The Grief Journey

6 Episodes

Episode 1 : All the Phases in the Grief Journey


Episode Notes

Introduction to the Grief Journey

This is an introduction to the concept of a grief journey as we look at the common phases even though everyone’s journey is personal and unique.

Healing through grief involves a personal journey. After guiding many individuals and families following the painful losses of loved ones, we know that those who grieve don’t need to be stuck in a state of mourning forever. Grievers have the opportunity to heal as they react, adjust, persevere and ultimately learn to live again. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that your healing journey will not be a walk in the park. There are some realities to the grief journey that you need to know early on. While there are many resources – like this program – to help guide you, you will find that:

  • There are no maps or GPS devices to direct your steps, so you may feel lost much of the time.
  • The pain of loss will be your faithful and unwelcome companion – unfortunately, pain needs to come along for the ride, which sucks, we know.
  • Schedules and timelines simply don’t apply to this journey – each journey is unique and has its own timetable. 
  • Personal discoveries along the way help you avoid walking in endless circles, and sometimes those discoveries take a while to find and understand.
  • Life adjustments are required – life won’t be the same, and adjustments are the rule, not the exception
  • Twists, turns and detours are guaranteed and backtracking is to be expected – this is not a linear sort of journey.

And, of course, there are no simple answers, no “get out of jail free” cards, no magic pills, and no one can take the journey in your place. We know this is tough news – but we also know from personal experience, this journey is worthwhile and you can finish it.

Let me end the “not-so-good” news with some better news. You don’t need to travel on your own. Along the way, you will encounter helpful traveling companions – and we encourage you to thoughtfully invite them to join you. 

We wish to offer you encouragement, helpful tools, resources, instruction and our personal empathy. In fact, those are the reasons we have created this program.

Your journey doesn’t have to be complete misery. You will find an oasis, here and there, in the emotional deserts you cross. And with honest effort, willingness to lean into the pain and determination to overcome the difficulties that will arise, you will arrive, perhaps a bit battle-weary, to a place of real healing.

You will become stronger as you overcome the challenges before you – but, of course, you won’t grow stronger if you refuse the journey. And you have the freedom to refuse it! Folks say “no” to healing all the time. They refuse the journey by denying the need, avoiding or numbing their pain, and sometimes just pretending to be OK. Unfortunately, denying, avoiding, numbing and pretending simply postpone actual healing.

We want you to know that there are several phases within this journey. We have termed them:

  • Surviving – just eking out our days, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.
  • Existing – returning to some basics of life, but not really living a full life
  • Seeking – realizing that just existing is unsatisfactory and looking for a way to actually heal from your loss.
  • Healing – making an informed and active approach to grieving with the goal of healing.
  • Living Again – adjusting to the differences in your life created by the loss of your loved one – a life that is intentionally restored through self-examination, discovery and determination

We have developed a short video for each of these phases. We’ll drop into each phase with a bit more depth and detail. We will share experiences and revelations we’ve gained along the way. We’ll try to share this hope with you: that despite the overwhelming sense of the difficulty you may be feeling now, there is a more satisfying and meaningful life ahead for you. But you must intentionally and courageously seek it – when you are ready.

You may have already heard from us, or some other source, this phrase: “You don’t get over grief, but you can get through grief.” Healing from loss isn’t like healing from a head cold, recovering from a broken arm or recuperating from surgery. That type of healing often means returning to your life as you knew it before you became unwell. 

Recovering through grief means accepting that life is now different. It can’t be the same because you have lost something irreplaceable. The person you lost will remain in your memories, and those memories are part of your essence and your soul. 

The 5 phases of your grief journey (as we have introduced them to you) can only be described in broad terms. And that is because, by necessity, your grief journey is completely unique to you and the specific loved one you lost. 

You will find that these phases overlap; they may seem endless and murky while you are in them, and the trek through them will require your attention, courage and effort. Neither we nor you can script or plot your journey in advance because you will be writing the story of your recovery as you experience it.


  • Healing from loss requires that we go through a journey.
  • The journey is individual and cannot be plotted or scripted in advance.
  • There will be “phases” in your journey as you recover and heal.
  • The journey will prepare you to truly live again.
  • Living again will be experienced as a revised version of your life – a new chapter in your story.


When you are ready, begin to watch the individual videos on the phases of your grief journey – a trek that will lead you to healing and, eventually, living again.


The stories of our lives are written on the fly. Tomorrow cannot be written until tomorrow. Just like the weather, the circumstances of our lives are not within our control. But how we choose to respond to the circumstances of our life, allows us to author our personal life story. And the choice to superimpose our responses to what the world gives us moment by moment is called  living.