Grief is the journey . . .

  Gratitude is the destination

  From Grief to Gratitude

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Thank you for visiting.  Here you will find messages of hope and inspiration as you navigate your grief journey.  We will also spotlight individuals and families who exemplify the meaning of transforming grief into gratitude.  

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Daughter Creates "Grateful and Company" After Father's Suicide

Posted on June 15, 2018 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Over 12 years ago she lost her dad to suicide at the young age of nine. Ferguson says, " I went to sleep one evening with my world in tact and was awoken to a world completely rocked and riddled with grief and sadness."

Ferguson took that grief and has now made it her mission to help fight mental illness and the stigma that often times goes with it. She mainly wants to help college students.

Ferguson created" target="_blank">Grateful & Company with, "the sole intent of radically recreating an awareness for physical gratitude in order to empower people to recognize worth, acknowledge value and to show appreciation for themselves and for those around them."

She sat down with CW39 Houston's Maggie Flecknoe to share her journey. Watch the interview" target="_blank">here.

How Does Journaling Help the Grieving Process?

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you keep a diary when you were younger recording the good, bad, and ugly things experienced during the day? You recorded thoughts that were only expressed in private, later intentionally shared, exposed without your permission, or even published.

Journaling has many benefits. It is an excellent tool for exploring grief. Expressing your feelings of pain releases them from your head and from your heart … dumping onto a sheet of paper or the keyboard of a computer. You’ll find that the deeper you release these emotions, the faster you pen them. What happens after this moment of expression outside of your inner self? Usually, one feels better, even if for a brief period.

What about reflection? While writing, you also have the opportunity to reflect. You might gain a clearer perspective on your attitudes, emotions, and moods. You might even equate journaling to talking with a non-judgmental friend, confidant, spiritual advisor, counselor, or grief coach. It is a safe place to share your deepest feelings without being judged or condemned.

Make your journaling exercise a relaxing, stress-free experience.


Love and light to you on your grief journey. Download the free eBook, When Will the Pain Go Away at

Distance and Death | How to Recover From Loss When You Can't Say Goodbye

Posted on January 21, 2018 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

100 years ago, when someone died, it might take months for word to reach loved ones more than a few miles away. Not being at the funeral wasn’t shameful or something to regret, it was just a part of life. Today, however, news travels across the globe instantly and we feel obligated to react no matter where we are or what we are doing. But we can’t always do that.

Living outside of the country, insecure finances, and responsibilities at home can prevent our presence at end-of-life celebrations for those we love. Individuals undergoing inpatient drug or alcohol abuse treatment may also be unable to interrupt rehabilitation at its most crucial point. Here are a few tips on how to ease into the healing process when distance is a barrier to the support you so desperately need.

Make the best of technology.

Technology makes it easy to hear hard news but it can also work to bring you together with your surviving loved ones when someone dies. In addition to helping you stay connected, tools such as Facebook Live can actually help you witness your family or friend’s final farewell. Frazer Consultants suggests that funeral homes use FB Live to educate families about end-of-life services, but it can also be used to live stream the funeral. While some may consider it in poor taste, videoing a funeral service is not a new idea. Webcasting was first introduced to the industry back in 2002 and today, more than half of all funeral services are broadcast online.

Help with planning.

Even if you cannot be in the same room with your family, you can take some of the pressure off them by planning aspects of the service or dealing with insurance and other legal matters. If you loved one played sports, for instance, you might put together a video compilation of their greatest on-field achievements to play at the memorial.

Focus on your emotional wellbeing.

It isn’t selfish to feel depressed or down-and-out after a loved one passes. It’s expected. But being far away can exacerbate these feelings and add to them feelings of guilt and isolation. This is especially true for recovering addicts, who must make self-care a priority each and every day. explains that, “Everything you do can be tied to your mental health…” This means that you must continue to make positive choices despite your anguish. Don’t be afraid to connect with others in your position who are physically close by. You will benefit from having a caring support network. Your faraway family will also benefit knowing that you are taking steps to prevent relapse.

Do something to honor your loved one’s memory.

Not having the opportunity to say farewell doesn’t mean you can’t release yourself from the pain of loss. One of the most therapeutic ways to do this is to create your own memorial in honor of the departed. A memorial scholarship is an excellent way to ensure your loved one’s memory remains. While it can be pricey (Kiplinger notes that college endowment funds are $1,000 at the lowest end and more than $100,000 on the high side). However, you can pledge money to a private, local, or non-profit group in much lower amounts and still make an impact in their name. The Humane Society, elementary schools, and even youth sports organizations will often accept a memorial donation.

No matter how you choose to grieve and honor the ones you’ve lost, remember that distance does not define your love for them. You will do your loved one no favors by falling into unhealthy patterns or engaging in risky behaviors. Stay in touch with remaining family and say goodbye in your own way. Take heart that they will be smiling you from their ethereal existence knowing that you still care.


By Janice Miller, Contributing Author.  Janice Miller has always been an advocate for ensuring safety. It started just in the community, in a physical neighborhood but the more she engaged herself online she has found that there is a need to ensure safety on the interweb as well. When she isn’t writing for, Ms. Miller fosters dogs and helps place them with forever homes.

Heather D. Horton

Posted on January 14, 2018 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

From Grief to Gratitude Spotlights Heather D. Horton.  Heather survived a traumatic single car accident in 2005 that claimed the life of her mother and aunt after a relative fell asleep while driving long distance. She used her faith to move mountains of tragedy in order to regain her hope and begin to heal her soul after suffering such loss. Asking God why she survived the accident, He revealed to her that she had yet to fulfill the purpose for which He created her.

Stepping out on faith and pursuing her calling, Heather resigned from her Federal career after 18+ years and has committed her life to empowering communities and changing the world through grief coaching, education and support. She journeys with her clients helping them to renew mind, body, and spirit after loss.


Heather’s life transformation coaching program, “The 7 Keys to Transforming Trauma Into Triumph” is available on CD. She is co-author of The Roots of Holiday Grief, and is available for workshop presentations and speaking engagements.


Read more about Heather D. Horton and connect with her at


Dispelling The Myth That It Just Takes Time

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

When my best friend, my hero, my Dad died, I thought that I was going to die too. In a way, I did die. My broken heart and my longing to see and talk to him was more than I could bear. The painful thought of living without him kept me in a prolonged isolated state. He died four days after Christmas and despite all the pines of my Christmas tree being on the floor, the dead tree stayed in place until mid-February.


Statistics say that it can take five to eight years to recover from a devastating loss. It indeed took me even longer to work through the painful emotions as I tried to understand it all. I felt so alone. I felt no one understood. I felt that every Christmas going forward would have no meaning. That was my Dad. How could his only child survive without him? Yes, I was grown with children, but that didn’t matter.

“It just takes time,” everyone told me. Family members, friends, the funeral director, church members … they all consoled me by telling me that “Time heals all wounds. Time will pass and you will feel better.” So, I waited on time and time passed and time passed. Sure, time will always change things, situations, and we even change with time. But what about my broken heart?


No one ever told me that there was help. No one ever shared about this thing called the grief journey, the grief experience, or the grief work. No one told me that I wasn’t alone, or that my feelings were normal and natural responses to loss.


If you are where I was, this message is for you. You are not alone, and you don’t have to wait on time alone for that sinkhole to open. Here are three suggestions to help you navigate the wilderness of grief.

1. Give yourself permission to grieve. Acknowledge that the painful emotions you are feeling are normal and natural responses to loss, so go ahead and feel them, whatever they are for you … anger, sadness, guilt, regret, loneliness, disappointment, fear … whatever they are.

2. Understand that no one can tell you how to grieve. Just as we have our unique DNA or fingerprint, our grief journey will be unique to us. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for grief.

3. Accept that the only way out, or to see light again, is to go through. Make the decision to experience your grief so that you can move forward and live your life. Yes, you have an obligation to live your life for the rest of your life. How can you honor the life and legacy of your loved one? What legacy will you leave?


Your life going forward will be different, but it can have meaning and purpose.



Love and light to you on your grief journey. Download the free eBook, When Will the Pain Go Away at here.