Coaching for Grief and Loss

June 28, 2018

In my last blog posting I gave a general introduction to my work as an End of Life Coach. Today, I want to talk about Grief and Loss and my work as a Coach in this area.

Most of us have experienced the death of one or more loved ones. It is one of the universal experiences of life. For most people, the death of a loved one, whether it be a parent, a child, a spouse, or a grandparent, is very hard. Grief hurts, often a lot. Sometimes it can be crushing and all-consuming. For some of us, we may not be able to see at first how we’re going to get through it, though we do, as hard as it is.

One of the things I’ve learned from both personal experience and now in working with others as a Grief Coach, is that to get through it, we have to go through it. That is, there’s no sidestepping grief. We have to actively go through the process of grieving. That means doing whatever it takes for us, as individuals, to engage in that process. And, yes, we are not all the same. For some of us, it takes much more processing than it does for others.

Among the things that help are having others to talk to, whether it is a friend or relative or a grief coach or counselor. Sometimes it is engaging with others who are also experiencing grief, for instance in a Grief Support Group. What has become clear to me is that most people will benefit from some or all of these things to help them work through or process their grief experience. It’s also clear that at some point the world-at-large tends to become impatient with our grief and having these other resources can be valuable and important.

For the last two years I’ve been a Grief Coach working with people on a one-to-one basis either in person or by telephone. For the last year, I’ve also facilitated Grief Support Groups on a monthly basis in two locations, one in Rehoboth Beach, DE and the other in Washington, DC. These are free groups that are open to all.

Additionally, I should note that sometimes grief as profound as I’ve discussed above arises from circumstances other than the death of a loved one. This could include the death of a beloved pet, or the loss of a marriage or a job. It is still a loss that needs to be processed and coaching, counseling or group discussion can be most helpful.

Let me close by quickly addressing the difference between Grief Counseling and Grief Coaching. There seems to be a view among some that Grief Counseling is somehow better. What I would say is that while there are definitely situations where Grief Counseling is indicated, in most cases, Grief Coaching is just as effective, if not more so. This is because the coaching focus is on deep listening and the asking of questions that help bring understanding and clarity to those who are grieving.


If you or someone you know is suffering from grief right now, I would be happy to schedule a conversation to talk about options for moving forward on the journey. Just click on this link.

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