sometimes it’s hard to feel much thankfulness  but, if you can focus on what’s good and meaningful to you in your life, it will help you find your way to another ladder.

After loss, a lot of advice can seem cliche and meaningless, but usually a cliche is a cliche for a reason – there is a kernel of truth in it and our job is to examine it and decide what  makes sense to us and what applies to us in our lives.

Maybe you have another metaphor for life after loss and the Covid experience – let us know your thoughts in the comments below or email us at