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Converting Grief Into Growth ‒ Individuality Of The Grief Journey

Written by: Jenny Dilts, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Every person’s life is different. Our personalities, relationships, challenges, and dreams are all unique to us. There is no person who is exactly the same as another. We each experience life in our own way. This being said, there are two experiences that are guaranteed for every human being during their mortal journey ‒ birth and death.

I have experienced childbirth multiple times and each has been unique. The birth of my first child was completely different than that of my fifth. Not only were the babies different, but I was different too ‒ in my stage of life, the ways I had grown, the lessons I was learning, and even the geographical location where I lived.

In many ways Grief is like childbirth. To begin with, Grief is a universal part of the human experience. It is the natural, essential, and involuntary response to a loss of attachment. None are exempt from meeting it at some point in their life, whether that’s from death, trauma, changes in jobs or relationships, or even from unmet expectations. The sources of Grief are many, and as varied as we are.

Also like childbirth, no grief journey is exactly the same. Not only is the source of the grief different, the grief experience differs from one individual to another. Even within the same person the grief experience can vary from loss to loss.

Furthermore, how the grief is processed plays a major factor in how the grief journey unfolds. What we do with that grief and how we deal with it—or not— is highly individual. This part of the grief journey is called mourning. It is a voluntary “right” that's avoidable and intentional.

I have learned a lot about mourning from the organization “being here, human” which was founded by Michelle Williams and Rachelle Bensoussan. They seek to educate people about Grief and give space for others as they navigate that journey, particularly in marginalized communities. In one of their Grief Literacy trainings, Rachelle explained, “If we want to distinguish between grief and mourning, grief is involuntary and not optional, but mourning is a right. I wish it was a human right. It’s a luxury. And the act of mourning requires 4 things: It requires time, resources, access, and capacity.”

If any of those four things are missing, the grief response can grow and ferment, or stagnate and fester, both of which can be very unhealthy for our beings. Some barriers to mourning may include cultural and familial expectations, workplace environment, socioeconomic circumstances, religious traditions, systemic biases, sexual orientations, and even our own resistance to grief.

On the other hand, mourning ‒ giving expression, permission, and volition to our grief ‒ can be incredibly healing and cathartic. As we mourn and metabolize our grief, we can dig deeper and find valuable treasures that lie hidden within. What gems might be waiting for you in your grief journey? For a travel buddy or trail guide to help uncover and discover what’s there, reach out to me.

Email me at and visit my website. You can also reach out by phone at +1-925-335-6437.

Follow me on Facebook & LinkedIn!


Jenny Dilts, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Jenny Dilts stands as a lighthouse for people in grief. Her naturally calming and soothing personality brings a sense of peace and security to those around her. Jenny's journey as a Grief Coach began when she sat with a friend days after her husband's sudden death. Holding that space for her unlocked and ignited a passion for supporting others in their grief. Another pivotal experience for Jenny was guiding a friend through the grief following her sister's death by suicide. Jenny's ability to appreciate both the darkness and the light guides others to move forward with their grief, create a new normal for themselves, and build a relationship with Grief and Gratitude. Jenny is the founder of Grieving Coach and host of the podcast Share Your Story: Exploring humanity one heart at a time.



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