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Can I Prepare for This Grief Journey?

Expert Author Dora Carpenter

According to Webster, the word journey is defined as "an act or instance of traveling from one place to another." Is this definition applicable to the grief journey? If so, can we prepare just as we would for maybe a cross-country journey by train?

Coping with and traveling through grief is probably one of the most difficult and pain-staking journeys that one must travel. Unfortunately, there is no preparation for such, but hold on because I will argue this statement a bit in a minute.

Why do we grieve anyway? We grieve because we loved. It is natural and normal to grieve the loss of our dear loved ones as we accept the permanency of their physical presence. It is a process to acknowledge and accept that we will not be given another chance to talk with them. We miss the true essence of the relationship as we cling tightly to the cherished memories.

It is beneficial and necessary to travel this road as we discover and experience life without them. It is necessary to do the grief work to reach a place of peace and comfort, which will become a place of new normalcy in our lives.

Trying to avoid, suppress, or simply skip this part of the grief journey can bring on negative physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual consequences, so we must journey through this wilderness of grief. But, the question is, "Can I prepare for this grief journey?"

Is it possible that if we really accept the reality and fragility of life that we can indirectly prepare for the journey of grief? Yes, the notification of a death is always unexpected and a shock, no matter the cause; however, if we were to really practice acts of love and gratitude by appreciating and living fully each moment, might that help one to embrace the challenge of preparing for the grief journey?

After assisting hundreds of families making final arrangements for loved ones and hearing countless stories of guilt, regret, and unfulfilled hopes and dreams, my mantra for life became, "Everything in life is temporary, including life itself. Decide to say Yes! to the gift of now." Isn't this the reality? Isn't each day, hour, moment, or even breath a gift?

I share a powerful video that was shared with me by a friend entitled, "Be Thankful for the Journey Called Life" by Steven Atchison. Take two minutes and listen at

Dora Carpenter is Founder and Program Director of From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program. As a From Grief to Gratitude Certified Coach, you will have the knowledge, skills, resources, and confidence to coach clients through the transformative process of handling the painful emotions of losing a loved one, getting on top of their grief, and moving forward in life with meaning and purpose in the shortest time possible. To find a coach or learn to become a coach and help others through the grieving process, visit

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