Tag Archives: grieving process

Seeking Help is the Best Decision I Ever Made

My journey through the grief process was not a lot of fun but it allowed me to move toward a new beginning.  If this major loss did not occur I would probably have not chosen my new career path.  As it is said, “If God did not believe I could handle this, he maybe would not have allowed this to happen to me.”  He only gives you challenges that you have the ability to overcome.

This has allowed me to apply my most treasured skills that were part of my prior career to my new career path.  What has mattered most in my business and personal life is to apply my interpersonal and relationship talents toward helping others through their personal times of crisis.  This is what I treasure most in life…….helping others.

During my personal grief process it was revealed to me that a career that I had never considered before was something that was made for me…….to become a professional grief coach so I could help others work through the major loss that happened to them because of the loss of a loved one to breast cancer.  My personal experience with this type of loss can be directly applied to the situations I am involved with others facing a similar challenge.

In addition, I was introduced to Aurora Winter and herGrief   CoachAcademyso I would be provided with the tools needed to deal with my clients who are facing a similar loss.  As it is said, “Everything happens for a reason.”  And I believe this directly applies to the changes that have occurred in my life. 

“Success has nothing to do with

what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself.

It’s what you do for others.”

~ Danny Thomas


“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.” 

Proverbs 3:5-6




Videos to Help those Who Are Dealing with Grief/Loss

The below videos are meant to be both a tribute to my departed wife, Gretchen, and a way to express my grief of losing her.  These are also a way for me to work through the grief process with the knowledge that I will be able to return to a normal life even though I will remember her always.   Maybe you know someone who has suffered a loss of a loved one.  Please forward this to them.  I believe it will help them.


Dealing With Grief – http://youtu.be/k5MAempWUWI

Good Grief – Life After Loss – http://youtu.be/6-Tj_2BJXy0

Grief counseling for grief support, Aurora Winter –http://youtu.be/G08nRaQlT4w (this is who I have studied under to become a grief coach)

Aurora Winter ‘Myths About Grief’ – http://youtu.be/stDu0F1R9sw

How To Deal With Losing Someone – http://youtu.be/PaLVQXtGRWs

In The Arms Of The Angels – http://youtu.be/SnL1e4-NfaA

CITYOF ANGELS – FALLENhttp://youtu.be/VaPO5qiIjAI

When You’re Gone – Avril Lavignehttp://youtu.be/0G3_kG5FFfQ

IRIS – GOO GOO DOLLShttp://youtu.be/EXEfg4-9BnY

Beth Nielsen Chapman – Sand and Water  – http://youtu.be/qspKCpCJKA4

3 Doors Down & Sara Evans – Here Without You – http://youtu.be/6BQoJDHZsGM

‘Titanic’ Theme Songhttp://youtu.be/saalGKY7ifU

Time To Say Goodbye Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightmanhttp://youtu.be/QbN0g8-zbdY        

Josh Groban – You Are Loved [Don’t Give Up] http://youtu.be/EGLSk3AVcUU

Wish You Were Here – Avril Lavigne – http://youtu.be/VT1-sitWRtY

The Five Stages of Grief

If you or someone you love is suffering through the grief process, please pick up at least a couple of the above books.  They were written by experts in this field.  In fact, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a Swiss American psychiatrist who specialized in near-death studies.  She is the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying(1969), where she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model, which documents the five stages of grief –

  • Denial — “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening, not to me.” Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death.
  • Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?” Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy.
  • Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time…”
  • Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
  • Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a psychiatrist and author.  Throughout her career she wrote more than 20 books dealing with the natural phenomenon of dying; the first, and best-known, “On Death and Dying,” was released in 1969. This book introduced the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are now associated with any major loss or life-changing experience. Her work was instrumental in strengthening the hospice movement in the United States and made the study of the psychological, social, and physical issues associated with dying an important and accepted part of medical training. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees in science, law, humanities, and divinity. In 1999, she was one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Important Thinkers of the Century.” In 2007 she was inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame.

I hope this material is helpful in addressing some of the issues surrounding the process of grieving.  These books are meant to be a supplement to the counseling that is provided by an individual who is trained to help individuals work through the grieving process so they can return to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Books to Aid the Healing Process

There are many books that are devoted to providing guidance and help when dealing with the grieving process that is the result of some major life event such as, the loss of a spouse, parent, child, divorce and your job.  Below is a list of the books that I would recommend on this subject.  The material in these books is helpful but it is best to be viewed as supplemental to receiving professional counseling from someone who is trained to deal within this area of specialization.  At the end of each book in below listing is a link that will take you to Amazon.com if you wish to find out more about each book and for you to order those you would like.

I hope this material is helpful in addressing some of the issues surrounding the process of grieving. These books are meant to be a supplement to the counseling that is provided by an individual who is trained to help individuals work through the grieving process so they can return to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Info on Breast Cancer

Do you have a loved one who experienced a loss because of breast cancer?  Before I relate my story, let me first share some facts with you about the #1 source of cancer in women.

These facts are assembled by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, which is a powerful voice, speaking for women and men across the country, demanding victory in the war against breast cancer. In 2003 it was named one of the twenty most influential groups in health policy based on a survey of congressional staff – the only grassroots group and the only breast cancer organization to make that list.

Its mission is to eradicate breast cancer, the most common form of cancer among women in theUnited States, by focusing the administration, U.S. Congress, research institutions and consumer advocates on breast cancer.  According to the National Breast Cancer Coalition, below are some of the myths and truths about breast cancer.


  1. Monthly breast self-exams save lives
  2. Mammograms can only help and not harm you
  3. MRIis better than mammography because if finds more cancer
  4. Mammograms prevent breast cancer
  5. Most women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease
  6. Men don’t get breast cancer
  7. Everyone’s breast cancer is the same
  8. Removing the entire breast is better than just cutting the cancer out and getting radiation
  9. There are drugs that can prevent breast cancer
  10. Once diagnosed with breast cancer, it is very important to make treatment decisions immediately
  11. Second opinions are only for treatment options
  12. With new treatments we can now cure breast cancer
  13. All breast cancer research is good because  it moves us toward prevention and a cure


  1. When breast cancer shows up on a mammogram, it many have been in your body for 6-10 years
  2. Breast cancer mortality rates are declining
  3. We don’t know how to prevent breast cancer
  4. Risk of breast cancer increases with age; 50% of breast cancer occurs among women aged 62 and older
  5. Most people think they have a higher risk of breast cancer than they actually do
  6. Hormone replacement therapy increases your risk of breast cancer
  7. You should question your doctors

My wife and I have had first hand experience with breast cancer.  Because of this my wife, Gretchen, passed away abruptly at the age of 63 after we had been married for 40 years.  At the time of her death we had two sons, who were 31 and 29 years old then.

The impact of Gretchen’s passing was an immediate emersion into the grief process.  I can tell you that this was a very painful time in my life.  I could have given in to the grief I was experiencing and let it control my life for a long…….long time.  But my personal makeup led me to attack the grief process and to find support and counseling so I could address my pain in as short a time as possible so I could return to a fulfilling and joyful life.

I plan to give you a picture of my life together with Gretchen and our two sons, some high and low points in our lives, the onslaught of the grief process and how I was able to regain a happy and meaningful life.

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself:

 I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.

 I can choose which it shall be.

Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet.

I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
— Groucho Marx