What is a grief companion

Grief is not an illness that needs a diagnosis and treatment. It is a normal process that we go through and that takes time. There is no rush to “recover” or return to “normalcy”.

In the words of Jana DeCristofaro who leads the Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families, “remember the last time you wanted to talk about grief and everybody left the room”?

In our western society and modern-day and age, a grieving person is unrealistically expected to “snap out of it” asap and go back to living their life. Friends, family might be there initially and in their own way, but they don’t -and often can’t- give the long-term support grieving person needs. That’s where a grief companion might be of valuable help.

The model of “companioning” the bereaved acknowledges that grief forever changes or transforms the mourner’s worldview. Companioning is not about assessing, analyzing, fixing or resolving another’s grief. Instead, it is about being totally present to the mourner. When nobody else wants to be in the room, your grief companion will be.

My work is focused on actively listening to the grieving person and being present to their pain rather than taking it away or treating it. Through listening in this way, a safe, non-judgmental, sacred space to tell one’s story is created. I walk alongside the mourner as they bear the weight of their grief, transform and integrate the loss, and find their way to a new normal. I incorporate elements of mindfulness and other mind-body tools and base myself on my experience as a health coach to help the person heal and face the new reality.

My own experience with grief:

My mum suddenly passed away when I was 10. At the time, I did not receive any professional grief support, only discovering the real meaning of loss and its effect on me much later in life. It was then that I decided to do a training to become the person that I didn’t have at the time.

Working with bereaved children is something I find especially fulfilling.

How I work:

I usually do 1h home visits in Berlin. I am also available online for people all over Europe. Please contact me at contact@anniex-healthcoaching.com to book a free chat and see if we are a good fit.

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