The health care professional’s guide to dealing with loss

24 April 2015
Julie Adams, Director, Marketing and Communications 
Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International

The health care professional’s guide to dealing with loss
Caring science expert provides personal and professional guidance for grieving
in new STTI book
INDIANAPOLIS — Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one at some point in life, but many health care professionals deal with death every day. Nurses often become shoulders to cry on and emotional sounding boards for their patients’ families, which can make it difficult for them to deal with their own grief in a healthy way.
Author, nursing consultant, and caring science expert A. Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN, uses nature as an example to teach others about the “seasons” or stages of grief and to provide a healthier healing environment during the process of loss. In Four Seasons of Grieving: A Nurse’s Healing Journey with Nature, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Wagner focuses on the universal human experience of grieving through her own unique story of loss.
“In coping with the loss of my mother, through a reflective and aesthetic process of journaling, poetry writing, and connecting with a tree through its seasons, I realized I was healing in ways I never experienced before in my many losses through life,” Wagner said. “My grief was slowly soothed through my connection with nature. Loss became a reality — a change I learned to live with.”
Based on a caring philosophy, Four Seasons of Grieving is framed by the lessons Wagner learned from nature’s transformational seasons, specifically through reflective conversations the author had with herself and a tree.
“The process of consciously attending to my grief through self-care and self-reflection on the seasons of nature and human healing allowed new perspective and growth,” Wagner said. “As a nurse, I wanted to share my revelation of healing ways.”
Wagner urges all health care professionals and anyone experiencing a major loss to deal with grief in a more holistic way, to be better equipped to help others in their grieving process while also increasing the quality of compassionate patient care. The author said, “Being reflective about your loss and grieving and attending to your self-care and self-compassion are the most important parts of healing.”
The book is available at
Four Seasons of Grieving: A Nurse’s Healing Journey with Nature
By A. Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN
Published by STTI, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781938835964
PDF ISBN: 9781938835988
Price: US $19.95
Trade paperback, 128 pages
Trim size: 6 x 6
About the author
A. Lynne Wagner, EdD, MSN, RN, is a nurse consultant with a focus on developing and facilitating mentoring programs based on her published Caring Mentoring Model. A former director of Watson Caring Science Institute’s (WCSI) Caritas Coach Education Program, Wagner currently serves as WCSI faculty associate and adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Nursing. Wagner is co-founder of the Massachusetts Regional Caring Science Consortium — a forum for nurses to gather and discuss caring practice. As a Caring Science scholar, her publications and national and international presentations and workshops address the development of caring practice from personal and professional perspectives. 
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Founded in 1922, STTI has more than 135,000 active members in more than 85 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others. STTI’s roughly 500 chapters are located at approximately 695 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Wales. More information about STTI can be found online at