Working with a life coach—or in my case, a creative grief coach—is a very personal process. Your loss or losses may have left you feeling particularly vulnerable. Life itself may feel uncertain. And, in the pain you are experiencing you may not be sure how to recover your sense of self. Grief may be clouding your connection to wholehearted living.

So, how do you decide what steps to take to support yourself?

First, you may want to consider timing. How recent is your loss? Has it been days? Weeks? Months or even years? While it is never too late to do the work of uncovering and revealing your sorrow—of outwardly mourning your loss, it may be too soon.

Only you can decide when and if you are ready for some inner work.

What are your needs?

Are you feeling stuck? What are you longing to recover or reconnect to? Do you have a story of loss that you would like to write about? Are you feeling “ready” to take some action in support of healing and wholehearted living after your loss?

You already have the answers to these questions within you—and you may need encouragement, accountability, someone to accompany you through your mourning process to a new way of living with your loss.

What would you find supportive in a coach?

Meeting you right where you are I serve as a companion to you. Together, clients and I decide on direction and strategies that support the mourner’s process. Sometimes we use art making resources including paints, markers, pens, paper and other materials. Sometimes we tap into photos, notes from your loved one or even condolence cards as ways to express the story you’d like to tell about where the loss has taken you and who you are now.

Sometimes we spend our time together talking. Other times we continue with an art making project we’ve started the week before. And sometimes, we paint or draw or write together on our own creative works in what becomes shared sacred space lifting up the losses and handling them with care.

Because there is no one right way to mourn, together we remain open to what comes to us during our time together. And you set the tone.

Here’s what others have taught me about my role in companioning them through their loss:

  • Losses are personal. And in that way, so very individual that no two experiences are alike. Each person is ready when he or she is ready. And there is no right or wrong way to mourn a loss.
  • The process of teasing out your grief—of unraveling the things that you mourn the most—doesn’t have time parameters. Rather, it is something that comes in waves. So, we may work in waves too—committing to three months then taking a break. Then circling back for more work when you are ready. Because every grief journey has a shape of its own—you choose the kind of timing that fits your needs.
  • You are the expert of your own loss. My roles and responsibilities include listening, honoring your story with confidentiality and respect, and facilitating a process of discovering wholehearted living through conversation and related art making.
  • Mourning is an imperfect process. Sometimes hard. Sometimes a bit easier. And it is fully your own. My role is to help you claim what you need as you move forward, to companion you along the way and to celebrate with you new discoveries about yourself.

What you can expect from me

As a grief coach I strive to create a safe space for you. That safety includes confidentiality with anything you share with me. It also includes an understanding that grief is dynamic—and that your needs are and will continue to change as we work together. As a result, I seek to be responsive, creative and resourceful on your behalf. I look for our time to be collaborative and your experience of me to be one of supportive hospitality.

After working with me, I hope that you find yourself with some new tools with which to live in the face of your loss. I hope that you feel encouraged, supported and companioned through a challenging time. And I hope that through our collaboration, you uncover the resilience and return to wholehearted living.