Grief and Loss Coaching

Grief can feel like being thrown into a large, dark, unknown forest, and not by choice. No one chooses to be in grief.

As a Certified Grief Educator (David Kessler’s Grief Educator Certification) and Professional Certified Coach, I combine the roles and services of Educator and Life Coach and partner with you in navigating through your experience of grief and loss and finding a way forward by integrating grieving and living and finding meaning after loss.

No, you are not broken and I am not here to fix you. Nor is grief a “problem” that needs a solution.(I get that a lot!). Grief is an organic, natural response to loss, and can also be the most painful experience you have had, and will have, in your time here.

Life happens. Love happens. Loss happens. A loss can feel like the world that you once knew has now changed forever. Most likely it has..And your inner world will too change.

The number one place to start? Talking to someone.

Although there is no manual for how to grieve nor is there a right or wrong way to grieve, there  are some common experiences and ways of working with your grief that can help you create and shed light on a path froward and talking to a professional with experience and education in grief and loss can help you navigate this terrain.

When one is in grief it can feel impossible to even fathom a way forward.

These are some of the questions and ponderings that Grief and Loss Coaching can help you work through.

Can this much pain be possible to experience?

When will this ever end?

What do I do now?

Is what I am experiencing normal?

How do I go forward when all I see is darkness?

No one gets me.I just need to talk to someone.

How do my Grief and Loss Coaching Services help and what you can expect.

This type of coaching is described as helping you ride the river of grief, or find a step forward in this forest, and rebuild a life beyond loss. We may look at labelling and recognizing your loss (losses), processing feelings and emotions, witnessing your pain, relieve the burden of guilt, explore other challenges that may arise, self-care and well-being, integration and finding meaning after loss.

What we focus on will depend on where you are and I will meet your right there.

Feeling lost? I’ll meet you at lost.

I honour each individual’s own unique way of grieving and serve clients based on their needs and their unique experience, expression and context in which they operate in.

As a Grief Educator and Coach grief educators, I hope to support you and will:

  • Create space for and a life that honors your loved ones, your relationship with the loved one and your experience
  • Hold empathy, genuineness, honesty, and respect acknowledging that the true expertise in grief lies with the griever.
  • Embody a mind/body/spirit approach to grief and work on areas of living and well-being alongside your grief
  • Explore personal challenges associated with your grief that may arise and discover how to move past those challenges.
  • Provide a safe space for you to process and be in grief without judgement, feel your feelings, without “shoulds and musts”
  • Focus on a way forward, to help you integrate grieving and living and  to make sense of the now and where you are at today while also establishing a way forward
  • Find and create meaning after loss
  • Witness and hear your story (essential for any healing to occur)
  • Ensure your self-care and well-being plan and refer you to external appropriate resources if what you are looking for or in need of is outside of my professional scope

What type of loss can I get support for?

I work with all types of grief and loss including anticipatory and ambiguous,,cummulative, collective, multiple and secondary losses, prolonged grief, masked, delayed,  disenfranchised and minimized grief. 

Grief is a reaction to a loss and therefore can include multiple areas wherever there can be loss and is NOT limited to a death of a human. I also acknowledge that a lot of losses are disenfranchised and minimized (such as Miscarriage, loss of a pet, an elderly parent) and I operate under the premise that there is no comparing or bright siding losses in working with you.

 Although I work with any type of loss (and loss can be subjective, but is often judged) some of the most common areas I work with are:

Human loss (death and/or illness) of a parent, child, spouse/partner, sibling,other family and friendships, community)

Pet loss

End of a relationship

Loss of Health (i.e, illness diagnosis, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 

Job loss

Ambiguous Loss and Grief (loss without physical death. loss without clear conclusion or closure) i.e  loss of identity, loss of an ability,  loss of what you thought things would be like. This areas often includes several of the losses listed above

Grief and Loss coaching can be a safe place for you to recognize loss and experience grief YOUR way. The responsibility for change lies with the griever. I can inform, reflect, and support you but your journey is ultimately Yours and you are the expert of your own grief. No matter where you are in your grieving journey, I am here to meet you where you are at, at this time, and in the now.

I look forward to working with you.

Who am I talking to…..? A Personal Touch

I wanted to add this section here as a portal for connection. If you are going to share some of your grief, pain and intimate experiences, it may help you determine a fit if you know a little bit about my own experience with grief, aside from my professional experience and education.

I do not want to write an entire loss inventory but here are 3 quick ones on what I see as my top most impactful losses:

1. I lost my Dad in 2021 after he battled Alzheimer’s for 9 years.

I was a prime caregiver alongside my Mother and wonderful Home Caregiver.

I once thought that to live a life with my Father not around would not be possible, emotionally.

It felt like I lost a piece of my Dad everyday for 9 years and it was also years of never having laughed so hard in my life. Humor was my saviour. I rode my own journey with his journey. Only mine is still here, and his are in my thoughts and memories.

Seeing my Mom’s pain and fight against death, who was with my Dad over 50 years….

Being the one to tie his shoes when he had taught me how to tie mine….

See how complicated grief can be?

I learned that nothing prepares you for the death of a parent, or any loss. I did not realize how vulnerable I was but I also did not realize how much strength I had-or maybe love.. And anger! Wow. Did my grief ever come out in anger….I had no idea I had that emotion in me….it was an unexpected wave for sure. I had to do A LOT of processing😊

I do not want to write an entire loss inventory but here are 3 quick ones on what I see as my top most impactful losses:

2. My cats (yes, multiple).

No, it’s not ‘just a cat” and “now you can go get another one”. The things people say!!

I have had to put down 3 cats in my lifetime.  I only hope I honoured their life and their death…their exit, in the way that they deserved.  The emotional pain of seeing,what I considered as family members, being sick, dying… and then having to make the choice to end their life…..Well, it just sucks.

On January 27th, 2024, after consultation with my Vet (I have no idea how they do their jobs….I am forever grateful to them!) I decided to euthanize my Cat (Celeidh aka ‘Bean”) I lived life with for 18 years.  A possible brain tumour. This one was my “baby”. As it had been a few years since I euthanized my other beloved Moose, I had forgotten the intensity and heartbreak that come along with years of love, only to be reminded again. Pets play a HUGE part in our lives and often this loss gets minimized or disenfranchised. So if you are experiencing the loss of a pet or have a pet that is sick, please reach out. The pain is real because the love is real:)

3. Loss of health.

I wanted to include this one here to highlight the vastness under which one may experience loss. Loss of health can refer to anything including being diagnosed with an illness, maybe having an injury,  (mental and or physical) and no longer having or being able to do what you once could, leading into secondary losses (losses that occur as a result of the primary loss)

In 2016 I had some emergency surgery leading to a colon resection (I still have 50% of it in me!). My grief was not about the organ being …reduced…but about the decline in physical activity, loss of work and some permanent consequences in ability to…digest and excrete.

Yes, I am being vulnerable here but vulnerability breeds connection and there can be no coaching relationship without connection and emotional safety!

I hope these 3 experiences help you get a better picture of who you will be receiving support from, behind professional designations and also provide you with a greater scope of  what  a loss is😊

And no, I didn’t ‘finish” grieving these losses. I learned to integrate living and grieving and found a way forward to honour the losses and to find meaning in life going forward.

“Because at the end of the day, I am still here. And so are you. We wake up to the sun rising, to our nails growing, to another being connecting with us”

Grief is a process, not an event. Yes, I will forever hold a place in my heart for my cats and my Dad. The difference now? I let myself cry and sit in sadness when I need to but the pain-that gut-wrenching, “make it go away”, “this is not my life” kind of pain, its less intense, I smile more than I cry at the memories, and I have reestablished my relationship with meaning (which I believe never goes away. It just gets…lost sometimes)

Ps. Notice the secondary losses? These are losses related to the primary loss and they too need to be witnesses, recognized and processed. But we can discuss more of that in our coaching sessions.

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Appointments can be done via Zoom, Skype or telephone. All appointments start with an initial 30 minute free consultation over phone.